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Huff, puff and explode: E-cigarette fires, injuries on rise

/ 12:02 AM December 15, 2016
John Hartigan smokes an e-cigarette

In this photo, taken Dec. 4, 2013, John Hartigan, proprietor of Vapeology LA, a store selling electronic cigarettes and related items, takes a puff of an electronic cigarette at his store in Los Angeles. (Photo by REED SAXON/AP)

MINEOLA, New York — The popularity of e-cigarettes has been accompanied by a climbing number explosions or fires in the decade since their debut.

The devices simulate tobacco smoking. Because they operate on lithium batteries, they appear to be suffering mishaps similar to some smartphones, hover boards and other products.

Elected officials, personal injury attorneys and victims are demanding action.


This year alone a teenager at a Florida amusement park was burned. A man was chatting with co-workers in New York’s Grand Central Terminal when his pants erupted in flames. And a Brooklyn boy was partially blinded.

The Food and Drug Administration started regulating the devices in May. It is reporting increasing numbers of injuries in the past 18 months from exploding e-cigarettes. –Frank Eltman/AP

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