Skip to main content

A dangerous habit: e-cigarette explosions prompt a string of California lawsuits

fda e cigarettes cigarette regulations
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Update: This article was updated to include the brand names of the e-cigarettes named in the lawsuits, where available.

They’re often promoted as the safer alternative to cigarettes, but there’s nothing safe about an e-cigarette exploding in your mouth. A string of disastrous incidents involving volatile electronic cigarettes has now prompted three lawsuits in California, and it seems these cases will only increase in number.

Three men have filed complaints against makers, wholesalers, and retailers of e-cigarettes alike, blaming the devices for severe injuries like second-degree burns, shattered teeth, and even finger loss, not to mention the serious mental trauma that comes with having something blow up in your mouth.

Vicente Garza, one of the men involved in such a lawsuit, had an e-cigarette from Flawless Vapes & Supplies, LLC, explode on him while he was lifting the product to his face, according to the Los Angeles Times. His left index finger was amputated, his mouth and dominant hand were severely burned, and even a month after the incident, his tongue is still so damaged that it is difficult for him to eat.

“I never in my life thought that something like this would happen,” said the 23-year-old at a news conference on Thursday.

But as it turns out, it happens quite often, he claims. “E-cigarette explosions are becoming all too common as this industry is taking off,” Garza’s lawyer, Gregory Bentley, told the Times. “Consumers have the right to expect that products have been properly designed, manufactured, and tested for safety before they are put into the marketplace.”

The other men filing lawsuits in the state are Daniel Califf, a former soccer player with the Los Angeles Galaxy, who suffered facial fractures and second-degree burns on his neck, ear, and face; and Gregory Phillips, who has been dealing with second-degree burns on his left leg resulting from an e-cigarette that exploded in his pocket. The e-cigarette brands connected to these incidents were not immediately available.

“This is an unregulated industry this is causing harm across the country,” Bentley added. “It’s been a national problem and public safety is at risk.”

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
ClipDart is an on-demand barber app aimed at people of color
ClipDart founder, Kyle Parker.

It’s funny how we can take certain things for granted, like haircuts. Over the course of more than 50 years of living in different cities, different neighborhoods, or even visiting different countries, not once have I ever worried about whether I could find someone who could cut my hair the way I liked. Then again, I’m white.

But if you’re a person of color, it can be an entirely different experience. That’s what Kyle Parker discovered when he left his hometown of Chicago in 2013 to attend Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, population 9,031. While 24% of Grinnell College’s students identify themselves as people of color, fewer than 10% of residents of the city of Grinnell would say the same of themselves.

Read more
Circular confirms its $259 smart ring is coming to the U.S.
best wearables of ces 2022 circular ring

The Circular smart ring is finally going to be available for pre-order on Sunday, February 27, via the Circular website and will cost $259. The wearable tech will be available for presale in European countries (France, Germany, the U.K., and Italy,) the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Pre-orders will go live at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 27. Those who pre-order the smart ring should expect delivery between April and June 2022, according to a Circular press release.

Circular doesn't clarify what ring sizes will be available when presales go live, however, the company has said that seven sizes for both men and women will be available. Digital Trends has reached out for clarification on the available sizes, and will update this article when we hear back. The Circular smart ring also comes in four different colors that can be switched out with replaceable outer shells: Black, rose gold, silver, and gold.

Read more
How to take an ECG with your Apple Watch and see irregular heart notifications
ecg app apple watch

The ECG app is one of the most vital features of the Apple Watch, allowing you to see an electrocardiogram of your heart whenever you want. Along with this, the Apple Watch can notify you of irregular heart rhythms.

Read more