Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Electronic nicotine delivery systems: overheating, fires and explosions
  1. Susan F Rudy1,
  2. Elizabeth L Durmowicz2
  1. 1Office of Science/Division of Individual Health Science/Medical Branch, United States Food & Drug Administration/Center for Tobacco Products, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Office of Science/Division of Individual Health Science, FDA/Center for Tobacco Products, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Susan F Rudy, Office of Science/Division of Individual Health Science/Medical Branch, USA Food & Drug Administration/Center for Tobacco Products, Bldg. 75/Rm. 5464W, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, USA; Susan.rudy{at}


Background Electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS)-associated overheating, fire or explosion (OH/F/EXP) events have occurred since at least 2009.

Objective To identify the number and nature of ENDS OH/F/EXP events in the USA.

Methods Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) scientists searched for event reports among five US federal agencies, scientific literature and media outlets.

Findings 100 reference sources identified 92 OH/F/EXP events in the USA, of which 45 (49%) injured 47 people, and 67 (73%) involved property damage beyond the product. Events were identified in media outlets (n=50; 54%) and reported to four agencies (n=42; 46%). The report rate peaked at an average of six reports per month in late 2013 with a smaller peak of three to four reports per month in the second quarter of 2015. All reports were incomplete and events exhibited variability. International events in three countries are mentioned, and international responses to events are summarised.

Conclusions The scope, causes and trajectory of ENDS OH/F/EXP events remain incompletely defined. Some events have resulted in life-threatening injury, permanent disfigurement or disability, and major property damage, suggesting the need for ongoing surveillance and risk mitigation. More comprehensive reporting could assist future analyses and may help to identify root causes and contributors to the OH/F/EXP events.

  • Electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Media

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors SFR directed or conducted the literature and report searches, was the primary event analyst, drafted and revised the paper. BD was a secondary event analyst, reviewed and edited the paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Disclaimer This information is not a formal dissemination of information by FDA and does not represent Agency position or policy.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Reports posted to CTP's public Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Electronic Reading Room may move (have a new web address) in the future. The reports can be located on the FDA public website by searching the term “CTP FOIA Electronic Reading Room.” Unpublished reports to the FDA can be acquired by submitting a FOIA request. Instructions are posted to FOIA requests should be submitted in writing to: Food and Drug Administration. Division of Freedom of Information. Office of the Executive Secretariat, OC. 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1035, Rockville, MD 20857, Phone: 301 796 3900, FAX 301 827 9267. Online FOIA Requests to the FDA can be submitted via Unpublished reports to the CPSC can be acquired by submitting a FOIA request to: FOIA Requester Service Center, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Room 820, Bethesda, MD 20814, Tel. 301–504–7923 and Fax. 301–504–0127, E-mail:, Or contact the CPSC FOIA Public Liaisons: Deborah Acosta,, Tel. 301-504-6821. Lynn Carter,, Tel. 301-504-6890. The latest guidelines on making a CPSC FOIA request are posted to Unpublished reports to the FAA can be acquired by submitting a FOIA request online via: For further information, contact: Federal Aviation Administration, Douglas Taylor, National Freedom of Information Act Staff, AFN-140, 800 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20591, Phone: (202) 267-7799, Fax: (202) 267-6514.

Linked Articles