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Electronic cigarette explosion and burn injuries, US Emergency Departments 2015–2017

Abstract

Background Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) battery failure can result in explosions and burn injuries. Previous attempts to quantify these events has been limited to compilations of case studies, federal agency reports and media reports. Although e-cigarette explosions and burn injuries are thought to be rare, current surveillance methods likely underestimate actual occurrences.

Methods Analyses were conducted on cross-sectional data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). A keyword search of case narrative text was used to identify e-cigarette-related explosion and burn injuries presenting to US emergency departments from 2015 to 2017. Sampling weights were applied to make conservative national incidence estimates.

Results From 2015 to 2017, there were an estimated 2035 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries presenting to US hospital emergency departments (95% CI 1107 to 2964).

Conclusions There are more e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries in the USA than estimated in the past reports. Improved surveillance of e-cigarette injuries and regulation of e-cigarette devices is urgently needed. NEISS could be a valuable resource for e-cigarette injury surveillance.

  • electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • surveillance and monitoring
  • public policy
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