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Biomedical Engineering: Current Research

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E-Cigarette and their batteries; an emerging trend to burn yourself; Review of literature and a case series

Author(s): Haitham Khashaba and Catalina Estela

E-cigarettes have gained popularity in the past few years as an aid for smoking cessation. Although there is little evidence regarding its long term health effects, it is perceived by the public as a healthier smoking device and recently the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has awarded the first UK license for an E-cigarette device to be marketed as a smoking cessation aid. We have noticed an increasing trend of flame burns due to spontaneous ignition of the batteries of the e-cigarette. We have conducted an internet search and a review of literature and we have found an increasing number of reported cases throughout the UK and the USA in the last few months. Here we are reviewing the literature and presenting two cases that have been managed in our burns service in the first half of 2016. Eight cases have been reported through the UK and the USA since January 2016, the majority of which happened from ignition of the spare battery of the e-cigarette normally carried in the user’s trouser pocket. Four of these had the same battery brand. We have reasons to believe both flame and chemical burns are part of the injury. We aim to improve public awareness and to inform the professionals and the industry about this potentially serious hazard associated with e-cigarettes and their batteries.


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