BigNews.Biz - Dec 30,2016 - Blumenthal Calls for Recall of Exploding E-Cigarettes, Ban From U.S. Skies
E-cigarettes use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, like the recently recalled fire-catching Galaxy Note 7 phones. Blumenthal asks major U.S. airlines to take immediate voluntary action to protect travelers by b
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Following numerous incidents of exploding and smoldering e-cigarettes dangerously injuring users – including the hospitalization of a Stratford, Connecticut man whose e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, knocking out several of his teeth – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today calling on the federal agencies to recall the exploding devices and establish clear safety standards for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in the devices.
“These dangerous devices are exploding mid-use—maiming users and endangering the lives of anyone nearby. I am calling on the FDA and CPSC to immediately recall these defective e-cigarettes, and to establish clear safety standards for e-cigarette batteries,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal also wrote to major U.S. airlines today urging the industry to take immediate voluntary action to ban e-cigarettes from aircraft cabins. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation banned e-cigarettes from checked luggage, but stopped short of banning the devices from cabins, where they continue to pose serious safety risks. There is precedent for airline action—last year Delta, United Airlines and American Airlines all banned hoverboards from carry-on and checked baggage due to fire concerns.
“Particularly on airplanes, e-cigarette explosions pose an immediate and alarming threat to public safety,” Blumenthal said. “I am calling on the airlines to take immediate voluntary steps to protect travelers from this hazard, including banning e-cigarettes from all aircraft cabins.”
The full text of Blumenthal’s letter to the FDA and CPSC is available here. The full text of Blumenthal’s letter to major U.S. airlines – Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Island Air, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, United, and Virgin – is available here. Both letters are copied below.
Dear Commissioner Califf and Chairman Kaye:
I write to urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to address the serious safety risks associated with defective, exploding electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Last week, a local ABC affiliate reported that a man from Connecticut was hospitalized after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, while in use. Witnesses saw the blast blow his two front teeth twenty feet in the air and knock him unconscious. Such incidents involving faulty e-cigarettes are happening with alarming regularity. As federal agencies charged with protecting consumer safety, the FDA and CPSC have an obligation to take prompt and meaningful action to protect individuals—a soaring number of which are young people, according to a recent U.S. Surgeon General report—from this danger.
E-cigarettes with faulty batteries pose not only a threat to individual safety, but to public safety—endangering all that work, live, commute, or even study in the vicinity of their users. Earlier this year, a high school sophomore in Alabama was severely