Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Zika Moms Struggle to get Help for their Children


Zika Epidemic Exposes Rights Problems


Kenya: Threats to Media Ahead of August Polls


No To Terrorism, Yes To Human Rights


FORCED MARRIAGE, CONVERSION FOR YEZIDIS


Central African Republic: Executions by Rebel Group


Ban Forced Anal Exams Around World


A Year On, No Word on 300 Abducted Children


People With Disabilities Abused, Neglected


Jewelry Campaign


Kenya Turkana



Monday, March 26, 2018

FDA is About to Crack Down on Non-Compliant Vapes

fda-crackdown

The FDA looks ready to begin enforcing the most restrictive of the existing regulations written into its Deeming Rule: the ban on innovation of products after the grandfather date.

Most vapers know the date by heart: Aug. 8, 2016.

That’s the date after which no new vapor product can come to market without first successfully going through one of the three pathways the agency offers: substantial equivalence (SE), premarket tobacco application (PMTA), or modified risk tobacco product (MRTP). Getting approval to market new products through those routes is probably impossible for the vast majority of independent vaping companies.

The prohibition on new products includes any changes to existing products — even minor changes. Inconsequential modifications like firmware upgrades or minor alterations to e-liquid recipes count as violations of the marketing prohibition.

Until now, the FDA has apparently decided not to enforce the rule against selling new products after that date. But that may be about to change.

The FDA could even confiscate shipments to individuals from China or other countries after mail inspections.

The FDA has asked for bids on a contract to provide “Vape Inspection” services. The agency is prepared to spend $23 million over a five-year period to verify compliance, and has published a detailed list of items inspectors will be searching for.

The contract specifies inspections of manufacturers (which also includes any vape shop that makes e-liquid on site), but the Tobacco Control Act allows gives the FDA authority to inspect all “establishments engaged in the retail sale of FDA-regulated tobacco products.” That could include any vape shop or online seller.

One of the tasks inspectors will have is checking to see if “Establishment is potentially in violation of Section 910 of the FD&C Act, which prohibits introducing or delivering for introduction into interstate commerce any ‘new tobacco product’ without an order from FDA authorizing the marketing of the product.”

Responsibility for proving that products were available before the Aug. 8, 2016 cutoff belongs to manufacturers and wholesale/importers, but non-compliant products could be seized from retailers. The FDA could even confiscate shipments to individuals from China or other countries after mail inspections.

The FDA contractors will also be taking photographs of any evidence discovered during inspections.

The news about the FDA call for inspection bids was first reported by ECigIntelligence. The vape market analysts say there is evidence that some non-compliant products are being sold currently.

“There appears to be some disconnect between product authorisation and product availability,” said ECigIntelligence managing director Tim Phillips in an email to subscribers. “It could be that manufacturers and importers are gambling on non-enforcement or even a rollback of the FDA regulations governing e-cigarettes,” he added.

There are a variety of ways manufacturers can prove a product was “commercially marketed” before the Aug. 8 grandfather date. According to an FDA guidance document, these are some examples:
  • Dated copies of advertisements
  • Dated catalog pages
  • Dated promotional material
  • Dated trade publications
  • Dated bills of lading
  • Dated freight bills
  • Dated waybills
  • Dated invoices
  • Dated purchase orders
  • Dated customer receipts
  • Dated manufacturing documents
  • Dated distributor or retailer inventory lists

Many vape manufacturers documented technical compliance with the rules by selling products once before the Aug. 8 cutoff, then immediately removing them from the market.

fda-crackdown

The inspectors will be gathering other information during visits to vape businesses too, including searching for products with “ false or misleading labeling.” The FDA contractors will also be taking photographs of any evidence discovered during inspections.

A complete list of tasks that will be completed during inspections is provided in a document linked in the call for bids:

1. Complete and present to the establishment an original, properly executed, and signed Form FDA 482 (Notice of Inspection). The Contractor shall retain a copy of the signed Form FDA 482 for submission to FDA.

2. Complete an inspectional form provided by FDA. An inspectional form shall contain at least fifteen questions pertaining to the following categories of information:
   a. Administrative information about the establishment, potentially including but not limited to the following information: name, address, city, state, size of establishment, hours of operation.
   b. Inspectional questions related to all applicable provisions of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, including but not limited to: Sections 903(a)(1), 903(a)(7)(A), 910, and 911 of the FD&C Act, potentially including but not limited to the following topics:
  • Establishment is a retailer, manufacturer, or both.
  • Products the establishment manufactures.
  • Establishment imports or exports regulated tobacco products.
  • Establishment is potentially in violation of Sections 903(a)(1) or 903(a)(7)(A) of the FD&C Act, which prohibit false or misleading labeling and advertising for regulated tobacco products.
  • Establishment is potentially in violation of Section 910 of the FD&C Act, which prohibits introducing or delivering for introduction into interstate commerce any “new tobacco product” without an order from FDA authorizing the marketing of the product.
  • Establishment is potentially in violation of Section 911 of the FD&C Act, which prohibits introducing or delivering for introduction into interstate commerce any “modified risk tobacco product” without an FDA order in effect.
   The Contractor shall observe, review, request, or otherwise obtain access to all information necessary to complete the inspectional form and provide FDA with all information requested therein.

   FDA may generate multiple versions of the inspectional form, but all versions shall conform to the parameters of this section.

3. Take photographs of evidence pertaining to the information requested in the inspectional form. The Contractor may be required to photograph evidence including but not limited to documents, written procedures, brochures, products, signage, advertising, and labeling. All photographs must be clear, any inspector’s writing in the photograph must be legible (if applicable), and the photograph must fully capture the required information.

The FDA plan to crack down on non-compliant manufacturers could cause chaos in the vaping retail sector. And although it wouldn’t be as damaging to businesses as the imminent FDA war on e-liquid flavors, it would create enough uncertainty about the future that many small businesses might reconsider their plans.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Confini amministrativi - Riigipiirid - Political borders - 国境 - 边界: 1890 PT-ZA Mosambiik (Portugal)-Lõuna-Aafrika Vabariik Mozambico (Portogallo)-Sudafrica


Confini amministrativi - Riigipiirid - Political borders - 国境 - 边界: 1890 PT-ZA Mosambiik (Portugal)-Lõuna-Aafrika Vabariik Mozambico (Portogallo)-Sudafrica

Are There Any Safe Alternatives to Cigarettes?

Every year, a lot of individuals take a resolution to quit the hazardous habit of smoking. However, only a handful of people do succeed in quitting as it gets difficult for those who have been doing it for a long time. A detailed report highlighted the rise in the habit of smoking cigarettes wherein nearly 42.1 million Americans smoke on a regular basis. An estimate death toll has also risen to 480,000 every year.

The major reason why people smoke cigarettes:-
Nicotine is the major reason why a person gets addicted to smoking. When a person smokes, it stimulates a pleasant and relaxed feeling in the user while effectively alleviating stress. The Nicotine substance found in a cigarette stimulates the dopamine level in the brain.

E-Cigarettes: A Safer Alternative to traditional Cigarettes


People who are serious about quitting cigarettes should look for an alternate option. Choosing an E-Cigarette can be an ideal option to get rid of smoking. Nowadays, it has been popularly adopted by people who are planning to quit smoking cigarettes. Speaking about e-cigarettes, they do not contain any kind of damaging substance. Many users have stated that an e-cig vaping has contributed to minimizing smoking cigarettes for a long duration.

What is a Vaping Liquid made of?

A vaping liquid is ideally made of low nicotine content for pleasure, vegetable glycerol and Propylene Glycol (Vegetable Oil).

Effects & Benefits of using Vaping Liquid


Vaping & its effect on Health:-

This smoking alternative has comparatively lower health risk than those traditional cigarettes. It is preferable by individuals who find smoking tough, but don’t want to give up on trying.

Flavors of E-Cigarettes and its impact:-
A lot of users who have tried e-cigarettes have agreed that the best thing about vaping is the flavor options that you get that makes the vaping experience more pleasurable.

Aesthetic impact:-
E-cigarettes comparatively don’t produce any kind of residue or odor in the body.

Vape whenever you feel like:-
Vaping is ideally considered as a safer option and therefore, one can vape at a lot of places where cigarette smoking is prohibited.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

E-cigarettes: Who’s using them and why?

Background Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are often marketed as safe and effective aids for quitting cigarette smoking, but concerns remain that use of e-cigarettes might actually reduce the number of quit attempts. To address these issues, we characterized the utilization and demographic correlates of dual use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes (referred to here as simply “cigarettes”) among smokers in a rural population of Illinois. 

Methods

The majority of survey participants were recruited from the 2014 Illinois State Fair and from another event—the Springfield Mile—in Springfield. Survey questions explored participant demographics and cigarette and e-cigarette use history. 

Results Of 201 total cigarette smokers, 79 smoked only tobacco cigarettes (smokers), while 122 also used e-cigarettes (dual users). Dual users did not differ significantly from smokers in gender, age, income, or education. Compared to smokers, dual users were more likely to smoke within 30 minutes of awakening, but did not smoke more cigarettes per day or perceive a greater likelihood of quit success. Non-white dual users smoked fewer cigarettes per day than smokers . In addition, 79.5% of all dual users reported that they were using e-cigarettes to quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes smoked, and white respondents were 6 times more likely than non-whites to use e-cigarettes for ‘trying to quit smoking’. Males and respondents with lower income were less likely to say they were using e-cigarettes to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked than females or participants with higher income. 

Conclusions

E-cigarettes may significantly alter the landscape of nicotine physical dependence, and local influences likely are associated with use patterns. Future research should continue to examine whether dual use of traditional and electronic cigarettes impacts smoking cessation, and clinicians should be aware that local norms may create differences from national level data. 

Approximately 21% of US adults use tobacco products at least occasionally. Although smoking prevalence has declined in recent years (from 21% in 2005 to 18% in 2013), it remains high among certain groups (eg, males and those with a high school education or less). As we know, the health burden of smoking—as a cause of death from cancer, pulmonary disease, and heart disease—is substantial, and rural areas experience a significantly higher prevalence of smoking compared to urban areas.

However, it is unknown if the context and habits surrounding tobacco use in rural and/or Midwestern areas are similar to those of urban or nationally-representative populations. For example, while many urban residents may encounter a multitude of media messages encouraging smoking cessation resulting in less community acceptance of smoking, rural residents may be exposed to substantially fewer messages (eg, no city bus signs, billboards, subway posters, etc.) and the community may be more accommodating and tolerant of smoking. 

Do e-cigarettes increase cigarette smoking?  

Two-thirds of physicians report being asked about e-cigarettes by their patients, and one-third recommend using them as a smoking cessation aid. 

Public health professionals are concerned about the increased use of e-cigarettes, particularly among young people, and whether this use increases the likelihood that individuals will start smoking tobacco cigarettes. 7(Throughout this paper, we will use “cigarettes” and “smoking” to refer to the use of traditional tobacco cigarettes.) A recent study found that adolescents who used electronic nicotine delivery systems were twice as likely as non-users to have tried cigarettes in the past year.

An onslaught of advertising.  There are also concerns that e-cigarettes may serve to ‘renormalize’ nicotine addiction, in part through large-scale advertising, which was seen by nearly 70% of the participants in the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey. 9 Largely as a result of that advertising, e-cigarette sales exceed $1.7 billion in the United States alone. 10 With 15% of all US adults having ever tried electronic nicotine delivery systems and more than half (52%) of smokers having done so, questions regarding their health impact cannot be taken lightly.

Do e-cigarettes help people quit smoking?  E-cigarettes are often marketed as a safe and effective means for quitting cigarette smoking. (See " E-cigarettes: How "safe" are they? ") Nearly two-thirds of physicians report being asked about e-cigarettes by their patients and approximately one-third of physicians recommend using them as a smoking cessation aid.

Claims regarding the usefulness of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation, however, have not been substantiated by high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In fact, no RCTs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

E-Cigarettes: How “safe” are they?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have become increasingly popular over the last decade. Although they are perceived by many to be safer than traditional cigarettes, many of the devices still contain nicotine, and inhaling their vapors exposes users to toxic substances, including lead, cadmium, and nickel—heavy metals that are associated with significant health problems.

In addition, many people use e-cigarettes as a means to stop smoking, but few who do so achieve abstinence. They frequently end up utilizing both, increasing their health risks by exposing themselves to the dangers of 2 products instead of one.

Further complicating the issue is that the manufacture and distribution of e-cigarettes has not been well regulated. Without regulation, there is no way to know with certainty how much nicotine the devices contain and what else is in them.

Things, however, are changing. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that e-cigarettes and other tobacco products like cigars and hookahs will now be regulated in the same way the government regulates tobacco cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The rule will not take effect immediately because companies requested time to comply, but once it is enacted, packaging will be required to list what the products contain, among other changes.

Keeping up on the latest information on e-cigarettes is now—and will continue to be—important as family physicians are increasingly asked about them. What follows is a review of what we know about their potential risks.

A nicotine system developed by a pharmacist

E-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems, were patented in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist. Since their introduction to North America and Europe in 2007, the devices have become known by over 400 different brand names. Consumption among adults doubled by 2012, and by 2014, about 4% of US adults used e-cigarettes every day or some days. Many of them are dual users of tobacco and electronic cigarettes. In fact, Jenkins and colleagues reports in this issue of JFP (see "E-cigarettes: Who's using them and why?") that over half of cigarette smokers (52%) in their study use e-cigarettes, usually to either lower their cigarette consumption or aid in smoking cessation. (Throughout this article, we will use “cigarettes” and “smoking” to refer to the use of traditional tobacco cigarettes.)

In addition to concern over an increase in use among the general population, there is significant concern about the increase in e-cigarette use among US middle and high school students. In 2015, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used smoking product among middle and high school students, with 620,000 middle school students and nearly 2.4 million high school students using the battery-powered devices in the past 30 days.

Many factors have contributed to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes.

•Perceived safety. With tobacco’s dangers so thoroughly documented, many advertising campaigns tout e-cigarettes as less dangerous than conventional cigarettes in terms of their ability to cause cardiac and lung diseases and low birth weights. This is largely because e-cigarettes do not produce the combustion products of tar, ash, or carbon monoxide. In addition, many consumers are mistakenly less fearful about the nicotine added to many e-cigarettes.

•Expectation that it helps smokers quit. Many smokers view e-cigarettes as an aid to smoking cessation.6 In fact, testimonials of efficacy in tobacco cessation abound in promotional materials and on the Web, and e-cigarettes are recommended by some physicians as a means to quit or lessen smoking of tobacco cigarettes.

•Wide availability and opportunities for use. The use of electronic nicotine delivery devices is sometimes permitted in places where smoking of conventional cigarettes is banned, although rules vary widely in different parts of the country. In addition, e-cigarettes are readily available for purchase on the Internet without age verification.

•Extensive advertising. There are increasing concerns that advertising campaigns unduly target adolescents, young adults, and women. In addition to advertising, the media and social influences play significant roles in young people’s experimentation with “vaping,” the term for inhaling electronic cigarette aerosols.

•Regulation, legislation remain controversial. Currently, e-cigarettes are not required to be tested before marketing, but that may change with the FDA’s new regulations. The British National Public Health body, Public Health England, has documented public health benefits of e-cigarettes when used as a way to quit smoking, and provides evidence that the devices are less dangerous than traditional cigarettes. But this issue and public policy are the subject of ongoing debate. In 2015, the United Kingdom made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to people younger than 18 years of age and urged child-proof packaging.

What’s “in” an e-cigarette—and are the ingredients toxic?

Because e-cigarettes are relatively new to the global marketplace, little research exists regarding the long-term effects and safety of their use, especially among habitual users.
Vapor/refills. E-liquids may contain a variety of substances because they have been largely unregulated, but they generally include some combination of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and flavorings. In fact, up to 7000 flavors are available, including such kid-friendly flavors as chocolate, cherry crush, and bubble gum.

Since many individuals continue to use traditional and electronic cigarettes, they end up in double jeopardy of toxicity through exposure to the dangers of both.

When the refills do contain nicotine, users generally derive less of the substance from the electronic devices than they do from a conventional cigarette. Researchers found that individual puffs from an e-cigarette contained 0 to 35 µg nicotine per puff. Assuming an amount at the high end of the spectrum (30 µg nicotine), it would take about 30 puffs of an e-cigarette to derive the same amount of nicotine (1 mg) typically delivered by a conventional cigarette.

The chemical make-up of the vapor and the biologic effects on animal models have been investigated using 42 different liquid refills. All contained potentially harmful compounds, but the levels were within exposure limits authorized by the FDA. These potentially dangerous chemicals include the known toxins formaldehyde, acrolein, and hydrocarbons.

An inflammatory response to the inhalation of the vapors was demonstrated in mouse lungs; exposure to e-cigarette aerosols reduced lung glutathione—an important enzyme in maintaining oxidation-reduction balance—to a degree similar to that of cigarette smoke exposure. Less of the enzyme facilitates increased pulmonary inflammation.

In addition, human lung cells release pro-inflammatory cytokines when exposed to e-cigarette aerosols. Other health risks include:

Harm to indoor air quality/secondhand exposure. Even though e-cigarettes do not emit smoke, bystanders are exposed to the aerosol or vapor exhaled by the user, and researchers have found varying levels of such substances as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, isoprene, acetic acid, acetone, propanol, propylene glycol, and nicotine in the air. However, it is unclear at this time whether the ultra-fine particles in the e-cigarette vapor have health effects commensurate with the emissions of conventional cigarettes.

Cartridge refill ingestion by children. Accidental nicotine poisonings, particularly among children drawn to the colors, flavors, and scents of the e-liquids, have been problematic. In 2014, for example, over 3500 exposures occurred and more than half of those were in children younger than 6 years of age. (Exposure is defined as contact with the substance in some way including ingestion, inhalation, absorption by the skin/eyes, etc; not all exposures are poisonings or overdoses). Although incidence has tapered off somewhat, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that there were 623 exposures across all age groups between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2016.

Many people use e-cigarettes as a means to stop smoking, but few who do so achieve abstinence.
Environmental impact of discarded e-cigarettes. Discarded e-cigarettes filling our landfills is a new and emerging public health concern. Their batteries, as do all batteries, pollute the land and water and have the potential to leach lead into the environment. Similarly, incompletely used liquid cartridges and refills may contain nicotine and heavy metals, which add to these risks.

Explosions. Fires and explosions have been documented with e-cigarette use, mostly due to malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries. Thermal injuries to the face and hands can be significant.

Heavy metals. The presence of lead, cadmium, and nickel in inhaled e-cigarette vapor is another area of significant concern, particularly for younger people who might have long-term exposure. All 3 heavy metals are known to be toxic to humans, and safe levels of inhalation have not been established.

Inhalation and/or ingestion of lead, in particular, can cause severe neurologic damage, especially to the developing brains of children. Lead also results in hematologic dysfunction. Because of the risks associated with inhalation of this heavy metal, the substance was removed from gasoline years ago.
Inhaled cadmium induces kidney, liver, bone, and respiratory tract pathology and can cause organ failure, hypertension, anemias, fractures, osteoporosis, and/or osteomalacia. And inhaling nickel produces an inflammatory pulmonary reaction.

Pregnancy/lactation. Since no clear evidence exists on the safety of e-cigarette use during pregnancy, women should avoid exposure to these vapors during the entire perinatal period. Similarly, the effects of e-cigarettes on infants who are breastfeeding are not established. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not replace cigarettes with e-cigarettes. For pregnant women who smoke, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises using only behavioral methods to stop cigarette use. And until more information becomes available, exposing infants and young children to e-cigarette vapor during breastfeeding is not recommended.

On the flip side, without tobacco, tar, ash, or carbon monoxide, e-cigarettes may have some advantages when compared with the use of traditional cigarettes, but that has not been substantiated.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What’s Causing Some E-Cigarette Batteries to Explode?

Electronic cigarettes are supposed to be the safer way to get your nicotine fix. But old fashioned cigarettes don’t explode in your pocket or blow up in your face. And that’s what’s happening across the country with some e-cigarette batteries.

Thankfully, these mishaps don’t happen very often, but when an e-cigarette battery malfunctions, the injuries can be horrendous — burns on the hands and face, fractured bones and loss of eyesight. “It’s literally an explosion, a super-hot explosion,” said Dr. Anne Wagner of the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) Burn Center, where they’ve treated six people seriously injured by e-cigarettes since the beginning of the year. “We’re seeing deep third-degree burns and almost all of them require skin grafts and these grafts leave a significant scar.” Earlier this year, the UCH Burn Center treated 19-year old Alexander Shonkwiler after an e-cig battery exploded in his pocket, set his pants on fire and caused a painful burn on his upper thigh.

“I heard what sounded almost like a sparkler going off, and then bang, a huge explosion, a huge flash of light and these flames were coming at my face,” Shonkwiler said. “As I looked down, my leg was on fire. I ripped my pants off, and even with my pants off, my leg was still on fire because the battery acid sprayed all over my leg and dripped down my leg.” Shonkwiler told NBC News he’d taken the battery out of the device and had it in his pocket with some coins. That could have resulted in a short. He said the package didn’t warn about the hazard, and he never realized the risk. Despite the potential for danger, e-cigarettes are currently an unregulated product, so we don’t know how many injuries they’ve caused.

The only statistic available is from a 17-month old report from the U.S. Fire Administration that found 25 e-cigarette injuries between 2009 and 2014. The report noted that the shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails. The Fire Administration estimated that more than two-and-a-half million Americans used e-cigs in 2014, a practice known as vaping. The industry says the number of people who have switched from smoking to vaping has grown dramatically in the last two years. So have the mishaps. “We initially thought this was a rare event, but this is increasing in frequency,” said Dr. Elisha Brownson, a trauma and burn critical-care fellow at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The burn unit at Harborview is now treating one e-cig-related injury a month, five since October. “We’re seeing significant tissue injury as well as damage to the mouth or the hands and the tendons,” Dr.Brownson said. “It basically combines a flame burn and a tissue blast injury.”

Ray Story, CEO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA), said his members are “devastated” when they hear about these accidents and injuries. But, he pointed out, “millions and millions of people are using these devices and there have only been a few accidents.”

Story would welcome some regulation of his industry, calling the lack of rules a major reason why so many potentially dangerous e-cigarettes are on the market.

“When you lack regulatory oversight, then it basically becomes a free-for-all,” Story told NBC News. “When opportunistic companies find themselves in a position where they can make a quick buck, caution is out the window, so they purchase batteries and equipment that clearly is not up to snuff.” TVECA supports what Story calls “logical and responsible regulation and oversight.” He said regulation would require every company to follow good manufacturing practices and provide customers with important safety information.

Why is this happening?

There doesn’t seem to be a single reason for these failures. Some of the obvious problems include the lack of industry-wide manufacturing standards or testing programs, and misuse by vapers who modify their devices or use the wrong battery chargers. The lithium-ion batteries used to power e-cig vaporizers are small and powerful. When they fail, the results can be disastrous. We’ve seen that with cellphones, laptops and most recently, hoverboards. Extreme temperatures — below 50 degrees or above 115 — can cause some lithium-ion batteries to malfunction.

An e-cig is a fairly simple device. A heating element vaporizes the liquid solution (the “juice”) in the atomizing cartridge. Some have an on/off switch; others heat automatically when the user takes a drag. “The electrolyte inside the battery is basically the equivalent of gasoline,” explained Venkat Viswanathan, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “So when these batteries short out, there’s a surge of heat that causes this flammable electrolyte to combust and explode.”

Well-made lithium-ion cells have a very small risk of failure. But the cheaper cells “have a much greater chance of having a manufacturing defect,” which increases the likelihood for failure, Viswanathan told NBC News. The risk goes up if the cells are overcharged or charged too quickly. This can happen if the e-cig comes with a poorly designed charger or the user switches chargers. Well-made lithium-ion batters have fail-safe mechanisms to prevent these problems. Poorly-made ones do not.

Warning: Just because a charger plugs into that e-cig doesn’t mean you should use it.

Michigan attorney Steven Weston points out in a recent National Law Review article, these explosions can happen without warning — even when the e-cig is being used. Weston represents a young man who was driving when an e-cig exploded in his face and caused him to crash. “The hazard is so extreme. There’s not necessarily any precursor to an explosion,” Weston told NBC News. “We’re trying to get the word out… that if you use these things you could blow yourself up and burn yourself — right now, unpredictably, at any time.”

Why aren’t government safety regulators investigating?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are well-aware of the problem, but neither agency currently regulates these new devices. CPSC’s National Injury Information Clearinghouse database has 29 reports of house fires and serious injuries caused by exploding e-cigarettes.

The FDA wants the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes. It’s been waiting for approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since October. Because of that, the CPSC is not getting involved. The FDA is taking e-cig complaints on its Safety Reporting Portal. Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies, Inc., told NBC News he is “troubled” that no federal agency is regulating e-cigs. And because of that, manufacturers do not have to report safety defects that could create a hazard or injuries, if they happen. “We’re seeing a flood of these low-cost, low-quality devices that are hurting people and we’re dealing with safety as an afterthought,” Kane said. “We need tough standards that require good design and manufacturing practices to ensure these devices are produced safely.”

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