Electronic cigarette explosion and burn injuries

Matthew E. Rossheim, Eric K. Soule, Dennis L. Thombs, Tracey E. Barnett, Melvin D. Livingston, Gilbert Gimm, Ogechikamma C. Emechebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: E-cigarette explosions have resulted in severe injuries and fatalities. To date, only 2 studies have systematically estimated the prevalence of these injuries. This study updates these national estimates and describes the context of these explosion injuries. Methods: We conducted analyses on cross-sectional data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). A key word search of case narrative text identified e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries reported by US hospital emergency departments. We applied sampling weights to make national incidence estimates, and reviewed text to identify contextual factors. Results: An estimated 2693 (95% CI 1478 to 3909) e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries were presented to US hospital emergency departments between 2015 and 2018. Case narratives indicated that a notable proportion of explosions occurred while a person was changing or replacing a device’s battery. Conclusions: To prevent further injuries and fatalities, there is a need for strengthened regulation and monitoring of e-cigarette devices. The variety of contexts in which e-cigarettes have exploded suggests these devices have poorly understood technical problems that industry should be required to address. In addition, data recording and surveillance of e-cigarette injuries need improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalTobacco Regulatory Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
  • Electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS)
  • Injury prevention and control
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Tobacco product


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