Editorials

Burns from e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5024 (Published 23 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5024
  1. Clare Meernik, researcher1,
  2. Felicia N Williams, surgeon2,
  3. Bruce A Cairns, director2,
  4. Ernest J Grant, nurse clinician2,
  5. Adam O Goldstein, physician13
  1. 1Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
  2. 2North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA
  3. 3Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA
  1. Correspondence to: C Meernik, cmeernik{at}email.unc.edu

An emerging concern that needs a clinical, public health, and regulatory response

With increasing use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) globally, the debate surrounding the potential harms or benefits may shift to ensuring that the devices are manufactured, marketed, and sold according to standards that reduce harm and promote health. Burns from overheating or explosions of ENDS are an emerging and under-researched concern. In light of the recent ruling that grants the US Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate ENDS1 and as their use becomes widespread worldwide, a clinical, public health, and regulatory framework to reduce ENDS related burns is needed.

Although the full scope of clinical burns and injuries from overheating or explosion of ENDS remains unknown, incidents reported to federal agencies, media outlets, and case reports seem to be increasing.2 3 4 Explosions can occur while the devices are being carried, resulting in serious bodily burns; explosions occurring during vaping can result in serious facial burns, facial and neck fractures, and …

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