In the 2007-2013 television series "Burn Notice," Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) was a freelance spy who took assignments that U.S. government agencies couldn't openly sanction.
The plot centered around a lot of explosive action when Michael found himself the target of a “burn notice,” but had to keep working hot cases while dodging attempts to take him out.
Well, there's another kind of burn notice — and it's been pretty covert until recently: e-cigarette explosions.
It turns out that between 2015 and 2017, an estimated 2,035 injuries (loss of eyes and teeth), burns, and even one death were caused by e-cigarette battery explosions, according to U.S. hospital records.
That's 40 times more incidences of e-cigarette-related injuries than were reported by the Food and Drug Administration and 15 times more than reported by the U.S. Fire Administration.
The researchers at George Mason University who sleuthed out the new info compared cross-sectional data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
They want people to know that the FDA has had the authority to regulate e-cigarettes, including e-cigarette batteries, since 2016 — but the agency's Center for Tobacco Products hasn't acted on it.
So here's your burn notice, e-cigarette smokers: Because the FDA doesn't seem likely to regulate the safety of your e-cigarettes and the CPSC can do it only through an act of Congress (not likely either), it's up to you to protect yourself.
Give up vaping before you're the recipient of a real-life burn notice — or worse.
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