Burns surgeons issue warning over suspected faulty products following a rise in burns caused by exploding e-cigarettes.
A burns surgeon has warned of the dangers of cheap or imported electronic cigarettes after a rise in the number of people injured by the exploding devices.
Dr Dai Nguyen, a surgeon at Morriston Hospital’s Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery in Swansea, says she has treated five affected patients already this year and fears it may be the ‘tip of the iceberg.’
Three of those injured were carrying the devices in their trouser pockets at the time.
Dr Nguyen said: “Before this year we hadn't seen any injuries like this. Now we have had five which reflects the rising popularity of these e-cigarettes.
“It’s not just us, this is something that is starting to be highlighted nationwide. I think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
“I suspect a lot of A&E departments may also be dealing with these incidents and we’re just not aware of them.”
Dr Nguyen‘s concerns have been echoed by fire chiefs and trading standards officers who are calling for more guidance for consumers as well as tougher regulations on importing e-cigarettes.
In the past year Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has been called out to six house fires caused by e-cigarettes.
They urged people not to leave them unattended when charging or near other flammable materials.
Dave Picken, from Swansea Council trading standards, said customers should always make sure that e-cigarettes are labelled properly and had a visible CE mark.
“Take additional care when buying online. Consider carefully if the cheapest is the best, particularly when the goods are coming directly to you from a business outside of the UK and EU,” he said.
John Dunne, of the UK Vaping Industry Association, added: “It is vitally important that consumers buy their vaping products from a reputable online retailer or high street store; and that they use the correct charging equipment for their specific device.”
“The UKVIA is working with regulators and trading standards to ensure quality and best practice across the industry.”