The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a safety advisory to provide notice and information to owners and operators of Commercial Motor Vehicles concerning incidents that have occurred relating to the possession and use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices and the transportation safety risks associated with the use of these devices. The devices include: e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
According to FMCSA, these devices have been rapidly growing in popularity as the number and selection of products expand. The devices contain a liquid, an atomizer or heating element, and a battery. When the device is operated, the heating element vaporizes the liquid which is inhaled by the user in the same manner as traditional smoking methods.
The use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices has resulted in incidents including explosions, serious personal injuries, and fires. The explosions regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials. A number of these incidents have occurred while the device was being charged, while others have occurred during use or while carrying the device on one’s person.