Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Public Health and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are warning residents over the potential dangers of e-cigarettes after a dramatic increase in people using them.
The three council services are concerned a number of people may be using incompatible products, not reading instructions on how to charge the products safely and leaving them unattended while charging.
In recent years, the popularity of the e-cigarette has soared with many opting to use them as an alternative to smoking but with this comes a rise in safety concerns.
In the East Midlands, Trading Standards has received a number of complaints about incidents with more than 70 percent of them concerning safety issues.
In Lincolnshire, there have been two significant fires caused by charging e-cigarettes and firefighters are keen to prevent more.
Alexandra Connell, Senior Trading Standards Officer, said: “E-cigarettes may be popular, but please don’t put your own safety at risk.
“There have been reports of fires, injuries and even deaths relating to e-cigarettes exploding and we want both consumers and retailers to be vigilant to prevent further accidents occurring.
“It is important to make sure consumers have access to clear safety advice to minimise the risks from over-charging or using incompatible products.”
And Helene Denness, speciality registrar in Public Health, added: “If a child ingests liquid nicotine from an e-cigarette, it can be life-threatening, as the nicotine causes the child’s heart rate to rise dangerously high. Thankfully, we haven’t had official reports of nicotine poisoning from e-cigarettes in Lincolnshire but just like cigarettes and household chemicals, e-cigarettes should be kept out of the reach of children to avoid poisoning accidents.”
Lincolnshire Trading Standards are asking users to follow these top tips to stay safe.
Only use the charger supplied with the e-cigarette.
Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully – battery capacities and charging voltages vary according to manufacturer so it is important to check you are using the correct charger.
Follow any warnings supplied with the product. Over-tightening of the screwed connection to the rechargeable battery can result in mechanical damage which can create heat problems and possible failure.
Ensure that e-cigarettes are not left charging for longer than required.
Don’t leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or unattended.
Look for the CE mark that indicates the charger complies with European Safety standards.
Don’t store e-cigarettes or vapour refills within reach of children or pets.
Be aware that liquid nicotine can be fatal if swallowed or in contact with the skin. If this happens, seek medical attention immediately.
If you have purchased a product that you have concerns about contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
And for help to quit smoking, visit the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service at: http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/smokefree-lincs/stop-smoking/ or text ‘QuitCompletely’ to 07786 205128.