White House Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes Amidst Vaping-Related DeathsFDA Targets Teens With Magic E-Cig Prevention Ads Stay on target Usually, when you hear about someone’s pants being on fire, your mind jumps to lies. And, in a fun twist of fate, a lawyer’s pants recently caught on fire (cue sardonic chuckle). Unfortunately, this isn’t evidence of divine intervention or magic, but of a faulty e-cig. Even better, the Miami-based attorney, Stephen Gutierrez, was in court at the time, defending his client from an arson charge.The defendant, Claudy Charles, was accused of setting fire to his own car in an attempt to destroy it. Gutierrez claimed that Charles’ car caught fire on its own. During closing arguments, Gutierrez’s e-cig caught fire, causing smoke to billow out of his pants.Police have since confiscated the vape pen, believing Gutierrez might have been pulling an elaborate stunt.“No one thinks that a battery left in their pocket is somehow going to explode,” Gutierrez told NBC News. “After careful research, I now know this can happen. I am not the only one this has happened to, but I am in a position to shed light on the situation.”This all comes right on the heels of Samsung’s big battery debacle, and e-cig issues of all kinds. The issue, as always, is in how the batteries are constructed. Lithium batteries are amazing in that they are small, relatively light, and can hold a whole heapa juice, but if they aren’t made carefully and properly and taken care of, they can explode pretty easily. Most major electronics companies do loads of testing and research into their batteries and devices before shipping to make sure there aren’t any problems (obviously, Samsung was/is an exception there). But e-cigs are often made with low-grade parts. Many are re-branded Chinese knock-offs. And while that’s not inherently a problem, the policies guiding research and testing are a lot laxer across the Pacific. Add to that the relatively grey industry of vaping in general, and you’ve got a recipe for pocket-fires.Thankfully, though, these issues are still pretty rare, all things considered. There were only 15 reported e-cig fires in 2015. Even if you combine those with the few hundred from Samsung and all the others, your chance of having an issue with one of your lithium-powered devices is remote at best. Still, exercise due diligence and do research on the products you can. It’s not fool-proof, as no-one knew about Samsung’s problems until a month or two after release, but it’ll help.As for Gutierrez… really I just weep for his ruined suit. If he staged the demonstration, then I say he gets brought up on charges for disrespecting supple wool.
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