FDA Sets Review of E-Cigarette Battery Woes

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FDA Sets Review of E-Cigarette Battery Woes

01/06/2017

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will address problems with electronic cigarette batteries at a special workshop this spring.

The FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) "will host a science-based workshop to gather information and stimulate discussion on batteries used in electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including electronic cigarettes." The meeting is slated for April 19-20.

In particular, CTP seeks to gather information about battery safety concerns — for example, overheating, fire, explosion, other modes of failure, risk mitigation, and design parameters related to ENDS, according to the agency.

In addition, the agency will collect information related to the communication from tobacco product manufacturers or importers to distributors, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, and the general public on battery-related safety concerns with the use of ENDS products.

The meeting comes as problems with exploding electronic cigarettes have been reported. According to The Associated Press, 66 explosions were identified by the FDA in 2015 and early 2016.

Last month, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and FDA to take a closer look at issuing recalls on e-cigarette batteries and devices that have caught fire and exploded. 

"Where there's smoke, there's fire and that seems to be the case — again and again — for many popular e-cigarettes that have injured dozens of people," Schumer said. "With any other product, serious action would have been taken — and e-cigarettes should be no exception. Despite the explosions, no recalls have been issued. It's radio silence from both the industry and the feds, so that's why I'm sounding the alarm. The CPSC and FDA should investigate and determine which e-cigarette batteries and devices are the most volatile, and require a recall to make sure these explosions stop."

For more information on the FDA's workshop, or to register, click here.