Fears over the safety of certain electronic cigarette (e-cig) brands are mounting, as authorities receive a growing number of reports about exploding chargers.
The rising concerns coincide with the recent approval of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD), which will include a raft of new rules intended to improve e-cig safety and quality from 2016.
Phil Buckle, director general of the Electrical Safety Council, said it was “becoming increasingly concerned about incidents involving e-cigarette chargers”.
“While these might be isolated incidents, we are receiving more and more reports of the chargers exploding while in use,” he added.
The charity, along with the Trading Standards Institute, has issued consumer guidance for charging e-cigs while it investigates the problem.
The guidance recommends that consumers and retailers look for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European Safety standards.
The EUTPD, which was approved by the European Parliament last month, includes the following rules on e-cigs:
- E-cigs will have to meet maximum nicotine concentration levels and maximum volumes for cartridges, tanks and containers of nicotine liquids. These will have to be child- and tamper-proof and protected against leakage. Only ingredients of high purity may be used in the nicotine-containing liquid
- Health warnings on e-cig packs will be mandatory, as will instructions for their use and information on addictiveness, ingredients and nicotine content. No promotional elements will be allowed on packs
- E-cig manufacturers will also be required to notify Member States before placing new products on the market, and report their sales volumes, types of users and trends annually.