Complaints of injury associated with electronic cigarettes have witnessed a notable spike in the United States over the past year.
As many as 50 instances of public grievance, which included burns, nicotine toxicity, and respiratory and cardiovascular problems, were addressed to the US Food and Drug Administration between March 2013 and March 2014.
The number of such instances equals the number of complaints reported over the previous five years.
"Some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use may facilitate smoking cessation, but definitive data are lacking," Dr. Priscilla Callahan-Lyon of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products wrote in a recent medical journal article.
The health problems, however, were not necessarily caused by e-cigarettes and it is not clear that the rate of adverse events has increased.
The industry is now worth USD 85 billion and the FDA is poised to regulate e-cigarettes and other "vaping" devices for the first time
Miguel Martin, president of Logic Technology, one of the biggest US e-cigarette makers along with Lorillard Inc and privately held NJOY, said, "Clearly, because of the business opportunities, you have companies in an unregulated environment that are importing without checks and balances," adding that while Logic pays attention to quality control, "some other companies just are not having the same diligence or focus."