Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man's Mouth
A Florida man is recovering after the battery-operated e-cigarette he was smoking Monday night left him seriously injured and burned.
By Jaimie Dalessio Clayton
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THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2012— It’s something fire officials from the North Bay Fire Department in Niceville, Fla., had never heard of or seen before.
"The best analogy is like it was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off," Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department, told the Associated Press. "The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire."
What Parker described to is the explosion of an electronic cigarette in the mouth of Tom Holloway, 57, a Vietnam veteran and father of three who puffed e-cigarettes as part of his efforts to quit smoking.
Holloway was smoking an e-cigarette in his home office Monday night when a faulty battery sparked the explosion, blasting out some of his teeth, part of his tongue, and burning his face, the Associated Press reports. Investigators can’t determine the brand of the e-cigarette, how old it was, or what type of battery Holloway was using, but a recharging station and other batteries found in the room lead fire officials to believe the battery was rechargeable lithium.
Electronic cigarettes are the most popular smoking cessation products on the market, based on research published in theAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine. More than 2.5 million Americans use them, according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
But these virtual cigarettes aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A report released in December by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) detailed the level of scientific proof the FDA should require from the makers of “modified risk” products such as electronic cigarettes and tobacco lozenges to show they aren’t harmful to public health.
While some users say e-cigs have helped them kick the habit by easing withdrawal, smoking cessation experts question their safety in terms of the vapor contents and the levels of nicotine they release. They also worry the fun colors and flavors of electronic cigarettes may spark a new generation of addicts.
Until further evidence shows what caused the battery explosion that injured Holloway, there’s one more potential danger of e-cigarettes to add to that list.
Video: E-Cigarette Explodes in man's pocket
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