A Pocatello man got seriously injured after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, he lost seven of his teeth and was immediately brought to the ICU.
At the intensive care, Andrew Hall, father of three, had chunks of plastic removed from his lips and throat.
The man, who had serious second-degree burns on his cheek, posted photos of him on Facebook after the accident and the images immediately went viral.
"I've lost at least 7 teeth, 2nd degree burns to face and neck and have been pulling chunks of plastic, teeth and foreign objects from mouth, throat and lips. I was lucky and they're was a huge amount of damage to the room in my house I was in as well. Please feel free to share my story and take care. Thank you again friends, work and family that have reached out to offer help, I greatly appreciate it," noted the man's Facebook post.
Hall explained that everything was in place with his e-cigarette when the explosion occurred. From his home bathroom sink (also broken because of the explosion) to graphic images of his condition, the man kept updating his Facebook friends from the moment of the accident.
Hall's experience soon got viral, being picked up by national and international media representatives. Aas the story became popular, the opinions started to be divided. Many people expressed skepticism on social media, saying that something must have been done wrongly, as electronic cigarettes are usually safe.
"Have vaped for over a year with a regulated mod and use manufactured coils. Never had this happen. It is far better than cigarettes which I smoked for 20 years. Now I don't even feel need to vape," said one of the over 210,000 Facebook comments on Hall's post.
The man's case was shared by over 440,000 people across Facebook, and many of the comments include tags of other people (who, most likely, also vape), thus building awareness about the possibility of an explosion among users of e-cigarettes.
Vaping, A Dangerous Activity
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed regulations for e-cigarettes. These proposed FDA regulations do not include consideration of the battery or electronics used in/with the devices - the FDA is proposing to address only the health effects of inhaling the vapors," noted a mission statement of the U.S. Fire Administration.
According to the same statement, more than 2.5 million people vape across the United States, and the number is growing rapidly. Between 2009 and 2014, there have been 25 reported cases of explosions due to the use of e-cigarettes, two of which involved serious burns.
Most of the incidents occurred while the battery was charging, and the lithium-ion based batteries should be used exclusively following the instructions, as misuse can result in explosion and fire.