Arkansas resident Josh Swartz says that he turned to e-cigarettes two weeks ago as a means to help him quit smoking. However, the product which was described to him as a “safe” alternative to traditional smoking says the switch was a nightmare after the e-cigarette exploded in his face. Swartz says that the explosion was so forceful that it shattered his teeth and severed his lips.
Arkansas Matters reports that Josh Swartz is warning consumers about the dangers of e-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes, after one of the devices exploded in his mouth. In addition to causing burns to his mouth, throat, and hand, the cigarette allegedly shattered his teeth and severed his lips. Swartz noted that he was a new user to the e-cigarette products. He was a smoker looking for an alternative to ween himself off of the tobacco. He turned to electronic cigarettes for help as they are marketed as a “safe” alternative to traditional smoking. However, he would soon learn that are very real dangers of smoking the devices.
According to KNWA, the man was smoking an e-cigarette in his garage when the explosion took place. His wife, Cindy, says that she was walking out to the family’s garage to speak with her husband when she heard something that sounded like a gunshot and saw flames shoot out of the garage. She says she entered the garage and found her husband Josh slumped over and having difficulty breathing. His lips were severed with a large chunk hanging down and his teeth were shattered. He had burns on his hands, mouth and even down his throat.
(͡๏̯͡๏) E-Cigarette Explodes as Guy Tries to Smoke It: Josh Swartz bought an e-cigarette just two weeks ago, h… https://t.co/DSBNBXLWj8
— Woody (@Harley_Woody) November 10, 2015
Following the horrifying incident, the Swartz family is attempting to warn others of the dangers of e-cigarettes by speaking with the media. Cindy says that she feels like the public is some sort of guinea pig for the electronic cigarette industry and that the products are not as safe as the companies would like you to believe. Cindy says that she hopes that Josh’s accident will help increase regulations for the smoking devices. She says that signage should be in place at stores that sell the e-cigarettes warning potential customers of the little known danger of explosion. Also, the family hopes for increased regulation on the products.
“We’re all just guinea pigs. Until we speak up and try to share with other people that these are dangerous and they can happen to you, then people aren’t going to know.”
Josh isn’t the first e-cigarette user to have a product explode. A man from Wichita, Kansas, Jonathan Reser, says that he too suffered minor burns to his hand from an electronic cigarette explosion. However, the burns are not what Reser is concerned about. The Kansas man noted that the explosive force of the electronic cigarette was so strong that it could have killed someone like a bullet. To make matters worse, Reser says when he took the exploded e-cigarette back to the store the employees simply pointed to a sign that said “e-cigarettes can explode.” They noted that there is a computer chip that can be used to keep the batteries from exploding but need to be purchased separately. Reser wants to know why that chip was not offered when he first purchased the product or why it is not placed in the electronic cigarettes as a safety standard.
Danger, Danger: Not Only Addictive Nicotine Delivery, But Electronic Cigarettes Can Explode Too https://t.co/yTgXrTi9i5
— Katherine Donald (@CTFA) November 10, 2015
Dave Aspinall, a 48-year-old from Wigan, England, has also spoken out about the dangers of e-cigarettes after a hole was blown in his leg from one of the devices.
“It glowed and burned in my hand. I dropped it and it exploded. There was lots of blood, a huge hole in one leg and a gash in the other.”
Dave spent nine days in the hospital for his injuries and had years of skin grafting. Following the incident, Dave returned to the store where he purchased the e-cigarette and was told the explosion occurred due to a faulty battery.
What do you think the e-cigarette manufacturers should do to ensure their product is as safe as possible? Are warning signs enough?
[Photo by Dan Kitwood/ Getty Images]