KFOR reports that a 17-year-old teen experienced a vape pen explosion that left him with a hole in his jaw, broken teeth, and a bloody mouth. He traveled with his injuries from Nevada to Utah with his mother, where he underwent surgery. Although this case has been called a freak accident, U.S. hospital emergency rooms reported thousands of other cases of e-cigarette explosions and burn injuries from 2015 to 2017.
“People need to know before they buy these devices that there’s a possibility they’re going to blow up in your pocket, in your face,” said Katie Russell, the trauma medical director at Primary Children’s Hospital that first treated the victim.
“I just wanted to get this out there so other people could know that this was possible,” she said in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Although Russell said the boy was “a tough kid” and his injuries healed well, others haven’t been so fortunate. Back in February, a Texas man was killed by an e-cigarette explosion that sent shrapnel tearing through his carotid artery.
As of now, e-cigarettes are largely unregulated, and although burn injuries were previously regarded as isolated freak accidents, the growing evidence suggests that these devices could be a public safety concern. Some experts believe that increased regulation and design changes may be needed to improve safety.
A teen’s injuries looked like he was in a "high-speed" crash. Instead, a vape pen exploded in his mouth. https://t.co/F8Wk6qBVKR
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 20, 2019
But groups and individuals, including Ray Story, the founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, believe that regulation could be a threat to manufacturers.
“The industry can always do more,” Story said, although he shifted the blame to customers for some of the accidents by suggesting that “a lot of that happens because of the failure of the consumer to actually charge those batteries properly.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, vape pens made their way into the news again recently when a woman died from a purported marijuana overdose. The victim reportedly used a vaping pen with marijuana, and she was found to have a THC level of 8.4 nanograms per milliliter of blood — 15 times higher than the discretion threshold. However, the woman’s boyfriend claims that she went to the hospital with a chest infection weeks earlier, and some doctors said that THC should not affect users’ breathing, which has shed doubts on the claims.
“NO!” Ryan Marino, a doctor, posted on Twitter in response to the article. “This isn’t how process of elimination or determining cause of death work. Millions of Americans use cannabis DAILY and there are no cases of people dying from it on record.”