Chris Thompson of Englewood, FL went to take a puff of his e-cigarette, as he had countless times before when the device exploded just inches from his face. His father, Mike, who was with him at the time, recalls the vehicle they were riding in filling with toxic smoke as flaming battery acid burned on his son’s chest and lap. Now, his jaw and eight of his teeth have been wired in place, and he is recovering from cuts on his right eye and burns on his chest and leg. He has a long and painful recovery process ahead of him.
Chris says that there was no warning before the device exploded. He hopes that in sharing his story, others can be warned of the dangers e-cigarettes and avoid them until they are safe.
Currently, there are no regulations on e-cigarettes. While we believe that abstaining from e-cigarettes is the best choice considering the number of reported explosions in recent years, if you do plan to smoke, consider these safety tips:
- Avoid knock offs. It is difficult to verify the production standards of devices made overseas (specifically China, where 90 percent of e-cigarette products come from). The majority of e-cigarette explosions have been from little-known foreign brands.
- Read the instructions. Don’t be tempted to cast aside the instructions that come with your device. Take the time to read them to help you avoid potentially dangerous situations.
- Use the correct charger. The charger that comes with the device is designed to be fully compatible and is the ONLY one you should use. Incompatible chargers with the wrong voltage can increase the chance of an explosion.
- Do not overcharge your device. Leaving the e-cigarette plugged in for too long can overcharge and overheat the battery, increasing the risk of a device malfunction.