A 17-year-old suffered a broken jaw, burns to his mouth and lips and lost several teeth after his vape pen exploded.
Austin Adams had turned to vaping to try and quit smoking. He started using a device from a company called VGOD when the explosion knocked out a number of teeth and shattered his jaw.
Austin’s mother, Kailani Burton, said her son was in shock when he came back into the house with his hand on his mouth.
The family, from Ely, Nevada, had to drive for five hours to get Austin to the nearest hospital which was equipped to handle the injury.
Dr Katie Russell, one of the trauma surgeons who treated Austin, said the 17-year-old had a ‘blast injury to his lower jaw, as well as burns around his lip.’
The injury was described in the New England Journal of Medicine as:
A 17-year-old boy presented to the ED with pain and swelling in his jaw 2 hours after an e-cigarette exploded during use. He had extensive lacerations in his mouth, multiple disrupted lower incisors, and bony incongruity of his left mandible.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalised guidance procedures for manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vape pens, recommending the companies provide detailed information about the kind of batteries they use and the likelihood of overheating.
According to the FDA, explosions such as this occur when lithium-ion batteries inside the pen overheat. The FDA is in charge of regulating all tobacco-related products, including e-cigarettes, in the US.
In a statement to NBC News, the FDA said:
The FDA encourages manufacturers interested in making modifications to address battery safety issues to contact the agency to discuss options on how they can do so in a timely fashion and the FDA will consider each situation on a case-by-case basis.
While Dr. Russell called Austin’s injury ‘totally unexpected’, saying: ‘He didn’t recall doing anything wrong with the device beforehand, and it just exploded.’
Recently, footage emerged of what can happen to e-cigarettes when their batteries explode, after a number of e-cigarettes were recalled by manufacturers because of faulty batteries.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.