An explosion from an electronic cigarette killed Tallmadge D’Elia in St. Petersburg, Florida. The 38-year-old man was found dead at his home by the officers who arrived when the fire alarm at his house was triggered. According to reports, the officials found the man dead with a wound to his top lip and burns on his body. The autopsy also ruled that the death was accidental and the wound on the head was caused by the explosion of an e-cigarette.
Autopsy also showed that the manufacturer of the e-cigarette is Philippines-based Smok-E Mountain. Most e-cigarettes have lithium batteries so there is high risk associated with their improper use. The US Food and Drug Administration has a separate section on the safety tips for using e-cigarettes and for reporting explosion as well. It states, “FDA is aware of explosion events and is collecting data to help address this problem.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a page which is dedicated to the explosion dangers of the e-cigarette which states, “Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions, some of which have resulted in serious injuries.”
The US Fire Administration also released a report on the e-cigarette explosions from 2009 to 2016. The study warned people on the usage of lithium-ion batteries stating that “lithium-ion batteries continue to be used in e-cigarettes, severe injuries will continue to occur.” Tempa TV station WFTS reported that a representative from Smok-E-Mountain said that the problem was with the device’s atomizer or battery perhaps, and not the device itself. E-cigarette safety is a tricky topic to go through since there are no laws formed about it till now. The manufacturers may soon come under the pressure of updating their devices. In 2013, a similar incident happened and the victim was paid $1.9 million after suffering second-degree burns.
Until the safety of the e-cigarettes is guaranteed, smokers should follow the guidelines set by the government bodies. The users of e-cigarette are also recommended to buy the product from the authorized dealers. Stay safe folks!