16-year-old Ty Greer, a teen in Alberta, Canada, suffered second degree burns and broken teeth after his e-cigarette spontaneously exploded just inches from his mouth while he was using it in his car.
“It lit my kid’s face on fire, busted two teeth out,” Perry Greer, Ty’s father, told the Canadian Press.
“It burned the back of his throat, burned his tongue very badly. If he wasn’t wearing glasses, he possibly could have lost his eyes. … He wanted to die. That is how much pain he was in.”
The defective vape was a Wotofo Phantom, which is produced in China. Online reviews of the product on the marketplace Eciggity were mostly positive with no indication of such defects.
In a statement to Mic by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, the industry shot back at the implication that e-cigarettes are dangerous.
“Electronic cigarettes and vapor products are electronic devices and do not combust. They should be thought the same as other rechargeable electrical equipment such as laptops and cell phones, in terms of being battery powered,” the statement read.
“We cannot speak to user error or on behalf of a manufacturer for their device. If there is truly an issue with a specific device, similar to a laptop or cell phone manufacturer, inquiries should be directed toward the individual company.”
Yet Ty Greer is not the first to fall victim to such a disaster. In November, a Colorado Springs man suffered a broken neck when an e-cigarette exploded in his face. And earlier this month, an Orange County, California, teen also suffered burns after an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket. In October 2014, the Federal Emergency Management Agency officially acknowledged the phenomenon, publishing a study investigating the matter.