Friday, 19 October, 2018

Exploding e-cigarette kills Florida man; first case in US

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Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 04:19

An autopsy has confirmed that Florida man Tallmadge D'Elia may have been the very first death caused by an exploding vape pen. Officials found "extensive" fire damage in D'Elia's bedroom, where his body was found, but minimal smoke, the report said.

The 38 year old's vape pen was reportedly a device made in the Philippines that is unregulated and not recommended for beginners.

The exact causes of e-cigarette explosion incidents sometimes are unclear, but evidence suggests that battery-related issues may lead to explosions, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Additionally, upon usage, the pen exploded and lodged pieces into his skull, per autopsy reports, and burned more than 80% of his body after the accidental sparked blaze. In an incredibly freaky twist, a 38-year-old Florida man has died due to what authorities are calling a "projectile wound of the head" which was caused by his vape device.

The Pinellas County medical examiner said Tallmadge "Wake" D'Elia died May 5 when a Smok-E Mountain Mech Works e-cigarette acted as a projectile and penetrated his skull and brain.

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E-cigarettes that are similar in size and shape to traditional cigarettes come with a smaller wattage unit and therefore may not have the power to fail as dramatically, said Thomas Kiklas, chief financial officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

He suffered burns to 80% of his body, including his chest, shoulder, abdomen, back, arm and hand.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which keeps stats on e-cigarettes reported that there were 195 incidents in which e-cigs exploded or caught fire in the USA between 2009 and 2016 - 38 of these resulted in injuries classed as "severe".

"The combination of an electronic cigarette and a lithium-ion battery is a new and unique hazard", the report [PDF] found. Use the charger that originally came with the device.

Tampa TV station WFTS reported that a representative from Smok-E Mountain said the problem was likely an issue pertaining to the device's atomizer or battery, and not the device itself.