Kenneth Barbero of Albany, New York was enjoying a vaping session when the hand-held device he was using blew up in his face; knocking out teeth, ripping a hole in his tongue and leaving his hands covered in burns.
“[It was] like an M80 bomb went off in my mouth,” Barbero told CNN affiliate WTEN.
Barbero’s mother told WTEN she thinks the vaporizer’s battery exploded. “The battery had exploded inside and everything shot out…went into his mouth and burned everything,” she said.
Similar vaporizer explosions have been reported in the past.
Earlier in May, an Alabama teen was burned after a classmate’s e-cigarette exploded and sent a hot battery flying into his face.
In February, dramatic gas station security footage showed a man’s leg being engulfed by flames, an apparent result of another e-cigarette explosion.
But, according to a representative from the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, the occurrence is both rare and preventable.
“It’s not so much an issue of the e-vapor product but with the lithium batteries they are using, and most are mismatched to the charger,” TVECA’s Tom Kiklas told CNN in February.
Kiklas recommends using only the batteries and charging accessories that come with or are made for the product. He also advises against putting any e-cigarette device in pockets, since coins can rub against the device and short-circuit the lithium battery.