Off with e's head: e-cig explosion causes first vaping death


The cause of death is identified as a projectile wound to the head, Bill Pellan, director of investigations at the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office, said Tuesday.

A report past year by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency found that between January 2009 and December 31, 2016 there were 195 incidents where vape pens overheated or exploded, leading to 133 acute injuries to users, 38 or which were described as "severe". It still remains unclear as to what prompted the pen to combust in the first place; however, shoddy manufacturing may be an option.

The medical examiner ruled that the death was an accident.

This is the first reported USA death from a malfunctioning e-cigarette - and it is not surprising news.

He suffered thermal injuries to about 80 percent of his body, including his chest, shoulder, abdomen, back, arm and hand.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the cause of these explosions could stem from battery-related issues, but hasn't pinpointed the exact reason for them. But there were no recorded deaths in the study's period.

Experts fault the lithium ion batteries used in e-cigarettes. "It is this intimate contact between the body and the battery that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen". Wilder told ABC Action News that he, as well as many other local store owners, won't sell unregulated e-cigarettes.

A representative from Smok-E Mountain said that the problem was most likely a battery issue, or a problem with the atomizer D'Elia had in his mouth.

The explosions usually occur suddenly, the report found, "and are accompanied by loud noise, a flash of light, smoke, flames, and often vigorous ejection of the battery and other parts". The agency and the CDC recommend using vape pens with safety features, including those created to prevent battery overheating, and keeping batteries away from metal objects like coins and keys.