Vaping can be dangerous to your health — sometimes in a very direct way.
A 17-year-old boy in the U.S. visited the emergency room after an e-cigarette he was smoking exploded during use.
According to a case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the boy presented at the hospital with pain and swelling in his jaw about two hours after the accident.
He had a “circular puncture to his chin,” extensive cuts in his mouth, damage to his lower incisors, and a “bony incongruity” on the left side of his jaw.
After scanning his head, doctors discovered that his jaw had broken right down the middle.
He had open surgery, where a bar and wires were inserted to hold his jaw in place during healing. The doctors also removed his damaged bottom teeth and repaired the injured tissue in his mouth.
Six weeks later, at a follow-up appointment, doctors found he was healing well, and the wires were removed from his jaw.
This is hardly the first case of an e-cigarette exploding. According to a study in the journal BMJ Tobacco Control, there were an estimated 2,035 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries in U.S. emergency departments between 2015 and 2017.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: E-cigarette warning after vaporizer explodes in teen’s face (from 2016)
According to news reports, one person died after his e-cigarette exploded in 2018 after the exploding vape sent fragments into his head and started a fire that burned most of his body. More recently, a young man in Texas also died after shrapnel from an exploding e-cigarette severed an artery.
There were three cases of burns from e-cigarette explosions in Canada between January 2013 and August 2018, according to a government study using data from 19 hospitals across Canada.
“Although uncommon, another risk to consider involves defective batteries or defective vaping products that have caused fires and explosions,” Health Canada says on its “Risks of vaping” website.