The Daily Mail - 15 February 2012
A Vietnam veteran was left with horrific injuries after an electronic cigarette blew up in his mouth, knocking out all his teeth and part of his tongue. Tom Holloway, 57, of Niceville, Florida, screamed as the device exploded and debris melted everything it touched as it flew around a room at home. The battery in the cigarette ignited and firemen said the father-of-three was therefore essentially ‘holding a bottle rocket in his mouth’.
Mr Holloway had been smoking electronic cigarettes for around two years and took them up after he began suffering lung problems. ‘A super nice guy,’ neighbour Wendy Jensen told ABC affiliate WEAR. ‘He's had some health problems with his lungs and so he quit smoking.’
The incident happened on Monday evening when his wife heard a bang from the study, which she described as sounding like a firecracker. A North Bay Fire District spokesman said that the battery blew up in his face, knocking out all of his teeth as well as part of his tongue.
‘Whenever the battery ignited it was basically like him holding a bottle rocket in his mouth,’ Chief Butch Parker told WEAR.
Electronic cigarettes - The devices simulate smoking by producing a safe vapour that has no odour or residue. The battery can automatically convert nicotine liquid into the vapour when you take a drag. They are intended to replicate real cigarettes and smokers use them as a quitting aid.
The explosion also set his study on fire and Mr Holloway, who is now being treated in a burns clinic, was left with blood all over his face. Firemen said this was the first time they've ever heard of an electronic cigarette blowing up, but they haven’t yet determined the brand.
‘It's horrible,’ Ms Jensen told WEAR of the suffering of Mr Holloway, who is also a photographer. ‘We were just up all night thinking about it.’ Authorities have reported the incident to a U.S. database and are now investigating whether such an accident has ever happened before.
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