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

May 17, 2018, 05:01
Off with e's head: e-cig explosion causes first vaping death

D'Elia, 38, was on the second floor of his two-story home when his vape pen exploded.

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. Per the autopsy report, it appears this is exactly what happened to Tallmadge D'Elia. He suffered burns to most of his body, but authorities don't believe the fire was what caused his death.

According to FEMA, the 38-year-old's death is the first in the U.S. to be caused by an e-cigarette.

And a vape pen exploded in a man's trousers in 2016 in New York, NBC4 reported.

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The autopsy also revealed the e-cigarette's manufacturer as Philippines-based Smok-E Mountain.

Weeks said that a lot of people are switching from smoking to vaping, because vaping does less harm to the body.

In its official report on Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions, FEMA said "the shape and construction of electronic cigarettes can make them [more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries] to behave like "flaming rockets" when a battery fails". "While the failure rate of the lithium-ion batteries is very small, the consequences of a failure, as we have seen, can be severe and life-altering for the consumer". Wilder told ABC Action News that he, as well as many other local store owners, won't sell unregulated e-cigarettes.

D'Elia's death has been explained as "accidental", with 13WMAZ reporting that he suffered 80 per cent burns.

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While the exact circumstances surrounding the explosion are unknown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against carrying e-cig batteries loose in pockets to avoid coming in contact with coins, keys or metal objects.

'It can explode and at that point it can project either the pieces of the lighter itself or the vape pen'.

Wilder also said rubber casings should be used over additional batteries and batteries that appear worn should be rewrapped.

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