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E-cigarettes blamed for blowing up in smokers’ faces

Serious injuries occurred in some cases; one man lost an eye

Traditional cigarettes are really bad for you, but at least they don’t blow up in your face, as e-cigarettes have been doing lately. In one of the most recent cases, an Albany, N.Y., man said his e-cig blew up and knocked him to the ground.

“Like a M80 bomb went off in my mouth,” Kenneth Barbaro said. “When I hit the button, I saw a huge yellow light. The next thing I know, I’m on the floor and my arms are paralyzed.”

Barbaro was hospitalized with burns to his hands, knocked-out teeth, and a splt tongue, he said in a televised report.

“When it blows up in your face, you’re not having a good time,” he said in a televised news report.

More serious

In an even more serious case, an e-cig exploded on April 15, tearing through a man’s eye, smashing two cheekbones, and starting a fire. Joseph Cavins, now blind in one eye, has filed a lawsuit against vaping retailers and distributors, Courthouse News Service reported.

He said he was working at his computer when his vaping device exploded, hitting him in the eye, then hitting the ceiling, and finally landing on top of the computer, where it started a fire.

Cavins, a public school counselor, underwent seven hours of surgery. Doctors removed his left eye and performed surgery to fix broken bones in his face and to repair his sinus cavity.

The problem, according to Cavins’ lawsuit, is that the batteries in vaping devices have “an inherent risk of fire and explosion,” exacerbated by what it says is the cheap construction and poor design of many of the devices.

If the temperature inside the lithium-ion battery builds up high enough, it can cause an explosion that propels the battery “like a bullet or rocket,” Cavins’ suit says.

Several similar cases have been reported in recent months.

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