A 14-year-old is "completely blind in his left eye" after an e-cig exploded in his face at a mall kiosk, WTVR reported.
"The guy was showing me different products of the vaporizers," teenager Leor Domatov told WTVR. "While he was showing me, he connected one of the vaporizers to the battery of the store. He gave it to me to hold and when I was holding it, it exploded in my hands and my face."
This isn't the first time a vape has exploded while someone was using it. PSA: Do not search "exploding e-cig" on Google Images if you are faint of heart.
Blame the battery: The machines aren't necessarily backfiring on us, but the lithium-ion batteries sure as hell are. E-cigarettes are powered by this type of battery — one that contains a combustible that can be triggered by overheating it. However, these incidents are not just a result of overheating; it's usually that coupled with using a battery or a charger not meant for a vape.
"When used and charged properly, [e-cigarettes] pose no more of a fire risk than any other products that use lithium-ion batteries," Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, told MarketWatch.
A Brooklyn Vape retailer told Mic in a phone call that when people try and modify their own vape with a different battery and aren't experienced, "they might have problems" — e.g., a vape exploding in their face.
Blame the industry: E-cigarettes can also pose a combustible risk if they don't meet "industrywide safety regulations," similar to what we saw with the exploding hoverboard phenomenon.
As for the incident at Kings Plaza mall, it's likely the injury could've been avoided if the e-cig were up to industry standards and used a proper battery.
We spotted a job posting for a vapologist at Kings Plaza in Brooklyn on Craigslist, which surfaced closely following the e-cig incident. For the future employee at the vape kiosk, make sure you card your customers. In New York City, it's illegal to sell e-cigarettes to individuals under 21.
We've reached out to Kings Plaza mall and will update with any comment.