A Man Lost His Eye in a Terrifying E-Cig Explosion


E-cigarettes keep exploding in people's faces. 

Last month, a man in Orange County, California, lost his left eye when an e-cigarette exploded near his head, local television station KNBC reported. 

The injured man, Joe Cavins, said the e-cigarette burst apart after he set it down on his desk while he was smoking, shooting debris toward him and the ceiling, setting his computer on fire. 

"If I would have had that in my hand or up in my mouth when it went off — I mean my God," Cavins said, KNBC reported. "I'm grateful it wasn't worse."

"When charged and used under proper conditions, vapor products pose a fire risk similar to those of cellphones and laptops that use similar lithium-ion batteries," Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in an email. "However, when vapor products are subjected to extreme conditions or used with unwrapped or damaged batteries, short circuits can occur."

It keeps happening: People have been injured by e-cigs many times, including one teen who was blinded at a vape mall kiosk. It's typically the batteries fault. 

Following the e-cig explosion that left him blind in one eye with more surgeries ahead of him, Cavins is calling for tighter industrywide e-cig regulation. 

"They need to regulate the manufacturing of the components and parts as it relates to the safety of the industry," Greg Bentley, Cavins' attorney, said, according to KNBC. "The regulations don't go far enough."

Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

A new era of testing: When you put a device close to your eyes, nose, mouth and brain, you want to be damn sure it isn't going to spontaneously combust, and that is what the recently announced rules from the Food and Drug Administration are aiming to ensure. 

The FDA rules require that all e-cigarette products manufactured after 2007 need to undergo review and approval, which is "virtually all of them," WSPA reported. 

Vape shops are pissed, citing the costs of testing for every product as damaging to business. 

"Small businesses are going to be crippled, not be able to pay for this process," business development manager at Carolina Vape Mill Lane Hughey told WSPA. "The FDA is requiring that you have premarket approval. It's a process that you go through to have these devices, liquids and everything approved by the FDA."

It's clear some kind of manufacturing regulation needs to be set in place so that the devices don't keep blowing up near people's skulls.