Honestly, you try to do the right thing and it all blows up in your face. A Florida man who finally came around to the idea of giving up smoking decided to use an electronic cigarette to help him try to kick the habit.
So far so good, you might think. The problem for 57-year-old Tom Holloway, however, was that while it was in his mouth the thing exploded.
The explosion was so severe that it destroyed some of his front teeth, as well as part of his tongue, and left his face severely burned. On top of that, carpet, cushions and pictures in his home were set on fire.
Holloway, from Niceville, Florida, is reported to be recovering in an Alabama hospital. It’s believed a faulty battery caused the incident. The specific brand of electronic cigarette and battery hasn’t yet been identified although it’s thought that the battery was a rechargeable lithium type.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department, said, “The best analogy is like it was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off. The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire.”
But before all those people reading this with a gradually-drooping electronic cigarette in their mouth consign it to the garbage can, the co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, Thomas Kiklas, told the AP that last year around 2.5 million Americans used electronic cigarettes and to his knowledge this is the first report of one exploding.
“There have been billions and billions of puffs on the cigarettes and we have not heard of this happening before,” he said
According to Kiklas, the battery works to generate an electric charge when the user inhales, which sets off a nicotine-filled mist that is supposed to give the taste and experience of smoking without all of the carcinogens that go with the real thing.
He added that the industry has never claimed that electronic cigarettes help people quit smoking, while the Food and Drug Administration said on its website last year that such electronic cigarettes could themselves be addictive and might even contain harmful chemicals.
As for Tom Holloway, one has to wonder if all the stress of the last couple of days has put the poor guy back on the real thing.