PEARL CITY, Hawaii - A Hawaii man will need dental implant surgery after he says an e-cigarette exploded while he was taking a drag.
KHNL reported that Matt Yamashita, 25, was at Palisades Park in Pearl City when the incident happened.
“I just got out my car and I was ready to play basketball, but I just wanted to take a few puffs of vape before I played,” he said. “As soon as I took that first rip, it just blew up in my face.”
Four of Yamashita’s teeth were destroyed because of the explosion. He now has 40 stitches in his mouth and will need surgery for dental implants.
“My right hand was burning, it was black,” Yamashita said. “I just heard loud ringing in both my ears and I just saw a flash then I was spitting out blood and I was just in shock.”
E-cig expert Jason Artman has compiled a list of more than 240 explosions and spoke to KHNL about what typically causes explosions in the devices.
“It was a mechanical mod which seems to be the most common device in any e-cig explosion that happens while someone is using it,” Artman said. “Basically, it’s just a battery tube with a button and it has no safety features at all. Regulated mods that have built-in safety features are the better choice even though they cost a little more.”
“Your best bet if you are going to use a mechanical mod is to use it with the tank or atomizer that came with it and be very certain you're buying your batteries from a trusted source to prevent counterfeit,” he said.
Yamashita told KHNL that he doesn’t buy e-cigarettes from the same vendor and that the e-cig that exploded was a Coil Art’s Mage. He said he is considering a lawsuit.
“I’m just feeling thankful and blessed to be alive and to be able to see and taste,” Yamashita said.
A number of e-cigarette explosions have injured other users. In 2015, a Kansas man said his e-cigarette exploded in his hand.
In 2016, a New York man had burns to his face and leg after an e-cig exploded in his pocket. That same year, a 14-year-old boy in the state was blinded in one eye when he said he was holding a device at a mall kiosk.
In January, it was reported that a 30-year-old Idaho man lost 9 teeth and had second-degree burns when an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth.