Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

This report cited no deaths as a result from vape pens, which is why D'Elia's is considered to be the first.

Tallmadge Wakeman D'Elia died on Cinco de Mayo in St. Petersburg after his vape pen burst into flames in his bedroom.

Tallmadge "Wake" D'Elia was found May 5 by firefighters, who suspected a vaping pen was the cause of death. It says Mr D'Elia's e-cigarette exploded, sending at least two fragments into his skull.

The report listed the cause of death as "projectile wound of the head".

In January 2017, an Idaho man lost seven teeth and suffered second-degrees burn after a vape pen exploded in his face.

It pointed specifically to electronic cigarettes that use lithium-ion batteries as a "new and unique hazard" because those are more prone to explosion. A report past year by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency found that between January 2009 and December 31, 2016 there were 195 incidents where vape pens overheated or exploded, leading to 133 acute injuries to users, 38 or which were described as "severe".


A spokesperson for Smok-E mountain told ABC affiliate WFTS that the issue most likely stemmed from the atomizer (the piece of the vape you put in your mouth) or the battery. It is this intimate contact between the body and the battery that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen.

Treatment for chemical and thermal burns from e-cigarette explosions can lead to months or even years of painful treatment, and in some cases require bone grafts, skin grafts, and other reconstructive surgery. The company said they've encountered previous issues with other manufacturers creating imitation batteries.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a section on e-cigarette safety tips and even one for reporting explosions.

In 2016, a vaping device blew up in a man's face in NY - knocking out his teeth, ripping a hole in his tongue and leaving his hands covered in burns.

Charge it using the charger that came with the vape, not your phone or tablet charger.

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