A Hawaii man says is considering a lawsuit after an e-cigarette exploded in his face, blowing out four of his teeth and ripping up his mouth.
Twenty-five-year-old Matt Yamashita of Pearl City told HawaiiNewsNow that he was getting ready to play basketball at Pacific Palisades Park in Pearl City and went to use his e-cigarette before he started playing.
“As soon as I took that first rip, it just blew up in my face,” he told HawaiiNewsNow. In addition to losing some of his teeth, Mr. Yamashita suffered facial lacerations and burns. He has about 40 stitches “holding his mouth together,” HawaiiNewsNow reported.
“My right hand was burning, it was black,” Mr. Yamashita told HawaiiNewsNow. “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.”
According to HawaiiNewsNow, Mr. Yamashita’s e-cigarette isn’t the first one to explode in Hawaii. In 2014, HawaiiNewsNow reported on an e-cigarette explosion that caused significant property damage to a Moanalua woman’s home. But Mr. Yamashita’s e-cigarette may have been the first one to blow up in someone’s face.
“I’m just feeling thankful and blessed to be alive and to be able to see and taste,” Mr. Yamashita told HawaiiNewsNow.
E-cigarettes are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – the same type of battery that is used to power a multitude of other consumer devices such as laptop computers, cellphones, and hoverboards. The lithium-ion batteries are what’s causing so many e-cigarettes to explode in the U.S. and around the world.
But what causes e-cigarettes to overheat and explode? The answer is any number of factors, including manufacturing defects, battery damage, overcharging, misuse, or charging with a charger other than the one that was sold with the e-cigarette.
One e-cigarette expert and blogger HawaiiNewsNow interviewed indicated that more expensive, better-made e-cigarette models are likely the safest bet, as they contain safety features that more basic “mechanical mod” e-cigarettes, like the one that exploded in Mr. Yamashita’s face, lack.