The Bizarre and Terrifying Way a Florida Man Died From His Vape Pen Will Shock You

“All the kids are doing it these days,” is a phrase recently associated with e-cigarettes, vapes, and battery-operated pens that consider themselves “alternative cigarettes.” Vape pens still contain nicotine, however, and despite attempts to put an age limit on the devices, underage children still smoke them daily.

Vape pens pose a new, alarming concern that cigarettes do not. A Florida man unexpectedly died from his vape pen (page 5) … and he wasn’t the first to experience this rare side effect (page 6).

1. Vape pens have grown extremely popular in the last few years

vape pen, mod, e cigarette, e-cig,

This tool for smoking has become more and more popular. | HAZEMMKAMAL/Getty Images

The idea of a “smokeless cigarette” first arose in the 1960s, but it was the Chinese firm Hon Lik that made the first modern vape pen in 2004. Since the first sale, e-cigarette growth has risen exponentially, and the growing sales encouraged manufacturers to make the pens more high-tech.

With a technology-focused society comes creative manufacturing — which increasingly hooks kids to try these new pens.

Next: How young teens are getting hooked.

2. It’s increasingly popular among teens

teenagers at prom

Teens may be vaping, and their parents probably have no clue. | Digital Vision/iStock/Getty Images

A friendly Joe Camel smiled down at young kids from billboards and cigarette cartons, inviting them to take a puff. While e-cigarette companies like the popular JUUL don’t advertise a friendly mascot, they do make vape pens that come in turquoise and navy, go into “party mode,” and taste like mango and cool mint.

And while companies like JUUL call e-cigs a “satisfying alternative to cigarettes,” they pack up to twice as much nicotine competing brands.

Next: They’re increasingly portable and easy to sneak.

3. Vape pens just as harmful as cigarettes

an ashtray full of cigarette butts with two people smoking

The pens aren’t any better than smoking cigarettes. | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

A professor of environmental health at Johns Hopkins University agreed — vaping probably represents a reduction in risk from smoking. “But,”Ana Rule said, ” [E-cigarette manufacturers] fail to address the increased risk to this huge market they are creating among … young adults that have never smoked, and would have never even considered smoking.”

You can choose the nicotine strength you want in your vape pen, so it hardly regulates an avid smoker down to “light smoking” levels unless they take matters into their own hands.

Next: The sky is the limit when it comes to where kids vape.

4. You can smoke them almost anywhere

 A customer smokes an E-Cigarette at Digita Ciggz

It’s easy to be discreet when you vape. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Vaping is popular among teens, as it’s extremely easy to discretely use in school. Kids post Snapchat videos and photos of themselves, bragging how they can sneak the e-cigs in the bathroom or classroom. Adults (both millennials and older) take the e-cigs to work and can easily puff away in the cubicles, offices, and bars that once banned cigarettes.

E-cigs are increasingly harmful to the teen market, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released it’s first established plans to crack down on the device. Still, it wouldn’t have saved the man who passed away (next).

Next: The horrifying way this man’s vape pen killed him.

5. And apparently, some are explosive

E cigarettes is explosive

This news is terrifying to smokers. | duleloncar_ns/Getty Images

The first e-cigarette malfunction death poses a risk to all e-cig users. Tallmadge D’Elia, a 38-year-old Florida producer, was found in a burning bedroom in his family’s home. The autopsy report said his vape pen was to blame for his death.

The cause of death? A “projectile wound to the head” when his pen exploded and two of the pieces flew into his skull. D’Elia suffered burns on 80% of his body, The Washington Post reported. The exploding pen caused the small fire that consumed D’Elia.

Next: The other reported vape pen injuries — all of which include explosions and fires.

6. It’s not as rare as you’d think

Doctor is comparing electronic vaporizer and conventional tobacco cigarette.

The e-cigarettes can explode. | vchal/Getty Images

The U.S. Fire Administration reported at least 195 incidents where an e-cigarette exploded or caught fire from 2009 through 2016. Nearly 70% of the incidents resulted in injuries and 38 of them were reported severe. Over half of the incidents — 128 in total — started fires on surrounding objects.

The report acquired by The Washington Post found the explosions occur suddenly and are usually “accompanied by loud noise, a flash of light, smoke, flames, and often vigorous ejection of the battery and other parts.”

Next: Everything we know about the exploding pen in question.

7. The pen that killed D’Elia was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain

Advanced vaping device,

There is one brand you should look out for. | librakv/Getty Images

Smok-E Mountain distributed the Philippines-produced vape pen in question. A Smok-E Mountain rep told The Washington Post their devices don’t explode. They believe the atomizer (what the person inserts into their mouth) or a cloned battery was responsible for the explosion.

“No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to the human body,” the U.S. Fire Administration report said. “It is this intimate contact between the body and the batter that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen. While the failure rate of the lithium-ion batteries is very small, the consequences of a failure, as we have seen, can be severe and life-altering for the consumer.”

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