OWENSBORO, KENTUCKY — A vaper from Kentucky got a whole lot more than a nicotine rush when his e-cig’s battery exploded in his pocket.
Josh Hamilton suffered severe burns to his right thigh in the fire at a gas station in the city of Owensboro last Saturday, when his pants were lit up like the fourth of July as he waited in line to pay for some snacks, CNN reported.
In the blink of an eye, Hamilton went from checking his pocket for change to running out of the store, shaking his leg in a desperate attempt to douse the flames.
Hamilton was lucky that a gas station employee was on hand with a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. Another customer then took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with second-degree burns.
Hamilton wrote on Facebook that he hoped he wouldn’t have to have surgery or skin grafts, but said it was still too early to tell.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices which vaporize liquid, usually containing nicotine, which users inhale. And it seems the battery was the problem here.
There have been 22 similar incidents reported since 2008, a spokesman for the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association told CNN.
Vapers often mismatch the lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes to the charger, which can be dangerous, spokesman Tom Kiklas told CNN. He recommended vapers don’t put e-cigarettes in their pockets because coins can short-circuit the battery when they rub against it.
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