While Chris Thompson was on his way to breakfast with his dad, his mod exploded in his right hand as soon as he pressed the button to fire it. Chris said the following:
“I was about to take a puff off of it, like I normally did hundreds of times before and just had it in my mouth and pressed the button and it exploded. I said ‘what happened?’ And my dad was pulling over at the time and he said ‘your e-cigarette blew up.’ I looked down and I was on fire right here [chest] and parts of the battery or whatever was burning went down into my lap.”
They drove to the Englewood emergency room and were transferred to the Blake Trauma Center. Fortunately they were able to wire his eight missing teeth back in place and were also able to wire his jaw back together. Chris also experienced cuts on his right eye and burns on his chest and leg.
“I never anticipated in a million years that it would be like a mini grenade going off in my hand, right next to my face. There was no warning, there’s was no advance notice, there was no shaking, no vibration. Nothing. I was just puffing on it, the same way that I had done for the last two years.”
The tragic explosion also had the hilarious unintended side effect of causing his dad, Mike, a Vietnam veteran, to have a flashback to his days back in ‘Nam. Mike said the following:
“I didn’t know with all the things happening around the country today, if it was an ambush, an IED, a hand grenade. I saw the white muzzle flash out of the corner of my eye…The boom at the exact same time, the vehicle filled with toxic fumes, the floor in front of me was on fire. So I’m dropping the windows, stomping out the fire, slamming on the brakes and my son’s asking me, ‘Dad, what happened?’”
Chris says that he hopes that sharing his story will cause other people to not use e-cigarettes until they are safe. It’s an extreme but understandable reaction given the circumstances, but some basic mechanical mod safety precautions would have prevented this explosion from occurring. Like we say every time one of these events happens: Make sure that you know what you’re doing before you start vaping with a mech mod, especially if it has a hybrid (direct battery) connection. If you don’t know what you’re doing, use a regulated mod first and then you can move on to mech mods once you gain experience.
When you buy your first mechanical mod, make sure that you thoroughly understand the risks and how to mitigate them. And for fuck’s sake, make sure you buy an ohm reader. They’re literally available on Amazon Prime for cheap as shit. There’s no excuse.