Are E-Cigarettes More Dangerous Than Their Conventional Counterparts?


Conventional tobacco-packed cigarettes are starting to look safer than their electronic alternatives.

Kicking your Camels to the curb in favor of e-cigarettes may provide a “healthier” nicotine buzz, but it might also put your body in the line of fire–literally. Dave Aspinall, a 48-year-old from Wigan, England, was smoking an e-cig when it overheated, exploded, and impaled his legs with shards of metal—similar to how shrapnel shoots out from bombs.

Aspinall nearly lost his flat in the blaze that followed the explosion. He told The Sun, “It glowed and burned in my hand. I dropped it and it exploded. There was lots of blood, a huge hole in one leg and a gash in the other.”

Despite the severity of his injuries, which his surgeon likened to gun shot wounds, Aspinall was able to get to a neighbor and seek medical attention. He spent nine days in the hospital, and he’ll have to undergo three years’ worth of skin grafts to repair the damage.

The store that sold Aspinall the e-cigarette blamed faulty batteries for the explosion since the device works by heating a liquid cartridge that contains nicotine, flavoring, and chemicals, which turn into an inhalable vapor. But this incident comes after similar reports (from the UK). In May, a mother and her two sons fled from their home after an e-cigarette exploded; had they been asleep, the toxic smoke could have killed them. Another incident involved a 62-year-old man who died in August after his e-cigarette exploded and set fire to his oxygen concentrator, investigators believe.

Word of advice: nix the bad habit altogether. Cancer and dismemberment aren’t pleasurable for anyone.

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