Electric cigarette explodes in Pensacola man's mouth

A Florida man trying to kick the smoking habit was puffing on an electronic cigarette when a faulty battery caused it to explode in his mouth, taking out some of his front teeth and a chunk of his tongue and severely burning his face, fire officials say.

"The best analogy is like it was trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off," said Joseph Parker, division chief for the North Bay Fire Department. "The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire."

Fire Chief Joseph Miller said the victim contacted the department on Wednesday to thank firefighters and told them he was recovering at a hospital in Mobile, Alabama, and anticipated being released later in the day.

Officials have not publicly identified him, citing department policy. But a Facebook page under the name of 57-year-old Tom Holloway of Niceville was filled with well-wishers commenting on the injury.

Holloway was in his office at home when the device exploded, leaving behind burned chair cushions, pictures, carpet and office equipment.

Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, said the industry knows of no problems with the cigarettes or batteries exploding.

Kicklas said the rigid, plastic cigarettes include a small battery and cartridge. The battery is designed to generate an electric charge when the device is inhaled. The charge sets off vapor in the cigarette tube. The nicotine-filled mist gives the taste and experience of smoking without the smoke.

Have your say...

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers
captcha img
Reload characters
Type the characters you see in this box. This helps us prevent automated programs from sending spam.