Vape pen explodes in 17-year-old boy's mouth, shattering his jaw and breaking his teeth
A 17-year-old boy from Nevada had his jaw shattered and several of his teeth broken after his vape pen exploded in his mouth.
Austin Adams had asked his mother Kailani Burton, 45, to buy him a particular e-cigarette from a company called VGOD so that he could quit smoking.
In March 2018, however, the device very unexpectedly exploded in his mouth while he was using it, and his jaw and a number of teeth were broken as a result.
Immediately following the incident, the teenager was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City - a five hour drive away from his hometown of Ely.
"Austin came in with his hand up to his mouth," Burton recalled to NBC News. "He was in shock and unable to speak."
"This child had a blast injury to his lower jaw, as well as burns around his lip," said Dr Katie Russell, one of the trauma surgeons who treated the 17-year-old.
The explosion which injured Adams was "totally unexpected," the surgeon told NBC News. "He didn’t recall doing anything wrong with the device beforehand, and it just exploded."
Russell detailed the incident in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Just last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - which is responsible for regulating all tobacco products and e-cigarettes - finalised new safety guidelines for manufacturers who are submitting applications for e-cigarettes and tobacco products.
The FDA is now recommending that companies share detailed information about the sort of batteries they use in their products, and that plans are put in place in case of overheating and explosion.
Vape pen explosions occur when the lithium-ion battery inside overheats, according to the FDA.
But while they have issued letters to e-cigarette manufacturers about illegal sales to minors and marketing violations, they haven't sent out any warning letters about the overheating and exploding of batteries inside the vape pens.
The FDA did, however, put forward a suggestion that companies should rework the batteries to make them less likely to overheat.
"The FDA encourages manufacturers interested in making modifications to address battery safety issues to contact the agency to discuss options on how they can do so in a timely fashion and the FDA will consider each situation on a case-by-case basis," an FDA spokesman wrote in an email to NBC News.