Chris Brookins, 29, of Santa Ana suffered injuries after a modified electronic cigarette exploded sending shrapnel into his hand and setting part of his bedroom on fire.
According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the incident occurred early morning on March 9, 2015 when Brookins was inside the bedroom of his unit at The Marke apartment complex on MacArthur Boulevard.
He removed an e-cigarette from a battery charger and had taken one drag when the device began hissing. Just as he pulled the device from his lips and turned it away from his face, it exploded in his hand.
Pieces of metal flew through the room lodging in a wooden beam in the ceiling and setting a few clothes and a nightstand on fire.
Brookins described the explosion as something similar to the sound of a shotgun. It left him with a hand injury that required two stitches, he said.
The cause of the e-cigarette malfunction is still under investigation.
Second Incident in Orange County
It appears that this most recent incident is the second of its kind in Orange County in just over a month.
On February 10, a 17-year-old in Anaheim suffered a hand injury when an e-cigarette he was holding exploded.
Based on this news report, Brookins said he had bought the modified electronic cigarette last week from a Costa Mesa smoke shop.
Modified e-cigarettes are slightly bigger than the regular devices and have more sophisticated electronics designed for a deeper smoking experience as well as a longer lasting battery.
The Need for Regulation
E-cigarettes are products that have escaped regulation for many years now.
They have been in the market for more than five years and yet, the government has not set forth rules with regard who can buy and who can sell these products.
A child can walk into a smoke shop and buy an e-cigarette. And manufacturers of e-cigarettes do entice youth with flavors such as bubble gum and cherry.
There have been very few studies done with regard to what is in these devices and how harmful they may be to the people who use them.
E-cigarettes are marketed as a way of quitting smoking, but many say that there is nicotine and other additives in the liquids that are put in these devices.
The product defect attorneys at Bisnar Chase are investigating e-cigarette cases and would like to hear from you if you or a loved one has been injured or has become ill as a result of using these products.