An autopsy has confirmed that a man died after his e-cigarette exploded, penetrated his brain and left him with burns to 80 per cent of his body. Tallmadge "Wake" D'Elia's official cause of death, which is the first e-cigarette fatality in the USA, was listed as "projectile wound of the head" and ruled accidental.
Tallmadge D'Elia, 38, was found dead this month after a fire alarm went off at his home and officers arrived on the scene, according to his autopsy report. Firefighters had suspected it as the cause of death since first responders were dispatched to the home on a call about a fire Saturday, May 5.
The 38 year old's vape pen was reportedly a device made in the Philippines that is unregulated and not recommended for beginners. His death was ruled an accident.
"The two major causes of dramatic failures with the larger units are overcharging of the battery and then the shorting of the battery", said Thomas Kiklas, the chief financial officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
The report blamed the incidents on the prevalence of lithium-ion batteries in the products.
The vape pen was manufactured by Smok-E Mountain and is a "mod" type, according to the report.
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The owner of Lizard Juice, an e-cigarette retailer in Florida, said he does not think such vaping pens are "safe enough".
There have been other reports of injuries from vape pens, said the report.
'It can explode and at that point it can project either the pieces of the lighter itself or the vape pen'.
There have been other cases of exploding e-cigarettes, but none of them were fatal.
One store selling vaping devices says the e-cigarettes come with "no safety features and no regulation".
Replace the batteries if they get damaged or wet.