For those of you who weren’t previously aware of the dangers of self-modifying the battery system of an electronic cigarette…don’t do it. It can cost you!
In February of this year, a man named Tom Holloway, who lives in Niceville, Florida, discovered this firsthand – the very, very, hard way. Mr. Holloway, a professional photographer, Vietnam vet, and father of three, was smoking a self-modified electronic cigarette when it blew up in his face. He lost most of his teeth, part of his tongue, and sustained severe burns all over his face. He also burned up the room he’d been sitting in. Estimated medical and house repair costs were quoted as “in the thousands”.
When fire fighters, who had been summoned to the home by Mr. Holloway’s spouse, first heard the details of the incident, they assumed that someone must have accidentally ignited an oxygen tank. Indeed, Holloway’s home sustained some severe damaged due to the fire that had immediately erupted. However, it was no oxygen tank, just an electronic cigarette battery pack which Holloway had self-modified, presumably to increase its power and speed of delivery.
Mr. Holloway learned, the hard way, not to attempt what, to most of us, would be simply unthinkable. Don’t mess with the battery pack of your electronic cigarette! It’s designed to give you fast, convenient service, but one should never forget that, like all cigarettes, traditional or electronic, it’s also a potential fire hazard in the wrong hands.
One would think that Mr. Holloway, who is, after all, a Vietnam veteran, would know better than to mess with such a potential fire hazard. But, unfortunately, he innocently felt safe “tinkering” around with the unit until he had achieved greater efficiency with it – or so he thought. Needless to say, he was quickly disabused of any such notion. But this revelation cost him his teeth and tongue, not to mention severe third degree burns on his face, which may never heal correctly. A hefty price to pay!
The worst part of it all is that Mr. Holloway cannot blame anyone but himself for his severe misfortune. The manufacturer of his electronic cigarette was not to blame. After all, they had packaged the electronic cigarette cartridge device in correct, industry stipulated, fashion, and had plastered all the due disclaimers and safety warnings on it. Were they to blame if they had not foreseen the event of an inventive gentleman like Mr. Holloway modifying its contents for purposes unknown?
The damage to Mr. Holloway’s home will presumably be covered by his insurance. Likewise, the damage to his person. But will be able to claim any sense of satisfaction for this? He can’t sue the electronic cigarette manufacturer. The damage was due to his tinkering with the device, not due to them selling him a defective product.
In any case, the lesson to be learned here is a simple one. Don’t mess with the battery pack of your electronic cigarette if you like your face in its current condition! Fire is nothing to fool with!