A veteran was hospitalized after an electronic cigarette he was smoking exploded in his hand. In light of the incident, Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) to regulate the devices. Dingell wants the devices, which have become increasingly popular, to be regulated the same as traditional cigarettes. Additionally, this is not the first time an e-cigarette has exploded.
“Your natural thought is, is it safe to inhale? But second, is it safe to light up? Could it explode? And most people … didn’t think they had to worry about it exploding and I was actually stunned to hear of the number of incidents that have occurred across the country,” Dingell said to WWJ/CBS Detroit.
In a letter to the FDA’s acting commissioner, Stephen Ostroff, Dingell took issue with the lack of oversight. “Consumers have a right to know the products they buy are safe and not ticking time bombs that could explode dangerously at any point. We are exploring both regulatory and legislative solutions to this problem to ensure Sgt. Diekman and other consumers have the protections they deserve.”
Jason Diekman is a veteran who survived tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was smoking a vapor pen when it exploded in his hand, burning his arm and part of his abdomen and sendind shrapnel into the wall. He suffers from a scorched arm and may have permanent nerve damage. “I pushed it and it just exploded – a big boom louder than a shotgun going off,” Diekman told WJBK-TV. “… None of these boxes have warnings saying they can explode in your hand or anything,” said Diekman to WJBK. “That’s what you get – left with a bunch of bills and you know, ‘Sorry about your luck.’ “