E-cigarette explodes in man's mouth

Published On: Feb 16 2012 05:24:48 AM HST   Updated On: Feb 16 2012 07:43:10 PM HST

An electronic cigarette exploded in a Florida man's mouth, blowing out his teeth and part of his tongue and setting a room in his house on fire.

Tom Holloway, 57, of Niceville, Fla., was smoking the e-cigarette Monday night when his wife heard what sounded like a firecracker exploding and her husband scream in their study, neighbor Wendy Jensen told Pensacola, Fla., TV station WEAR.

Chief Butch Parker of the North Bay Fire District said he believes a faulty battery is to blame, describing the explosion as if Holloway was holding a "bottle rocket in his mouth."

"I have never heard of or seen anything like this before," he told ABC News.

The debris that flew around the room was so hot, it melted everything it touched.

Holloway, meanwhile, is now recovering at a Florida burn center.

The Vietnam veteran, photographer and father of three stopped smoking two years ago and had turned to e-cigarettes to kick the habit.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated smoking-cessation devices that simulate the act of tobacco smoking through physical sensation, appearance and even flavor. They are currently not regulated by the FDA.


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