E-Cigarette Explosions Causing Serious Mouth Injuries

Rosemont, Ill., USA – “Oral Trauma and Tooth Avulsion Following Explosion of E-Cigarette,” featured in the June issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery examines the oral hard and soft tissue injuries resulting from an e-cigarette explosion. The University of Cincinnati study describes in detail the severe oral and abdominal burns, oral lacerations, and lost and fractured teeth sustained when an e-cigarette exploded in an 18-year-old’s mouth. According to the victim, the explosion occurred the moment he pushed the button that activated the device. This is the first report published in the scientific literature describing this extent of damage and oral injuries resulting from an e-cigarette explosion.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are sold under some 450 brands and come in more than 7,600 flavours. The vaporising (“vaping”) device that delivers nicotine through e-cigarettes includes a heating element and a cartridge that holds the vapour solution, a mixture of nicotine, flavourings and other additives. The device’s power source is usually a lithium-ion battery triggered by a button.

E-cigarettes are designed to resemble conventional cigarettes, but are touted as a healthier alternative. Most consumers view them as a smoking cessation aid. However, this claim is countered by reports citing other adverse effects linked to some components of e-cigarette vapours. Reports of explosions and fires caused by e-cigarette delivery devices have led the US Fire Administration to evaluate their safety.

The authors emphasise that the damage suffered will require multiple procedures to reconstruct the lost tissue, and to re-establish functional and cosmetically acceptable results. In addition, surgeries to repair the damage will involve substantial time and cost expenditures. They stress that the reporting of such injuries in the literature will be beneficial until concrete data from large-scale studies becomes available. – American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons