Exploding E-Cig was like a Bullet

In the last month, three e-cigarette smokers in Southern California have been stunned when their vapor cigarettes blew up. Some think the problem may have something to do with the battery. One Santa Ana e-cig smoker is lucky his exploding cigarette didn't kill him.

Chris Brookins says he was "taking a hit of the e-cigarette, just like every other day" when he heard "a hissing noise." He says he went to go pull it away from his mouth and as he was it exploded like a flash-bang."

RELATED: Man Injured, Bed Catches Fire After E-Cigarette Explodes

A big chunk of it blew toward the ceiling. Another part started a nightstand and some clothes on fire. And, that piece in the ceiling lodged deep into the drywall.

Brookins friend Sean Schoepflin says for that to happen there had to have been "a tremendous amount of force" and shutters to imagine what might have happened if Brookins hadn't pulled the device away from his mouth.

Tom Kiklas is with Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association. He lobbies for companies that make e-cigarettes. He says, "there is a propensity for any electronic device that has a rechargeable battery to fail." He says the three explosions in Southern California in the last month are rare, but adds these larger devices make him nervous.

"The thing (Brookins used) is larger than a standard unit." He says, "these units people are creating are becoming ever increasingly more powerful. And, as they become more powerful, that unit or any unit has a capacity to fail." That concerns him.

More on this story can be found in the accompanying video piece.

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