Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

Report: Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

Report: Exploding vape pen blamed for Florida man's death

An autopsy confirmed that a St. Petersburg man found dead earlier this month was killed after his vape pen exploded, burning more than 80 percent of his body.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death of Tallmadge "Wake" D'Elia was due to a "projectile wound of head".

D'Elia, who died on May 5, also suffered burns on almost 80 percent of his body, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

FEMA, which keeps stats on electronic cigarettes, says D'Elia's death is the first in the US caused by a vape pen. And in 2016, a vape pen user in NY suffered third-degree burns after the pen exploded in his trousers, NBC 4 NY reported.

The Florida man was found to be covered by burns as the exploding vape pen turned into a lethal projectile.

"The two major causes of dramatic failures with the larger units are overcharging of the battery and then the shorting of the battery", said Thomas Kiklas, the chief financial officer of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

"Lithium ion batteries fail in other devices as well, but in a laptop, it's on your lap", he said.

The brand of vaping pen was recorded as Smok-E Mountain Mech Works, which produces unregulated e-cigarettes described as not coming with "safety features".

Explosions involving vape pens are uncommon, but faulty devices have been the subject of a handful of media report in recent years.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the cause of these explosions could stem from battery-related issues, but hasn't pinpointed the exact reason for them. D'Elia was apparently using a higher wattage vaping pen that came packaged with a more powerful battery.

There have been a few incidents of injuries stemming from vape pen explosions. In 2016, an e-cigarette exploded in a NY man's trousers pocket.

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