Electronic cigarettes are safe, business owners say

Huntsville business says electronic cigarettes are safe to use.
Huntsville business says electronic cigarettes are safe to use.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Florida man is recovering in a hospital in Mobile after an electronic cigarette exploded in his mouth on Monday.

The co-owners of Huntsville-based business Eco Smoke, reacted with surprise after hearing about the incident.

Chris Ray said Eco Smoke is the only store specializing in electronic cigarettes in north Alabama. Electronic cigarettes are plastic devices that emit water vapor, sometimes mixed with nicotine, and mimic the act of smoking.

"Basically how the system works is you're going to have a heating element that heats up just enough to create water vapor. There's no smoke at all," said Ray.

Ray said the battery exploding inside an electronic cigarette is rare.

But cases like the one in Florida show the devices are not fail safe. Ray suggested avoiding accidents by following the manufacturer's battery charging specifications.

"It's very similar to cell phone batteries. You don't want to charge them more than two to three hours. You don't want to leave them on overnight," he said.

Eco Smoke customer Curtis Chereek quit smoking after being diagnosed with throat cancer. He said what happened in Florida won't stop him from buying an electronic cigarette.

Eco Smoke's owners said they're guessing what happened was a freak accident.

Users can modify the battery voltage in the electronic cigarettes to strengthen or lessen the water vapor.

People using higher voltage all the time could stress the battery and could possibly lead to such accidents.

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