Teen vaping is dangerous for more reasons than addiction or tobacco consumption. When a vape pen battery explosion occurred, shattering the jaw of Utah teen Austin Adams, it caused permanent damage to his mouth and jaw. Adams lives in a rural area and was at home when he was smoking his e-cigarette as a way to quit traditional smoking. Without warning, the e-cigarette’s battery exploded. Adams suffered a shattered jaw and significant bleeding from the impact. His teeth around the area were severely damaged, and he had to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Vape pens have increased in popularity since their introduction as a method for tobacco consumption. Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, are manufactured by multiple companies and are as widely available as cigarettes. The delivery system, accessories and other features of e-cigarettes have made them appealing to adolescents as a trendy new way to smoke. This perception is problematic and has prompted the Supreme Court to make official inquiries into certain companies’ marketing practices.

This is not the first incident of a vape explosion in a mouth. In May 2019, a man in Florida was killed when his e-cigarette exploded near his head. Over 2,000 injuries from e-cigarette explosions were reported between 2015 and 2017. Experts estimate that even these figures underestimate the actual number of vaping injuries and accidents. In response to these incidences, greater regulation and reporting are being called for by the public.

Teen Vaping Epidemic

According to the Surgeon General’s teen vaping statistics, about one-quarter of U.S. youth and young adults have tried e-cigarettes. The Surgeon General also reports that e-cigarettes and vaping have a higher rate of use among high school students than adults.

There are multiple terms for e-cigarettes:

  • Vape pens
  • Tanks
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices (ENDS)
  • E-hooks
  • Pod mods

All of these devices use a liquid that contains nicotine or marijuana and flavors and use batteries that heat the liquid for inhalation.

The teen vaping epidemic sets adolescents up for long-term addiction. Parents have to work to stay in the know about teens and vaping. Some e-cigarettes are cleverly disguised as USB flash drives or even jewelry. These trends may obscure the more serious threat of lifelong nicotine addiction. The vaping epidemic not only affects youth every day, but it also reinforces addictive behaviors and can lead to the use of drugs or alcohol.

Dangers of Vaping

The dangers of vaping are significant and include:

  • Addiction
  • Lung damage
  • Mouth, tongue and throat irritation and damage
  • Chest pain
  • Asthma and respiratory issues
  • Coughing

The negative effects of vaping are being noticed and cautioned against by officials in many sectors of society. In 2018, Surgeon General Jerome Adams put forth an advisory that declared youth e-cigarette use an epidemic in the United States. In his statement, he cites that e-cigarette use is the fastest-growing substance used among adolescents in the United States. The health risks associated with vaping and e-cigarettes are entirely preventable.

Vape burns and vape battery explosion can cause significant damage and even death. These devices are prevalent among the teen population. According to researchers at Yale Medicine, it is important for parents to understand that vaping does not prevent cigarette use and is simply another way to consume addictive substances. The practical, large-scale efforts that significantly lowered the use of cigarettes in previous generations are being launched to address the popularity of e-cigarette use today.