This story is over 5 years old.

The VICE Guide to Right Now

An E-Cigarette Exploded in This Teen’s Face

"He wanted to die. That is how much pain he was in."
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
January 28, 2016, 5:20pm
Alberta teen Ty Greer, pictured above, after an e-cigarette blew up in his face. Photo via Canadian Press

An Alberta teen who lit up an e-cigarette was rushed to the hospital after the device exploded in his face, leaving him with second-degree burns and broken teeth.

"It lit my kid's face on fire," said Perry Greer, father of Lethbridge 16-year-old Ty Greer who purchased the detonating e-cig, during an interview with the Canadian Press.

According to his dad, Ty recently purchased a Chinese-manufactured e-cig called Wotofo Phantom, which is the same size as a cigar. (It's legal for minors to buy e-cigs in Alberta.) When he went to exhale, "It was about two inches from his mouth and it just blew apart."


Greer said his son suffered from first and second-degree burns to his face, throat, and tongue, and that he likely would've damaged his eyes had he not been wearing glasses. Photos of Ty in the hospital show the skin around his mouth and cheeks blackened and bleeding. He's received two root canals since the incident.

"He wanted to die. That is how much pain he was in."

Greer told Global News that his son, a hockey player, isn't a tobacco smoker; he said he spoke to the owner of the store that sold Ty the e-cig and "he cried the whole time I talked to him."

Additionally, Greer is now calling for a ban on e-cigarette sales to minors, which are also legal in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Labrador.

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said the province has formed a working group with the federal government and is looking at regulating e-cigarettes.

The Edmonton-based charity Action on Smoking and Health is also calling for e-cig reform.

"We absolutely need product standards. For instance, they shouldn't explode in your mouth," said spokesman Les Hagen told CP.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.