ONLY ON 3: Man says E-Cig caused temporary blindness

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Submitted: Fri, 12/13/2013 - 12:23am
Updated: Fri, 12/13/2013 - 1:56pm

SNEADS FERRY, NC (WWAY) — A Sneads Ferry man says an attempt to quit smoking may cost him his eyesight.

Joe Vecchione says for the past 10 weeks he has been using an electronic cigarette, because he heard they were a safe alternative to cigarettes.

“It was good,” said Joe Vecchione. “I found it very pleasant. You can choose the level of nicotine you want to use chemically. You can start out with a higher amount of nicotine and work your way down lower.”

But he says Tuesday night his E-Cig erupted after he took a puff, shooting hot oil out of the tip and into his eye burning the mucus membrane.

“I heard a little pop and all of a sudden I couldn’t see,” said Vecchione.

Vecchione says doctor’s are unsure if he will be able to regain vision in the eye.

“It’s a burning sensation that doesn’t stop until the menthol breaks down,” said Vecchione. “When the menthol breaks down, what it’s doing is it’s deteriorating the material that it lands on.”

We contacted Buckeye Vapors, the maker of the e-Liquid, who said that their product couldn’t possibly have caused the blindness in Vecchione’s left eye despite the fact that it contains propylene glycol, glycerin, grain alcohol, and nicotine which according to the CDC have been known to cause varying degrees of irritation, inflammation, and even severe pain when coming in contact with the eye.

“You take a lot for granted you really do when it comes to your eye sight,” said Vecchione. “I don’t know what I’m going to do if I just have one eye. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to drive anymore. I don’t know the consequences that are coming.”

Vecchione says he is in the process of finding an attorney so he can pursue legal action against the maker of the E-Cigarette and the maker of the liquid flavor.


  • troy says:

    this morning i had to run a few erronds.on my way home i went to take a puff and pop, right in my left eye.luckily it hit the white part of my hurt like hell.held my hand over my eye till i was home.the nautalis tank is the only tank that has shot hot junk out at me.sometimes it will pop on my tounge.not happy.this is going to really hurt someone.

  • ady U.K says:

    I had the same thing happen to me today with my nautilus tank hurt like hot coals on my eye

  • Laurajbgky says:

    This just happened to me too. I have been using an e cig for three months now and I have experienced a popping before but it didn’t concern me. Today I was on my ipad with my e cig in hand and it popped and a small amount of liquid flew straight into my eye. It was a very small amount but it felt slightly hot and it stung. I immediately flushed my eye but it is still irritated. I will continue to use my e cig but I think it is important that people know that there is some risk of nicotine popping out and hurting you. The odds of it going directly into your eye are slim but if you are unlucky like me watch out.

  • Ted says:

    For most I’m a cig supplier/seller, former heavy 2 pack smoker and have tons of smoker friend. I have absolute no tolerance for the negligence that the store and or juice manufacture is given you. I’m sorry for the victim.
    Short story for me multiple times I’ve been burned with cigarette cherry (half burned ash/tobacco) from my careless friend driving down highway smoking a cigarette. Yes thanks to him I have to buy me new pants:) Point being I’m aware this is what happens when you mix high wind condition and burning object. As far as blame is my friend to blame yes but should tobacco company be blamed as well, you tell me? If yes you should consider knife cutting people by accident; the forger of knife should be blamed as well?
    More specific to ecig. Yes I have beginners not knowing how to fill the device (tank) and worn out the vapor producing piece (coil) prematurely. Could they have read instruction sure but we give them free coil replacement because we can and care. As for popping ejuice just as any knowing ecig user can tell you popping sound is normal it happen when coil is new and getting saturated with ejuice. Should you be warned of such at least absolutely. This is why I’m angry that shop that sold you this did not tell you because you don’t know. Having it erupt like a volcano that’s exaggerated though. It may occasionally pop a drop or two outta the tank chamber though mouth piece but nothing in a steady stream like water holes. This would be my real concern to label ecig as danger but it’s never been the case.
    To sum it all, I would like to thank you all for reading this 2 cents information and taken your time here. While this is not the extensive wells of knowledge, I wish to let people understand blame will not resolve any issue. Rather through discussing and educating yourself more can you reach a neutral understand and resolution to the situation.
    Thank you

  • Guest2020 says:

    It could be that he hasn’t found one that is willing to take his case.

  • Woodrow Ricks says:

    I stand on that with you brother.

  • vapor101 says:

    I cannot say whether this claim is altogether a fraud or not but I can offer some insight as I have now been vaping for well over 3 months now, I started out with the smaller batteries and then quickly moved up to the ego and now use a box mod in combination with other VV devices, very rarely has a drop of eliquid popped and hit my tongue, my drip tip catches most but I can only recall one time that it actually stung a lil but, as I said it was against my tongue, it almost seems like for it to hit you in the eye you would have to of been looking into the coil with the fire button pressed but even then it would only be a teensy tiny drop, as a former cigarette smoker I have burnt damn near everything around me including myself, pets, kids, you name it ive burnt it, and 9 times out of 10 it was due to the cigarettes not being packed well and the fire fell off, I never once thought about sueing the makers of Misty cigs, and I assure you I could have def used some easy cash lol, for those that dont know not all ecigs have nicotine, its preference, and I can attest that my breathing is so much better since quitting smoking, I no longer have smokers cough as before, and that my friends is proof to me that vaping is the safest alternative and no amount of arguing will change my mind!

  • Devon J. Bell says:

    Happened to me as well. Had some popping and gurgling coming from my vaporizer. Went to clear it out with a nice long pull, pushing the button before i put it in my mouth, it popped loud and a hot glob shot out hitting my eye directly. Excruciating pain followed and spend the next 10 min flushing my eye with water. 2-3 hours and my eye was pretty much fine again with some mild irritation that went away over the remaining hours of the day. SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM: Dont push the button till its in your mouth, and release it before you take it out of your mouth. Thats where you want the vapor to enter your lungs anyways so it shouldn’t be hard to practice and remember.

  • Anthony Climo says:

    I recently purchased new coils from a vapor shop down the road from my house. The coil was leaking more than the normal coil that came with my protank 2. I spoke with the lady who works at the vaper shop today she replace the coil with a new one explaining that a lot of the coils have had problems they are an aftermarket coil. Tonight at work again The coil was leaking and I cleaned it out however when I went to take a drag. A shot of the ecig juice got into my right eye I could not see out of my eye completely. Both eyes closed shut it was a horrible experience thank God I was close to the restroom and I ran over there pouring water in my eye later I used clear eyes. And again continued to clear my eye out with water. Now about 40mins later I’m getting a tingling feeling in my eyelid really weird feeling. This was due to purchasing my coils from the store “Vapor This” in Beech Grove, IN 46107.

  • tke1 says:

    “Vecchione says he is in the process of finding an attorney so he can pursue legal action against the maker of the E-Cigarette and the maker of the liquid flavor.”
    This says more than the entire article. He’s probably having problems choosing from all the ambulance chasers beating down his door. It is all about the bucks.

  • EcigsSavelives says:

    That’s just nonsense. How in the world would there be more chemicals when there’s no combustion? Would you breathe better in a burning house or in a room with a fog machine? My advice: Try using logic to avoid sounding like a incompetent fool.

  • dtgomby says:

    VG, or vegetable glycerin is used in countless products, including food. It is mainly used to increase sweetness. Even the wine industry uses it to make dry wine sweeter. If you drink a shake, eat a hamburger in McDonald’s you introduce glycerin into your body.
    PG is also used in almost everything. It is the base for flavorings, food coloring, etc. Medications, food, hygiene products have an incredible amount in them. So basically you consume a lot of both on a daily basis, you just don’t know it. Just read the ingredients section on the label from the products that you by.

    A high quality eliquid contains only VG, PG, and flavoring, the nicotine is optional. Tell me which of these are carcinogenic!
    I admit, a poor quality liquid (for example, from China) can contain any number of chemicals, but as with any other consumer product, it is the users responsibility to read up on the product and the manufacturer before he/she buys it.

    If you read a little bit more on the subject of ecigs, you will find, that the they don’t want to ban the ecigs in Europe. Their only problem is with the nicotine!!! This is a huge difference. The thing you won’t read in the mainstream media is that, as always, the main reason is money. The ecig is a billion dollar industry worldwide. The governments can’t regulate, nor can they levy taxes on nicotine as a tobacco product, so instead they want to regulate it as a medical drug. This is the only way they can get tax-money from the ecig users.

  • guesty says:

    Except in Soviet Russia the Yor eats you.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    In Russia it’s…”Yor” meaning “Frozen Siberian Butter”
    In Mythological writings it’s…”Yore” (Long Ago)
    In America it’s You’re (You Are)
    In Bugtussle,NC it’s (Your) (The other person’s thingy)

    Solved You’re question didn’t I guesty?

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    Maybe they can send the al qaeda some of these faulty things…and no more al qaeda!

  • ian says:

    I think its funny that you have absolutely NO idea what you’re taking about.

  • Crashtestjeep says:

    Come on now, you use a battery operated device to heat a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and menthol to vaporize and inhale it. It’s a risk! Just like when smoking a real cig a hit ash could fall in ur lap. Do u sue the cigarette maker? No! You took a chance, and had an accident. Suing the liquid maker or ecig company? C’mon man!!!! Good luck w that….Smdh.

  • Vaper7 says:

    Do people who burn their house down with a cigarette regularly sue tobacco companies?

    No, they don’t. Screw this guy.

  • melissa123456 says:

    There has now been over 15 reports of this issue. While you may not like Ecigs or the real ones. Customers have to right to buy a safe product.This is why we have recalls. Gun owners have the right to safe guns, everyone has the right to safe food, safe cars ect.

  • Crashtestjeep says:

    Another thing, there is NO OIL in eliquid. Just pg, vg and flavoring. #EDUCATEYOURSELF. #USEATYOUROWNRISK

  • portcity says:

    Vg = vegetable gylecerin -Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen with the chemical formula C3H8O3. It is produced industrially, usually as a by-product of soap manufacture, from oils and fats. It can be made from animal fat or, in the case of vegetable glycerin, vegetable oil.

    PG= Propylene Gycol- Propylene glycol, also called 1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound (a diol or double alcohol) with formula C3H8O2. It is a colorless, nearly odorless, clear, viscous liquid with a faintly sweet taste, hygroscopic and miscible with water, acetone, and chloroform.

    VG is an oil that is in E-liquid #educateyourselfBETTER. #IWOULDNTSMOKEACETONEANDCHLOROFROM

    No one really knows that e-cigs are any better than real cigarettes. They may smell better and not have the amount of carcinogens but you have no idea what health affects it may have. Ecigs have been around in europe the longest and now many countries and states in europe are banning and disapproving E-cigs! What does that tell ya.

  • guest45 says:

    Joe, you are a man that is hard to sympathise with, you smoke, and kill us with your second hand smoke, you choose to quit and pick up another habit that introduces a chemical into your body and you start hollering foul, do you think this makes any sense at all, I believe I may hunt a lawyer and try to redeem some relief for all the years you chose to deal me with second hand smoke at the restaurants.

  • beach guy says:

    You drive a car and kill us with the exhaust you produce methane and cause global warming, your carbon foot print is causing millions to die from drought all over the world.(according Al)
    How freaking pathetic, how do you even know Joe was in a restaurant as the same time as you? and by the way you chose to eat at a restaurant you could have stayed home and cooked on the grill Oh wait a minute that pollutes the air we breath as well. As does making the materials to build your house all of the food you buy including organics (see Methane again) the clothes your wear your deodorant(hopefully) the battery in your lap top the electricity used to type this ridiculous statement.
    Climb off off your high horse man it was a story about an injury get over your self righteous baloney and check into reality for a while you do not need a lawyer you need a psychiatrist to work on that superiority complex
    Good grief

  • Jimmy Matthews says:

    An e-cig does not have ANY way of producing the pressure it would take to “shoot” liquid from the tip. The liquid itself is held in a filler material and there its a protective O-ring between the filler material and the tips cover (from which the user draws the vapor). A miniscule amount of liquid has the ability to escape but most certainly not enough to “shoot” from the tip in a stream. I would suggest that this could happen only if the user has tampered with the equipment without a proper understanding of what he was doing. I’m not saying he did, but merely stating a possibility. I’ve used these devices for some years now and I have NEVER experienced this (nor any other serious injuries) in that time. In my opinion, this man seems to be targeting a newer (and much less understood) industry to gain financially, and that is sad. This product has helped many thousands of people remove tobacco from there lives, and this industry could provide many more with jobs. People need to educate themselves.

    I’m a “Vaper”………..a proud, EDUCATED “Vaper”……….Is the gentleman in the article above?

  • Crashtestjeep says:

    Exactly. Well said! In my opinion, it’s like going sky diving then Suing the sky diving company bc you peed ur pants during the jump. You knew what you were working with, heck he even filled the ecig w the liquid which had a label, knew it would heat up to vaporizingpoint and the OBVIOUS risk is that liquid is heating up. Now I have gotten a half bottle of mental in my eye. My own fault. I left it in the car on a hot summer day. Opened it and it squirted in my eye. Dr flushed it and said I quote “it may burn today but Tom u will be just fine. Nothing in this will cause permanent damage” guess what? I woke up next day perfectly fine! It didn’t even cross my mind to sue anyone. I’m still valid my favorite menthol and my supplier and ecig maker never even knew I had the incident. Guess why? user error. Even if it did pop out of the atomizer and hit me, it’s no different than if a hot ash fell off a real cigarette and burned my pants/leg…. Something EVER SMOKER has experienced. People will try to make a buck off any and everything these days at anyone else’s expense. It’s almost as bad as a cancer patient Suing the chemo company bc the chemo made him puke, even tho it saved his life. What a crock!

  • actually says:

    Actually an ecig can reach temps up to 300 degrees. Any time there is heat there can be pressure. Too much pressure can cause liquid to shoot out of a canister like an E-cig. There have been many reported instances of this happening even exploding. So i would educate myself better on the fact that you really have no idea what you are smoking when it come to e-cig “liquid”. Can only imagine the types of cancers e-cig “vapors” will cause in the next 10-20 years.

  • Guesswork says:

    Wway3 please follow up w ophthalmologist report. I’m guessing the report will show absolutely NO PERMANENT DAMAGE. matter of fact, in the video I notice his eyes both following together as if there was no damage at time of story. And “may never drive again”? Please…. Plenty of people with only one eye at all and half vision in” good eye” have their license. I’m not saying this wasn’t painful I’m just saying it was temporary. I call BS!

  • Guesswork says:

    Why was this guy pressing the heat up button before it was in his mouth? Clearly user error…. Read directions BEFORE Using the device.

  • Jennefer says:

    As the gentleman’s wife, I can assure you that he was clear on its usage and did not heat it up before vaping. We are thrilled with the idea of vaping, too. However, we would like a safe way to vape. I sincerely hope it does not happen to you.

  • Vog46 says:

    We were taught that too much “self-induced love” would cause you to go blind.

    Now it’s E-cigs?

    What has the world come to?


  • Gary Porter says:

    This is just another attempt to control the thoughts of the masses. The Government wants to regulate e-cigs. They don’t want you to use your drugs they want you to use theirs. They want you on man made synthetic drugs. I use organic e-liquid but I bet all the money I have that the Governments version would NOT be organic but instead would be full of chemicals and genetically modified ingredients.I don’t need the Government to think for me I can do that unlike many of my fellow Americans :(. ALL THESE CANCER FUND RAISERS AND ALL THESE PROMISES OF CURES BUT WHY TRY to make e-cigs look so bad when they PREVENT cancer! Sure no “evidence” that e-cigs work according to “their” studies but us who vape don’t need to have some “study” because we have common sense. The Government is so slow that if the COMPUTER industry were regulated we would all be on DIAL UP INTERNET. See they use synthetic man made chemical versions of real things because they get a patent. With that patent they make boat loads of cash all without caring about the side effects. Because they will just give you a 1 a day drug for that…

  • dickerson says:

    Organic e liquid? lol You know nicotine is toxic right?E-cigarette smokers inhale MORE nicotine and toxins than regular smokers.

  • burgerboy says:

    that old boy ought to stick to chawin on a little baccersmack, it’s more gooder for you than them electrical cigarettes

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