Blake Chastain was in Redmond when the e-cigarette, which he only had for a week, exploded Wednesday afternoon.
“I just barely even touched it and it just went BOOM and my ears rang as if a grenade went off,” Chastain told KATU News Friday. “I thought my lips were gone. It was nuts. And apparently, I didn’t see it, but everyone else said part of the mod shot and like went through chairs and stuff.”
He was hospitalized via Life Flight at Portland’s Oregon Health and Science University hospital. Luckily, doctors were able to save his left eye.
“It’s been a hard thing to go through and a hard thing to watch his pain,” his mom Aimie Shepherd said. “I feel very lucky they were able to save his eye.”
Chastain said he hadn’t experienced problems with it prior to the explosion.
A federal study released just a few months ago shows e-cigarette explosions are becoming more and more common, with the growing popularity of vaping. There were 195 explosions reported in the US from January 2009 to December 2016, and the government noted an increase in injuries in 2014.
Meawhile, Chastain said he’s done with his e-cigarette.
“Oh I’m completely against it. I’m trying to get anyone and everyone I can to throw ’em out,” he said.