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

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.

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