An American teenager who needed surgery after his e-cigarette exploded isn't alone in his injury, with at least 76 Kiwis suffering injuries from the smoking tools in the past four years.
Last week the Herald reported on a 17-year-old boy, from Nevada, who needed emergency surgery after his e-cigarette exploded in his face, breaking his teeth and shattering his jaw.
While the explosion was called a 'freak accident', New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) figures show e-cigarette injuries are increasing, along with the popularity of the vaporisers.
Ministry of Health data shows that of all tobacco users aged over 15-years-old in 2017/18, 2.6 per cent used electronic cigarettes at least once a day, which is an estimated 101,000 adults.
The rising amount of associated injuries means that experts want to see some regulations put in place to make sure there is a minimum standard for the devices - which are currently unregulated.
In the past four years, ACC has received 76 claims that mention e-cigarette or vape in the accident description, costing a total of just over $22,000.
The number of ACC claims has risen from 12 in 2016, to 31 last year. So far this year there has been 18 people injured by e-cigarettes.
Of those claims, injuries include; burns, inhalation or ingestion, dental injuries, lacerations, puncture wounds or stings, soft tissue injuries, and all other injuries.
The most common injuries for new claims - claims that haven't been paid yet - are burns (12 out of 44 claims) and the category 'all other injuries' (11).
The injuries were recorded to be to the face (9), internal organs (8), eyes (4), finger or thumb (4), and all other (19).
E-cigarette Technical Expert Advisory Group chair Dr Hayden McRobbie said there is some risk involved if you don't use them correctly
"I think what people have to remember is that these are electrical devices that do have batteries, and they do heat a liquid," he said.
McRobbie said many of the devices come with safety features, including; button locks so you can't accidentally start the heating element, and protection against overheating.
"But there are other things that people can do also, such as keeping the batteries in a case - because if you keep them in your pocket and you have coins or keys in there, then they can short circuit and cause an explosion.
"The other thing people don't always realise is you should use the charger that comes with the device, and not your phone charger or iPad charger."
VAPO Wholesale distribution manager Josh Humphries said injuries as a result of batteries bursting in e-cigarettes is almost wholly an issue with the use of removable, external battery cells.
"The vast majority of the e-cigarettes on the market use internal batteries that cannot be accessed by the user, and as such the vast majority of users are never in a situation where they're left open to this risk," he said.
"External batteries are for users whom prefer a higher powered device."
Humphries said e-cigarettes with external batteries need to be properly insulated and cared for, otherwise this is when problems occur.
"Insulating wrap is the main thing that protects against short circuits, and must be kept in perfect condition at all times.
"In our retail stores, we sell these insulating wraps and offer education to customers who purchase the battery products that they need to keep their batteries in a case, that they need to look after them and not mishandle them.
"Customers are unfortunately not always receptive to safety directions, so we have safety directions printed directly onto the protective cases to remind them. We also do safety checks proactively for any customer who comes in with a device that uses these cells," he said.
Humphries directions to e-cigarette users were to:
• Always store batteries in a case.
• Do not misuse or mishandle batteries.
• Do not expose batteries to heat.
• Do not use batteries if insulating plastic wrap or the battery itself has any signs of damage.
In terms of what should be done going forward, Dr McRobbie said there should be some safety standards put in place.
"There is no legislation in place and no overarching regulation of e-cigarettes, but that is what is proposed and we will see more of that later on in the year as it goes through the Health Select Committee process," he said.
"The proposed legislation will have some ways in which the Government can monitor devices and any of these adverse events that occur to make sure that if there is a pattern emerging, there is something we can do about it.
"I do think we could have standards that could make them a bit safer and make sure that we have minimum standards that protect people against explosions."
The Ministry of Health said while vaping is not completely harmless, it's a much safer alternative than cigarettes.
"Vaping is intended to be a safe gateway for smokers wanting to transition from cigarettes and are not intended for non-smokers or young people," it said.
"There is scientific consensus that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking. It is likely that vaping can also help smokers to stop smoking, but the evidence for vaping as an effective stop-smoking tool is still emerging.
"The Ministry considers vaping products could reduce inequities and contribute to Smokefree 2025."
• More vaping facts can be found at the vapingfacts.health.nz website.