Electronic cigarettes can be a blast literally

30 May 2014

While the West may see therapeutic value in electronic cigarettes, as shown in a letter written by leading public health experts, but their quality needs some serious work - Keeley Cooper, 22, had to grab her two sons and flee in terror after the supposed aid to quit smoking left her flat looking like a bomb site.

The cigarette substitute that exploded was charging at Keeley's bedside, and she lost everything in the fire in Shard End, Birmingham, last week.

She said, ''It had been charging for 40 minutes when there was an almighty bang and flames started coming out. The carpet was on fire. The only thing I could do was get me and the kids out.''

Keeley had been using E-Lites for five weeks and used her iPhone USB plug to link the charger to the power supply. Tellingly, she added that fire crews told her there had been five fires caused by e-cigarettes in her area.

West Midlands Fire Service said e-cigs can be a risk because their lithium batteries are liable to explode if plugged in through the wrong charger.

A spokesman for manufacturer E-Lites said all of its products come with a charger. ''We are investigating whether a device of ours was involved. The fire service is echoing the clear advice in our instructions that e-cigarettes should only be recharged using the charger supplied,'' he said.

Last month, Kim Taylor, 54 and the a mother of two children, saw her car go up in flames when an e-cigarette she was charging exploded after she left work in Leicester.

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