US teenager left with third-degree burns after e-cigarette battery explodes in his pocket

Marcus Forzani says it looked like 'someone was welding in my pocket' when the device went off

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The Independent US

A teenager has said he suffered third-degree burns when his the battery in his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket. 

Marcus Forzani, a 17-year-old high school student from Colorado, said he was at school when he stood up to get his jacket on the other side of the classroom and “five steps within that sparks started flying out of [his] pocket”. 

He said it looked like “someone was welding in my pocket”. 

The teenager suffered severe burns and his entire left leg and hand has been left charred black and blistered. 

Speaking to local TV station KDVR, he said: “Seeing your whole leg pussed out and all black, it doesn't make you feel too good about yourself”. 

Marcus and his father Michael Forzani now want to warn others about the dangers of the e-cigarettes, which are a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes as they give the user a nicotine hit without the tobacco. 

Mr Forzani said: “You see these kids and you're going, there’s a ticking time bomb. Is that one going to blow up? Is that one going to catch this kid on fire? You don’t know.

“You don’t want to be in these shoes of where my son is. It’s a painful and long process. Do not flirt with it”.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Tanya Oswald said she has seen increasing numbers of people admitted to burns units with vaping injuries. 

She said: “These injuries can be devastating. He sustained full thickness burn injuries.… In the past six months, we've seen an increase in the number of burn patients as well as dramatic injury patients in relation to electronic cigarettes and battery-operated vapor devices”.