Battered by battery

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Nasty pictures on cigarette packs intend to discourage smokers from smoking. Images of a deformed tongue or dark gums and decaying teeth warn that smoking can cause oral cancer. But gory cigarette pack photos pale in comparison to the actual sight of a bloodied, burned and swollen mouth and face of a teen smoker as reported on TV on Tuesday.

The boy’s facial beating was not an after-effect of oral cancer due to cigarette smoking. He was a victim of a vaping device battery that exploded while he was inhaling from it.

Doctors at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City reported that his lips, oral mucosa, palate and tongue were injured. He also suffered burns and hematoma in the upper and lower eyelids.

According to the victim’s mother, her son swapped the batteries of his vape through an acquaintance in social media. A vape is a battery-operated device that vaporizes tobacco for inhalation.

Because of the incident, the Department of Health (DoH) issued a warning that vaping devices also can cause severe burns and injuries that may require intensive or prolonged medical treatment. It cautioned parents and guardians to discourage minors from using e-cigarettes and vapes and from accessing them through social media.

“These devices are not toys and they contain concomitant health and safety hazards which may lure teenagers to pick up the habit of smoking,” DoH said, according to PNA.

It may take time for the victim to heal from the pain and shame of getting injured because of an unhealthy habit. Looking at the bright side though, his injury will keep him from vaping for the meantime thus avoiding harm from tobacco, or from another exploding vape battery.

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