Father Pleads for Regulators to Step In After Teenage Son Injured By Exploding Vape
When 16-year-old Ty Greer started vaping, he never imagined it could lead to such a nightmare. But everything changed when his vapor device exploded, leaving him with major burns, broken teeth, and multiple serious injuries. Now his father, Perry Greer, is going public with a call for regulators to take action and ban the sale of vape devices to all minors.
“It lit my kid’s face on fire, busted two teeth out,” Greer said. “It burned the back of his throat, burned his tongue very badly. If he wasn’t wearing glasses, he possibly could have lost his eyes.” The father said it was excruciating to see his teenage son in such pain. After rushing Ty to the hospital, he watched as the teen writhed in agony. “He wanted to die. That is how much pain he was in.”
Greer said his son was using a Chinese made vape called the Wotofo Phantom that is commonly available in Canada. “He pushed the button and blew in, and then you wait a couple of seconds, and then you puff on it. It was about two inches from his mouth and it just blew apart.”
The hospital treated Ty for first and second degree burns and he has also undergone two root canals to repair the damage. The teen suffered multiple lacerations and much of his face was covered in black char marks and burns. “It is horrific to see your kid with his face so burnt,” Greer said.
Now the father is asking Canadian officials to change the laws to prohibit teens from buying these devices. Sales to minors are already banned in may parts of the country, but in Greer’s native province of Alberta, the decision is left up to individual municipalities.
Les Hagen from Action on Smoking and Health said this tragedy is a prime example of why we desperately need federal and provincial regulations. While we don’t want to see vapor devices banned completely, there need to be some safety standards. “We absolutely need product standards. For instance, they shouldn’t explode in your mouth,” Hagen said. “The other element with this particular incident is this product was sold to a minor, to a 16-year-old. We would like to see a ban on the sale of these products to minors, just like we have with cigarettes.”
It is absolutely tragic to hear of teens that are injured by sub-standard vapor devices. Let’s face it – most teenagers are impulsive and they will often purchase a vape without doing much research. When it comes to larger mods using massive batteries, this can be a recipe for disaster, especially when vape shops don’t carefully screen the devices for safety and prohibit sales to minors. It’s time to make sure our kids are protected. We need appropriate and careful regulation to stop the sale of vapor devices to teens and to insure some level of product safety.
Do you think federal regulators should make it illegal to sell vape devices to minors?