"This product was sold to a minor, to a 16-year-old."
Greer doesn't know why the device exploded. "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." Greer said his son has been treated for first- and second-degree burns and has already had two root canals. Pictures of the youth show blackened skin, lacerations and burns on his face.
Warning, the below photo might be considered graphic.
"He wanted to die. That is how much pain he was in."
Greer said governments should not allow minors to buy such devices. "I would like to see these unregulated ones possibly banned," Greer said. "It is horrific to see your kid with his face so burnt." Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are the only provinces that have not banned the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, according to the Non-Smokers Rights Association. Alberta leaves the decision to municipalities. Les Hagen of the group Action on Smoking and Health said what happened to Ty Greer is another reason why e-cigarettes need to be regulated federally and provincially. "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." Last March, the federal Standing Committee on Health issued a report that recommends funding independent research into the health effects of electronic cigarettes and the need to regulate them. The report calls for rules that would prohibit their sale to anyone under 18. Hagen said the federal government has yet to respond to the report. Walter Zimmer, Ty's uncle, said it is time for action. "They are dangerous," he said. "This young guy is going to be scarred for life."
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