WARNING: Graphic images
A Perth man has urged young people to “respect (their) life” after a vape exploded in his pocket, catching fire and causing third-degree burns to his legs.
The 40-year-old underwent surgery for the burns, which covered 7 per cent of his body, and spent two weeks in hospital.
His burns were so “horrific” that they required multiple skin grafts, while he still he faces up to a year of treatment ahead.
The man reflected on the “terrifying experience”, urging young people to never begin vaping in the first place.
“It was the worst thing I ever did,” he said.
“To all the kids out there, look at what happened to me; respect yourself, respect your life.”
The West Australian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has openly supported the Albanese government’s recent intervention on e-cigarettes, saying it was “essential” to protect children and others.
AMA (WA) president Mark Duncan-Smith treated the 40-year-old and said it was “absolutely necessary” to protect children from the dangers of vaping.
“If you’re a parent out there with a high-school child and you don’t think that your child has tried vapes, there’s a one in seven chance that they have tried vaping,” he said.
“Non-smokers who vape are three times more likely to take up cigarettes.
“The AMA (WA) recognises the strength and foresight of Health Minister Mark Butler in making these changes.”
The federal government recently announced its bid to make vapes less appealing, especially to young Australians, by enforcing plain packaging and bans on certain flavours.
WA’s education department is also set to begin trialling vape detectors in school bathrooms in an effort to prevent the use of e-cigarettes by students on campus.
Earlier this month, federal Health Minister Mark Butler announced $737m in this year’s budget would be put towards funding measures to intervene in tobacco and vaping use in Australia.
“Vaping is creating a whole new generation of nicotine dependency in our community,” he said.
“It poses a major threat to Australia’s success in tobacco control and the Albanese government is not going to stand by and let this happen.”
While the sale of nicotine vapes and e-cigarettes without a prescription has been illegal in WA for several years, not one retailer has been fined for the sale of such products in the past 12 months.