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Man's ‘horrific’ burns after vape explodes

The 40-year-old man has years of treatment ahead. Picture: 9 News
The 40-year-old man has a long road to recovery ahead. Picture: 9 News

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 Perth man was left with third-degree burns. Picture: 9 News
The Perth man was left with third-degree burns. Picture: 9 News
The man underwent surgery and was in hospital for two weeks. Picture: 9 News
The man underwent surgery and was in hospital for two weeks. Picture: 9 News

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 40-year-old man has years of treatment ahead. Picture: 9 News
The 40-year-old man has a long road to recovery ahead. Picture: 9 News

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.”

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NCA NewsWire 15/05/23. A generic photo of a woman vaping Picture: Glenn Campbell
Young people who vape are three times as likely to take up smoking. Picture: Glenn Campbell
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - MAY 2, 2023: Vape SQ on Rundle Mall. Vaping in SA. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Emma Brasier
The government plans to reduce smoking rates to 5 per cent or less by 2030. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Emma Brasier

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.