Specialists have told a Derbyshire man who suffered horrific burns after his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket they are some of the worst they have ever seen.
Dad-of-one Michael Hardy, 36, of The Hill, Cromford, suffered second and third degree burns to his right leg and right arm and was taken to a specialist burns unit at Nottingham City Hospital.
The self-employed worker had stopped off with friends at Leicester Services and has just stepped out the car when the incident happened on Sunday, February 19.
“It was like a flare going off in my pocket for about 60 seconds and there was a massive explosion,” Michael said.
“It even set off car alarms.
“It was the most horrific pain in my life and I have broken my back before.
“I was in severe pain and I still am.”
Michael bought the iJoy Looks e-cigarette, which can cost up to £200, about three months ago.
He said it was turned off, unplugged from its tank and there was nothing else in his pocket.
The single parent is set to have skin graft surgery today and has been told it could take months before he fully recovers.
“I cannot do anything,” Michael said.
“I am bed bound.
“My little boy is distraught.
“The plastic surgeons said it was one of the worst burns they had seen.
“It is acid burns as well.”
Michael was helped to a nearby Travelodge and was put under a cold shower before he was driven to hospital by his brother Kevin Taylor, a former combat medic.
He is now keen to raise awareness and has urged people to be extra careful when using e-cigarettes.
“I do not think there is a safe e-cigarette on the market,” Michael said.
“I have followed the information on how to use it to a tee.
“I did exactly what it said.
“I have followed it by the book.”
When asked if he would ever use an e-cig again, Michael added: “No, I am done.”