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This Teen Hopes Photos Of His Severely Burned Leg Will Show Why Vape Pens Can Be Dangerous

Marcus Forzani will require multiple surgeries after suffering second- and third-degree burns on most of his left leg. WARNING: Some images may be distressing to readers.

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"[The] bell rang, stood up to get my jacket, which was on the other side of the classroom, five steps within that sparks started flying out of my pocket," he told the news station. "It literally looked like someone was welding in my pocket."

Marcus' father Mike told BuzzFeed News his son had the device without his permission. He said his son told him he had removed the battery from the device and placed it in his pocket before the incident.

"The battery ignited and boom," he said.


Marcus also suffered hand injuries, and was taken to the Burn and Reconstruction Center of Colorado at Swedish Medical Center.

His dad said he has had two surgeries, and may require one more. After that, the teen has a long road to recovery with therapy, Mike Forzani said.

"I'm a wreck," he said. "...The only thing I'm praying for God to do is help [Marcus] heal fast."

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Oswald told KDVR that the burns Marcus suffered can be "devastating," adding that she's seen multiple cases of burn patients who were injured from an electronic cigarette.

"In the past six months, we've seen an increase in the number of burn patients, as well as dramatic injury patients, in relation to electronic cigarettes and battery-operated vapor devices," she told KDVR.

In fact, U.S. Fire Adminstration warned in 2014 that "several burn injuries" have been reported from users of the device, most likely caused by the failure of its lithium-ion battery.

Although the rate of battery failures was low compared to the overall number of devices being used, the failures would likely increase as the devices became more popular, officials warned.

"Continuing improvements in battery safety designs by the industry could offset this expected increase," the agency concluded.

Mike Forzani said that he hopes other teens will listen to his son's message, and say no to smoking.

"The world is a better place without cigarettes and vapes," he said.

He added that Marcus has friends from school who have since sworn off vaping, which he said makes him very proud.

"It's amazing the reflection he has had on his peers," he said. "No kid should have to go through this...unfortunately my son is the messenger in this situation."

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at

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