An e-cigarette blew up in the face of Cordero Caples while he was taking a break at work in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Nov. 20. The 29-year-old man suffered a broken neck, burns to his mouth and lost teeth.
"He could have lost his life," Caples' sister Colessia Porter told the New York Daily News. "There's people that have lost limbs from this. We cannot have something of this magnitude happening to people."
Caples was in critical condition when he was taken to a local hospital where he had a successful spinal surgery on Nov. 22.
Porter said that her brother, who is now in stable condition, told her that he wasn't aware e-cigarettes could blow up.
"If he knew that he was dealing with something that would explode on him, he definitely wouldn't have put himself in that situation," Porter added.
She said that Caples' plans of becoming a fitness trainer may have ended, and that his one-year-old daughter was very upset.
"It's devastating to see a healthy man with all his strength be put in a position where he can possibly be paralyzed from an e-cig," Porter told the newspaper.
Porter added that her family may sue the company that was responsible for the part of the e-cigarette that caused the explosion.
In the meantime, Porter has set up a GoFundMe page where people can donate money to her brother's medical bills.
A report by the U.S. Fire Administration in October 2014 found that "fires or explosions" from e-cigarettes "are rare," but there were 25 such incidents reported by the "media between 2009 and August 2014."
So far, no one has died from these types of incidents, which usually happened "while the battery was charging," said the report.
"The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium ion batteries to behave like 'flaming rockets' when a battery fails."