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NAPLES, Fla. — While it’s true that e-cigarettes are supposed to be a safer alternative for smokers by reducing the risk of developing lung cancer, the devices do carry other risks. They can explode  — something one Florida man found out the hard way earlier this week.

Evan Spahlinger went in for surgery Tuesday afternoon after an e-cigarette exploded in his face Monday morning, burning his face, neck, hands and lungs.

Spahlinger’s mother, Alissa Stefanacci, followed close behind and has been by his side since the accident.

“He’s my baby. He turned 21 last week,” Stefanacci said.

Spahlinger was with his sister when she heard an explosion. She found her brother in another room, burned and gasping for air, so she made the 911 call.

“She went towards the explosion to find him completely covered in black, what appeared to be soot, throwing up, foaming from the mouth,” Stefanacci said.

The blast from the e-cigarette also burned his lungs. Now, a ventilator keeps his chest moving.

Stefanacci said they’ve been embraced by an outpouring of support from friends and family. Even Spahlinger’s boss made the trip from Naples to check in.

“Shows a lot about Evan’s character, and he is a local boy who grew up in Naples; a very well liked young man,” Stefanacci said.

She voiced her concerns about the unknown risks of electronic cigarettes.

WBBH reports North Collier Fire Rescue is working alongside the state to determine if the lithium battery inside the device caused the explosion.

“I hope that people see this and think twice before they spend their hard-earned money on something that could really change their life forever,” Stefanacci said.