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Vaping, the “safer” alternative to smoking, is leading to serious injuries from battery explosions, doctors have warned.

The devices use powerful lithium batteries to heat nicotine-laden fluids into a vapour that is inhaled.

However, a report in the British Medical Journal warns of a surge in “clinically significant blast injuries from exploding devices, chemical injuries from leakage of battery fluid and flame injuries from ignition of the lighter’s content”.