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Demonstrations: The Dangers of Oxygen and Smoking

Watch what happens when flames or cigarettes are placed near oxygen, in these demonstrations by Brian Farbelow, Registered Respiratory Therapist and Sr. Director of VITAS Home Medical Equipment.

Flames, Cigarettes and Medical Oxygen

You've heard that mixing flames or cigarettes with medical oxygen creates a dangerous situation, now see it for yourself in this video demonstration.

Don’t let this happen to you or someone you care about. These demonstrations illustrate in vivid images how an ordinary open flame turns into a killer when exposed to medical-grade oxygen, even in small quantities.

First, we show that a cigarette burns much more quickly when medical-grade oxygen is near. Then, we show how quickly clothes can catch on fire when saturated with oxygen.

We hope you remember these demonstrations when you're around medical-grade oxygen, and remember to keep heat sources including fire and cigarettes away. We want our patients, their loved ones and caregivers to be safe.

Through our Home Medical Equipment (HME) teams, VITAS provides home medical equipment, including oxygen tanks, to our patients as part of the Medicare hospice benefit. Our dedicated team members also provide training and support on using the equipment.

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