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BBC Engineer Commits Suicide By Drinking Massive Quantities of Alcohol and E-Liquid

Coroner reports have declared the death of Jonathan Keen a suicide. The 46-year-old BBC engineer apparently died after binging on alcohol and ecigarette liquid. His girlfriend drove to his apartment when she couldn’t reach Keen for more than 24 hours. When she arrived, she found Keen on the floor surrounded by cans and remnants of the eliquid he had ingested. When officials arrived on the scene, they declared Keen to be deceased. Investigators found a suicide note on a table near his body.

Relatives described Keen as a functioning alcoholic, but most of his colleagues were shocked at the news of his suicide. As a broadcast systems engineer, Keen reportedly loved his job and was well known as a reliable and honest professional.

Coroner reports from Richard Hulett revealed that Keen died from high levels of alcohol and massive quantities of ingested nicotine. Hulett noted that this was the first time he had ever encountered a suicide related to e-cigarettes in Buckinghamshire.

Keen’s brother was quick to point the finger at ecigarettes as the cause of his brother’s death, calling for tighter regulations and more safety measures. “What my brother did was very unusual. He used to manufacture his own liquids himself… He was clever so he knew how toxic it was. The fact that my brother should use it this way shows it is a deadly poison and needs to be controlled.”

But officials in Britain have largely promoted ecigarettes as a healthier alternative to tobacco use. Hulett said the suicide note made it clear that this was not an accidental overdose. “We have a note here that talks about being sorry and talking about who gets what. That is the sort of thing people write at a very late stage,” he said. “For whatever reason, his frame of mind that night became very negative. He was intoxicated and seemed to be cross about things… Looking at his notes and the toxicology, he got into a frame of mind where he decided to do this. What he was feeling was quite negative.”

Over the course of history, people have used many substances to commit suicide, but this is the first time we have seen someone choose to opt out of life by drinking eliquids. It’s a tragedy on many levels and we send our condolences to the family of Jonathan Keen during their time of loss.

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017

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