A case report describes how the magnetic component of an e-cigarette interfered with a 48-year-old man’s implanted cardiac defibrillator, preventing the device from detecting heart rhythm issues.

“If a patient stores the e-cigarette near the defibrillator – such as in shirt or jacket pocket overlying the device – there is a risk of temporarily disabling the defibrillator’s ability to detect and treat a potentially lethal heart rhythm abnormality,” said Julie Shea of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, coauthor of the case report.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported interaction between an electronic cigarette and an implantable defibrillator,” Shea said by email.

The report details the experiences of a 48-year-old man who had cardiac sarcoidosis, a rare disease that causes clusters of white blood cells to clump in the heart. The condition can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath and a rapid, irregular heartbeat.