Cases of explosions and fires caused by electronic cigarettes have been increasing over the years. One of the very first cases of an e-cig explosion was reported by CBS Los Angeles after interviewing a couple from Corona, California, regarding an incident in which an electronic cigarette exploded while charging in their car. The explosion resulted in second-degree burns on the wife’s legs and serious damage to their vehicle’s upholstery. In a similar news story by KUTV in Utah, a woman reported burning her fingers when her e-cig caught fire in her vehicle. Rick Epp, a 30-year smoker who had switched to a vaping device produced by the same company reported the device caught fire in his living room. It should be noted that, in the latter two stories, the product manufacturer found that the products involved were not being used with the chargers supplied with the units as directed in the owner’s manual.
Exploding E-Cigs Exploding the Media
Stories like those listed above seize the attention of a broad audience and elicit an array of complex emotions, and with good reason. As a population of consumers, we tend to instantly empathize with others when they endure a sudden traumatic experience with a product they trusted to be safe. It is crucial, however, to remember that stories such as these largely ignore the bigger picture when it comes to electronic cigarettes and damage in general, both to health and personal property.
While it’s easy for the media to focus on a few isolated incidents involving exploding e-cigs and to foster a sense of fear or distrust among the public, it’s important to point out the facts behind the real damage caused by cigarettes and other common items we use every day. How many wild fires, for example, have been caused by the careless toss of a cigarette butt? How many millions of dollars are spent every year treating young children for illnesses caused by inhaling secondhand smoke? Consider other products we call safe only to see on recall lists from time to time. From top brand peanut butter contaminated with salmonella to supposedly healthy greens tainted with E. coli, nothing out there can claim to be 100 percent safe 100 percent of the time. Even infant formula should be, without question, one of the safest products out there, and yet it has occasionally been found to contain metal shavings. The only things any company can do to ensure product safety is strive to uphold superior standards of quality and continue to improve their processes as their industry grows.
Vaping vs. Smoking: Which is More Dangerous?
Though unfortunate incidents of exploding e-cigs have increased over the years, statistically speaking, using electronic cigarettes still poses a potential threat far lower than the alternative: using a tobacco product proven to be lethal in even small doses over time. Every year, tens of millions of lives are lost to tobacco-related illness and disease. Since their introduction to the American market in 2007, millions of people have tried electronic cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes for a variety of reasons.
Since their introduction to the American market in 2007, electronic cigarettes have helped millions of smokers by providing an alternative to tobacco. To put it in even greater perspective, consider the fact that, in the next hour, approximately 50 people will die due to smoking or exposure to the toxic ingredients in cigarette smoke. Conversely, not a single person has died from using an e-cigarette.
As with any new product or technology, research into overall improvement must continue in order to ensure optimal function and safety. Currently, exploding e-cigarettes have only been reported in cases of advanced personal vaporizers powered by lithium-ion batteries, and the problem typically occurs when the product is used improperly or with an unapproved charger. Though White Cloud does not manufacture these types of e-cigs, we do strongly recommend using the charger that comes with your product and familiarizing yourself with the best practices for e-cig battery safety. This will not only maintain maximum battery life, it could keep you out of harm’s way.
Author: Michael Murray