We see the headlines:
“Man killed as e-cigarette explodes”
“Woman’s horror as e-cigarette explodes and sets fire to her bed”
Yes, reports of exploding vaping devices are real, and we admit they are scary; however, the majority of these cases are due to e-cig users not following the rules for vaping safely. The two headlines mentioned above in particular relate to vapers using the wrong equipment to charge their electronic cigarettes. There is a reason e-cigs come with their own chargers, and there is a reason all electronic products come with user manuals: consumer safety.
Charging E-Cigs with the Wrong Equipment Can Result in Tragedy
The first headline above is about a tragic incident that occurred in Liverpool, England, in 2014 and remains the only incident involving e-cigs that resulted in death. The incident involved a man who was charging his e-cigarette when it exploded and ignited his oxygen equipment. At the time, a spokesman from the local fire department said to reporters, “The investigation into the cause of this fire is continuing, but at this stage it is thought that the charging device being used at the time may not have been the one supplied with the e-cigarette.” He continued, “We urge people to always use electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance, always ensure that no electrical items are left charging overnight or left unattended for a long period when being charged, and do not mix parts from different e-cigarettes.”
The second headline above relates to an incident that also occurred in the UK in 2014. This incident involved a woman who received burns to her legs after her eGo-style electronic cigarette exploded on a charger in the middle of the night while she slept. She awoke to find the foot of her bed on fire, while the smoldering remains of her e-cig left scorch marks on the adjoining wall. Thankfully, her injuries were relatively minor, and the fire damage was limited in scope. All things considered, it could have been much worse. The media more than likely used this story as further “proof” to fan the flames of the e-cigarette opposition with very little attention being given to the cause: The electronic cigarette in question was plugged into an Apple USB charger – which was only meant for charging iPhones and iPads. In other words, she wasn’t using the appropriate charging source, and a near-tragedy occurred.
Preventing Vaping Tragedies
With incidents like the ones mentioned above continuing, we urge you to please only use chargers and cables designed for your e-cigarettes. Likewise, do not use e-cigarette cables and adapters to charge other devices. To draw a parallel, imagine putting diesel gasoline into a standard car engine. Both are fuel sources, and the diesel pump will fit in your car’s gas tank, but it’s doubtful the results will be favorable. In fact, they might just be dangerous. E-cigarettes – and all electronic devices for that matter – are no exception. As a result, vapers are encouraged, more like urged, to familiarize themselves with the vaping equipment they are using and take caution when it comes to charging their vaping devices.
When “Universal” Doesn’t Mean Universal
Like most e-cig companies, White Cloud recommends only using the chargers and adapters made to be compatible with their products. For White Cloud customers in particular, Cirrus e-cig battery chargers are meant to only be used with Cirrus rechargeable batteries. While these chargers use Universal Serial Bus (USB) connections, which are theoretically compatible with any other USB device, they were designed for the sole purpose of charging White Cloud electronic cigarettes. And yes, we specifically mean “White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes.” While you may have a wide range of e-cigs that look identical, they are likely not built using the same technology. This means you should not use them with any charger or adapter that isn’t designed for that brand of e-cig, much less a different type of device.
Believe us, if our products were designed to be an all-in-one charging solution for your household, we’d tell you. But they’re not, and as such, we don’t recommend their use for any other electronic devices. Why not? Because we would rather provide products optimized to charge your Cirrus batteries quicker and more efficiently. We’re hardly alone on this issue, which is why an overwhelming majority of e-cig companies include chargers with their kits and offer similar warnings in their product documentation. Yes, you may be able to use it to charge a cell phone, but in the best case scenario, it won’t work as well as the charger that came with it. In the worst case scenario … well … see above.
Why Phone and Tablet Chargers Should Never Be Used with E-Cigs
Phone and tablet chargers are not optimized to work with electronic cigarettes, which have entirely different voltage requirements and capacities. While we can’t say for certain what happened in the woman’s bedroom based on what the media has released about the incident, we can speculate that the large-sized e-cig battery required a charge voltage that far exceeded the Apple charger’s design specs, resulting in overheating and a subsequent explosion.
According to published reports, the woman agreed and began warning people not to use phone chargers for e-cigarettes. She said to London’s Daily Mail, “I had my e-cigarette on charge and went to sleep – next thing I knew I woke up to a fire. I would say to people not to use a phone charger. With USBs you assume they are universal for any gadget – but that is dangerous.” We agree: If you’re using a charger or wall adapter that is not designed for your e-cigarette, we strongly encourage you to stop and purchase an appropriate device before charging.