Facts on Fire: The Dangers of Vaping vs. Smoking

in wc

People love a good explosion story. We love dangerous excitement. Die Hard had a bunch of sequels for a reason; which is why “exploding” e-cig battery stories make for great headlines. Opponents of vaping are sounding alarms, questioning safety and are making the generalization that all e-cigs are dangerous. This just adds more sensational stories on to the pile of anti-vaping propaganda that’s all over the media these days. The truth is: there are increasing reports of exploding e-cigs across the country, and the media is quick to report such stories; however, there is always more to the story.

E-cigs (Vaping) vs. (Smoking) Cigarettes: Tobacco Is On Fire

House on fire

While warning people about the dangers of e-cigarette fires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) actually shows just how low the danger is when it comes to fires and e-cigarettes. FEMA has estimated that 2.5 million Americans use e-cigarettes. Between 2009 and 2014, those 2.5 million people reported 25 incidents of e-cigarette battery fires. There were 9 injuries and no deaths. We’re not in anyway downplaying the trauma that the people involved in those 25 incidents felt. But e-cig fires or explosions account for an almost statistically insignificant number of vapers in the U.S.

By comparison, FEMA had this to report about cigarette fires:

  • FEMA reports there are about 7,600 smoking-related fires in homes each year.
  • Smoking is a leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • The death rate per 1,000 fires is more than seven times greater in smoking-related home fires than in nonsmoking-related fires.

Taking those stats into consideration, try to remember the last time you read headlines about a fire caused by cigarettes. While these incidents usually get reported, we’re kind of used to it. People falling asleep in bed with a lit cigarette was a problem 40 years ago, and is a problem now.

However, fires and explosions caused by publicly maligned high profile e-cigarettes get far more clicks than an equivalent story about a fire caused by tobacco cigarettes. It’s just not fresh news. Audiences want to hear stories about this “new danger”. The thing is, e-cigarettes are about as dangerous as your cell phone or laptop.

Related: 5 Ways that E-Cigarettes Are Not Tobacco

When Was the Last Time Your Laptop Exploded?

Laptop on fire

To simplify it, the batteries we use in our e-cigs are the same type of batteries used in your cellphones, laptops and other portable electronics. Our batteries are just smaller. We use Lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries, which are activated automatically when a user takes a puff; while most open tank systems, also known as MODs or Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs) have a manual activation switch or button and are usually powered by the more dangerous lithium-ion batteries. 

LiPo battery technology has come a long way. We know how to keep them from overheating when used properly, which means laptop and cell phone fires are pretty much a thing of the past. Manufacturers have, through years of experience, learnt how to engineer their designs to be as safe as possible. The same goes for e-cig manufacturers; engineers know how to design LiPo products that are very unlikely to explode or cause a fire.

Related: Lithium-Ion vs. Lithium Polymer Batteries: Which is Safer for Vaping?

User Error Causes Fires, Not E-Cigs

E-cigarette battery safety tips

Fire officials agree – most of the exploding e-cig battery instances occurred because a battery was being used improperly or was being used with equipment not made for the battery. That’s why we recommend – actually, we insist – that you do not mix our batteries, chargers and adaptors with other electronic equipment. Just because the charger will fit into your iPod adaptor doesn’t mean you should use it that way. All of our products are designed to be used together and not with any other brand or type of product. It’s a matter of safety.

The moral of the story? Use your electronics in the way they were intended to be used and the way that the manufacturer recommends because, while not all e-cigs carry the danger of exploding, the safety of consumers and those they care for will always be our primary concern.

If you have any questions about our batteries and our chargers, contact our customer service department, or just go to our e-cig FAQ’s and browse through the battery questions and answers.