Chances are, if you google “e-cigarettes” or “vaping,” you will find at least a couple of news items in the top 10 about some person whose e-cig exploded in their purse, pocket or face. For most vapers, these articles are not just sensationalized fiction. They are extremely annoying!
If you got to this article by googling: “will my e-cigarette really blow up in my face?” you can take a deep breath and relax; we are here to help calm your nerves.
The risk of having your device explode on you is zero if you take the proper precautions.
Let’s take a look at the real story. We’ll start by answering a pretty basic question:
How Do E-Cigarettes Work?
Personal vaporizers are made up of three components:
- the tank, which holds the e-liquid
- the atomizer, the heating component which produces the vapor
- the battery, which powers the device.
When you inhale through the mouthpiece, the atomizer will heat your e-liquid to produce water vapor. E-cig batteries contain a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery- these are used in all kinds of things, including your phone, laptop, or iPad. Li-ion batteries pack quite a large amount of energy in minimal space.
Ok, this all makes sense, so how do they explode?
As you probably guessed, based on the description of these batteries, having a large amount of energy in a small space can be a bit of a liability. The two ends of the battery are kept apart by a small separator that also shuts down the battery if it becomes too hot. If the separator becomes damaged, it will not shut down the battery, and it can become overheated, causing overheating and possibly an explosion. The chances of this happening are about 1 in 10 million. Let’s put that in context, your chance of being hit by lightning is 1 in 700,000, so for every exploding vape out there, 14 people have been struck by lightning. And how often does that happen?
Why does the media love these stories?
So we’ve determined that vape explosions are not exactly commonplace. Still, with so many lithium-ion batteries out there, and so many consumers using batteries in various types of devices, some issues will inevitably arise, especially when almost every incident has occurred due to user error!
As sick as it is, sensational stories where people get hurt draw eyeballs to websites and sell media space for the newspapers. At the end of the day, the newspapers don’t really care about your health. They care about their revenue. So this is why you see so many of these stories out there. And if you’re really still concerned, there are a whole bunch of things that you can do to ease your mind.
How to prevent your vape from exploding
The best way to prevent any chance that your battery could explode is not to be an idiot. Ok, I’m joking…. Well, sort of.
- If you drop your vape, replace the battery right away. The same thing goes if you dent, pierce, or burn your device. A knock on the ground can be enough to dislodge the battery separators and add a battery explosion risk.
- Get a carrying case. These cost only a few dollars, and they’ll help protect your device when you’re carrying it.
- Don’t carry your device or loose batteries in your pocket. Rubbing against keys or other items in your pocket or bag is just a recipe for disaster.
- Buy from a reputable website or store. Don’t buy your equipment from a random Chinese website. Please!
- Follow the instructions. Charge your battery with the correct charger. Just because the hole fits doesn’t mean you’re supposed to charge your battery with a random phone charger. Don’t mix and match pieces that aren’t supposed to go together either. This is common sense, people!
- Replace your battery after 200-250 charges or 30-90 days. Towards the end of a battery’s life, it will start to become less effective, and it also increases your risk. The batteries aren’t that expensive. Buy some backup batteries and swap a new one in once your battery nears the end of its useful life.
- Stick with regulated mods. Back when vaping first started, mech mods were the only way to get a really customized, powerful vape. There’s actually no real reason to use a mech mod anymore, regulated mods are just as powerful and give you just as much control, and they are a million times safer.
- Keep your vape stuff out of the reach of children and pets. Again, common sense, people. You wouldn’t leave a lighter and smokes out where a kid could get into them, so why would you do this with your vape gear?
That’s about it. Simple stuff, and you can stop stressing out over all of those crazy articles about exploding e-cigarettes.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with my reasoning on why the media loves these stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.