There’s only one thing that should be going out with a bang this Christmas, and that’s the fireworks. The media would have us think that e-cigarette explosions are incredibly common, but what’s the truth behind it? We delve into why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.
The benefits of e-cigarettes are plain to see: they improve your health and allow you to get your nicotine hit in a safe, effective way that doesn’t stain your clothes or give you bad breath. Despite this, there’s still a huge lack of public faith in e-cigs. The main reason?
Every day, the media is populated with stories of e-cigarettes blowing up. But is it a legitimate concern? While it can happen, it’s extremely rare. So what can you do to prevent your e-cigarette from going out with a literal bang this Christmas?
What's in an E-Cigarette?
Every e-cigarette, no matter if it’s a cigarette style e-cig starter kit or a hefty box mod, are made up of three components: a battery, an atomizer and a cartomizer/clearomizer. The clearomizer is where the e-liquid is stored (if you use a pen-style or advanced device). If you use a cig-a-like, the cartomizer is the small cartridge that comes pre-filled with e-liquid. The atomizer is the heating element which heats the liquid to produce the vapour. And the battery? That’s what powers your entire e-cigarette. These lithium-ion batteries are small and powerful, and they’re the same batteries that power our laptops, smartphones and tablets. The downside is, if they get damaged, they can heat up very quickly, which can cause them to explode.
So, What Are the Odds?
Fortunately, these incidents are incredibly rare. Safety is a constant concern for battery manufacturers, with only one in ten million lithium-ion batteries being recalled, down from one in 200,000 back in 2006. While it may seem like a more common occurrence because of stories in the media, it’s exactly for that reason that they’re so heavily reported.The e-cigarette industry is an easy target. With millions of consumers using batteries every day, it’s inevitable that, at some point, there will be a failure. An estimated 2.8 million people currently use e-cigarettes in the UK alone (a huge 2.1 million increase from 2012). It’s unsettling to even consider that something we use every day and is having such a brilliant impact on our overall health could actually hurt us. But scary stories sell.The continued damnation of vaping only leads to increased fear and misunderstanding, making it even easier for these stories to gain traction. Reporting every time that an e-cigarette doesn’t explode would be a non-event, but in the rare case that it does happen? It’s everywhere. This perpetuates the vicious circle and makes it even easier for the media to spread controversy.
How Do E-Cigarettes Explode?
Lithium-ion batteries are favoured because they store a large amount of energy in a small space. The two ends of the battery are kept apart by a small separator. The slightest hit, whether that’s dropping your e-cigarette on the floor or letting your device knock around unprotected in your pocket, can cause the shutdown separator to fail. This mechanism is what prevents the battery from overheating, which ultimately makes your device more prone to explode.