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E-cig explosions are ‘statistically rare,’ says U.S. Fire Administration

Rarely a week goes by without some viral video surfacing showing an e-cig explosion of some kind, and the vaping industry is taking quite a public hit to its public reputation.  Vaping haters have used these videos as excuses to ban vaping on airplanes and to scare the general public of alleged dangers of vaping that could figuratively and literally “blow up in your face.”  In fact, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has even called electronic cigarettes “ticking time bombs.”

Of course, tobacco cigarettes pose no such threat, but that underlining message often goes unsaid.  After all, Big Tobacco pays a lot of money to Democrats in the way of campaign contributions every election cycle.


But, thankfully, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has recently released a report which essentially debunks this myth of rampant e-cig explosions once and for all.  The study is entitled Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions, and it can be found on the FEMA website.

Overview of the USFA report on e-cig explosions

According to the USFA report, which was published in October 2014, only 25 incidents of e-cig explosions had been reported between 2009 and 2014 out of an estimated 2.5 million users of e-cigs at the time of the study.  And this report pre-dates the notorious airplane vaping ban fought against so diligently by the somewhat famous Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, otherwise known as the Vaping Congressman.

“Lithium-ion polymer batteries are excellent power supplies for portable devices and are widely used by consumers, industries and the emergency services. Lithium-ion batteries are known to experience statistically rare failure events, including fire and explosions. Indeed, there are multiple reports of fires caused by failures of lithium-ion batteries in cellphones, laptop computers, medical devices, electric cars, and myriad other portable electronic devices.”
“E-cigarettes are increasingly common; sales are growing rapidly. The lithium-ion batteries used to power the devices can fail. Battery failures, manifested as small explosions and fires, have occurred. Considering the vast number of products in the field that use lithium-ion batteries, however, it is clear that the failure rates are low.”

Minnesota Fire Marshal supports vaping

Just last year in October 2016, a Minnesota Fire Marshal by the name of Bruce West held a press conference with MRP News where he gave vaping a rather unexpected pat-on-the-back.  Why would a fire marshal be praising vaping?  According to West’s statistics, fire-related deaths in Minnesota are on a steady decline, and he attributes the rising popularity of vaping as a possible contributing fact. 

“So, people either quitting smoking or moving to vaping, that could be one of the underlying reductions in [the 2016 numbers].  That’s something that we will definitely take a look at,” West stated.

The USFA report also mentions that of the 25 e-cig explosions recorded before 2014, only nine resulted in injury.  This is a significant point, because so many of the viral videos posted online rarely discuss the aftermath of the explosion.  The videos are designed to be eye-popping – not informative. They are designed to discourage vaping as a smoking cessation tool – not to educate users on proper vaping safety.  So, the next time a vaping hater spouts off about e-cigs explosions, vapers now how two professional references from the U.S. Fire Department to quote on behalf of vaping.     


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