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Minnesota fire deaths on the decline as vaping soars, says Fire Marshal

The vaping industry gets blamed for a lot of things, but a recent statement from a Minnesota Fire Marshal about a strong drop in fire-related deaths is a welcome change.  In a recent interview with MPR News, Fire Marshal Bruce West told reporters that the rise in popularity of vaping and e-cigs could be a possible contributing factor to the lowest number of annual fire deaths in the state’s recorded history.

According to West, Minnesota has witnessed only 24 fire deaths in 2016.  That’s a 51 percent drop from this time last year when 49 fire deaths were reported.  By the end of 2015, that number rose sharply to 57 after a particularly harsh winter and a surge in deadly space heater fires.  And of those 57 fire deaths, nine of them were attributed to careless smoking of conventional cigarettes.

That may seem like a low number, but those nine deaths make smoking tobacco the leading cause of fire-related deaths in Minnesota last year, according to the Department of Public Safety.

“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 vaping industry definitely has its fair share of detractors and haters.  The FDA and the CDC love to blame e-cigs and vaping technology for a completely non-existent “rise in teen smoking.”  In fact, the real statistics show the reverse to be true.  Teen smoking is on a steep decline over the past decade since vaping has hit the scene, and teens who vape usually vape zero-nicotine e-liquids, according to recent research from the University of Michigan.

So, when a nice Minnesota Fire Marshal takes the time to give the vaping industry a shout out for its help in preventing fire-related deaths, the man deserves a show of gratitude from the vaping industry.  Well done, Fire Marshal Bruce West.  We appreciate your team’s hard work and efforts in trying to educate the American people on the dangers of smoking…and the positive benefits of vaping. 


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