As most vapers already know, the chances you ever experience a battery failure is improbable, especially with proper precaution
We are often asked by smokers considering making a switch to e-cigarettes what the chances they ever experience a battery fire or explosion. It’s true, it does happen, and with the mainstream media jumping on any negative stories it can start to seem to the outsider that this is something vapers deal with on a regular basis. It’s no wonder why then so many people have this fear in their head when considering if making a switch to vaping is worth it. A new report funded by the FDA helps answer some of these concerns, by once again showing that proper precaution essentially eliminates any risk of battery failure.
The FDA Center for Tobacco Products commissioned the report, and it took an in-depth look at data gathered throughout 2016 by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Based on the NEISS reports and estimates, there were only around 1007 emergency room visits in 2016, with a significant majority of the burns being to the upper leg or lower torso. The researchers also suggested that most of these incidents had been caused by irresponsible use, like carrying extra batteries in your pocket along with loose change. Fortunately for responsible vapers, this report only served to reinforce what they already knew, that proper battery safety is key
The report was written using data collected by the NEISS’s representative sample of hospitals around the country. It was finally released to the public earlier this week, published in the Injury Epidemiology Journal. To produce their estimate for the total number of emergency room visits in 2016, the NEISS took the information collected and expanded it to a national scale. Their sample hospitals recorded 26 trips to the emergency room relating to vaping, which translated to an estimate of 1007 for all of America. Given that there are around 11.7 million daily vapers (3.7%) according to the CDC, any given vaper only has a minuscule 0.0086% chance of experiencing a battery failure.
To be fair, these statistics don’t account for any non-reported injuries. But since a significant majority of these incidents would be minor by nature, it doesn’t exactly increase the odds of an emergency room visit. You could even easily make the case that the actual chances of serious injury are even lower than 0.0086% since the 3.7% of daily vaping adults reported by the CDC was from 2014, while the incident reports used were from 2016. Since there were many more vapers across the country by the data was collected, the real risk number should be lower in theory.
What Can You Do?
Hands down the best thing you can do to ensure your safety when vaping is to exercise proper battery safety when in use or charging. As mentioned by the report, the overwhelming majority of burns occur because the user had been carrying extra full batteries in their pockets; It’s an unfortunate idea to carry any batteries in your pocket, but it’s especially dangerous with fully charged batteries. In fact, the report found that 76% of the injuries were suffered by the upper leg or pelvic region, directly where the pockets are. The researchers observed, “at least 20 of the burn injuries occurred while ENDS batteries were in the user’s pocket.”
There’s more good news for those who might be worried about the chances of a severe injury. The report also found that in spite of the fact head and face burns are the most commonly reported injuries; they’re also the least common by a wide margin. Lower arm and hand burns were the second most common, coming in around 19.7%, while head, face, neck, and feet burns only accounted for 3.1% of incidents combined.
The real chances that you ever experience a battery failure are up to you and your ability to be responsible. If you take the time to learn your stuff and exercise proper caution, your risk of having a battery failure is even lower than 0.0086% since that number was calculated including the injuries suffered by irresponsible people that don’t practice any caution at all. If you’re thinking about making the switch and battery safety is your primary concern, just be sure to take the time to learn the basics of what’s acceptable and what’s dangerous.
For advanced vapers, it’s a bit different. The best thing they can do is help teach the up and comers about proper safety precautions they might not be aware of. You’d be surprised how many new vapers don’t know that carrying loose change and batteries is a bigtime no-no. Freak accidents can always occur, but the same is true for many pieces of technology you use every day, such as cars, laptops, and cell phones. What’s important is making sure you stay in control of the things that you can control.
Do you know anyone who ever suffered a burn from a vaporizer? Do you think that it could have been avoided with proper knowledge or precaution? Do you believe this report or similar ones are going to help the perception of vaping? Let us know in the comments.