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Sep 20

What Brands of Electronic Cigarettes Have Exploding E-Cigarette Batteries?

Last updated on August 30th, 2017 at 09:07 am

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Worried about Exploding E-Cigarette Batteries?

Actor Olivia Wild demonstrating an exploding cigarSome people who are considering vaping as an alternative to smoking tobacco have been distracted by sensational news stories involving an e-cigarette that exploded in someone's face or in his pants. 

When I heard the very first story several years ago, I couldn't help but chuckle. Okay, I should be ashamed of myself, but being a former Cartoon Network executive I just couldn't get the Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd exploding cigar prank out of my head.  

Now that I'm a respectable editor for several review sites, as well as a supporter of electronic cigarettes and Tobacco Harm Reduction, I put on a straight face and directed the CloudNineECigReview team to do some serious fact finding. 

Courtesy James Dunworth

Courtesy James Dunworth

You're probably reading this article because the news story you read was inconclusive and did not contain information about the type of e-cigarette used by the vaper or whether the vaper used the device properly. It probably just focused on horror and misfortune, which is very effective at getting the reader's attention, but not very helpful.

Based on the evidence I uncovered, 99% of all electronic cigarettes explode because they are cheaply made, misused or modified. The first reported incident of an exploding ecig was actually a cigar; (how ironic); one that the user built himself, or modified, using parts purchased online.  

Despite the media frenzy that follows all of these unfortunate incidents, subsequent reports do surface confirming that the exploding devices were either charged incorrectly, left in hot areas, or the ecig was a “home-made mod”; a term used in vaping circles for an electronic cigarette that has been modified by the user to create greater vapor production. 

Why do vapers modify their e-cigarette? Many try to create a vaporizer that delivers enormous clouds of vapor – even greater amounts than the best vaporizers now available on the legal market.

The fact remains, life is not a cartoon and many would-be inventors and careless users wind up with the lethal personification of Bugs Bunny's exploding cigar.

Only in January of 2016 and November 2015 news reports did  mention specific brands; Wotopho's Phantom (an advanced hybrid mechanical mod) and Kangertech as products that exploded. According to the reports the products were not used as directed. In the Wotopho incident, the user admitted to tampering with the battery.

That story also reported that fires or explosions caused by e-cigarettes are rare. 

I also learned from another victim of an exploding e-cigarette that he used an Advken Kennedy “mod”. Kennedy manufactures rebuildable atomizers (RBA's). 

We are waiting for additional news regarding the recent London train station incident. We do know there was a small contained explosion that caused the evacuation of Euston station on Aug. 29th, 2017. According to early reports, there was a “bang” and a smoking bag was found. The explosion was “believed to have been caused by an e-cigarette”. . No one was hurt. We will update the report as additional information is released. 

While these isolated incidents are tragic, they should not be viewed as a reflection of the safety levels demonstrated within the electronic cigarette industry.

The Statistics

It is now confirmed that there are over 60 million vapers around the world. According to NicotineSurveys.org, between 2009 and 2014 there were 25 reports of an e-cigarette battery exploding (20 of those occurred while they were charging). 9 injuries were reported and there were no deaths. This means that the chance of an e-cigarette exploding while you're using it is roughly 0.0000001%. 

Your chance of dying from a smoking-related disease is 50%. 

E-Cigarette Common Sense

Commercial e-cigarettes are considered to be safe if used as directed. The same goes for ALL lithium battery products (including laptops, tablets, smartphones, Kindles, etc.) which can, (and do) explode if charged incorrectly or are placed in areas that may get very hot, such as on or near a cooking surface, iron, radiator or the dashboard of your car in summer. 

Recently, an ecig battery caught fire in a man's pants. It's been said that the battery ignited when it came in contact with metal keys.  

According to technical expert Josh Kirschner:

Do not let a loose battery come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys, or jewelry. Metal objects can cross the electrical connections and cause an incident if the internal protection circuitry isn't functioning correctly.

Follow the instructions on how to use your e-cigarette and don't substitute the parts that come with your brand's kit! Don't buy “clone” brand e-cigarettes or cheap e-cigarettes from relatively unknown ecig companies! Cheaply made ecig batteries do not come with internal circuitry protection. 

High-quality variable power devices (such as VaporFi's Rocket) will have built-in safety circuits to shut down the device in the event of issues. 

Reputable e-cigarette companies self-test or use third party testing to ensure that they are safe to use for their intended purpose.

Dan Recio, co-founder of #1 e-cigarette manufacturer V2 said in a statement.

“We took action against the possibility of electronic issues from the very beginning, with safeguards integrated into our batteries like automatic shutoff and smart chargers that prevent overcharging. We properly age all batteries before shipment and retest mAh to ensure the highest standards.”

Electronic cigarettes incorporate a microchip that prevents both over-discharge rates and under-voltage conditions of the battery. Safety chargers prevent overcharging and subsequent thermal runaway. Even the new high-powered, high wattage MODS used for sub-ohm vaping have safety features, although those come with higher risks of overheating if used incorrectly, or if they are damaged. They are more complicated to use and are designed for responsible users.  Still, all batteries are electronic devices which can fail if short-circuited.  It's wise to turn off your battery when it's not in use.

The greatest danger, according to reputable e-cigarette forums lies with modified ecigarettes, such as putting two lithium ion batteries together in a metal tube. This dangerous device, known as “pipe” or “tube” mod is counterfeit and definitely not available within the legal commercial e-cigarette market.  

Equally dangerous is charging an e-cigarette with the wrong charger, (or a cheaply made one).  Never use a regular car charger to charge ecig batteries. 

Don't Mess With a Good Thing!

It's good to know that the most reputable electronic cigarette companies test their product batteries and ingredients for safety and their instruction manuals include warnings. Check out V2Cigs Safety Measures which is typical of the practices larger ecig companies are taking.

In any event, if you are considering e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative, explore our website. You'll find honest reviews, and detailed beginner and advanced comparison charts for the best, safety-assured brands on the market. The only thing to be wary of is politically driven media hype aimed at discrediting a competitive industry.

New Ecig Product Alert and Deals on CloudNineEcigReviews

 

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Hillary

Editor and Author at Cloud Nine Ecig Reviews
Hillary Miles, Cloud Nine’s editor and contributing author has been an advocate of the vaping industry for over 11 years. After a long career writing and producing for national television networks, Hillary now focuses on helping smokers and former smokers better understand the many benefits of vaping, tobacco harm reduction, health and well being.

Hillary is also the editor for Miles DesignBest E-Cigarette Guide and ECigarette News .

36 comments

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  1. Sanya Brown

    Not all malfunctions of e-cigs are from user misuse. I purchased a Vuse Vibe and used it for about 3 weeks. I charged it as directed never did it have contact with water nor was it altered. One day I was holding it and noticed it was getting hot to the touch. So hot I couldn’t hold it any longer. I laid it down and it started smoking. At that point I got a towel and removed the vapor screw on head. It then stopped smoking and just flashed red for several hrs until it went dead I guess. I really thought it was going to explode. These e-cigs are not inexpensive and for this to happen is ridiculous. I am contacting the manufacturer. They can be dangerous and not because of misuse by the cunsumer everytime.

    1. Hillary

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree there are ecigarette companies that are not committed to ecig safety. Vuse (owned by big tobacco) is one of them.

  2. BODGAN

    Hello i just bough a Eleaf IJUST S , do you know anything about this brand and model? any reports of being unsafe?
    Thank you

    1. Hillary

      Hi Bodgan,
      Eleaf is a reputable ecig brand, but you need to buy them from a reputable source as they are made in Asia. I think this article about ecig clones will be of interest!

  3. steve

    Can anyone give accurate stats of exploding ecigs that were being properly used and what brand they were?

    1. Hillary

      I’d like to see any stats on that info too, but it doesn’t seem to be out there.

    2. dana

      It is disheartening to read of VaporFi Rocket being safe, then noticing the VaporFi logo at the bottom of the page. doh

      1. Hillary

        You have a point. Our reps had the Vaporfi offer removed from this post.

  4. Anthony

    Hi
    I have been vaping with the Logic Pro Ecigs for two years, I do not miss the smell of cigarettes or the constant coughing. There a selection of liquid refills. I have a minor problem when I come across a refill that does not work and contact the the vendor. THEY DO NOT GIVE A DAM. I enjoy my Logic Pro despite what the makers think.
    Anthony.

  5. fred colzie

    I myself don’t use any of the fancy capes just a plain ole logic pro series. Keep vapin capers…

  6. Theresa

    I have been using Njoy rechargeable flavor chambers for 3 years now. I am concerned because none of the [news] reports of explosions give the brand of e-cig. I think this is irresponsible reporting and would like to know the risk of my brand.

  7. Erica

    I have a Vapin e cig that I actually got for $20 at Duane Reade. I use that charger for it. But I had a few incident where water got on the inside while I was cleaning it. It’s dry and seems to be functioning well. Is there any risk of using it knowing it has gotten wet, even if it seems to be working fine? I don’t feel it over heating at all.
    I also bought a Miracle Smoke e cig online and use the Vapin charger for it because it’s the same battery. The Miracle Smoke charger that came with it was broken when I received the package. If it has the same battery, is it alright to use the other charger?

    1. Hillary

      Hi Erica,

      If any part of your ecig battery, or if the charger gets wet throw it away! This rule goes for not only ecigs, but all electronic devices. Water can cause things to short circuit. That said, I never recommend buying ecigs at drug stores, gas stations or convenient shops as they sell low quality brands. Always buy directly from the most reputable companies. Yes, you will pay a little more but it’s worth it and it’s really easy to get a replacement or refund. Check out our many reviews here on Cloud Nine. Good luck and thanks for contributing here 🙂

  8. FirstTimer

    I have a Leo vape new to all this any word on if it’s safe or not?
    I barely use it.

    1. Hillary

      Hi FirstTime,

      Frankly I never heard of a “Leo vape” other than a reference to Leonardo Di Caprio being a vaper 🙂

  9. Sweet j.marie

    I have a question. I use an eleaf I stick 30 w mod and itaste I clear 30 tank. Is this a safe combination?

    1. Hillary

      Hi Sweet j.,

      You have a 501 threaded battery with a rated output wattage between 5W-30W and a resistance range of 0.4-5 ohms.

      Although eleaf Istick recommends a Melo tank that has a working wattage between 20W-30W, a 510 thread type and uses a 0.5ohm resistance it is compatible with your itaste Iclear 30 tank.

  10. Scrub

    I have an Itaste MVP pro 60w and was told from a few friends theres more of a chance of it exploding cause it has 2 batteries in it. Is there any truth to that should i be worried at all?

    1. Hillary

      Hi Scrub,

      That’s a great question. According to product specifications the Itaste MVP pro 60w 4500mAh has a single built-in battery. That said, when using any high powered MOD vaporizer you should have a greater understanding of the batteries, chargers and tanks you are using and how to care for them properly.

      According to the manufacturer: This tank is a Sub-Ohm resistance atomizer and only work on mechanical mod or devices that can handle Sub-Ohm resistance of 0.5ohm or lower. Please make sure you have a great understanding and technical knowledge on how to use mods and batteries that can handle Sub-Ohm coils. Do not use short or flat 510 connection on any hybrid or hybrid style device.

      Safety features on the MVP 3.0 Pro include overcharge/over-discharge protection, low voltage protection, 5 lick lock/unlock and short circuit protection and 15 second cutoff.

  11. Randy Perkins

    She said SGS is internationally known not supported and tested internationally.

    1. Samantha Weidner

      I quit smoking almost 3 years ago and I am proud of this accomplishment! The ability to quit this nasty smelling habit that not only affected me but my son as well. Although I didn’t smoke in my home or while he was in the car with me, as well as limiting the areas where smoke would be near him. Well now that I no longer smoke I realize just how potent the smell of smoke travels and lingers on your body clothes and any areas where smoke has been.
      Moral of the story I am truly GRATEFUL for e-cigarettes and feel the few incidents of problems that ecigs have occurred is being used as a ploy by politicians are in the pockets of the tobacco companies!
      Go VAPING, and yes TOBACCO COMPANIES BEWARE YOUR GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE HIT WITH DECLINING PROFITS!
      Nonsmokers will be the voice of the LIFE VAPING HAS GIVEN BACK TO US!!!
      THANK YOU!!

      1. Hillary

        Samantha,
        Thanks for posting your experience with vaping. I agree as do more and more people who believe ecigs save, (and improve) lives.

  12. Mindy

    I have been vaping for 3 years now and I just had a smoldering imren battery in my Kangaroo Subox Nanos last nite…. Battery is fried and vape won’t work at all…. Vape is only about 3 months old…. I’m not sure why because I do buy from a reputable company and I have a good charger that has the shut off and I never use a battery right off the charger either… I have about 12 batteries and 4 different units….I’m not sure who I call first the battery company or the vape company.

    1. Hillary

      Mindy..I would call both vendors..really doesn’t matter who you call first. Good luck!

  13. Lori

    I found an e-cig with a playboy atomizer and an eleaf istick mod is it safe

    1. Hillary

      Hi Lori,

      The atomizer really has nothing to do with battery safety. I have an eleaf iStick and I love it. Make sure you follow the directions, don’t every leave any battery on a car dashboard in summer, and charge your battery with the charger that came with your istick. Happy Vaping

  14. Josh

    Just a note on USB chargers: the risk is low. Per IEEE standards, all USB charges have to be 5 volts. The DC Inverter that converts electricity between the two forms has no concept of what is “overheated”, as that functionality is left up to the device. The only different in the charging blocks is the amount of amperage they support. An amperage rating less than the one the battery supports just means the battery will charge slower than it could. An amperage rating higher than the battery’s capabilities just means the battery will charge slower than the power block supports. Voltage stays the same.

    This is, of course, only regarding USB chargers. Other types of chargers (i.e. your regular cylinder plug chargers) definitely do run the risk of overcharging or damage caused by using the wrong voltages.

    1. Hillary

      Josh, thanks for contributing to the discussion. Well noted.

      1. reed morrison

        I almost died tomorrow two news station are coming to interview me. I am lucky i survived. It occurred on 11-27-15 at 10:00 pm i checked into hog hospital. And i am now in recovery.

  15. Zane

    Your article doesn’t answer the question in the title. The article itself is interesting but the title is, in my opinion, is basically click-bait for concerned vapers. I don’t mean to sound like I’m moaning unnecessarily but I’ve been trolling the internet for a while now and haven’t been able to find an answer.
    I get your point about following instructions and not modifying my device, but I’m sure that certain manufacturers take short-cuts to save money. I’d just like to see some stats.

    1. Hillary

      Zane,

      Thanks for participating in the discussion and for helping us make this post more helpful.

      So far, all reports of exploding batteries were not caused by an ecig company’s shoddy manufacturing. They were caused by users not following manufacturer directions.

      That said, there are now several high powered, variable volt, high wattage mods that have stricter warning labels and clearly say they are for advanced users. That means even if you don’t “modify” the design of your vaporizer, your mod can overheat and burn out – even cause burns if you set the wattage too high for your atomizer and ignore the red warning light. Same goes for some rebuildable advanced mods and rebuildable atomizers. If you are into sub-ohm vaping and high powered advanced mods; if you want to take on rebuilding your atomizer and battery, be prepared to take on added risks.

  16. John

    Have you heard of any rebuildable mods exploding? I use a Russian 91% with a Tesla FirePhoenix II mod. 18650 Sony battery.

  17. john raj

    sgs is a testing company and they DO NOT test ecigs so any ecig product with SGS markings on it is FAKE. its just been on bbc tv

    1. Hillary

      According to SGS, they do perform SGS tests on lithium batteries – the batteries used in e-cigarettes.
      I cannot comment on the BBC report, as I have not seen it, but we have been advised that many reputable e-cigarette companies in the US use SGS testing to test batteries for safety.

      This statement was taken from the Green Smoke website.
      “Regarding quality control, Green Smoke® e-cigarette uses internationally recognized independent testing laboratories (SGS testing services and Bontek Compliance testing have tested and certified our products as CE- and ROHS-compliant). And it also uses Skyte Testing Services to verify the purity of the e-liquid, ensuring the absence of impurities. This testing is performed on each batch produced.”

      source: http://wholesale.greensmoke.com/faq.html

  18. Gary h

    Your article is incorrect SGS do not certify any e-cigarettes worldwide

    1. MILF

      Did you even read anything Hillary said? SGS tests BATTERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT ECIGARETTES. THIS IS IN ALL CAPS JUST IN CASE YOU CANNOT READ ENGLISH!!!!!!

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