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

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

Actor Olivia Wild demonstrating an exploding cigar

Some 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. 

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, I put on a straight face and directed our 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. Not very helpful.

Based on the evidence we 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 ecigarette? 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 recently, (January, 2016 and November, 2015) did a news report 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). 

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 believed that there are over 60 million vapers around the world. According to, 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, (Feb. 2016) an ecig battery caught fire in a man’s pants. It’s been said that the battery set fire when they 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 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 Cigssaid 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 micro chip 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 devises 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 e-cigarettes, 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, detailed comparison charts for the best, safety assured brands on the market. The only thing to be wary of is politically driven media hype set to discredit a competitive industry.

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High Powered Mod With Built-In Safety Features

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About the author


Hillary Miles, Cloud Nine’s editor and contributing author has been an advocate of the vaping industry for over 8 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 electronic cigarettes and the role they play in tobacco harm reduction, health and well being.

She is the editor for Cloud NineSavvy ExaminerBest E-Cigarette Guide and ECigarette News .

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  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Randy Perkins

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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


      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.

  9. John

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

  10. 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.”


  11. 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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