Dangers of Exploding E Cig and how to Reduce your Risk

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Triggers that result in an exploding e cig

When people hear about an exploding e cig, they may not comprehend how such a device could detonate in the first place. An e-cig is an electrical device that consists of a tank for liquid nicotine, a heating element, known as an “atomizer;” and a Lithium-ion battery. If any component were the impetus for the stories exploding e cigs, it would have to be the battery. There are a variety of events that can cause an electronic cigarette explosion.  Listed below are some of the more predominant ones.

  • Lithium-ion batteries require a protection circuit to properly function. A short in the protection circuit can lead to a battery going on the fritz and flaring up into painful consequences for users.
  • Lithium-ion batteries can function erratically after prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Twistable vape pens are at a higher risk of detonating due to how they charge without removing the battery component.
  • MOD devices have an inherent fire hazard if constructed by someone who does not have an intimate knowledge of wiring, circuitry and Ohm’s law.
  • Four out of five explosions can be traced back to issues with charging the battery, and the battery was almost always a different model than what originally came with the device.
  • Most of the remaining incidents were traced back to inferior components from unregulated overseas manufacturers or other hobbyist device modifications.

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Case Studies on Recent Electronic Cigarette Explosions

exploding e cig

Hamid Sadeghy’s battery exploded in his pocket. Image credit: http://www.fox7austin.com/

Exploding e cigs have made several splashes in the news. One incident in the United Kingdom involved a woman’s family fleeing for their lives after a fire started in the home. The fire inspector discovered the blaze’s cause to be the battery of an unattended e-cig that was left to charge; the battery then burst from the device, setting the bedding aflame. One family member explained that she had acquired the charger over the internet and that said charger was not designed for e-cigs batteries.

Another recent incident occurred in Austin, Texas. Hamid Sadeghy had transitioned from smoking cigarettes to using e-cigs and had a nasty experience when his battery flared up, burnt a sizable chunk of his leg and left him unable to work, let alone walk without issue. Sadeghy remarked that he had kept the battery in his pocket as a backup for when his device’s charge ran out. Sadeghy’s incident could likely have been avoided by not keeping a pressure sensitive e-cig battery in his pocket and by being a more discerning consumer; his particular battery is one of the more commonly counterfeited models.

How to Minimize Your Risk of Your E Cig Exploding

Despite all of these worrying reports and statistics, there are a number of things vapers can do to cut down on the chances of an e-cig explosion:

  • Only use quality batteries designed to handle the device and coils. This reduces the chances of thermal runoff resulting from an improper current.
  • Become an informed consumer. Learn to distinguish brands and counterfeit devices. Look into reviews and only purchase from reliable sources; American products are better regulated than Chinese models.
  • A device with a removable battery is generally safer than “built-in” battery models.
  • Never charge batteries out of sight. This can lead to dangerous overcharging.

exploding e cig

Joseph Cavins lost an eye due to an electronic cigarette battery exploding. Image credit: http://abc7.com/


While e-cigs are a wonderful innovation for a former smoker, they cannot be treated the same as a pack of cigarettes. Faulty batteries or the careless handling of them can increase the risk of an e-cig exploding.  This can potentially lead to damaged body parts, damaged property or a ruined device. Fortunately, Vapers can avoid these risks by following the warnings and safety tips featured in this guide. By educating themselves, sticking to known e-cig brands, avoiding batteries that don’t detach from the unit, and properly storing their batteries, vape hobbyists can enjoy their vaping device with confidence.

NBC News

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Jim H

I started vaping in January 2011 and haven't had the desire to smoke a traditional cigarette since. It inspired me so much that I created this website to help others like me who want to quit smoking. I hope you enjoy the site and please leave a comment.

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