In recent months, many UK news outlets have reported on a worrying trend with the revolution that is ‘vaping’ in which some brands’ batteries have leaked and caught fire in users’ pockets causing very serious damage. Sincere Law takes a look at the growing trend of E-Cigarette users and the safety problems faced by manufacturers.
The New Sensation
Back in 2007 the UK became smoke free in public environments including pubs and clubs, public transport and inside the workplace. While smoking has seen a gradual decrease in the number of smokers within the UK year on year since the 1970’s (when 45% of the population smoked), the largest decreases have been during the early to mid 2000s when plans to introduce the ban were finalised and implemented. Between 2002 and 2010 we saw a drop of 6% with a further 1% fall in 2013.
With the fall in usage, we have seen the rise of a popular alternative thought to be much healthier while recreating smoking a traditional cigarette; E-cigarettes. 2003 saw the first real incarnations of electronic cigarettes from retailers, in the 13 years since, the UK has seen a large percentage of former smokers divert to E-Cigarettes in the hope of protecting their long term health. In 2014 alone nearly 900,000 people used E-cigarettes in an attempt to stop smoking.
With the popularity and rapid rise of the E-cigarette, it is no surprise that multiple brands have emerged to challenge for market supremacy. With so many brands available of varying designs, there comes a risk of defective products utilising design errors or poor quality materials.
Some of these flaws evidenced quite regularly in the UK press over the past year include cigarettes experiencing leaking battery acid and explosions within user’ pockets. The spate of second and third degree burns suffered by users (not just in the UK) has prompted safety concerns for the use of the smoking alternatives.
The act of vaping is similar to that of inhaling asthma medicine (making the inhalation process safer); the batteries used by many manufacturers are what is causing the failures; many being deemed unsafe due to their volatile nature. While no regulation is in place just yet to control quality of E-cigarette brands (beyond normal product safety laws), the spate of accidents in the last few years has prompted discussion about how they are made.
Smoking Vs Vaping
The effects of smoking have been well documented by government agencies, charities and past smokers. E-cigarettes; despite suffering the recent malfunctions, are still considered the long term healthier option. The effects of first and second hand smoke (not always from a cigarette) can have life changing effects on the lungs and respiratory system. In the current climate the trend of inhaling flavoured vapour seems a much more eco friendly option as the molecules absorbed from the vapour do not cause damage to the lungs like the inhaled tar and carbon monoxide do.
Plans have recently been put forward by the government to tax E-cigarettes the same as normal cigarettes due to the nicotine (potentially affecting people’s choice to substitute to E-cigarettes). A new tax would put both on similarly equal footing financially. E-cigarettes however would still maintain its current health advantages. Whether UK smokers will be fully converting to electronic in the future remains to be seen, but for now, even with teething problems, the E-cigarette is definitely on the rise.
We took to Twitter to find some of your opinions and experiences with using E-cigarettes. Some of you have even seen your E-cigarette explode as reported in recent news.
So one of my e-cig battery’s just caught fire in my pocket…
— Wavybone (@Mercerygm) March 2, 2016
My moms e-cig exploded in her purse …….
— Olivia Grace ❤️ (@livclark8784) February 9, 2016
— Montague Brench (@MontagueBrench) February 4, 2015
Had my e cigarette explode in my car last night and caught the car on fire! Burned my hand bad putting it out. pic.twitter.com/Wi6LJYkACv
— Shawn Kelly (@captjackmormon) January 14, 2014
https://www.flickr.com – Vaping360