OK. Stand back because I’m fixin’ to punch this story full of gaping holes. This is exactly the type of thing that gets blown out of proportion way beyond anything that falls within a thousand miles of “reasonable.” The controversy-addicts out there take these kind of stories and expand them out, using an imaginary ratio that they don’t even understand, to the entire population of Earth and paint a picture of a snarling demon sneaking into your home at night to steal your children’s souls. And in the background, unnoticed by anyone not accustomed to seeing it, is the actual truth of the matter. So, let’s dissect this one “fact” at a time and see if this bullsh*t story holds any actual merit:
OK. Firstly, this story claims that a cigarette blew up while it was plugged into a car charger during the couple-in-question’s trip to the airport where they were planning on flying to some third-world hell-hole to save orphaned blind toddlers from possessed, maniac cannibals… or something along those lines. Really? They just happened to be in transit to heroism when this event took place? That sounds like a really badly written Stephen King-wannabe short story. I’m guessing that once the defense gets to question the couple, they’ll quickly discover that they didn’t actually have plane tickets yet… they planned on flying standby once they arrived at the airport. I want to know if there were suitcases in the car anywhere. That would be a useful piece of information right there.
Secondly, car cigarette lighter adapters are notoriously unreliable and dangerous. There are countless examples of disasters and near-disasters caused by the sort-of-12-volt, direct current cigarette lighter outlets while being used to recharge electronic devices. The adapter itself is a small, cheap AC/DC converter providing a USB plug on the other side, for charging your e-cigarette battery. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a little discipline in consumers, like the ones in question here who have no excuse not to charge their batteries overnight in their home. I know a court of law would never back such a notion, but the kind of lawmaking we do now automatically assumes that everyone is too stupid to even survive a trip to the bathroom on their own, without posted warnings… so I’m dreaming, I know. Batteries, too, even Energizer AA batteries, always retain a slight chance of leaking, melting-down, and/or exploding. It’s a risk you take by having a battery; a device designed to store electrical current in dangerous, corrosive chemicals. In this case, the battery being used is of questionable quality because it was a VapCig device. VapCig offers a wide range of e-cigs… including those cheap, convenience-store type of e-cigarettes that we all know are almost entirely worthless.
Last but not least, let’s say that this case propels the anti-e-cigarette movement into high gear, and overly strict regulations are put in place as a result. This causes all of the smaller e-cig companies to shut their doors due to an inability to afford meeting FDA regulations. Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds are the only remaining e-cigarette-producing corporations. They manufacture cheap garbage devices with more lowest-denominator batteries capable of exploding any second. They also pump their e-cigs full of highly addictive chemical additives, causing more people to eventually give up and start smoking again. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) who’ve been able to quit smoking thanks to the miracle of vaping technology return to their deadly habit and get cancer. Lots more miserable deaths. More exploding, cheap devices. Increasing levels of instead of decreasing levels of addiction. All because this woman burnt a hole in her dress and passenger seat and butt. There seems to be a severe need of Vulcan philosophy in this country. Just saying…
The other thing that really gets my rage muscles flexing uncontrollably is the statement that the woman who suffered the battery burns is now “afraid to get into her car again.” This is completely transparent, lawyering bullsh*t! Fears like these are triggered by the occurrence that caused the initial physical/psychological harm. In this case, in the real world, as long as there wasn’t a battery plugged into the cigarette lighter plug, her “flashback” should remain un-triggered. I have a paralysing fear of fish hooks. But I can stand on a dock or bridge without even thinking about my fear as long as there’s no fishing poles around. The same concept should apply here.
So, in conclusion, the general gist I hope to leave with the reader is that frivolous lawsuits like these, especially in the dawn of a health-improving revolution, are actually more dangerous to humanity as a whole than the very small possibility that a battery… ANY battery… could explode. exploding batteries have been a danger ever since batteries were first invented, and the fact that a battery is located closer to your mouth (which isn’t even the case here!) shouldn’t make any difference in the regulation of a harm-reducing technology that happens to utilize a battery in it’s operation. Let me present an equally ridiculous situation that uses exactly the same form of argument as this: I suggest that we further regulate antibiotics because the medication bottle that they are traditionally sold in once broke and the shards poked someone in the arm, causing an infection.