The news version of this story reads something like this: “An electronic cigarette blew up and started a fire. This is happening all over the country. E-cigarette usage is increasing in popularity. Therefore, you’re all going to die tragically of the most fiery of fires.” However, if you actually picture the story in your mind as you read it, another, totally different and less shocking picture comes into focus: What ACTUALLY happened was an an E-cigarette, plugged in for a recharge, “popped” and spread some debris around, one of which caused a small fire to break out in the room, where it was immediately extinguished by the residents of the home. They told the fire department at some undisclosed later time, and told them about it for the sake of reporting an incident. It didn’t hurt or kill anyone, it didn’t burn a house or building down, it didn’t kidnap any children and sacrifice them to Beelzebub. I just caused a small fire.
It’s important to note here that I’m not trying to argue that a small fire isn’t worth a bit of concern. But the tone behind the article is one of overreaction and panic-peddling. Since the usage of E-cigarettes looks like smoking, they can’t be a smoking cessation tool, right? And there’s nicotine in it, too, which is the most dangerous and addictive drug known to man! Plus, the batteries explode!! This is a thing that should obviously be banned. If you came to this article without any knowledge of electronic cigarettes, you would walk away with a negative feeling about vaping and E-cigs. I believe that this is done on purpose. Not necessarily consciously, but on purpose, nonetheless. Journalists and the news media in general seem to share a common thought, and that thought is something along the lines of, “You heard it here first!” It’s all about that cut-throat competition for the biggest viewership. And when do people watch the news relentlessly, without break? During a panic of course. They have to promote widespread terror, panic, and anxiety in order to keep people glued to their TVs. The news channel’s board of directors knows, of course, that the higher the viewership, the more they can charge for advertising based on a higher demand.
I watched the news for a few minutes on a lunch break the other day. Being in the midst of a “government shut-down,” I knew that I was going to see something panicky. But this particular incident not only took the cake, but also exemplified everything I just stated in the paragraph above. An “expert” being interviewed about the current state of the shut-down stated that NASA was hit hard by this turn of events, and that their (forgive me for not remembering the exact name of this department) asteroid-watching department was only working at a fraction of its full strength. And that was all she said about NASA. I’m almost certain that other departments in NASA were also affected by this shut-down. So why only mention the “asteroid-watching” department? Hell, I live in Brevard County, FL and regularly frequent the Kennedy Space Center. Every time a rocket (and formerly space shuttle) takes off I hear and feel the rumble of the rockets from my porch… and I wasn’t even aware that NASA had an asteroid-watching division! What does one take away from a story like that? My first thought was something along the lines of, “Bruce Willis! Come quick, the world needs saving!”
I only mention the above story to illustrate the true nature of the enemy which our beloved E-cigarette industry is facing in the news/media. I would also like to address, however, a few simple and reasonable observations about this story. Firstly The E-cigarette in the photo associated with the article is a cheapo, convenience store piece of crap E-cig. They mention in the article that the lithium-ion battery used in this model didn’t have a fail-safe system in place for the battery. I don’t know for sure, because there’s nothing in the article that names the brand in question here. However, I know that the better E-cig batteries do, in fact, have fail-safe measures taken in their manufacturing processes. So, instead of making everyone scared to buy an E-cigarette because it’ll probably burn their whole house down, maybe the writer of the article could have mentioned a few better brands or types of E-cig batteries that could aid in avoiding death by a hellish furnace of burning stucco and drywall. Let us also remember that E-cigs are not the only electronic device to use li-ion batteries. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find an electronic device in this day and age that doesn‘t use a li-ion battery. Do we ban all electronic devices? Or all batteries? Or do we learn to stay away from cheap, poorly constructed equipment in favor of equipment manufactured to safety specifications?
Lastly, this story tries to scare the public away from using E-cigarettes because one tiny fire took place in a home because of a defective li-ion E-cig battery, was immediately extinguished by the residents of the home in which it took place, and didn’t harm a single living organism. The is absolutely NOTHING in the article that addresses the millions of lives that have been aided out from under the heavy burden of their deadly addiction thanks to the miraculous technological wonder that is the electronic cigarette. Shame on them for their short-sightedness and their unbridled, amoral greed over a brief spike in viewership, all at the expense of what is tantamount to a miracle-cure for the disease of tobacco addictions.
P.S. I’m not going to link to my source on this one. I don’t want to help improve their Google ranking by sending traffic in their direction. If you absolutely must read the article for yourself (and I guess to avoid accusations of not citing my work) you can search for New s8000 from La Crosse.