Danger Days

Posted 23rd April 2015 by Dave Cross
American journalists love electronic cigarettes, especially when they might be poisoning or exploding because nothing brings in the readers like a good fear story. A shame that sometimes balance or the facts get in the way.

POTV reported on the tragic death of the Maryland toddler who was left unattended with a bottle of nicotine base. The Times Union has leapt upon the release of the police report of the event to recount the events and interview the bereaved mother again.

“No amount of money will bring my son back,” the woman is reported as saying before going on to announce that she intends to sue Heartland Vapes for providing 100mg nicotine in a container that wasn’t childproofed. The lid from her mother’s reported “opaque brown bottle” was never found but, and here’s the problem, Heartland Vapes do not sell nicotine in brown bottles. Products sold by the company come with full warnings including the express instruction to “Keep out of the reach of children”. It is a shame that the news outlet could not draw more attention to the absolute need for owners of liquids to follow the instructions and warnings.

Meanwhile, a subsidiary of Fox News (the channel paying for Greg Gutfeld’s pro-ecig rants) want everyone to worry about batteries that “can explode like firecrackers”. The nation, apparently, is awash with “E-cigarettes erupting in flames, burning mattresses… even skyrocketing into the ceiling.” It all sounds like a daily re-enactment of the culmination of Independence Day combined with the destruction of the Death Star. With delight they latch onto Mitch Zeller from the FDA stating that “The popularity of e-cigarettes is exploding!”

Zeller and assorted other fear-mongers advocate stringent legislation to protect people unable or too lazy to follow simple instructions. Vape New York’s Spike Babian points out that almost all problems result from customers not charging correctly. “Phone chargers now come with very high output amperage. This battery’s much smaller than what’s in a phone,” he says. “Education of the customers is probably the most important thing that we can have, to make sure the customer understands what they could do wrong.”

If the major outlets wanted to warn American vapers about real dangers then they might be best put to commenting on the actions of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS). As reported by both The Batavian and The Daily News: DHS agents raided a vape shop in Batavia.

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There are five homeland security core missions:

  1. Prevent terrorism and enhancing security
  2. Secure and manage our borders
  3. Enforce and administer our immigration laws
  4. Safeguard and secure cyberspace
  5. Ensure resilience to disasters

Quite how an alleged counterfeit ecig falls into any of those mission statements is more than a little bit blurry. Possibly an officer saw a skyrocketing eGo battery and feared it was a terrorist plot? Maybe this was to strengthen resilience to a potential charging disaster? Go Team America!

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker