Vaping News

Danger Money

Further coverage of the negative aspects of vaping proliferates the news wires.

Share on:
In another feature this week we look at the way media doesn’t want to educate vapers, in this piece we are going to look at a handful of the negative stories floating around the internet this week. Also, we consider how the stories are twisted so that it appears to be the fault of the device and not the user.

Andrew Bruhn is a case in point. Here is a tale of another new vaper who upon discovering his battery appeared dead simply replaced it with a fresh one. Most vapers would think about why an otherwise healthy cell was suddenly not functioning but then other vapers do not use sub-ohm tanks on top of hybrid mechanical mods.

To work out if the device was now functioning, Bruhn placed it close to his ear and listened. What he heard was the sound of a battery venting and then the mod exploding although he claims this happened in an instant. Healthy batteries do not fail in such a fashion – it is probable that given the tale of his previous dud cell he has been overstressing them with sporadic short circuits; the tendrils formed inside cells during such events (on their way to a thermal runaway) take time in order for the internal structure to be compromised.

“[Companies should] make it safer so it doesn’t happen to somebody else … where it’s next to their ear, even in their mouth,” he said to the Grand Island Independent. But then they do, such devices are called regulated mods and offer short circuit and charging protection on the chips. Mechanical mods do not – and hybrid mods exacerbate the potential for something to go wrong as, they do not have a 510 pin, the atomizer rests directly in contact with the battery.

While Bruhn nurses his wounds and damaged pride, lawyer Gregory Bentley is pushing to sue people on behalf of his three clients. One, Gregory Phillips, hurt his leg because he made the choice to keep a lithium ion battery in his pocket with other metals (presumably coins or keys). The ensuing short circuit resulted severe burns to his legs – but this has nothing to do with vaping and everything to do with people being ignorant about simple battery physics and chemistry.

“Nobody would expect that you purchase a product and it explodes in your face,” said Bentley. “These products are out there and they’re randomly exploding across the country.”

But are Bentley’s clients the victims of shoddy products or is it simply a question that people purchased and used something they know little about? And why does the media focus on the handful of cases related to vaping when amateur woodworkers place themselves in far more danger? states: “In 2003 the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that  ‘93,880 saw-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms’. Of these 52,000 involved stationary saws (table saw, miter saw, band saw and radial arm saw).” No doubt, if someone were able to put a fully functioning band saw in their trouser pocket they would have done.

“It’s a bomb, you’re sucking on a bomb,” says another of his clients – but as 2.8 million UK vapers manage to avoid detonating it what could be at work here? The answer could be that Bentley has recently won $2 million in damages for a woman who received burns following a similar piece of ignorance in action. News sources quote Bentley as saying his office is now inundated with others who also claim to have been hurt by ecigs.

“Consumers have the right to expect that products have been properly designed, manufactured and tested for safety before they are put into the marketplace,” Bentley continues. True – but consumers also have the duty to educate themselves and use vape products in a safe fashion.

With multimillion pay-outs available in America they have incentivised ignorance. And with news outlets eager to release salacious copy they’ll jump on any story and edit to suit. “E-cigarette woman who tried to open transatlantic jet's door in mid-flight is detained in USA,” wrote the Daily Mirror among others. Twisting events to the point of nonsense, they continued: “Kamila Dolniak, 32, first tried to smoke an e-cigarette and then open the door on the Heathrow to Boston flight.”

Ignore the fact that she had mental health issues and was exceptionally drunk, having consumed alcohol at altitude while on prescription medication. Ignore them, Daily Mirror, because sticking the boot into vaping will always have people rushing to comment on your web page.

The issue is not the danger posed by batteries but of their misuse. There is money to be made from vaping – but more importantly there is a lot of money to be made when things appear to go wrong. On this basis we can expect to see nothing but a steady rise in such coverage.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today