You’ve done your research
and you want to jump head first down into the e cig rabbit hole. We totally commend your enthusiasm! Vaping is a much healthier alternative and the sooner you start, the sooner your body will thank you. But before you blindly purchase batteries, chargers, e juice, and other various accessories, let’s have a little chat about e cig safety.
Wait – Didn’t You Tell Me That Vapor Is Safer Than Smoke?
We sure did! E cig vapor is way safer than traditional cigarettes, but the actual equipment itself has the potential to be pretty dangerous if not used/maintained/stored correctly. However, there are a few really easy precautions you can take to stay safe while you’re getting your nicotine fix adequately satiated. Here’s what you need to know about battery and e juice safety to keep you satisfied and vaping safely.
Ego battery plus charger
You might have read about exploding e cig batteries in the news. Now we’re not telling you this to freak you out and turn you against e cigs (we think it’s pretty clear that we’re trying to do the exact opposite). Quite frankly, anything that uses batteries has the potential to literally blow up in your face (or your pocket). However, since this is an e cig blog, we’re focusing specifically on e cig batteries – makes sense, right? Most of these explosive battery incidents were because of user error – so if you follow these rules you can vape worry free (and keep your eyebrows).
1. Always Use the Charger Specifically Designed for Your Battery
(unless explicitly stated otherwise by the manufacturer). Most e cig battery explosions occur simply because the wrong charger was used – that’s it. While the “if it fits it sits” mentality is cute when animals do it – you should NEVER apply that philosophy to e cigs and chargers. Just because your cig a like has a charger that might screw onto an ego battery, it doesn’t mean it’ll work the way you want it to (i.e. charging instead of blowing up). If you have two chargers that look similar to each other but belong to two different types of e cigs, do yourself a favor and label them so you can tell them apart.
2. Never Leave a Charging Battery Unattended
This doesn’t only apply to e cigs. Any device that has a rechargeable battery should be monitored while charging. Now we aren’t saying that you need to stare at your battery for hours while drooling as it’s plugged into the wall, but we are saying that you shouldn’t just plug it in and then abandon it while you go to the grocery store or a rave (or whatever it is people do for fun these days). Just keep your e cig in the same room as you while it’s charging and look at it every once in a while. If the battery starts hissing, looks deformed/melty, or gets hot, then STOP charging immediately and dispose of your battery properly. By disposing of your battery properly I mean don’t throw it out the window, in a fire, or in the trash. Instead, be responsible and take it to a battery recycling center – it’s not that hard. It might suck to throw away a battery, but it’ll suck even worse if it explodes.
3. Immediately Remove Your Battery From the Charger Once It’s Fully Charged
You don’t want to risk your battery blowing up because it’s overflowing with electricity, or at the very least, risk reducing your battery’s ability to hold a charge. This is why it’s not a good idea to charge your battery in your room overnight while you’re sleeping (you’re technically charging it while you’re in the room – right?). While you’re technically in the same room as your battery, if you’re asleep you won’t be able to take your battery off the charger once it’s done charging.
4. Keep Separate Batteries Away From Each Other and Protected From Metal
This mostly applies to people who are using e cigs that use separate batteries that aren’t built into the device itself. Any battery (regardless if it’s an e cig battery or not), can arc and produce a surge of heat if the terminal touches a piece of metal, or even worse, the terminal of another battery. To avoid disaster – cap the ends of these batteries to keep the terminals protected. At the very least, keep the batteries separate and away from anything metal in a well insulated case.
5. Make Sure Your Batteries Are Rated for the Coil of Your Atomizer
Atomizers come in different resistances – so it’s important to use an atomizer that’s within the safe operating limits of your battery. If you’re new to e cigs, most of the pre built atomizers are safe to use with the majority of e cig batteries out there. However, as you get more advanced, you might want to experiment by building your own coils – this is great! Just make sure that the coils you’re building are within the safe ranges of your specific battery. It might seem complicated, but it’s not because we broke it down in an easy to understand format (just for you!). So do yourself a favor and learn about battery safety and Ohm’s Law.
6. Keep Your Batteries Out of the Extreme Heat
This means that you shouldn’t keep you battery in the glove box of your car on a warm day, on a window sill in direct sunlight, or anywhere else where it’ll be exposed to heat for a prolonged amount of time. It doesn’t matter if your battery is charged or discharged, keep it out of the heat if you don’t want it to revolt.
E Juice Safety
Batteries are probably the most common dangers associated with e cigs, but e juice has the potential to be dangerous as well. However, just like batteries, e juice is only dangerous if it isn’t properly stored or if it’s used irresponsibly. The nicotine in e juice is poisonous if enough is ingested (especially if swallowed or rubbed all over the skin), but so is Tylenol, ibuprofen, and a lot of other medications (even medicine that tastes like candy). Most people aren’t going to stop purchasing Tylenol, because it’s toxic in large amounts. Instead, they’ll look up the proper dose, make sure they’re not allergic to any of the ingredients, and store it safely, and that’s all you need to do with e juice – let’s look at how.
1. Keep E Juice in a Cool Dark Place That Children and Pets Can’t Reach
If the vapor from your e juice tastes sweet, it probably smells just as great in the bottle. Let’s face it, small kids and pets are pretty dumb and put everything in their mouth – especially if it smells amazing. So tuck your e juice away so your pets and kids can’t reach it. If you need to, get a box with a lock on it, or put it in a drawer that isn’t accessible (but if you have kids a box with a lock is ideal – we know from personal experience that kids can be super industrious and have a tendency to climb up places that you wouldn’t have even imagined possible).
2. If You Find Your Child or Pet Covered in E Juice or They’re Near an Empty E juice Bottle – Call the Poison Control Center Right Away
If there’s e juice on their body, wash it off IMMEDIATELY. Keep in mind, that for pets that there is a fee to call the poison control center, but it is free to call most vets. In most areas, there are emergency pet hospitals that are open during the off hours of regular vet offices (i.e. overnight and on the weekends). So get the number of your normal vet AND the emergency vet, and put those numbers in a place that’s easily accessible. In fact, you should do this even if you’re not planning on using e cigs. So if you haven’t already, do it now (or not, but don’t say we didn’t warn you)!
3. If You Get E Juice on Your Body, Wash It off As Soon As Possible
For adults, the fatal immediate dose of nicotine is between 50-60 mg (well there’s actually a debate that the fatal dose is actually higher than 60mg, but for now let’s play it safe and go with what the CDCsays for now). For kids, the fatal dose of nicotine is substantially less. For your cats and dogs the fatal dose only 6.4 mg (maybe even less depending on your pet’s weight). Nicotine, while the preferred method of ingestion is through smoke or vapor, can be absorbed through your skin or ingested orally (that’s why things like the nicotine patch and gum works for some people). So if you’re vaping a 24 mg/ml nicotine e juice, per every ml you vape, you’re ingesting roughly 24 mg of nicotine – but that ingestion is spaced out over the amount of time it takes for you to vape one ml. But if you spill, let’s say, 3 ml of 24 mg/ml e juice on your skin – that’s 72 mg of nicotine. While nicotine in an e juice solution won’t absorb into your body the instant it touches your skin (unless you’re messing with PURE nicotine – seriously, use gloves for that shit), you should wash it off as soon as possible, and for the love of Pete DO NOT just wipe your hands on your pants, or lick it off your fingers (yes, we have actually seen people lick stray droplets of e juice off of their little sausage fingers). Soap and water people – use it.
4. If You Find Yourself Chain-Vaping, Use a Lower Nicotine Concentration
Nicotine tolerance varies from person to person. Since most people used to smoke cigarettes in short 10 minute bursts throughout the day, a lot of people start with a higher concentration of nicotine in their e juice. This way, they they get an adequate buzz in the same time it would have taken them to smoke a cigarette. But if you find yourself vaping with your e cig more often and start feeling nauseous, light headed, like your heart is pounding in your chest, or any of the othersymptoms of nicotine poisoning, put the e cig down right away! You’ll find e juice in concentrations anywhere from 0 mg/ml to 32 mg/ml, so find what works for you and adjust accordingly.
5. If You Have a Propylene Glycol (PG) Sensitivity, Use 100% Vegetable Glycerin (VG) E Juice
PG is everywhere. It’s in inhalers, fog machines, medical facilities as a sanitizing agent, and it’s a common preservative. However, there is a small subset of the population whose either sensitive, or full blownallergic to PG. So if you’re vaping and you have an itchy throat that doesn’t disappear after a few weeks, or your mouth/tongue/gums hurt – cut out the PG. It’s not even that hard to do. Most of the amazing e juice vendors out there have PG free e juice varieties. Just keep in mind that not every flavor can be 100% free as some flavorings contain PG within them.
Stay Safe and Vape On
E cigs are a great alternative to traditional cigarettes. While there’s no denying that the vapor from e cigs is safer than traditional cigarettes, they do require proper maintenance and storage – but don’t let that scare you! Once you understand the basics, you should feel confident in your decision to switch to vaping. After you pick out your e cig setup, just do a little research about your battery’s operational limits, learn how to charge and store it correctly, figure out how you’re going to store your e juice safely, and check out the rest of our guide for even more vaping tips, tricks, and advice.