I’d been led to believe that e-cigs were safer than conventional cigarettes. You got your dose of nicotine without all the nasty tar and gunk that comes in smoke. They were electronic gizmos, and we all love our gizmos, right? I was surprised that Apple hadn’t released an i-cigarette. So imagine my surprise when my e-cig came at me with a steak-knife, determined to cut out my lungs and crap on them!
Alas, my story isn’t quite that dramatic. But it could have come to a similar end.
I remember all those stories I’d read and heard, about various electronic devices burning people’s houses down. Xboxes were prone to it at a time – or was it Playstations? One or the other anway – perhaps both! Not satisfied with turning our children into crazed, prostitute-cheating irresponsible drivers through Grand Theft Auto and making old folk think they were super-fit geniuses with Wii-Fit and “brain-training” apps, now they were determined to burn down our houses!
I never thought it would happen to me. I didn’t buy dodgy devices that had “fallen off the back of a lorry”. But it wasn’t as simple as that. At the back of a drawer I found an old e-cig battery. I charged it up, connected it to some tasty blueberry e-liquid and puffed away. The battery went flat: I recharged it, and re-charged it again. I knew I ought to get some fresher batteries, so I ordered some online. But in the meantime, waiting for the new kit to arrive, I kept charging and vaping, charging and vaping…
… And that’s when it happened. I had the charger connected to a usb-plug, that has served me well with my smart-phone. But I could smell burning! Burning plastic! I looked round the room – no flames. But my spidey-sense said the e-cig charger! The e-cig charger! I quickly disconnected it and had a look. And my spidey-sense was right: the charger was hot and misshapen where it was going to melt. I had been maybe seconds away from a devastating electrical fire! Only my nose had stood between me and smoky, flamy, sparky death!
Of course it wasn’t the e-cig’s fault. Just as it isn’t King Kong’s fault when the gunner on a biplane shoots the giant ape and it falls onto your car! And, just as the commuter doesn’t quit driving after being crushed by a 10-ton gorilla, I’m not going to let Sparky the evil old battery put me off e-cigarettes. They are the safer option. And remember, conventional cigarettes have caused thousands of house fires!
I just need to learn the lesson – and you need to learn from my experience. E-cigs are not magic vapour machines powered by fairy-dust and ponies and bunnies. They run on electricity – the same stuff that tries to lightning-zap you in thunder-storms! When your e-cig battery gets old, retire it and buy a shiny new one! That way you won’t burn to death. I mean, what’s the point of trying to avoid lung cancer if you’re going to burst into flames?