With the recent incidents involving advanced personal vaporizers (APVs, aka MODS) which have resulted in injury, I started to think about what I could do as a relatively new vaper to help. What I came up with was a basic outline of a campaign to help get the word out about device and battery safety. This concept is not what “they” can do (they being the manufactures / vendors / government) to make a difference, but what “we” can do as the vaping community.
Why is this important? With recent media coverage of APV / battery malfunction in both Florida and Colorado and the pending litigation, the method we’ve chosen to quit smoking and improve our lives is at greater risk of being eliminated as an industry. Many in the community understand that the vaping industry takes customers from BT (big tobacco companies) and BP (big pharmaceutical companies), and it’s likely just a matter of time before they come after it with all of their resources. These companies and their lobbies provide big funds to campaigns and get legislation in their favor in return. If these events that cause injury continue to occur, and grow in number, it will give those that seek to destroy the industry more power to do so.
Basic Campaign Goals:
- Be responsible when providing advice to potentially unknowledgeable people with regard to advanced devices and battery choices.
- Be diligent in insisting that vendors / manufactures provide the necessary safety information for their products.
- Get others involved in the campaign to help spread the word and educate as many as possible.
Initial Action Items:
Community: When you see someone on ECF giving advice to a newbie to just get "the latest and greatest" APV, without regard to the available safety information related to the product, step in. Constantly remind people that all battery operated devices require some care and a small amount of research will help to ensure they do not have one of these types of incidents. Most people giving advice here on ECF are very well meaning and are just trying to be helpful, but not everyone thinks carefully before they make recommendations.
Vendors: When you see a vendor that sells unprotected batteries, contact them and question why they choose to carry these inferior products as opposed to the protected variety and how they are provide safety literature. It is possible that the vendor is unaware of the issues that can happen with both unprotected and protected batteries, and what their liability might be. Also, if you see an eBay person / vendor selling what is advertised to be the best brands of batteries en mass at deep discounted prices, alert eBay and have them investigate.
Manufacturers: When you receive a new device from a vendor, read through all the available literature that comes with it. If you believe it to be insufficient with regard to safety, contact the manufacturer and ask them to consider updating it. Many devices come from countries where regulation may not be as strong, and therefore they may be unaware of the potential loss of sales in your country should your government decide their product is unsafe.
As I’ve said, this is just the initial outline of the campaign and it desperately needs the contribution of others in the community who are concerned with safety and the survival of the industry. Please help by adding your thoughts on what we can do to make it work.