FDA Report On Vaping Related Injuries Indicates Risk Of Emergency Room Visit Less Than A Hundredth Of A Percent

The report reinforces what many vapers already believed, the risk of a battery-related injury is extremely low

One of the most commonly asked questions by smokers considering the switch is just how safe are the batteries inside vaporizers? It seems like every week there’s another story on the news about a battery explosion, whether it be from a vape pen or a cell phone. These stories can create quite a bit of anxiety for people who are unfamiliar with battery safety. But a new report released by the FDA provides more evidence that these incidents can be virtually eliminated with adequate knowledge.

The study was funded by the FDA’s Center For Tobacco Products and analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for all of 2016. The report estimated that only around 1007 emergency room visits occurred that year across the entire country. Not just that, but based on the NEISS reports, most of these injuries were minor burns to the legs. The report also indicated most of these injuries were due to user error, such as carrying extra batteries in their pocket. Stories like those only reinforce what any good vaper knows, that proper battery safety is absolutely vital.

Report’s Findings

The report, which was published earlier this week in the Injury Epidemiology Journal, details the vaping related incidents recorded at their representative sample of hospitals. The NEISS then uses that information to extrapolate a reliable estimate of the total number of incidents across the country. The NEISS partnered emergency rooms reported a total of 26 visits relating to e-cigarettes for all of 2016. After doing their calculations, they concluded the best estimate for the total number of nationwide cases to be 1007. When compared with the estimated number of daily vapers in America, (3.7% or 11.7 million people according to the CDC) the chances you end up in the emergency room with a vaping related injury comes in at 0.0086%.

Of course, these factors don’t account for minor injuries that went unreported to doctors or hospitals, but given that these incidents are generally less severe, it only further supports the idea that using a vaporizer is just as safe as anything. In fact, the chances may likely even be lower, as the 3.7% figure given for the US daily vaping population was reported by the CDC back in 2014, while the incident report numbers used data from 2016. Given that it’s likely there were many more vapers in America by 2016, the percent chance you experience a severe injury should actually be even lower than 0.0086%.

How To Stay Safe

As stated before, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself against battery failure is to understand proper battery safety. For instance, one of the most common ways burns happen to vapers is carrying extra loose batteries in your pocket. This is reflected in the data, as over 75% of the injuries reported were to the upper leg/pelvic region. In fact, the researchers themselves concluded carrying loose batteries in pockets was the primary culprit, “at least 20 of the burn injuries occurred while ENDS batteries were in the user’s pocket.”

Additionally, one of the most commonly reported types of vaping related burns reported on in the media are ones involving the head and face. This is of course because it’s a more visceral and compelling story than leg or hand burns. But the FDA report indicated that these are by far the least common type of injury, with head and neck, upper body, and lower legs/feet all accounting for just 3.1% of reported injuries. For comparison, hand and lower arm injuries accounted for 19.7%.


Ultimately, whether or not you ever experience any battery malfunction has a whole lot to do with just being smart. If you take the time and exercise proper caution, the likelihood anything ever happens is even more miniscule than the 0.0086% figure. After all, those figures include all of the reckless fools out there who are willfully ignorant of battery safety, and carry around extra batteries or forget to lock their devices on a regular basis. So if you’re thinking about making the switch, but you’re worried about potential burns, just make sure to do your due diligence and learn about the do’s and don’ts of batteries.

If you’re an advanced vaper, it’s always good to help educate others about potentially dangerous activities they might not even realize. This can mean anything from helping people avoid keeping batteries near any conductive metals, to knowing the importance of resistance when attempting to sub ohm vape. While even with all the precaution in the world, some freak accidents may still occur, you should rest assured that modern vaporizers are just as safe as any other products you use on a daily basis.

Have you or anyone you know ever experienced a battery malfunction? If so, what happened, and do you think it could have been avoided with proper precaution? Do you believe reports like this will help improve the public perception of vaping? Let us know in the comments.

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Jimmy Hafrey