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Vaping Battery Safety

10 Essential Battery Safety Tips for Vapers

Exploding e-cigarettes are big news. It seems like hardly a week goes by without a news story telling us about the latest vaper’s battery to explode, usually with pictures of the aftermath or a grainy CCTV video to drive home just how scary it is.


This is concerning for new vapers in particular, who might be worried that their shiny new mod is going to go off like a firework. The good news is that this is very unlikely to happen, especially if you take sensible precautions with your battery and in your vaping habits.


Although you can find detailed advice on these topics elsewhere (a post of our own here, and several excellent ones over at Vaping360), we’ve put together 10 key pieces of advice to help you stay safe.


Why Do E-Cigarette Batteries Explode?


Before getting into the tips, it’s worth delving into the issue of e-cigarette explosions a little. E-cigarettes have a small chance of exploding for essentially the same reasons as cell phones, laptops, hoverboards and many other electronics can explode: lithium batteries aren’t perfect.


Small manufacturing defects, frequent overcharging and many other things can affect the internal structure of the battery and cause the temperature to rise. When the temperature increases enough, it sets up a feedback loop where the heating causes more heating, and that causes even more heating and so on. Eventually, the batteries will “vent with flames” – which is just as scary as it sounds – or straight-up explode.


How Common is it?


While there does seem to be a regular string of stories appearing in the news, you have to remember that there are millions of vapers around the world, and the vast majority don’t have issues with their batteries. Lithium batteries aren’t perfect, but the chance of yours failing really is low.


EcigOne has a huge list of reported e-cig battery explosions, dating back to August 2009, and it currently totals 214 explosions. This covers seven and a half years and includes reports from around the world, so some perspective on this number is crucial. In the US alone, with about 10 % of adults vaping in 2015, there are well over 20 million vapers. Even without including other countries, this would suggest that your odds of having a serious problem are about 1 in 100,000. A more general estimate for lithium ion batteries overall suggests a failure rate of about 1 in 10 million.


The thing to remember is that your e-cigarette battery is not a ticking time bomb. As long as you follow the tips below, the lithium ion battery in your mod will be just as safe as the lithium ion battery in your cell phone.


Which Type of E-Cigarette Battery is Most at Risk?


Most of the tips below primarily apply to removable batteries for e-cigarette mods (e.g. 18650 or 26650 batteries), but they’re important to understand regardless of the type of battery you use. The risk of problems with vape liquid pens and mods with internal batteries is much lower, but you should still be careful.


The biggest risks are for mechanical mod users. This is because these devices don’t have the safety features you’ll find on “regulated” mods; they’re basically just tubes with batteries, switches and somewhere to screw your atomizer in. Most vapers don’t use these, though, and honestly there is little reason to now there are cheap, widely-available, high-power “regulated” mods available.


1 – Buy High Quality Batteries


The simplest tip is to make sure you buy high quality batteries. As you may expect, cheaper batteries are often lower-quality and are the most likely to fail on you. It’s better to spend more to get a device from a reputable company than to cut the cost and risk getting something poor quality or even dangerous.


For people buying 18650 or 26650 batteries for their mods, the same advice applies. Batteries almost all come from just four companies: Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic. Other brands take these batteries and stick their own wrapper on them, often raising the price too. The best advice is to just buy a battery made by Samsung, Sony or LG directly. There are some great suggestions here and here.


2 – Maximum Current Ratings: Don’t Believe the Hype


One of the most important things to look for in a battery is the amount of current it can safely put out. This is shown using a “continuous discharge rating,” “maximum continuous current” or “maximum continuous discharge.” These all mean the same thing: the maximum amount of current the battery can supply to your coil continuously.


You won’t be able to find a battery rated for more than 30 A. If a company claims that a battery can give you more than this, it’s probably a “pulse” firing rating, not a continuous one.


In general, these ratings aren’t reliable for vapers, because they aren’t all established using a consistent standard and companies may even exaggerate what their batteries can do. Although it isn’t really this simple, the best advice is to just consider the continuous discharge rating, and assume that this is the most current your battery can safely provide.


3 – Store Your Batteries Safely


Your batteries should be kept away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. If your battery is stored in a hot environment, it can reduce the amount of charge it can store or even increase the risk of failure in use. The ideal temperature to store your batteries is 59 °F (15 °C), but anything below 104 °F (40 °C) won’t have too big an impact.


If you’re storing your batteries for a long period of time, you should also keep them at about 40 % charge, rather than completely drained or charged. Use a plastic case to store batteries if they aren’t hard-wired into the mod.


4 – Carry Spare Batteries in a Plastic Case


If you have a mod with a removable battery, you may have to take a spare battery out of the house with you sometimes. If you carry a battery loose in your pocket, metal objects like your keys or coins can cause a short circuit, and this can lead to big problems. To avoid this, always carry spare batteries in a plastic case.


5 – Turn Your Mod Off When it’s in Your Pocket or Bag


Even a battery inside a mod can cause a problem if your device accidentally fires. You can turn off almost any mod, or at very least you can lock the keys. If you don’t do this, something could accidentally press the fire button while it’s in your pocket or bag and start sending power to your atomizer. Most devices have safeguards to prevent this (a 10-second cut-off, for instance), but it’s still something to avoid if at all possible. It’s easy though: just switch off your mod before you put it in your pocket, and if you use mechanical mods, make sure you lock the fire button.


6 – Use the Charging Cable that Came with Your Device


If you’re using an e-cig with an in-built battery or a mod that allows you to charge external batteries via USB, you should ideally use the cable that came with the device. If you charge with a different cable and the power ratings don’t match up, you could risk doing damage to your battery.


If you can’t do use the manufacturer’s charger, though, you can still safely use alternative chargers. Make sure the voltage on the charger matches the voltage required by your device and the current (in amps) provided by the charger is the same or higher than the current your device requires. For many mods and devices, the charging cables are just basic USB cables, which have standard power ratings and are basically interchangeable.


However, for some devices – especially vape pens and cigalikes – different chargers may have different ratings, so it’s much better to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended one.


7 – Don’t Leave Your Battery Charging Unattended


Out of the 214 explosions recorded by EcigOne, 79 (about 37 %) occurred during charging. Although using the wrong charger could easily have been a factor, overcharging also plays a part in this.


Most electronic devices stop charging when they’re done. But this safeguard isn’t always reliable, so it’s best to remove the battery from the power when you notice it’s finished. If you’re charging overnight, you can’t do this, so if the safeguard fails your battery could end up overcharged. In most cases everything will be fine, but it’s still better avoided.


Additionally, if there’s a problem during charging, you need to be awake and alert so you can deal with the situation. This is why you shouldn’t leave your batteries charging unattended.


8 – Make Sure You’re Operating Within Your Battery’s Limits


As mentioned in point 2, the maximum continuous discharge rating tells you how many amps you can safely draw from your battery. When you’re vaping, this means making sure your power setting and coil keep you in the safe range.  


The best tool to use to work out if you’re in the safe range of your battery is Steam Engine’s battery drain calculator. First you choose unregulated (mechanical) or regulated (mods with variable wattage, temperature control e.t.c.), and then enter all of the information requested. There are “battery presets” that already contain they key information for most batteries used for vaping, but it’s worth double-checking this, especially for less common batteries.


The “battery voltage” field is for the remaining voltage in your battery (not the voltage displayed on your mod’s screen). This is 4.2 V for a fully charged battery, and decreases as you run down the charge. You should ideally recharge batteries when they reach 3.7 V, but many devices allow you to check your remaining voltage directly, and it will likely get lower than this before your mod makes you recharge.


The crucial thing to remember is that the current you draw increases as your remaining charge drops on a regulated mod. Mathematically, current = wattage / voltage, for a regulated device. So if you’re close to the limit for your battery (displayed in the “battery drain” section on Steam Engine), make sure you don’t let your charge level get too low.


For an unregulated mechanical mod, you still use the remaining battery voltage, but the equation is current = voltage / resistance, and the main thing you need to be careful about is your coil’s resistance.


In both cases, the best idea is to get a battery that can safely provide at least 20 A, especially if you’ll be vaping “sub ohm.”


9 – Don’t Let Your Charge Level Get Too Low

Recharging before your battery completely drains maximizes its lifespan. As pointed out in the previous section, batteries with less remaining charge will also need to provide more current to meet your wattage setting too. For both of these reasons it’s better to recharge your batteries at about 40 % remaining battery life (3.6 to 3.7 V) rather than waiting for your mod to tell you to recharge it. You’re protected anyway, but it’s good practice regardless.


10 – Stay On Alert for Signs of Problems


If you follow the tips in this post, you’re unlikely to run into problems with your battery, but one final point is to stay on alert for signs of issues. The biggest thing to look out for is your battery heating up. If it gets hot, then that’s a big sign of an issue (although the side closest to your atomizer can get a bit warm in ordinary use). Similarly, look out for any swelling of the battery, because this is another sign it could be overheating or experiencing a short. If either of these occur, move the battery away from anything flammable, and preferably outside if the problem is serious.


You should also stay on the lookout for simpler things like your battery’s wrapping becoming damaged or any dents on your battery or mod. Any damage like this increases the risk of an issue, so you should ideally replace the battery.


Conclusion: Don’t Panic, But Be Sensible


We can’t stress enough that your battery probably won’t explode on you. However, all batteries do carry some risks, and even though it isn’t likely, it’s essential that you take these simple steps to make sure you stay safe while you’re vaping.

Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Writer at Black Note
Lee Johnson is a writer and vaper from the UK. He started vaping in 2012, and since then has contributed to E-Cigarette Reviewed, E-Cigarette Direct’s Ashtray Blog and Vaping360. He strongly believes smokers need accurate information about vaping and other reduced-harm alternatives to smoking. He has a degree in physics from the Open University and a passion for all forms of science.
Lee Johnson

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What is Naturally Extracted Tobacco E-Liquid?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.