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vaping safety

Vaping Battery Safety Guide

Hardly a week goes by without an e-cigarette explosion story surfacing in the news. The constant onslaught of negative stories and dire warnings about a “wild west” industry is enough to make both vapers and smokers considering making the switch reconsider. Are e-cigarettes just bombs waiting to go off? Why are there so many e-cigarette explosions? How do you minimize the chance of explosions with mods? Here is a guide to staying safe with your batteries, which also covers the crucial topic of Ohm’s Law.

Summary

  • All lithium-based batteries carry risks, particularly due to something called “thermal runaway.”
  • Most e-cig battery explosions occur during charging, but some happen when the device is in use.
  • In use, explosions can occur when you try to pull too much current from your battery.
  • Every battery has a maximum amount of current it can provide. You should ensure that the current you’re asking your battery for (given by current = voltage / resistance) is within this limit.
  • Never leave your battery charging unattended, and avoid charging it overnight.
  • Ideally, use the manufacturer’s charger for your e-cig, but if not, ensure the output power rating of the charger matches the input required by your device.
  • Keep batteries away from flame and heat, don’t carry them in pockets with metallic objects, don’t stack batteries, ensure your mod has physical vent holes for safety, turn off your device when you’re carrying it and ensure you pair your batteries (always charged and discharged together) for dual-battery devices.

What Causes E-Cigarette Explosions? 

The immediate question you may have when you hear about exploding e-cigarettes is: why do so many e-cigarettes explode? The question, though, is a little misleading. The main reason e-cigarettes explode is the same as the reason cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices explode in rare cases: lithium batteries carry inherent risks.

The biggest risk of lithium batteries is called “thermal runaway.” This is a feedback loop, where excessive heat causes instability in the membranes that separate the positive and negative poles of the battery and leads to a huge current flow, in turn creating more heat and spreading the problem elsewhere. This situation then continues out of control, leading to venting of hot gas (possibly with flames), and if there’s nowhere for the gas to escape, it can lead to an explosion.

It’s worth stressing again that this can happen with any lithium ion battery, including most consumer electronic devices. Lithium-cobalt batteries become unstable at 302 °F (150 °C), and safer chemistry lithium-manganese options (like the AW IMR batteries) become unstable at 482 °F (250 °C). These events don’t happen very often, but there is a still a risk.

In most cases of e-cigarette battery explosions, the problems occur during charging. If you use the wrong type of charger or leave it charging for too long, it can lead to instability and thermal runaways.

In some more rare cases, the problems occur in use, which may be due to overcharging, or could be a result of vapers asking for more current than the battery can safely provide. In these cases, knowledge of Ohm’s Law and how it applies to battery safety helps you stay safe.

Volts, Amps, Ohms and Watts: An Ohm’s Law Primer

Most vapers encounter the terms volts, amps, ohms, and watts, but even though some – like voltage – are generally understood by most people, an analogy helps to clarify the basics.

Imagine a long pipe running down a hill. If you pour some water in at the end, gravity will pull it down the pipe and out of the other end. If the hill is steeper, the water will flow more quickly, but if it’s a gentler incline the water will flow more slowly. This is an analogy for voltage (measured in volts) and current (measured in amps): the steeper hill is like a higher voltage (and a smaller incline is a smaller voltage), and the amount of water passing a certain point each second is like the current. This means a higher voltage generally leads to a higher current.

Resistance (measured in ohms) fits into this analogy as the friction between the inside of the pipe and the water, working to slow down the current. So if you increase the friction at the same incline, the current will reduce, and if you decrease it, the current will increase.

Wattage doesn’t fit very neatly into this analogy, but since it can often be adjusted directly on e-cigarettes, it’s worth addressing. The basic definition of wattage is the amount of energy delivered per second. For the analogy, it can be thought of as the energy carried past a certain point by the flow of water each second – the energy that would be picked up by a water wheel, for example.

Ohm’s Law for Vaping

The relationships between voltage, current, and resistance explained by the above analogy demonstrate Ohm’s Law in basic form. The mathematical description is pretty simple, though:

Current = voltage / resistance

In words, this says that the resulting current is the voltage applied divided by the resistance. For vaping, the voltage setting you use and the resistance of your coil tells you how many amps you’re asking for from your battery.

There are many Ohm’s Law calculators that allow you to work out the current for your setup, but the math is easy to do in simple situations. For example, if you apply 3.6 V to a 1.8-ohm coil, the equation tells you that current = 3.6 V / 1.8 ohm = 2 amps.

The rule can also be extended to bring watts into the picture. The wattage you’re vaping at is given by:

Power (in watts) = (voltage × voltage) / resistance = voltage ^2 / resistance

So for the above example, this would give: power = (3.6 × 3.6) / 1.8 = 7.2 watts.

There are many other ways to work out each element of Ohm’s Law, which are often shown in formula wheels. For example, if you want to know the current produced by a certain amount of watts applied to a coil, you divide the wattage by the resistance of the coil and then take the square root of the result.

Battery Safety and Ohm’s Law

So why does Ohm’s Law matter for battery safety? The basic reason is that a specific battery can only provide so much current, and if you go over this limit, you may push the battery too far and experience venting or explosions.

The amount of current your battery can supply depends on its maximum continuous amp limit. Note the “continuous” part of that: there is also a “pulse” rating for a battery, which is always higher, but isn’t really relevant to vaping.

In some cases, instead of a specific amount of amps, you’ll find a “C rating” for the battery. You can use this alongside the capacity of the battery (the “mAh” number) to work out the maximum continuous current.

Simply multiply the mAh number by the C-rating, then divide the result by 1000 to get the maximum continuous amp limit. For example, the 1600 mAh AW IMR 18650 battery has a rating of 15 C. To work out the maximum discharge rate, multiply 1600 (mAh) by 15 (C) to get 24,000 mA, and divide by 1,000 to get the limit of 24 A.

So, to stay safe when you’re vaping, you need to know the maximum continuous amp limit of your battery and the amount of current you’re pulling from it. The simplest way to stay safe is to ensure you use high amp limit batteries, with maximum continuous discharge ratings of 20 A or higher, which will keep you safe unless you’re planning on doing some serious cloud chasing.

In many cases, regulated (variable voltage and/or variable wattage) e-cigarettes will have a maximum amp limit coded into them as a safety measure, so as long as you’re using a good battery, the device will stop you from exceeding its capability. Unregulated (mechanical) mods don’t have such safety features, though, so it’s vital to know how much current you’re asking for and how much your battery can provide. You should also leave a safety margin – don’t take your battery right up to its amp limit.

Safe Battery Charging

Knowing about Ohm’s Law helps you stay safe when it comes to battery amp limits, but as we mentioned earlier, many problems occur as a result of charging. Additionally, it’s ordinarily pen-sized, eGo-style e-cigarettes that explode, not mods. This primarily comes down to two things: charger compatibility and overcharging.

Overcharging is the simplest issue to solve: although devices should stop charging when they’re fully powered up, this often isn’t the case. The solution is to remove your device from the charger when it’s fully powered up. If you don’t leave your device charging unattended – which you shouldn’t do anyway – and don’t leave it charging overnight, you can easily remove it from the power when it’s fully charged. Plus, if your battery starts to get hot or other problems develop during charging, you’ll be there (and awake) to deal with it.

Compatibility is a bit more complicated, but the easiest solution is to only use the charger from the manufacturer. This isn’t strictly necessary, though, because as long as the threading is right (most e-cigs have 510 threading, so this won’t usually be an issue) and the power ratings are the same, then you can use other chargers.

The most important thing is to ensure the output voltage is right – for most chargers, it will be 5 V, but it’s crucial that this output matches the required input for your device (or that of the original manufacturer’s charger). Additionally, the output from the outlet you’re plugging the charger into should match the input required by the charger.

The current output is less important, since your e-cig will only draw the current it needs, but too high an output current on your charger can stress your device over time, and too low an output will drastically increase your charging time.

The safest approach is to use the original charger, and if that’s not possible, to use a charger with matching power ratings.

Other Battery Safety Tips 

There are a few other points that can help ensure you stay safe with your e-cig battery:

  • Keep your battery away from sources of heat, direct sunlight or flames.
  • Don’t carry loose batteries in the same pocket with metallic objects such as keys or coins – this could create a short circuit.
  • Always lock or turn off your device when you’re carrying it around.
  • If you’re using a mod with two batteries, “marry” them. Buy them together, discharge them together and charge them together. The aim is to ensure that both batteries are roughly the same and one won’t be taking more strain than the other.
  • Don’t stack batteries for a higher voltage: regulated, high power mods are safer than stacking batteries.
  • Ensure your device has physical holes to allow has to vent if there is a problem, otherwise, a tube mod can turn into a pipe bomb.

Conclusion – Be Informed and Vape Safely

The tips in this article should ensure you stay safe when you’re vaping, but the most important lesson is to not take battery safety lightly. As long as you exercise some caution when you’re vaping and think about how to maximize the safety of what you’re doing, you’re very unlikely to have any problems. Vapers shouldn’t be worried about explosions – they really are rare, when you consider the number of vapers – but we also shouldn’t ignore the possibility entirely and be careless.

Michael Grey
Find Me Here

Michael Grey

With a passion to educate through my writings and a passion to help others, I found my place here at Black Note. Being that I am a former smoker who quit smoking because of vaping, I knew I could help others do the same. Working for Black Note is a true blessing. Not only do I help educate vapers on a daily basis through my writings, but I am also enjoying the benefits of working with an amazing team and sharing an authentic tobacco solution with the vaping community.
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

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What is E-Juice?

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. For immediate advice, contact poison control center: (800) 222-1222