Unfortunate isolated incidents of e-cigarette batteries exploding and causing damage are preyed on by the media. This could cause smokers to be hesitant about making the switch to vaping but the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has helped give some reassurance.
Highlighting the dangers of house fires caused by smoking tobacco, the LFB has issued a press release in which it compares the dangers of smoking with those of vaping and encourages smokers to switch over to vaping.
“E-cigarettes (vapes) are a better option from a fire safety perspective. Dropping a vape on a carpet, duvet or armchair won’t start a fire. So if quitting completely isn’t on the cards, it’s a simple swap that can save lives.”
Dan Daly, the Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, said: “So many of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented by either stopping smoking or switching to vaping.”
He went on to say, “There is a common misconception that vapes are a fire risk but the reality is they have caused a very small number of fires. Smoking on the other hand is a killer”
Fires caused by smoking tobacco is clearly a cause for concern for the LBF. Research shows that “6.3% of all fires are smoking-related – and 26.1% of fire deaths are smoking-related.”
The LFB’s website also refers to the number of fires caused by vaping compared with those from smoking. It sates, “Although four times as many people smoke as they do vape, there were almost 300 times more smoking related fires in London than those caused by e-cigarettes in the last five years, meaning vaping is a safer option in terms of reducing the risk of fires.”
It is refreshing to see the LBF mirroring the harm reduction approach taken by health organisations such as Public Health England. Whilst the health aims are of course different, the concept that e-cigarettes are proving to be a safer alternative to smoking is the same.