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Long Overdue, US FDA Examines Battery Issues

23rd Jan 2017

Two BatteriesIt was a long time coming, but the US Food and Drug Administration is finally going to look further into the battery issues plaguing some electronic cigarette makers. What they’ll actually find is, of course, still unclear. We know that there are a lot of cheaply made electronic cigarette batteries out there, and vaping devices with cheap batteries too. It’s not news that this is an issue. Unfortunately, they only find their way to the front page when a defective battery explodes.

Yes, that’s when people start to look around and wonder what is going on. Such a shocking incident will have a way of causing that. In America, they’ve seen far too many of these incidents involving overheating or simply malfunctioning batteries. So much so that in April the FDA has announced they will hold a public workshop to gather information.

The idea is to figure out why this is happening. To do that, the FDA will be hosting a range of scientific and medical experts. There will also be many manufacturers, distributors, retailers, government agencies, academic researchers and public health organizations present for the discussions. There will be many interesting conversations from putting these varied groups together in one room, but the focus here is on these incessant battery issues.

We imagine that one of the first topics will focus in some way on the differences between manufacturing quality. This difference shows up especially when you see the hazardous pattern of cheaply made electronic cigarette batteries. It’s as clear as day that the companies selling these products don’t have near the quality control that consumers have come to expect. It’s scary, and especially so when you realize how many people don’t appreciate the difference between a badly made vapour product and a premium one.

Vapour Products Driving Battery Sales

Not that any of this is stopping sales. Electronic cigarette batteries and vaporizers are driving huge sales numbers for battery makers. This is a clear example of the demand being created in the vapour market by consumers. Smokers are out there looking to really change their lifestyle, and they’re doing it in droves. The latest US data research on batteries shows that the household battery market in America will get to $5.2 billion USD by the year 2020.

What’s more, the primary beneficiary of this increase will be for those in the business of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. These are of course the type of battery generally found in vaping devices. This category of batteries is predicted to have a 46% share of the battery market by 2020, up from the 34% share it held in 2015. All of this is to say, the vapour market is driving battery sales in a very clear way.

With the growth of this market seemingly cemented with these types of predictions, we know that the issue of defective batteries will only become more important. The people at the FDA understand this, and thus they have called for this workshop. The hope is to get to the bottom of this and understand if and how to regulate battery sales. That will be a big question to be fought over.

“We remain concerned about the adverse events associated with the use of these products as reported in the news," is what Michael Felberbaum says. The spokesman for the FDA is using measured language for now. The hope is that the quality level of these batteries and their oversight increases. Certainly to the level of what the rest of the industry expects of them. Until that happens however, and seeing as how much money is involved, it may take quite some time. Consumers would be wise to stick to higher quality vapour devices.