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“We are on record pace for having the lowest number of fire deaths ever in Minnesota, and we surely hope that pace continues,” said Minnesota State Fire Marshal Bruce West. The state is renowned for its extreme temperatures, with the lowest temperature ever recorded being -51.1 degrees celsius in February 1996. Hence West continued by pointing out that Winter poses higher risks, as with the drop of temperature residents turn to heaters and other heat sources that carry hazards if misused.

How is this related to vaping?

Last year, 2015, was an especially unfortunate one as a total of 57 lives perished due to fire related incidents. However, fortunately, things are looking up. West linked the drop in such tragic incidents to the fact that less people are smoking combustible cigarettes, as many have quit and/or have switched to vaping instead. “The number one cause of fire related deaths continues to be careless smoking. The number one identified cause. So people either quitting smoking or moving to vaping, that could be one of the underlying reductions in this,” West claimed.

The number one cause of fire related deaths continues to be careless smoking. The number one identified cause. So people either quitting smoking or moving to vaping, that could be one of the underlying reductions in this. Bruce West, Minnesota State Fire Marshal

Although certainly positive, sadly this information also carries with it a substantial dose of irony when keeping in mind that lawmakers in Minnesota have implemented one of the harshest tax rates in the US on e-cigarettes, one of 95%, a staggering figure when in comparison to for example that of 18% in Kentucky.

An interconnection to be examined further

Whilst pointing out that the fire departments in Minnesota have been doing their utmost to promote safe handling of heat generating appliances and flammable materials plus fire prevention in general, the State Fire Marshal added that this possible association between the rise in vaping and the drop in fatal fire incidents is something that needs to be studied further, “That’s something that we will definitely take a look at”, West concluded.