Can You Vape While Charging?

In recent years, electronic cigarettes have evolved to offer significantly greater functionality and improved safety. Many of the inconveniences you might have experienced due to the limitations of early devices are gone for good. 

One of the most frustrating issues was the need to wait for your battery to charge before you could use your ecig. Just when you thought you had conquered your cravings by vaping, you found yourself enduring a frustrating wait before you could take another puff. There was nothing worse than the dreaded red flashing light warning you that your battery was dead.

Happily, most of the latest devices enable you to vape while charging. If you can connect to a power source, an almost fully discharged battery no longer prevents you from vaping. This functionality is possible courtesy of pass-through technology.

What is pass-through technology?
Most devices are now embedded with a chipset that controls how much power is sent to the battery. The chip ensures that the charging speed is optimised and that power to the battery is cut once that battery is fully charged. This overcharge protection means that you don’t have to hover over your device while it is charging and then cut the power once the battery is fully charged. It’s perfectly fine to leave your device unattended and it will tell itself when to stop charging. 

The chipset also enables and controls the pass-through technology. This is simply a series of regulating circuits that match the draw of energy required to power your device to the amps being drawn from the power source. The tech utilises what is known as prioritisation to pass the power through your battery to where it is needed. 

You will probably find that you are able to vape with an almost entirely discharged battery. However, with some devices, the battery must be holding a certain level of charge as the tech stops the battery charging while you fire and for a few seconds afterwards. The firing power is therefore drawn from your battery and not the external power source.

Is it safe to vape while charging?
The protections built into your battery keep things safe, but it is important to remember that vaping while charging will inevitably place greater stress on your battery. This means that it is vital that your battery has not been compromised in any way. Please refer to our Battery and Chargers Guide for advice on using and handling batteries safely. Of the very small number of lithium-ion batteries in e cigs which have exploded, around 80% did so while charging. 

Most devices with integrated batteries now feature pass-through technology. We recommend that you do not vape while charging if your mod is powered by external batteries.

Will vaping while charging damage your battery?
When you vape while charging, your battery is charging for a few minutes then discharging for 3 seconds, charging for a couple of minutes more, then discharging for 4 seconds and so on. This process will inevitably place greater strain on your battery and so could reduce its lifespan. If your battery or its safety protections are compromised in any way, vaping while charging could trigger an issue. 

Research suggests that it is excess heat which is most likely to damage your lithium-ion battery. The built-in safety protections will moderate power transfers, but it makes sense that the longer it takes to charge your battery, the greater the likelihood of heat building up. Vaping while charging will mean that your battery takes longer to fully charge. This is because pass-through technology isn’t 100% efficient at utilising power from the power source rather than your battery to fire your device.

Should you avoid vaping while charging?
There simply hasn’t been enough research undertaken to explore the implications of vaping while charging. The latest tech ensures that vaping while charging is incredibly safe, providing you have taken care of your battery. But it could be that vaping in this way reduces the useful life of your battery.

You can limit the time you spend vaping while charging by investing in a spare device or battery. Alternatively, treat yourself to an ecig with a larger battery capacity that will keep you vaping all day. There is no need to worry about fully discharging your battery before recharging it. This means that you can simply pop it on charge to top it up at times when you can’t vape such as when you are in the office or taking a shower. 

There is no doubt that pass-through technology is a very useful innovation. It will save you from experiencing the torture of waiting for your device to charge.

There is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this functionality when you really need to. But it is probably best to keep those occasions to a minimum.