You may have heard that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. But is it really?
A vaping device consists of a mouthpiece, an absorbent piece saturated with the liquid to be inhaled, and a heating element called an atomizer. The vapor is drawn through the atomizer and exhaled into the lung.
Unlike traditional combusted cigarettes, JUULs and other e-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco. Instead, they use a battery to heat a liquid called “e-liquid.” The liquid contains nicotine (the addictive drug in regular cigarettes and other tobacco products), propylene glycol and flavorings. When the e-liquid is heated, it turns into an aerosol that users inhale.
Inhaling the aerosol may cause poisoning if swallowed or inhaled through skin and eyes, and it exposes bystanders to harmful chemicals that can harm lung health. It also exposes teens to nicotine, which can change their brains and lead to addiction, higher rates of alcohol or drug abuse and trouble with attention and learning.
While e-cigarettes are new, science doesn’t yet know all the risks they pose. But we do know that they are a major factor in teen smoking and vaping rates, including addiction, health problems and premature death. Sweet flavors like fruit and candy can make these devices look appealing to youth.
The flavorings that go into vape products are often derived from natural and artificial food-grade substances. The fact that e-liquid makers can use the same flavors as companies in the food, snack and candy industries gives vape users a huge variety of product choices.
Youth “vaping” is a national epidemic and it is clear that flavorings are largely to blame. The flavorings may also be contributing to nicotine addiction, and the toxicity of the chemicals involved in the vaping process is unknown. One of the chemicals, diacetyl (DA), is known to promote oxidative stress, upregulate airway epithelial inflammatory processes and dedifferentiate cells in human lung tissue.
A popular DIY vape juice recipe involves mixing VG and PG together with a few drops of a chosen flavoring. You then add your choice of nicotine, if desired. To make your own, purchase a bottle of each base liquid and some plastic 50 mL bottles. Also purchase a few plastic pipettes and some different flavorings from your favorite DIY shop.
Vapor is created when liquids are heated in an electronic device. It doesn’t contain any harmful toxins or by-products of smoking and is much more healthy for the user.
A vaporizer is usually stored in a carrying case to protect it from dirt, dust and other environmental hazards. The case also ensures that all of the accessories are together and ready to use when needed.
The wick in a coil is soaked with e-liquid to create the vapor. It’s important that it soaks up the liquid well so that it doesn’t dry out quickly. This will help the coil last longer.
PG: Propylene glycol is one of the most common bases used in making e-liquid. VG: Vegetable glycerine is thicker than PG and is often preferred by cloud chasers for its ability to produce huge clouds.
Leakage is a problem that can occur when the tank isn’t sealed properly or if there are loose seals around the mouthpiece. It can cause an unpleasant taste.
While smoking bans and public health announcements have made great strides in reducing smoking, it’s still linked to serious health problems including lung and other organ damage, breathing troubles and addiction. Nicotine itself is also addictive, and even e-liquids labeled as nicotine free contain small amounts of it.
E-cigarettes (also known as vaporizers or vapes) are devices that heat up a liquid to form an aerosol, usually containing nicotine or other chemicals such as flavorings, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Many e-cigarettes look like conventional combusted cigarettes, cigars or pipes, while others have more of a pen-like appearance, with reusable parts or rechargeable batteries.
There are some concerns about safety with e-cigarettes, including the possibility of second-hand exposure and the potential for toxins in the vapor, which can include banned chemicals or heavy metals. Additionally, there have been cases of e-cigarettes exploding or catching fire while charging or being used. It’s important to follow manufacturers’ instructions for use.