Forget All The Myths: Here’s The Truth About Vaping
There are so many different opinions floating around that it can often be difficult to grasp the truth about vaping. A new vaper, or someone considering making the switch to vaping and buying their first vape mod, can easily become confused after reading a few conflicting articles online. Like any new thing (vaping has only been popularized in the last decade), there are more assumptions out there than there are facts and people usually fall into one of two categories: those who believe that vaping should be banned, and those who believe that vaping is the most beneficial innovation for public health since the vaccine. If you’re anything like us, you’re tired of the opinions - and you want some truth. You want to know what facts are out there, and for the things that are unknown, you want to be able to form your own opinion. We totally get it, and if you’re new to vaping, we want to save you the stress and give you some facts about vaping. In this post, we’ll examine the eight most popular questions that new vape users ask and give you the real truth about vaping.
Is Vaping Safe?
Nobody can say whether vaping is safe on a long term basis. Only having been popularized recently, there aren’t enough ‘long term vapers’ to test. Here’s what we do know, to date, there have been no reported deaths linked directly to vaping. While there is confusion on the effects of vaping vs. not vaping; there does seem to be strong evidence that supports that vaping is much less harmful than smoking cigarettes. In 2015, an expert review by Public Health England concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco. This isn’t necessarily the end of the facts about vaping vs. smoking. The long term effects of vaping are unknown, but there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests that it is at least much safer than cigarette smoking. It is hard to determine the health facts about vaping. Cigarettes on the other hand, have clearly been linked to harmful long-term health effects; and unlike vaping, you won’t find any evidence anywhere to suggest otherwise.
What Is E-Liquid And What’s In It?
E-liquid (or vape juice) is the liquid used in a vape device, which is heated to produce vapors. Generally, e-liquids consist of only a few ingredients - glycerin, propylene glycol, water, nicotine, and flavorings. The balance of these ingredients vary by brand - most liquids contain over 90% propylene glycol and glycerin, and some e-liquids don’t contain any nicotine at all.
Even with this simple composition, e-liquids are also surrounded by myths. For example, there are many articles floating around social media that seem to link e-liquids to a rare condition called “Popcorn Lung”. This supposed ‘link’ between the two is based upon a study where 51 (of the many thousands of) e-juices were tested, and it was found that some of them may have contained diacetyl - a chemical that was once used in food production factories to give foods (like popcorn) a buttery flavor.
Here’s the misconception - the vast majority of e-liquid brands do not use diacetyl in the production of their e-liquids. Millions of bottles of e-liquid are sold every day, and to date, there has never been a single case of even the mildest condition of popcorn lung that could be traced back to vaping.
Does vaping cause popcorn lung? No. The link is to diacetyl itself, and since brands are not using diacetyl to flavor their e-liquids, the suggested “link” between popcorn lung and e-liquid is vastly misrepresented.
Is Vaping Addictive?
There’s a popular show called “My Strange Addiction” that documents people who are addicted to the craziest things -- eating couch cushions, licking deodorant and sniffing Vaporub, among other things. If that show proves anything, it proves that doing anything can be addictive.
The real question here is whether nicotine (and specifically, the nicotine used in e-liquid) is addictive. Generally, nicotine is believed to be addictive. On the contrary though, research studies on the addiction of nicotine were usually tied to its presence in cigarettes. Since the combustion process in cigarettes produces thousands of chemicals, it is difficult to isolate nicotine as the sole addictive factor. The truth is, right now it can’t be concluded whether nicotine is truly addictive or not; however, many vapers have reported success in reducing their nicotine vaping levels down to zero nicotine over time.
Is Vaping Cheaper Than Smoking Cigarettes?
There is no definitive answer to this question either. The expense an individual will incur whether smoking or vaping will be totally dependent upon their individual usage. A person who smokes five packs of cigarettes a day will probably spend a lot more than the average vaper, but a vaping enthusiast and collector may buy higher priced items more frequently and spend more than a pack-a-day smoker.
Average users however, typically save money when vaping. It is a larger upfront cost to buy a vaping device, and a recurring expense to purchase replacement coils and e-liquids. The average vaper compared to the average pack-a-day smoker can usually expect to save quite substantially.
Do You Inhale/Absorb More Nicotine When You Vape?
Here’s another question that really can’t be answered definitively without a highly-controlled scientific study; yet, many sources attempt to definitively answer this question without any evidence to support it. Here are some variables that would need to be controlled in such a study:
- Nicotine levels: E-liquids are categorized by nicotine levels, so it is easy to know exactly how much nicotine is contained in each bottle of vape juice. Cigarettes on the other hand, have varying nicotine levels making it much harder to know exactly how much nicotine you are exposed to when smoking. Due to these varying nicotine levels, it is difficult to say whether more or less nicotine is absorbed when you vape. However, what is known is how much nicotine is used in your vape juice, while you’ll probably never know how much nicotine exists inside of a single cigarette.
- Puff/Pull duration: For both vapers and smokers, nicotine absorption is highly dependent upon how long the individual pulls in vapor or smoke. The longer the pull, the more nicotine that will be absorbed. Without considering and controlling this factor, it is impossible to compare the level of nicotine absorption during a session of smoking versus a session of vaping.
- Frequency of puff/pull: Also, the way that vapers vape is often different than the way that smokers smoke. Smokers often take long pulls with more time between each. Vapers on the other hand, often take shorter pulls, but more frequently. The frequency of pulls during a session is critical to running a controlled test that compares nicotine absorption levels.
- Intensity of Vape: Some people like small low-wattage devices and some people love high-wattage sub-ohm vaping. The amount of vape delivered on each pull will also play a role in how much nicotine is delivered and thus absorbed in the body.
- Individual absorption rate: People are different, and their bodies work differently. Even with the same controlled measures, one person may absorb nicotine in a different manner than another person. Body weight, height, gender - many factors can play a role in how an individual will absorb nicotine.
Do Vaping Devices Explode?
There have been incidents in the past of devices exploding during usage, but these isolated incidents have mostly been due to user error. These incidents are frequently brought up when people ask “is vaping dangerous?”. When purchasing a device, it is important to buy a high-quality product and avoid knockoffs (which are made typically made with inferior parts). Buying a knock off e cigarette can be one of the dangers of vapor smoking. Also, it is important to understand the different type of mods - personal vaporizers and mechanical mods.
- Personal Vaporizers: Also known as PVs, Personal Vaporizer mods contain advanced circuit boards that regulate the mod for safety. A high quality personal vaporizer mod from a reputable company will rarely ever face explosion issues.
- Mechanical Mods: Also known as Mech Mods, these mods are much simpler in construction and do not have circuit boards to regulate the mod. Instead, these mods are user-regulated and it is up to the user to make sure that all components are properly working before firing up the device. While PVs have the ability to spot inconsistencies and refuse to fire until fixed, mech mods will fire even if one of the mod’s components is malfunctioning. Most vaping accidents happen because users do not take the proper measures when using a mechanical mod. Before using a mechanical mod, make sure that you are familiar with its components and that everything is properly installed and functional.
Can You Vape Anywhere?
Although vaping is much less intrusive on others than smoking, it is not allowed everywhere. Different countries, states, provinces and cities have their own vaping laws and restrictions - in some places it’s perfectly fine to vape in public places as long as the owner permits it. In some countries, vaping is banned publicly or privately. It is important to know the local vaping laws before traveling with your vape device or vaping in public view.
What Type Of People Vape?
Sometimes vapers are put into a “box” - as if there is a certain ‘type’ of person who vapes, or as if vapers share the same “look” or “lifestyle”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Vaping has caught on in many regions around the world and are now used by all types of adults - from those in the party scene to the corporate office; and everything in between. According to our research, there are over 20 million vapers worldwide - from every area, and in every walk of life. What type of people vape? The type who enjoy it!
What Is Your Truth About Vaping?
The truth about vaping is that many things are misinterpreted and misrepresented. What might be presented as a “fact” is usually based upon someone’s personal judgment about a report or study they read about resulting in a lot of bad “facts” about vaping. When it comes to vaping, “facts” are usually not independent of a person’s individual bias towards it. What’s the best thing that you can do? Don’t hold on to someone else’s assumptions. Research the studies that exist out there about vaping, nicotine, and vaping vs smoking, see what the data says and form your own opinion!
There are a ton of misrepresented “vaping facts” out there -- what other “vaping truths” do you think need to be fact checked? Tell us about it in the comments below!