What Is Vaping?
The rapid rise of vaping culture and the often conflicting reports regarding the practice can make it difficult to separate real news from fake news. As such, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create this detailed guide to help you separate fact from fiction.
Where It All Started
The very first e-cigarette was invented by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist in the early 2000s. After his father’s death from lung cancer because of a long-standing cigarette addiction, Lik was on a mission to find a way to address the issue.
With the help of his employer at the time - Dragonite International (formerly known as Ruyan Group) - Lik was able to bring his new product to market in 2006. The e-cigaratte’s introduction to Europe was met with high acclaim and was soon followed by a debut in the United States a year later.
Since then the e-cigarette and vaping in general have grown exponentially. New vape manufacturers have entered the fold to create innovative adaptations of Lik’s original invention, which has resulted in the excellent selection of vaping products that are available to vapers today.
What Is A Vape?
A vape, also known as an e-cigarette, is an electronic device that works producing vapor, which users inhale. Most vapes consist of a mouthpiece, a battery, a cartridge that contains vape juice, and a metal coil heating element. The battery warms up the heating element, which converts the vape juice that users inhale into vapor.
Who Is Vaping For?
The legal vaping age is different from country to country and sometimes there are even various age restrictions across different states in the same country. In most cases, you will need to be at least 18 years of age to purchase or use vape-related products.
Vaping products are intended for people who are looking to quit their smoking habit. Numerous health organizations have already endorsed vaping as a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes. If you’ve tried other smoking replacement therapies like patches, lozenges and nicotine gum but none of them have cut it for you, vaping is an excellent option.
It is strongly recommended that you do not pick up vaping if you’re not a smoker or do not have a nicotine addiction. That’s because even by using these newer electronic nicotine delivery systems, you can still start to develop an addiction to nicotine that would never have occurred if you hadn’t started vaping - and the cravings are challenging to overcome.
Are All Vape Devices Chargeable?
No, not all vape devices are chargeable. The two categories in this regard are disposable and rechargeable devices.
Disposables are single use vaped devices that are discarded after they run out of power or the e-liquid finishes. They do not require re-filling and cannot be charged. Simply use and dispose is the mantra.
Rechargeable vapes devices, however, can be charged as the name suggests. These devices will normally feature a battery life indicator that’s useful to know when it needs to be recharged typically using a USB to micro USB charger.
How Do E-Cigarettes Function?
For vape devices to start firing, the battery needs to be turned on. This is either achieved manually through the push of a button on the device or through a motion sensor in the device that is triggered by inhalation. This turns the heating element on and begins turning e-liquid into vapor, which is inhaled through a mouthpiece.
That act of vaping is a nicotine delivery method that doesn’t deliver the extra toxins, which are present in tobacco cigarettes to the bloodstream. For this reason, vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking as well as an effective method for smoking cessation.
What Is E-Liquid (Vape Juice)?
E-liquid, also known as vape juice, is the substance that is used to produce vapor. It is made up of a few key ingredients including water, propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), and flavoring. There are also some nicotine-free e-liquids, which are commonly referred to as ‘just for enjoyment’.
Unfortunately though, misconceptions surrounding two key vape juice ingredients have been making the rounds. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine have been inaccurately labelled as harmful to health.
Vegetable glycerine is a natural, sweet-tasting substance that is found in vegetable oils. But while it comes from oil, it is categorized as a type of alcohol and safe to consume. The thicker consistency of vegetable glycerine results in larger clouds of vapor, which makes VG-heavy e-liquids the sought after choice of ‘cloud chasers’.
Propylene glycol is a thinner substance that is often found in a 1:1 ratio in most e-liquids but can also be present in larger amounts in others. PG-heavy e-liquids naturally produce less vapor, making them perfect for discreet vaping.
PG has often been mistaken for an antifreeze. The reality though, is that it is only a small ingredient that is present in some antifreeze products. In fact, PG is used to improve taste and provide a smoother texture in many food and beverage products. It is therefore safe for ingestion.
It is good practice to only ever purchase your vape juice from reputable manufacturers and retailers as unauthorized products may be harmful to your health.
E-liquids are available in a range of nicotine strengths. Nicotine strength will normally be measured as a percentage or in milligrams. When determining the best nicotine strength for you, a good approach is to base it on your level of smoking before you took up vaping. As such, heavier smokers will normally begin their vaping journey at a higher nicotine concentration.
The best method if you’re looking to quit smoking is to try e-liquids with a lower nicotine concentration first, just in case it is enough to satisfy your existing nicotine cravings. If it is not then the opportunity to increase the concentration will still remain.
E-liquids today come in a range of unique and delightful flavors. There is everything from tobacco flavored and menthol flavored vape juice for smoking traditionalists who prefer a familiar taste to strawberry, raspberry, red bull and hotdog flavors for vapers who are seeking a wider range of flavor palettes.
Vaping is now recognized as a healthier smoking alternative due to its delivery of nicotine to the bloodstream without the additional harmful toxins that are found in tobacco cigarettes. They function by heating e-liquid (or vape juice), which is turned into vapor for inhalation. E-liquids come in a range of nicotine concentrations and flavors to suit each vapers individual needs.
Vaping should only ever be taken up by ex-smokers who are looking for an effective way to quit. What’s more, you should always purchase your gear from reputable manufacturers and retailers.