Vaping is a trend that continues to gain momentum. Its popularity is due to a number of factors, including the ability to choose from an extensive variety of flavors and the fact that it costs far less than smoking.
However, it’s important to remember that e-cigarettes are not safe and can cause serious health problems. Nicotine, which is found in most e-cigarettes, alters brain connections and can impair impulse control.
What is a vape?
Vaping simulates smoking by heating a liquid solution to a high enough temperature that it turns into an aerosol mist. It is inhaled into the lungs, where it delivers nicotine and other chemicals directly to the bloodstream. The early vape devices looked like cigarettes; newer ones can look more like USB flash drives or small pods. Some of them use a tank, while others use a closed system, which includes a battery and atomizer. Also called e-cigarettes, mods, vaporizers, vape pens, and more, they are battery-powered and can contain any number of flavorings, as well as nicotine.
While vaping may be less harmful than smoking, it’s still not safe. Research shows it can still cause cancer and other health problems, including heart, lung, and respiratory tract damage. It exposes the user to poisonous metals, carcinogens, and other toxic chemicals that enter the body with each puff.
Studies are still being done to understand the long-term effects of vaping. The chemicals used in e-liquids are also harmful, and they can include solvents like acetone which is found in nail polish remover, acrolein from weed killer, and 2-chlorophenol, which is used in cleaning products and bug spray. Many e-liquids are labeled ‘nicotine-free’, but some, especially those with fruit flavorings, contain the addictive drug.
It’s important to talk to a stop-smoking adviser, who can help with deciding the right device and nicotine strength for you and provide extra support to quit vaping. Some also offer free starter kits.
You should also avoid vaping near children and babies, as they can be attracted to the flavorings in e-liquids. They can also mistake e-liquids for sweet drinks, which they might try to eat. They can also be harmed if they come into contact with an exploding or overheated vape battery.
In the UK, buying e-cigarettes or nicotine vaping liquid for anyone under 18 is illegal. The same goes for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s best to speak with a midwife or a stop-smoking adviser for advice.
What is e-liquid?
Many first-time vapers struggle with the vast amount of jargon and terminology that surrounds the industry. From nicotine levels, PG/VG ratios, and flavor profiles to terms like coils, mods, tanks, and batteries, it’s hard for newbies to know where to begin.
The term ‘e-liquid’ refers to the liquid which is vaporized in your device. It’s made up of a base, usually glycerin or propylene glycol, and the other ingredients are added to create your desired flavor and consistency. Most e-liquids also contain nicotine content which is often available in varying strengths and is used to simulate the feeling of smoking traditional cigarettes.
When puffing on your device, air activates the battery-powered heating element, which vaporizes the e-liquid, and you inhale the aerosol, or ‘vapor’, which is then exhaled out of your mouth into your lungs. The vapor is typically cooler than the smoke from a cigarette, and there is no second-hand vapor to disturb others.
Many vape devices have adjustable airflow, which allows you to control the amount of vapor you inhale. For example, you might want to reduce the vapor to enjoy the flavor of your e-liquid more or increase it for more cloud production. Some people also choose to make their own e-liquids, which gives them full control over the nicotine content and flavor. You can find DIY kits that include everything you need to get started, as well as a wide variety of flavors and blend ratios to suit your personal preference.
E-liquids can be purchased at a number of different places, from online stores to specialist vape shops. It’s important to research your options carefully and choose a quality product that is independently tested for safety and reliability. It’s also a good idea to check local laws and regulations, as some venues or states might prohibit the use of vaporizers.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t vape in public areas such as cinemas, restaurants, or offices, as this could offend other people and isn’t recommended. You should also avoid vaping in public transport, as it is not permitted under most rules and can be distracting to other passengers. If you are unsure of the rules in your area, ask the operator before making a decision.
What is a vaporizer?
Vaporizers, also known as vaporizers, are electronic devices that detach the active components from recreational or medicinal herb material and turn them into a breathable vapor. When inhaled, this vapor releases instant effects without the harmful chemicals produced by burning the plant material. The vapor is odorless and tar-free, much cleaner than smoke from burning herbs or other materials.
The device has a cartridge or tank that holds e-liquid. A sensor activates when you puff (breathe in) and the e-liquid is heated, which creates an aerosol that looks like water vapor. The vapor contains nicotine and flavorings, as well as other chemicals. It is inhaled into the lungs, where it crosses over from the bloodstream into the body’s tissues and cells. The pleasure produced by nicotine’s interaction with the brain’s reward system encourages some people to continue using the device.
There are many different types of vaporizers, from small “vaporizer pens” that look like cigarettes to larger desktop models that plug into a power outlet. Most vaporizers have a battery, a heating element that converts liquid into a breathable aerosol, and a mouthpiece to inhale the vapor. They can be made of plastic, metal, or glass, and some are refillable. A variety of flavors are available, but some of the most popular are nicotine, glycerin, and propylene glycol.
Cartridge pens are the most popular because they are easy to use and affordable. These vaporizers have a cartridge that can be filled with extracts and are often pre-filled with juice, making them ready to use. They come in various colors and styles, but all work the same way: the battery attaches to the cartridge containing the extract.
A more sophisticated version of a vaporizer is one that has a tank, a coil, a sensor, and a control button. This type is usually larger than the cartridge pens and has more removable parts, such as an atomizer coil and a tank or chamber to hold the liquid. Some have a whip or balloon that you can inhale from, like the Volcano model, while others have a hose-like mouthpiece with a valve bag.
How do I vape?
There are a lot of decisions to be made when first starting out on your vaping journey. From picking a device to finding the right e-liquid and everything in between, there is a lot of information out there that can be overwhelming for someone who has never vaped before.
The best way to start out is with a pod vape device that comes pre-filled with an E-Liquid. These devices are simple to use, with most having a single button or draw-activated mechanism. Generally, these devices are either mouth-to-lung (MTL) or direct-to-lung (DTL) and come with built-in coils that can be replaced or removed depending on the model you choose.
Once you have your device, you’ll want to start with a menthol or tobacco flavor that is similar to what you smoked before switching over to vaping. Choosing a flavor that tastes familiar can help you get used to the sensation of vaping, and it can also make it easier to quit smoking when the time comes!
As the vaping industry has grown, so have the different types of devices. There are many different styles to be found on the market, and these can range from very large devices, such as box mods, to small designs that resemble a cigarette or vape pen called pod vapes. All these devices are comprised of the same components – a battery, tank, or pod to hold your e-liquid, a heating element, and a mouthpiece.
When you inhale your vapor from an electronic cigarette or vape, the liquid in the tank or pod is heated to create the smoke-like vapor, which is then inhaled by the user, much like how you would inhale the smoke from a traditional cigarette. The vapor produced by an e-cigarette does not contain any harmful chemicals such as tar or carbon monoxide and therefore poses a significantly lower risk to the health of the user than combustible cigarettes.
When using your vape, be sure to practice good battery safety practices. Always charge your batteries when not in use, and take care not to overcharge them. If you do overcharge your battery, the atomizer inside may be damaged. When you are ready to vape, take slow and steady puffs to allow your body to adjust to the sensation of the vapor. Trying to puff hard and fast, as you would with a cigarette, will only cause the device to emit clouds of vapor that may taste burnt or cause coughing.