So I’m going to put this out there because people have been showing a lot of interest in my e-cigarette when I’m out and about.
I quit smoking a while back, but like a lot of people, my will power sucks when it comes to cigarettes. Nicotine and more specifically the act of smoking was more than I could kick on my own. So, I’m going to break this down into a few posts, but I’ll walk you through my experience with e-cigarettes and vaping in general. I’m going to put a disclaimer on this whole thing by saying, I don’t necessarily think e-cigarettes and vaping are a healthier alternative to smoking, but it does have some benefits that made it worthwhile to me.
Lets start with what you’re “vaping”. Flavored nicotine fluid, commonly referred to as “juice,” is a combination of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Nicotine Extract, and an added Flavoring. Propylene Glycol (wiki)
, is a food additive (among other less appetizing things *cough antifreeze) and has not shown signs of being a carcinogen. It has health risks in large doses, and some people have reported a mild allergic reaction to it (most juice vendors will tailor your percentage of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin if you ask). Vegetable Glycerin or Glycerol wiki
is another food additive used to dilute nicotine and produce the “smoke” you see when you’re vaping. Once again, its considered fairly safe for human consumption, but there is still a lack for research for using it as an inhalant. Nicotine extract is fairly self explanatory. Most people buy their juice premixed and flavored but some people prefer to mix their own juices and buy nicotine extract in various strengths – usually notated in mg/ml. For example a “high” strength juice might be advertised as a “36mg” fluid. Meaning there is 36 mg of nicotine in each milliliter of fluid. For the record most fluids with levels this high will knock your socks off. A Marlboro Red cigarette has about 1.2 mg of nicotine. So a pack is only about 24 mg. There are some devices that make it really easy to vape through a ml of liquid in an hour or less so its easy to over do it if you’re not careful. A personal recommendation is if you’re trying to get over the hump of smoking, start with an 18mg fluid. It’s enough to get you through the cravings. You’ll probably overdo it at some point, but it’s really no worse than being really jacked up on caffeine. The flavors in juice you’ll find are FDA approved food additives/flavorings. Once again, they are approved for consumption, but the long-term effect of inhaling them has still to be seen.
I vape a few different flavors. Mostly, I stick with the tobacco realm of flavors as a lot of the menthol, the sweet, the spicy (think cinnamon), and the baked goods (yup, seriously – there’s a banana bread flavor that would be impressive if it weren’t so overwhelmingly pungent) aren’t my cup of tea. I currently vape 0mg of nicotine but as I was reducing my intake I started with a 24mg American Red Label tobacco flavor and worked my way down to zero mg. I also like a French Pipe flavor that’s a consistent favorite of mine. Now I have a about 6 different flavors in my kit, even some coffee flavors and an “Ecto Cooler Kool-Aid” flavor that even though its not something I vape often, its kind of fun sometimes. Its hard to recommend flavors though, because everyone’s taste is different.
Next up: the things that make the vapor.