Reports on the news continue to surface of e-cigarettes exploding, bringing to mind legitimate concerns regarding the safety of e-cigarettes.
What is Vaping?
Vaping comes in all different forms, but at the core it can be simply defined by the act of inhaling vapor that is produced through the use an electronic cigarette or a vaporizer. The vapor itself can come from a nicotine-based e-liquid, a concentrate, or dry herb.
Vaping devices, commonly called e-cigarettes, vapes, or dry herb vaporizers, use a battery-powered heating element (atomizer) to vaporize material into a “vapor” for inhalation. A typical vaping device contains a battery, a container for the medium being vaporized, and an atomizer.
In an e-cig or a vape ,the e-liquid is suspended in a tank that surrounds the atomizer. The e-liquid is absorbed by a wicking material, such as cotton. This wicking material directly contacts the atomizer. When the atomizer gets hot, the e-liquid suspend in the wicking material is rapidly heated and becomes a inhalable vapor.
With a dry herb vaporizer, the atomizer heats up dry herbs, typically marijuana, in a chamber. When heated, the chamber gets hot enough to release the active compounds within the herbs, without reaching combustion temperatures. The vapor is then inhaled, producing similar effects for the user that combustion offers.
Vape juice also called e-liquid, is the most popular kind of vaporized material. Containing nicotine, flavoring, and Propylene Glycol and/or Vegetable Glycerin. The PG and VG is the medium for carrying the nicotine and the flavor. By adjusting the ratio between the two you can get the most pleasurable vaping experience possible.
There are thousands of flavors available besides the traditional tobacco flavors. This variety has helped the vaping industry attract smokers into vaping by offering attractive flavors over tobacco. Many vapers enjoy a diversity of flavors and are more attracted to these flavors than they are to smoking cigarettes.
There have been many studies about the dangers of e-cigarette vapor, many of them done on the dime of e-cig manufacturers. However, there is significant data showing that vaping e-liquid is much less toxic than burning tobacco.
History of Vaping
Finding an alternative way to inhale nicotine has been a goal for several decades now, with several patents for different e-cig type devices filed throughout the 20th century. However, it wasn’t until 2003 when a Chinese scientist by the name of Hon Lik, developed a patent for the first commercially successful vaping device. Lik, a pharmacist and inventor was himself a smoker. He created his invention after his father, who was also a heavy smoker, passed away from lung cancer.
It was a few years before vaping caught on globally, but once it did, the growth of the industry exploded. In 2006 and 2007 the first vapes were introduced to the European and American marketplace. In the next few years, vaping and e-cigarette use gained rapidly in popularity, specifically among those that were looking for an alternative to the traditional methods of smoke inhalation.
Why Are People Vaping?
Ask any vaper, and they will likely share with you more than one reason why they vape—and why they love it.
Vaping Gives You a Less Toxic Option
Smoke is dangerous and extremely harmful to yourself and to others. Numerous studies have revealed that in comparison to traditional cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapor provides a much better way to inhale nicotine. This has allowed many smokers to cut back on their smoke inhalation. Vaping also cuts down on second hand smoke inhalation, making it not just better for you, but for all the important people around you.
Vapor Smells Better
You can’t escape the smell of cigarette smoke. Long after you’ve extinguished your cigarette, the smell follows you. It creeps in to your clothes, permeates your home and makes your breath, well, let’s just say less than desirable. E-cigarette vapor does not have the same lingering qualities and when you can smell it, the aroma is far less pungent than what you experience with traditional cigarette smoke. And forget smelling like an ashtray all day long, with vaping it just doesn’t happen.
Vaping Gives You Variety
One of the wonderful things about vapes is how customizable the devices are and how many options you have for e-liquids. From cigarette-style devices that mimic the look and feel of a traditional smoke, to high-powered vape models, there is a style of vape for every user—and every situation. To top it off, you also can choose your favorite flavors, e-liquid mediums, and nicotine levels. All of these choices allow you to make a customized vaping experience, that is just right for you.
The Different Types of Vaping Devices
E-cigarettes are often thought of as beginner vaping devices, because more often than not they are people’s first introduction to vapes. They are easy to find in convenience stores and traditional smoke shops and vape stores, but unlike other vapes many of these are disposable and can be discarded after use. Reusable cig-a-likes are also available, allowing you to recharge the atomizer and switch out the e-liquid cartridge to cut down on waste.
Whether you get a rechargeable or a disposable model, the best e-cig devices can mimic the feel of traditional cigarettes, therefore they will be smaller than most other vaping styles on the market. Many vapers agree that e-cigs provide a great way to transition from cigarettes into a better method of nicotine delivery. While they may not offer the flavor and fullness of some of the larger vaping devices, their convenience and affordability make them a popular choice for a lot of casual vapers and newbies on the vaping scene.
A significant step up from e-cigs, vape pens are rechargeable and easy to use, but in general offer more power and more options to allow you to make the most of your vaping experience. All vape pens contain a rechargeable battery, charging cable, a clearomizer or cartridge for holding e-liquid, and a mouthpiece. The clearomizer, or cartomizer, contains the atomizer or heating element that is responsible for turning the liquid into vapor.
Some models come with prefilled cartridges, while others allow you to fill up the clearomizer with your favorite vape juice. Indicative of their name, vape pens are mid-sized devices that have a streamlined and compact design. While they are generally more expensive than e-cigs, most users are happy with the extra investment, and the best vape pens have substantial vapor production and an expanded battery capacity.
Vape Mods/Tube Mods
Vape Mods are bigger and more powerful than e-cigs and vape pens. These vaping devices evolved from modifying flashlights and metal tubes with electronic cigarette components in the early years of vaping.
Their sleek, tube style makes them a great vape for those who want a smaller device without giving up the power and vapor production. Tube mods provide a more satisfying vapor than vape pens, due to the bigger batteries and adjustment options.
The most popular vape mods allows you to choose your own atomizer and vape juice capacity. Tube mods have fewer options than box mods, making them more convenient for beginners or on-the-go users. Most of these devices have removable batteries that can be exchanged for recharged ones when they are depleted.
The king of power in the vaping world, box mods offer you more power and more customizable options than any other device on the market. Box mods are bigger than vape pens and the smaller tube mod styles. The name is suggestive of their style with most models coming in a box-like shape. If you are seeking the ultimate in custom vapes, a box mod is the only way to go.
Box mods use detachable vape tanks that hold the e-liquid. That allows you to choose the atomizer, as well as the style and capacity that works best for you. The customizability is more than just in the build. The top box mod models have the ability to adjust temperature and voltage or wattage to create your perfect vapor. Don’t like dry hits? Simply lower your temp until your vapor is just right. Looking for a more intense vapor? Raise the wattage to get a more immediate and satisfying throat hit.
Mini vaping device are in more powerful than a vape pen, but smaller than a box mod. These little guys have few option but are big on vapor production. Minis are great for traveling and anyone who wants a smaller device, but without sacrificing on power. Mini vapes are smaller version of box mods, but without the LCD screen, battery capacity, and power. Beginners and non-techy users prefer mini vapes and vape pens for their basic features.
Mini vaping devices usually have internal batteries that cannot be replaced. The best mini vape devices have replaceable batteries are usually slightly bigger and only use one battery. Both versions can be charged by plugging in a micro USB cable directly into the device.
A dry herb vaporizer works slightly different than a traditional vape, but some of the components remain the same. Traditional e-cigarettes vaporize e-liquid to create the vapor, whereas dry herb vapes vaporize dry material, such as marijuana.
Herbal vaporizers are generally discreet and easy to carry with you. There are larger at home models that work well on tables and desk tops. Like regular e-cigarettes, there is no combustion. This makes herbal vapes an increasingly popular choice for those who want to cut down on inhaling potentially harmful toxins.
Many, especially those who use marijuana medicinally, appreciate the safer method of inhalation that dry herb vapes allows. Many users reporting a much cleaner and more potent vapor than they experience with traditional combustible methods. A good quality herbal vape can be very powerful and potent.
Is Vaping Safe?
Since vaping is a relatively new industry, it is hard for anyone to completely verify the safety of using e-cigarettes. We simply do not know the long-term effects vaping can have on the user. What we do know now confirms that it is a far safer alternative than traditional smoking—in more ways than one. In a 2015 study, Public Health England reported that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than their combustible counterparts. Another more recent study has shown that former smokers who now vape displayed significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals and carcinogens that current smokers.
If you are a cloud-chaser, looking for big and intense vapor, then you need to consider sub-ohm vaping. Sub-ohm vaping is vaping using a sub-ohm atomizer that produces more intense vapor. Sub-ohm vaping produces greater vapor clouds and for many that translates to a more satisfying overall vaping experience. The heating element in an atomizer has a resistance level that is measured in ohms. Most e-cigs have an ohm level between 3 and 1.5 ohms, but sub-ohm levels take the resistance below 1 ohm. By lowering the resistance below 1 ohm, you allow more power to pass through the coil resulting thicker vapor clouds.
How to Find the Best Vape
The best way to find a vape that’s right for you is to try them—but since most of us don’t have an unlimited income, the next best strategy is to read online vape reviews and become educated before you make a purchase. IEC has thoroughly researched reviews from people who have been in your shoes before and know just how to help you make the right vaping choices—to create a vaping experience that is just right for you.
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