Everything You Need to Know About Vaping – And Then Some
If you’ve never heard the word vaping before, it refers to the use of a nicotine delivery system such as a vape mod, Juul, vape pen, etc. rather than smoking traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices into which you put a liquid vaping product and heat it up, turning it into vapor which you then inhale.
Most vape liquids, also called vape juices and/or e-liquids, contain nicotine, 25 mg and 50 mg being the most popular strength levels. Some contain no nicotine at all. Due to their flavoring elements, no two vape juices are exactly the same. However, each type of juice typically contains the following ingredients:
- Vegetable glycerin (VG)
- Propylene glycol (PG)
- Nicotine in the stated level, including no nicotine whatsoever
- Food grade flavoring
In its basic form, nicotine, a/k/a freebase nicotine, is extracted from tobacco plants. Since inhaling nicotine sometimes causes mouth and throat irritation, many vape juices add benzoic acid to their freebase nicotine solutions. This reduces the solution’s pH level, giving you less irritation.
Before you begin vaping, you should think about why you want to do it. For instance, do you want to vape in order to cut down on your cigarette smoking or quit entirely? Do you prefer a smokeless nicotine delivery system rather than one that produces smoke? Do you want to be one of the “vape gang” to which so many of your friends belong? Do you simply want to enjoy the various flavors that vaping offers? All of these, plus many more, are good reasons to vape.
Your vaping system can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it. In addition, you can buy complete systems off the shelf or you can construct your own. In any event, your vaping system will include some or all of the following components:
- A glass or plastic vial container of e-liquid
- Cartomizer and clearomizer
- Digital display or lights to adjust settings
- Tank system
- Drip tip
- Programmable software
You can choose from an almost unlimited variety of vape juice flavors. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Blue Raspberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Kiwi
- Green Apple
- Iced Honey Dew
- Iced Juicy Watermelon
- Fresh Pineapple
- Sweet Caramel Tobacco
- Iced Green Apple
- Georgia Peach
- Iced Winter Green
- Fruit Punch
- Iced Red Mango
- Strawberry Acai
- Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookie
- Carrot Cake
Vaping Products Regulation
Back in 2009, then-president Barack Obama gave the Food and Drug Administration the power and authority to regulate the manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and labeling of all tobacco products. This authority was extended to e-cigarettes in 2019 as the result of a court decision.
It took the FDA until 2016, however, to finalize its rules regulating e-cigarettes. Under these rule, the sale of e-cigarettes would have been banned to anyone under 18 years of age. They would also have required all e-cigarette products to go through an FDA “premarket review” to determine their safety. With the advent of the Trump administration, however, the new FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, defended the safety of e-cigarettes and delayed implementation of these rules until 2022. Nevertheless, given the explosion of e-cigarette usage among minors and young adults, last year Dr. Gottlieb threatened to crack down on e-cigarette advertising specifically aimed at kids under 18 years of age.
Assuming you are of legal age, you can vape to your heart’s content without fearing governmental or other interference or any type of legal penalties. Just like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping systems, and vape juice are all legal products. Be aware, however, that many buildings and establishments include e-cigarettes as part of their no-smoking ban and/or smoke-free areas.