What’s in E-Juice, exactly?

Certain criticisms are often leveled at e-cigarette advocates – that there’s too much unknown with e-cigarettes, that consumers aren’t aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. In actuality, however, e-juice recipes are quite simple. Unlike traditional cigarettes, you won’t find over 4,000 ingredients in each puff of an e-cig. Three ingredients comprise most e-liquids: nicotine, flavoring, and a diluent. The vapor that’s exhaled is even simpler: it consists principally of traces of the particles used for flavoring and water.

 

ChrisCosta77 / Foter.com

Diluent

The most commonly used diluent in e-cigarettes is propylene glycol. While this product may seem foreign to consumable products at first, it’s important to note that it’s a common ingredient in medicine inhalers, generally as a solvent in cosmetic products and even food. While some are sensitive to the product, it’s benign for most, as its toxicity is quite low. Because it absorbs moisture very well it can cause dry mouth with prolonged use, but vapers will note a stronger ‘throat hit,’ making the physical e-cig experience closer to that of an analog cigarette.

Vegetable glycerin is used for the same purpose for some brands. It’s viscosity makes it better for non-tank personal vaporizers, but the throat hit produced is typically weaker. It’s also naturally sweet, so vegetable glycerin based liquids can have a taste that’s harder to detect than in their propylene glycol counterparts.

Many e-liquid companies offer mixtures of the two, for those who fix their own e-juice and fill their own cartomizers.

Nicotine

The most recognizable active ingredient in analog cigarettes, nicotine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Reliable e-cigarette liquid uses pharmaceutical-grade nicotine, ensuring consumer safety and reliability. The global nicotine supply is derived from the cultivation of the tobacco plant in a number of regions. Many e-cigarette providers, such as Nuvocig, offer liquids at various nicotine strength concentrations, allowing you to customize your vaping experience based on the types of cigarettes you buy (bought!). Match your nicotine levels to full-flavor, light, or unfiltered cigarettes, and if your goal is to butt the habit completely there are even nicotine-free options available.

Flavoring

E-cig flavoursFlavoring for e-cigarettes can come from a number of products. The most common are essential oils and extracts. Coffee, vanilla, cherries, chocolate , peppermint, and peach are common flavors, but shops, with storefronts online and in brick and mortar, have begun to sell various non-traditional flavors of all sorts. Nuvocig, in particular, boasts a wide variety of flavors including champagne, whiskey, mango and many others, in addition to the standard menthol and tobacco offerings. Flavor juices produce the faint scent of their flavor as the smoker exhales, but the particles in the air are nowhere near as powerful as and are far less harmful than smoke produced by tobacco cigarettes.

It’s really that simple.

With fewer questionable chemicals in e-liquids than in analog cigarettes, there’s little question that it’s a simpler and safer alternative. It’s true that propylene glycol can cause allergic reactions but this is true for many other products and does not mean that it should be feared or avoided for consumption off-hand. With over 4,000 various chemicals in analog cigarettes, the ingredients in e-juices comprise only 0.075% the number of ingredients in traditional tobacco products.

Give the Environment a Boost by Switching to E-Cigarettes

It’s obvious that there are many great reasons to choose electronic cigarettes over their analog counterparts. Cost, health, and taste are some of the most obvious factors but they aren’t the only reasons to make the switch. What you may not know is that electronic cigarettes also constitute a softer ecological impact compared to tobacco products!

Let’s talk for a bit about the ecological repercussions that come from smoking ‘analog’ cigarettes. Generally, these can be broken down into three categories: air pollution, water/ ground pollution, and deforestation/ paper waste. By switching to e-cigarettes, smokers are able to choose a greener lifestyle.

Midway Journey / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

 

Deforestation and Paper Waste

This is perhaps the most straightforward aspect of the ecological impact of ‘analog’ cigarettes. Papers, filters and packaging materials all require tree products (filters are a wood pulp by-product). Even though a great deal of the world’s paper consumption comes from renewable resources, a significant amount of the paper supply, especially mass-produced products bent on maintaining the lowest prices possible, comes from the non-renewable rain forest, disrupting the global ecological balance and creating ecological disasters. While all nicotine is derived from plants, the use of e-cigarettes still involves fewer paper products.

Air Pollutants

After each puff of a cigarette, more than 4,000 harmful chemicals are released into the air. A controlled experiment whose results were released in 2004 suggested that tobacco cigarettes produced more unhealthy air pollutants than a diesel engine. The study tracked particulate matter levels in the air over a period of time from both sources, and after a few hours the tobacco-affected air was seen to have ten times as many harmful particles as the air around the diesel engine.

(Read more about this particular issue here)

E-cigarettes, on the other hand, produce exponentially fewer chemicals on exhalation. Report findings from a team at the Buffalo, N.Y. -based Roswell Park Cancer Institute showed that ‘analog’ cigarettes produced 9,450 times the number of chemicals that were present in e-cig vapor, making it better for your lungs, for the lungs of those around you, and for the atmosphere.

 

epSos.de / Foter.com / CC BY

Water & Ground Pollution

The primary component of analog cigarettes that produces air and water pollutants is the filter. The material in the filter is processed from tree fibers, and as the smoker inhales it fulfills its function, absorbing some of the chemicals that would have entered the smoker’s body. While cigarette marketing tries to remind us to throw away cigarette butts in proper receptacles, many end up outside buildings and in street gutters, washing into municipal water supplies. Even those that are disposed of properly find themselves among other pollutants found in landfills, finding their way into the local groundwater, or are dumped into the ocean.

With an estimated billion smokers worldwide, the number of filters adds up. 4000 chemicals per puff, approximately 10-15 puffs per cigarette, 10-40 cigarettes per day, and the magnitude of the problem begins to show itself.

While electronic cigarettes aren’t a perfect solution to the water and land pollution problem, they have the potential to be better for the environment. Batteries and cartomizers for e-cigarettes last longer; fewer are consumed per day than the number of packs and butts one might toss in a day. Especially with proper care, electronic cigarette batteries can last quite a while before needing to be replaced. It is very important to note that the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries common in e-cigarettes should be disposed of properly in order to ensure the lightest ecological impact, as this type of battery is recyclable.

Switching to E-Cigarettes: 7 tips

leonardrodriguez / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Making a drastic, lasting change in your habits isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight, especially when addiction is part of the equation. As a general rule, don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s good to have high expectations and ambitious goals, but being unrealistic and unfair to yourself will only create discouragement. With that in mind, these tips will help you make the transition to e-cigarette vaping as smoothly as possible.

  1. Try the product first
    There are a lot of options out there, and with most companies offering a disposable model, it’s not hard to try a few out before you decide to stick to one. The same goes for e-juice flavors. Be sure to find the one that suits you best!
  2. Be sure to keep enough cartomizers/ e-liquid supplies to meet your rate of consumption.
    Depending on the type of electronic cigarette, the juice formula and the smoking habits of the user, one cartomizer is usually the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes. Still, there are certain brands whose cartomizers can last much longer. Be sure to order refills ahead of time so that you don’t have to switch to ‘analog’ tobacco cigarettes while you wait for the supply to be shipped. Keep records of how long it takes you to go through a cartomizer and plan your refill buying accordingly.
  3. Keep those batteries charged!
    Most starter kits include multiple batteries so that there’s no pause while you wait for the device to recharge. Take advantage of this! USB chargers are particularly helpful, too, and can keep you vaping when you’re on the go.
  4. Know how to maintain the device.
    Knowing proper battery and device upkeep extends the life of your vaping equipment, allowing you to reap the most from your e-cig investment.
  5. Handle the e-cig as much as possible.
    This might sound a bit silly, but the more you actively handle the unit, the more you’ll become accustomed to its weight and feel. Everyone’s experience varies, but this is an important step for a lot of smokers who are more tactile-oriented.
  6. If you need an analog cigarette every once in a while, that’s OK.
    Everyone who has switched did so at their own pace. Stick with it and you’ll get there. In any case, even small reductions in the use of tobacco cigarettes will be good for your health.
  7. Consider joining a support group, an online community, or vape with your friends!
    It’s always easier when you’re not going it alone. There are a plethora of online forums, Reddit communities, and other organizations that can help you feel less alone in the process. Switching to vaping with a friend or two can be a great source of encouragement and positive reinforcement as well.

While there are certainly other considerations to take into account, these are the basics. Also, you should keep in mind all of the money you’re saving by leaving behind the overtaxed analog cigarettes with their inflated pricing. Be sure to take advantage of the fact that with e-cigarettes you’re able to vape in many, many more places. It’s a truly empowering freedom!