What to Consider when Choosing e-Liquid

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There are two main factors to consider when choosing e-liquid: flavor and strength. It’s important to find just the right type of e-liquid in order to have a satisfying vaping experience. As with food, trying new e-liquid flavors can be enjoyable. It’s good to be exposed to different taste possibilities so that you know what you find enjoyable and can switch it up from time to time. Changing e-liquid flavors is a small shift that can make a big difference in your day, and being sure to keep the appropriate nicotine level ensures vapers that they’re vaping in the most satisfying way possible.

 

E-liquid flavors:

With the wide range of e-liquid flavors available, choosing one that’s right for you can be difficult. When experimenting with new flavors, it’s always best to make sure to keep in stock some of the old flavors that are guaranteed to be enjoyable, as it would be unfortunate to be stuck without any other option for however long it takes to order new cartomizers should the new flavor be unpalatable.

New vapers might have a hard time switching if their e-cigarettes don’t taste like tobacco, so starting with a full-flavor or menthol-style e-cigarette is usually ideal. As the sense of taste is restored/ heightened, most vapers find the array of flavors enticing. Generally, the most enjoyable flavors can be guessed based on those that sound the most appealing to the individual. However, many vaping shops and mall kiosks allow potential customers to sample flavors they’re interested in before investing in their product. If your trusted e-cigarette distributor is online exclusively, or you’re not in range of their walk-in store, it might be a good idea to try flavors at a kiosk or store near you that are similar to those provided by your preferred e-cigarette vendor in order to get a sense for the flavor.

Once an appealing flavor is identified, consumers can take advantage of bulk discounts from many distributors. Nuvocig, for instance, offers a reduction of 30% per package when 5 packages are purchased at once. The savings Nuvocig offers increase according to the number of packs bought together.

 

Choosing nicotine strength

Nicotine strength is an important choice for vapers. Too little nicotine can lead to less satisfying vapes, which can cause you to feel the need to vape more than you’d like, meaning cartomizers won’t last as long and you’ll have to order them more often. Too much nicotine can be overwhelming; the throat hit can be too strong, and the vaper could feel light-headed and dizzy. Unfiltered cigarettes correspond to the highest nicotine strength in e-liquid, and ultra-lights correspond to the lowest. No-nicotine options are available as well, when you feel ready to be free from nicotine altogether. Many vapers enjoy flavor options so much, and are so taken with vaping that they continue to use the product without nicotine. It allows them to fulfill the social and tactile functions that vaping (and at one time, smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes) fulfilled for them in the past, without the chemical addiction.

E-Cigarette Safety: Safe in More Ways than One

When discussions of e-cigarette safety take place, they usually concern the health of the individual “vaper” (since e-cigs don’t produce smoke, the term “smoker” is a misnomer). This, naturally, is the first question surrounding the safety of e-cigarettes. While individual health is an important element in a responsible answer, there are other aspects to consider: are e-cigarettes safe for my family? Are they safe for the environment? Will they be conducive to a better social life? When these questions are answered, a truer, bigger picture of electronic cigarette safety shows itself.

E-Cigarettes and Your Health

Vapers who decide to consume e-cigarette liquid with nicotine added will experience the usual side-effects of that drug: primarily temporary blood pressure and heart rate changes and neurological effects that could be both positive (increased focus) or negative (lightheadedness). Thankfully, e-cigarettes allow the amount of nicotine intake to be controlled so that the user can establish their optimal amount. Looking at the contents of e-juices, the safety of e-cig devices is relatively clear when compared to the contents of traditional cigarettes. However, some products, particularly those which are mass-produced abroad, come with a slight risk of additional trace ingredients that could be harmful. The studies that have tested this indicate that harmful trace chemicals are quite rare.

 

joka2000 / Foter / CC BY

Friends, Family, Relationships

The secondhand “smoke” produced by e-cigarettes is anything but. Rather, it is exhaled water vapor, which will have a mild smell and is many magnitudes less complex and harmful than secondhand smoke from tobacco cigarettes. A vaper’s breath is unaffected by their e-cig, as are their clothes, and the inside of their homes. On dates, at family outings, when socializing, a vaper is easier to spend time around. Many smokers with children or non-smoking spouses and friends have a difficult choice to make when faced with road trips or other time spent together in a small space: do they light up in the car and risk the health of their loved ones, or sacrifice efficiency by making smoke break pit stops? With e-cigarettes, this is no longer a concern; not only do e-cigarettes make you and the space around you healthier, they’ll improve your social life as well!

 

Environmental Safety

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Fire: Smoking is one of the largest causes of house fires in the United States. Most start in the bedroom or living room, and certain household furnishings that are particularly flammable, like curtains, tend to allow the fire to spread more quickly. Cigarette butts can also start forest fires when the wooded areas are dry due to drought or natural aridity. The chemicals in cigarette butts pollute waterways, and filters are not easily broken down in nature. The amount of paper used in cigarette production is very high as well. In this article, we took a more in-depth look at the environmental impact of cigarettes and the increased sustainability that’s possible with e-cigarettes.

Safety Concerns

Like any electronic, battery-operated device, there are some risks with e-cigarettes. Misuse of the battery, particularly if it’s punctured, dropped, or otherwise mishandled, or if paired with the wrong charging source, can cause dangerous malfunctions. As with any other product, there’s also a risk of malfunction due to a production error; these events are unfortunate and infrequent, and in order to prevent their occurrence reading manufacturers’ instructions and ensuring device compatibility is always the best choice.

Scientific Research on Electronic Cigarettes : Stay Informed

Critics of the e-cigarette industry tend to claim that there has been insufficient research published on the safety of electronic cigarettes for mass consumption. While it’s true that scientific literature on e-cigarettes is not as comprehensive as that for traditional tobacco products and nicotine replacement therapies, it is by no means accurate to say that no scientific research has been conducted.

What’s out there generally falls under two distinct types of studies: experiential surveys and follow-ups from people who have vaped in order to reduce their nicotine habit or eliminate it completely/studies that track the short-term health effects paired with using electronic nicotine delivery systems (often abbreviated to ENDS in scientific & industry literature), and studies that analyze the chemical composition of e-cigarette vapor and track how those chemicals are processed within the body.

Current research is lacking, however, on certain subjects related to e-cigarette consumption. The long-term health effects have not yet been fully analyzed because the industry is young and even the first vapers haven’t yet been pursuing their habit for ten years. Little is known about the social effects of electronic cigarettes; some claim that they influence young people and non-smokers, but without scientific backing these claims are tenuous at best. Studies that analyze the contents of e-cigarette vapor and the exhaled product exist (to varying degrees) but none are able to make an industry-wide claim, as lack of quality regulation has led to products of variable quality. Some e-juices might have more trace amounts of heavy metals than others because the place and quality of their production can vary so drastically. Let’s take a look at some important research on electronic cigarettes that has already been conducted:

 

Novartis AG / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Examples of Key Industry Research

  • Researchers in Italy recently conducted a study on E-Cigarette usage which concluded that e-cigarettes were an effective means of smoking cessation. The participants of the study were normal smokers who hadn’t expressed the desire to stop smoking. Similar studies conducted with other nicotine replacement methods yielded similar results, furthering the notion that e-cigarettes are effective in cessation therapies. The hope is that, instead of classifying them as medicinal devices, they will share a legal status with nicotine patches or gum, and will remain freely exchanged over the counter.
  • In May of 2013, a study called ClearStream-LIFE analyzed the toxicological effects of e-cigarette vapor, concluding that some e-liquid formulas contained toxins, but the worst-performing among them was still “795% better” than traditional tobacco cigarette chemicals. The test was conducted on living tissue samples and suggested more clinical trials involving humans should come about.
  • A study by the British Psychological Society reported that e-cigarette use could possibly improve memory and mood alongside craving reduction.
  • In April of 2010, the American Association of Public Health Professionals released an official approval of e-cigarette sales to adults. Their report claims that “the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of tobacco-related illnesses over the next twenty years.”
  • Research conducted by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos in Greece showed that e-cigarettes did not have any adverse effects on ventricular function in the heart (where analog cigarettes showed acute impairment), and lower elevations of blood pressure from e-cigarette use than with tobacco cigarettes.

More information about recent studies on e-cigarette composition and consumption can be found here.

The Perfect Fit: e-Cigarette Gifts for Family and Friends

Everyone has friends and family who have expressed some interest in quitting smoking, or at least in cutting back, but who don’t gain much traction when they try to quit. The patch makes them jittery, the gum gives them stomach aches, and cold turkey’s unthinkable.They’ve taken a puff here or there of e-cigs, but have been reluctant to make the initial investment necessary for an electronic cigarette starter kit. It’s understandable; despite being far cheaper than traditional cigarettes, e-cigs can still cost between $1,500 and $3,500 and many smokers find themselves on tight budgets.

Droid Gingerbread / Birthday Photos / CC BY

Next holiday season or around your favorite smoker’s birthday, an e-cigarette starter kit is precisely the sort of gift you should consider. But once you’ve decided to buy one for someone you care about, how can you know how to customize the order for them? Just as if you were buying clothing or entertainment products, you’ll need to know what to order to best suit their needs. Generally the most important specifications will be cartomizer strength and flavorbattery specifications, and accessories.

 

Choosing the Right Cartomizer

The cartomizer, or cartridge containing e-liquid, determines the strength and flavor of the electronic cigarette. Most vapers find it important to buy cartomizers that most closely resemble their habits with analog (tobacco) cigarettes, especially after first making the switch.

First, you’ll need to specify the strength of the cartomizer. Generally, ‘very strong’ e-liquid mixes are similar to smoking unfiltered cigarettes based on nicotine content. ‘High’ or ‘medium’ correspond generally to full-flavor cigarettes, with ‘light’ delivering the same amount of nicotine as light or ultra-light cigarettes. There’s also a non-nicotine option, but it’s probably best to let the smoker choose when that level is right for them.

In terms of flavor, the old standards of traditional tobacco and cool menthol are popular options. A lot of new vapors will stick to these out of habit, but part of the fun and the innovation of e-cigarettes lies in the ability to enjoy new and exciting flavors. If you choose to buy a special flavor, be sure to take their general taste preferences into consideration. Your uncle John might thoroughly enjoy whiskey flavored cartomizers but frown upon champagne (maybe not, you know him better than we do).

 

Batteries Included

Your e-cigarette starter kit will come with a battery. As the source of energy for the heating coil, which vaporizes the e-juice and allows the e-cigarette to be puffed, the battery is far from optional. The battery size, manual/automatic operation, and strength are all possibly factors you’ll need to decide upon when ordering.

Manual vs Automatic: No, you’re not driving a car, but e-cigarette batteries are differentiated by the way they’re activated. Manual batteries have a small button that the user pushes to activate the heating element. Automatic batteries, on the other hand, are activated by the force of the user inhaling. Vapers’ preferences differ, so it might be a good idea to grab one of each as part of the gift pack. If that isn’t possible, automatic batteries are more apt to feel like the ‘real thing’ because they’re not button-activated.

Battery Strength: Larger batteries last longer and generally have higher ampage. Shorter batteries charge faster and are cheaper. The best option isn’t always clear, but vapers who are frequently out of the house for extended periods of the day are more likely to appreciate longer-lasting batteries.

You can see our previous entry for a more detailed guide on choosing the right electronic cigarette battery.

 

Accessorizing: not just for the Fashion-Forward

Accessories allow you to customize your gift according to the recipient’s lifestyle even further. Do they spend long hours commuting each day? Get them a car adapter. Are they

stuck at a computer at work? A USB charger might be a handy add-on. Do

they like to share? Pick up some vapor caps. Electronic cigarettes carrying cases are a stylish option for on-the-go vapers.

If a starter kit seems like too much of an investment, disposables can also be a solid introduction to e-cigarette vaping, for a more casual gift. In the long-run, though, the starter kit is much more cost-effective.

E-Cigarettes and Your Next Summer Excursion

When you go on vacation, your smoking habits go along with you. Thankfully, once you’ve switched to electronic cigarettes, you can look forward to spending time with your friends and loved ones, that you might have otherwise spent standing outside smoking a traditional cigarette. You should keep in mind, though, that in order to vape on your next vacation, there are few things you need to do in order to make everything run smoothly. First, let’s cover some basic travel tips. After that, we’ll take a look at some more specific concerns you might have for various types of summer plans.

abhisawa / Foter / CC BY

General E-Cigarette Travel Tips

  • Bring a carrying case. Travel often means occasional exposure to the elements. Weather reports are never 100% accurate, so you should prepare for every possibility if you plan on spending significant amounts of time outdoors. A carrying case will help shield your e-cig from the effects of undesirable weather.
  • Don’t forget to pack enough cartomizers. Be aware of how long cartomizers last for you, and plan accordingly. If you don’t have a backup stash, remember to order some ahead of time so that, upon arriving back home, you haven’t run out of e-juice.
  • For road trips, take the car charger. You’ll be spending a lot of time away from outlets, and hopefully away from your computer as well. With the car charger, you’ll never be left high and dry.
  • Disposables can be a good way to enjoy a vaping experience on the go. If you’re constantly on the move, it might be hard to find an outlet to charge with, so a disposable, which is always ready, can be quite handy.

For Destinations in Nature

Headed to the ocean, lake, or other body of water? Remember that the e-cigarette should not be submerged in or exposed to fluids. This might seem like a no-brainer, but with the number of electronic devices that do function underwater these days, a reminder really doesn’t hurt. If you’re at the beach, don’t set the device down in the sand. Sand granules could cause the e-cig to malfunction, diminish the life of the cartomizer, or lead to a sandy mouth, which is always unpleasant.

If geological formations (mountains, the grand canyon) are on your itinerary, remember that dropping your e-cigarette could damage its battery and cause the cartomizer to leak. And again, keep the device in its case when not in use to avoid dirt and dust buildup. If you’re headed out for a day-long outdoor adventure, be sure to take a charged second battery with you (if you’ve got that carrying case, all of the supplies should fit safely in your pack without taking up much space). Remember that, at high elevations, the oxygen level in the air is different, and the effect of nicotine in the bloodstream on your body will be different; take precautions when vaping at high altitudes.

Amusement/Thrill Parks and Water Parks

When you find yourself caught up in a line for a ride or attraction, don’t let the crowds stress you out. Remember to take full advantage of the possibilities that vaping gives you. If roller coasters are your thing, be sure to leave your e-cigarette on the ground with friends or family, or keep it in a pocket that fastens shut somehow. If you’re at a water park, you might want to keep your vaping gear in a locker or with a member of your party who isn’t swimming. Remember that you no longer have to worry about finding that dingy corner of the park where the smokers are sequestered!

madlyinlovewithlife / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Trips to the Big City

Headed to Vegas? NYC? Paris? Night life and smoking have always gone hand in hand. Just be sure to take proper care of your e-cigarette wherever you wind up at the end of the night. It’s very common to see casino patrons vaping at card tables or while playing the slots. High and low-stakes gambling can be nerve-racking; your e-cig is the perfect accessory.

It’s a good idea to look up the local regulations for e-cigarettes before vaping in public. In most places, you’ll enjoy the type of freedom that can’t be found with analog cigarettes, but not everywhere. France, for instance, recently implemented a ban on vaping in public. Some cities in the US have made similar moves, banning e-cigarette use at certain locations. The legal trend isn’t very common in the US, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. When abroad, don’t forget to bring an international power adapter. Sometimes these can be purchased at the last minute, but prices for them at airports and popular tourist destinations are usually exploitative.

Declare your Independence, Switch to E-Cigarettes

Freedom comes in different shapes and sizes. It can be a common feeling that unites a whole nation but it can also be a very personal way of seeing yourself and the world around you. Very often, we don’t even realize how free we are until we can compare it with the opposite. Whatever we are breaking free from, we will always remember the date of our liberation.

afagen / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

On July 4th, 1776, the first leaders of the United States of America approved the Declaration of Independence, initiating their struggle with the British Monarchy. Unfair economic and, social pressure, and lack of true liberty were among the concerns of the founding fathers. Taxes were high and colonists had no say in their governance; this combination created the volatile atmosphere that allowed revolt to ferment. The crown took the product of colonial efforts without giving much in return. British rule drained the life from the colonies.

This Fourth of July, why not declare your independence from tobacco products? In the same way that the British crown took its toll on the American colonists, big tobacco has its hands in your pocketbook. The thousands of dollars per year that you spend on cigarettes ought to belong to you, but exorbitant costs paired with severe addiction keep you from investing it in yourself and the people close to you. E-cigarettes can allow you to regain self-control and empowerment by giving you back your health and your hard-earned money. With what you could save by switching from ‘analog’ cigarettes, why not use the resources to do the things you love? Travel, buy gifts for your loved ones, take a class—invest in yourself and in your happiness instead of the habit that holds you back.

danorbit. / Travel Photos / CC BY-NC-ND

So what’s the hold-up? E-cigarettes are a great first step for many in the war to overcome their addiction to nicotine. Cartomizers are a unique opportunity to gradually lower the amount of nicotine consumed. Eventually, it’s possible to ease off of the chemical entirely. As the sense of taste returns, e-cigarette vapers enjoy and appreciate the wide range of available flavors more and more. Why not fight for the liberation that comes with beating a mental and physical dependency? E-cigarettes are just the tool for the job. Choosing to leave tobacco products on a day like the Fourth will make the event even more meaningful. Imagine the Fourth one, two, or five years from now. Every year, when the nation celebrates its independence, you will be able to do the same.

For yourself or for someone you love, e-cigarettes will improve quality of life. Every puff on a traditional cigarette puts over four thousand chemicals into your body.Meanwhile, the number of ingredients in e-cigarette liquid can be counted on one hand.  And of course, since e-cigs only produce water vapor, there isn’t even any risk of “second hand smoke”.
This means that when you’re celebrating the Fourth with your friends and family, e-cigarettes allow you to stay with the group. No more sitting across the lawn or out on the patio. You can even vape your e-cigarette while casually relaxing with your family during the fireworks show. There’s no need to worry about children, pets, the elderly, or people suffering from asthma being affected by your presence. No longer will you have to worry about being a burden or health risk to the people around you. Make the effort to enjoy this holiday completely and thoroughly and get ready to enjoy a new life of self-control and empowerment.

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.

What Does It Feel Like To Quit Smoking?

William James once said, “All of our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” And the truth is that we are nothing more than a mass of our personal habits. Every habit has its own routine: cue, feeding the habit and reward. In terms of smoking tobacco, the cue could be anything from a morning coffee or evening drink, to a spike in stress levels or something that makes you angry. In the life of a smoker, any of these cues usually result in lighting up a cigarette. Of course, we then have to find a place where smoking hasn’t been banned yet. That’s the feeding – finding a place to light up. And the reward? We all know that. It’s the feeling of stress and anxiety washing away with each pull or simply enjoying the inhalation of nicotine with a drink. Over time this routine no longer involves a conscious decision; it has become a neurological craving.

Quit Smoking - What Does It Feel Like? We are constantly reminded of the numerous health effects of smoking. When walking a flight of stairs or engaging in other more strenuous physical activity, the question of quitting pops up in the mind of a smoker.

 

But what does it really feel like to quit smoking?

Continue reading “What Does It Feel Like To Quit Smoking?” »

Dangers of Smoking Tobacco – E-Cigarette Alternatives

Nicotiana tabacum, better known as cultivated tobacco, is the main plant species used in making cigarettes, cigars and other smokeable tobacco products. The plant contains numerous phytochemicals, the most prominent of which is nicotine. It binds with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the body and leads to the release of dopamine and serotonin, among other neurochemicals. The release of these two organic chemicals work as neurotransmitters and are responsible for the feelings of pleasure and happiness, which helps to explain why tobacco is one of the most addictive and hard to quit substances known to man.

Second hand smoke – the most argued social danger of tobacco
Smoking tobacco imposes a lot of dangers – both social and health related. One of the most argued social dangers associated with smoking tobacco is second-hand smoke – a mixture of smoke from the burning end of the cigarette, that lingers in the air hours after the cigarette has been extinguished. Inhaling second-hand smoke can cause adverse health effects when done on a regular basis. Studies show that non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke either at home or work increase their risk of developing tobacco-related health issues.

Another major social issue related to smoking that does not get as much coverage – primarily because the public is so preoccupied with second hand smoke – is residential fires. In fact, a recent study from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of California suggests that smoking tobacco is the leading cause of both residential fires as well as fire related deaths. Continue reading “Dangers of Smoking Tobacco – E-Cigarette Alternatives” »