6 Rumors and Erroneous Misconceptions about Vaping
As the vaping industry continues to grow, so do the rumors and the misconceptions about the use of Vape Juices and Products. For the vast majority of the population who do no smoke or vape, they are not going to perform research on the subject, which leads them to have little or no information about the industry. Regrettably, the population has to rely on the information that is fed from non-credible sources that have a separate ulterior motive.
For the vaping community, it is our focus to enlighten others about the facts behind vaping. Although our journey is surely an adventure, our efforts are to advocate removing the stigma that is being perpetuated by big tobacco supporters and loyalists.
Listed below are some of the common erroneous statements that I hear from those who "think" they know the vaping industry. Included, are my comments about the false statements and claims - the real details behind the topic.
1. Electronic Juices Are Hazardous When Inhaled
This is a trendy rebuke from those who do not vape. I don't know how many times I have heard this statement, I stopped counting. This statement is about as bad as the Y2K scare. Somewhere in time, someone who was uneducated about electronic juices decided to spew out their opinion and everyone jumped on the bandwagon.
Electronic Juices (E-Juices) are made with only 4 simple ingredients. The ingredients are natural and of food quality, meaning approved by the FDA for human consumption. These ingredients are also commonly found in other products that we use on a daily basis, such as food, makeup/cosmetics, and beverages. The ingredients in electronic juices are:
- Propylene Glycol
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Natural or Artificial Food Grade Flavoring
Depending on the blends, you may have 3 ingredients, especially if you don't include Nicotine in your juice blend.
2. You Are Vaping Formaldehyde
That's right, it has been claimed that we are vaping Formaldehyde. Funny, why would anyone want to vape embalming fluid? That just doesn't sit right with me. Where did this bold claim come from?
In the New England Journal of Medicine, test studies were performed on electronic juices. The premise of the study was to test electronic juices and the possible cancerous effects that the product could have on humans. However, the testing program performed was set up incorrectly, thus providing inconclusive results.
In this study, researchers set up machines to imitate vaping in humans. The machines atomized vape juices at different temperatures. It wasn't until the researchers set the voltage to incredibly high and improbable temperatures that they were able to create the byproduct Formaldehyde. In essence, the researchers replicated "dry-hits" which are extremely unbearable to anyone who vapes. Those who vape are not likely to ever get into a "dry-hit" situation, and if they do, they rectify the situation immediately. No one continues to "dry-hit." To say the least, the results posted from the researchers were not accurate from a "real vaping" stand point.
3. Electronic Juices = Popcorn Lung
If you have not heard of this before, Popcorn Lung ( Bronchiolitis Obliterans) is caused from a flavoring agent called Diacetyl, commonly found in artificial butter flavoring used in candies and buttered popcorn. Workers of the factories that use this chemical are exposed to inhaling this substance, which over time creates scars in the tiny air sacs in your lungs, a serious and irreversible condition.
This rumor came about after concerns were made about custard-based flavors that were developed for electronic juices. Case studies were performed by the Department of Community Health Sciences in Boston which did find any trace of Diacetyl in 39 out 51 of the electronic juices they tested. The traces found were low and insignificant. The average smoker ingests 750 times more Diacetyl than those who vape. Smokers intake 20,340mg, where vapors intake 239mg.
According to the Critical Reviews in Toxicology, even though smokers are exposed to a greater amount of Diacetyl, smoking has not shown to be a risk factor in Bronchiolitis or Popcorn Lung.
4. Nicotine Creates Cancer
This rumor stems from smoking cigarettes and contrary to what people believe; Nicotine is not a carcinogen. This means, nicotine is not a substance that can cause cancer in living tissue. The cancer formed by smoking a cigarette is derived from the chemical additives used to manufacture the product. We have all seen the commercials with anti-smoking campaigns. Cigarettes contain over 500+ additives, with over one hundred of those being potentially harmful. When it comes to nicotine though, even though the chemical can be habit forming and addictive, its side effects could be compared to the effects of consuming caffeine.
5. Electronic Cigarettes Are Explosive
You may have seen or heard a story pertaining to e-cigs exploding during use, or in people's pockets. These stories are true and sadly, victims suffer from severe burns, cuts and in extreme cases amputation.
What is not revealed are the equipment modifications to the power source of these devices that fail, or the neglect to proper battery care. Lithium based batteries are known for their impressive battery performance. They hold more of a linear output during use versus other technology. Lithium offers a greater storage capacity, overall weight is dramatically lower and the life span of a Lithium battery is incredibly higher. For instance, with a Lithium Ion battery, you can charge and discharge the battery over a thousand times before you start to see voltage degradation and when it does start to occur, it's a slow process that you will not feel.
The downside though to Lithium based batteries; especially when using Lithium Polymers is that they are highly sensitive and can become volatile if not treated with care. Over charging, over discharging, exposed to heat (left in a car on a hot summer day) or mishandled can possibly create a reaction. By reaction, I mean there is a possibility for a fire.
Any product on the market that uses Lithium based battery needs to be respected and cared for. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines and do not tamper or modify the battery cells.
In 2014, there we close to 2.5M+ vaping users. Only 25 explosive or fire related incidents occurred, stretching back to 2009. Out of the 25 incidents, 9 were injured and there were no deaths. The majority of the incidents occurred during the charging process. Based on the numbers provided by US Fire Administration, it is very rare to see a fire from an e-cigarette.
6. Second Hand Vapor Is As Hazardous As Second Hand Smoke
Vapor created by electronic juice does provide a smell when exhaled. Many people are concerned that this means the second hand smoke is just as dangerous as smoking. Those who do not know about vaping are greatly concerned that they are risk for adverse health effects from vapor.
The properties in exhaled vapor consist of water, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nicotine. These levels are far lower than that of second hand cigarette smoke. In a case study where volunteers were sealed in a room with second hand vapor for one hour, there was a small increase in serum cotinine with no changes to lung function. This case study can be found on the Society For The Study Of Addiction website.
Long term effects of vaping are still being determined. However, there seem to be no significant risks to human health from second hand vapors or e-cigarettes.