Keep Calm Vape on BlackVaping 101

New to Vaping? Well there is all kinds of information out there now regarding the topic.  First off, what is vaping?

Vaping can be defined as the act of inhaling water vapor through a personal vaporizer (the vaper’s tobacco-free version of the traditional cigarette). Vaping is an alternative to smoking. It’s like smoking minus several of the adverse effects of the latter: no bad smell and bad breath, no cigarette burns, no more dirty ashtrays, less likelihood of getting cancer and other smoking-affiliated illnesses –

In short, vaping is the name given to the use of a vaporizer. The process involves applying heat to a liquid which generates vapor. The user, called a vaper (smoker in traditional cigarette circles) gets their nicotine hit through inhaling the almost odorless vapor (smoking equivalent of  ‘smoke’).

Vaping Information:

Vaping as a Smoking Alternative
Caring for your Vaping Equipment
Vaping Terminology
Choosing the Right Nicotine Levels
Nicotine Level FAQs
Other Resources

Smoking Alternative

vaping_3The vaping industry is growing at an astounding rate, and for many different reasons.  One of the biggest is the healthy alternative to smoking.  Following is a list of chemicals in both cigarettes, and e-cigs.

Chemicals in tobacco cigarette smoke

  • Acetaldehyde: suspected carcinogen.
  • Acetone: irritant: can cause kidney and liver damage.
  • Acrolein: extremely toxic.
  • Acrylonitrile: suspected human carcinogen.
  • 1-aminonaphthalene: causes cancer.
  • 2-aminonaphthalene: causes bladder cancer.
  • Ammonia: raises blood pressure.
  • Benzene: carcinogen.
  • Benzo[a]pyrene: mutagenic and highly carcinogenic
  • 1,3-Butadiene: suspected carcinogen.
  • Butyraldehyde: damages the lining of nose and lungs.
  • Cadmium: a heavy metal and highly toxic
  • Carbon Monoxide: decreases heart and muscle function.
  • Catechol: causes respiratory tract irritation and dermatitis.
  • Chromium: heavy metal and carcinogen.
  • Cresol: causes upper respiratory, nasal and throat irritation.
  • Crotonaldehyde: thought to interfere with immune function.
  • Formaldehyde: carcinogen
  • Hydrogen Cyanide: lethal poison
  • Hydroquinone: affects central nervous system effects.
  • Isoprene: irritates skin,eyes and mucous membranes.
  • Lead: causes brain damage
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone: depresses the central nervous system.
  • Nickel: causes bronchial asthma and is a known carcinogen.
  • Nicotine: increases in heart rate and blood pressure, addictive element
  • Nitric Oxide: linked to Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and asthma.
  • NNN, NNK, and NAT: known or possible carcinogens
  • Phenol: damages the the liver, kidneys; respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous system.
  • Polonium – radioactive*
  • Propionaldehyde: skin, eye and respiratory system irritant
  • Pyridine: causes eye and upper respiratory tract irritation
  • Quinoline: causes genetic damage and is a possible carcinogen
  • Resorcinol: skin and eye irritant
  • Styrene: carcinogen
  • Toluene: linked to permanent brain damage.

… and thousands of other chemicals.

* Australian scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki says the polonium released in tobacco cigarettes is the equivalent to 200 chest x-rays a year for people who smoke a pack of cigarettes every day.

imagesChemicals in ecig vapours

Compare that partial list with chemicals and compounds in e-cigarette vapours

  • Nicotine
  • Propylene glycol (not Ethylene glycol – which is toxic). Used in asthma inhalers and nebulizers. An experiment using animals determined “air containing these vapors in amounts up to the saturation point is completely harmless”. The USA FDA has classified propylene glycol as “generally recognised as safe”.
  • Vegetable glycerol – low toxicity. Used in medications, cosmetic and food items.

The only other chemicals are in the flavourings, which  are food grade and generally recognised as safe. By volume, flavours make up a very small percentage of eliquids.

However, it needs to be stated that food flavorings are designed to be digested, not vaporised and inhaled and the effects of using food flavors in such a way over a long period are yet to be established.

lungs imageThat said, very few carcinogenic chemicals have been found in e-cigarette vapors, and those present only appear to be in trace quantities – far less than in burning tobacco and similar or less than in recognized nicotine replacement therapies.

Unlike cigarette smoke, nearly all of the nicotine is absorbed in vaping.

One of the biggest reasons Lake Anna Vapes came to be, was because of the founder, Lenny Wrights health problems and the fact that he could not put down cigarettes. For him personally, vaping was a healthy alternative.  Here is a link to another example of positive health ramifications.

Caring for Your Vaping Equipment

One of the major benefits of vaping over smoking (aside from the obvious health advantages), is the fact that it saves you a lot of money! That said, if you’re not taking good care of your ecig then you will spend a lot of time and money replacing it. Even the best devices in the world suffer from wear and tear, but here are a few hints and tips to help you keep your ecigarette in good condition…

1) Dont let your eliquid run too low.

When your eliquid begins to get really low, your atomizer will not be able to draw enough eliquid into it which increases the risk of dry burn. Now, not only does dry burn taste foul, it also increases the risk of burning your atomiser out. At the same time, make sure you don’t overfill with eliquid, as  this can cause the chamber to flood.

2) Store your ecig correctly.

An electronic cigarette has a very specific design and it is up to you to make sure this isn’t compromised. Below are a few points to help you store your ecig correctly…

  • Keep away from high temperatures.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight.
  • Store away from water or moisture.
  • Sand your ecig upright to avoid flooding and leaking.

3) Keep your battery clean.

Keeping your ecig battery clean is a vital part of keeping your ecig in a good condition. It’s a very simple process and all you need to do is clean the terminal of your battery with a cotton bud to remove dust and residue.

4) Keep your mouthpiece clean.

As with the battery, your mouthpiece can accumulate fluff, dust and residue. Simply remove the mouthpiece and blow through it to clear. If it is extremely dirty, you can wash it in warm water.

5) Don’t run your battery down to zero.

Keeping a little bit of charge in your battery will really help to extend its life.

 Vaping Terminology

The world of vaping is rife with interesting terminology. You can get confused quickly, and a dictionary won’t help you. Here are some common terms you’ll want to know about.

  • Analog – Slang term for a traditional cigarette.
  • Atomizer (or atty) – The heating element on an e-cigarette, the part that vaporizes the eJuice.
  • Automatic Battery – A style of electronic cigarette that does not use a button to activate the healing element. This style of battery is most similar to smoking an analog.
  • Battery – The battery is the part of the eCig that provides power to the heating element.
  • Cartridge (or cart) – A plastic tube that is generally filled with absorbent filler material that holds eLiquid.
  • Cartomizer (or carto) – A cartridge and atomizer in a single unit. These are typically inexpensive and disposable.
  • Clearomizer (or clearo) – A tank that uses wicks and a heating element rather than filler material.
  • Drip Tip – An accessory that can be used in conjunction with an atomizer or cartomizer. Drip tips are typically used for looks or added comfort.
  • Flooding – This can occur when too much eJuice is applied to the atomizer or heating element. Heating elements require air to properly vaporize liquids, and adding too much eJuice will cause a decrease in vapor production and flavor.
  • Juice – eLiquid, eJuice. This is the liquid that is vaporized when using an electronic cigarette.
  • Manual – A style of electronic cigarette that has a button which activates the heating element.
  • Mod – Typically refers to devices that use larger lithium ion batteries and have variable voltage and/or wattage options.
  • Throat Hit – The tingling sensation that a user gets in the back of the throat when vaporizing eJuice that contains nicotine.
  • Vaping – The action of “smoking” an electronic cigarette.

Nicotine Levels in E-Liquids

vapesaferthannutsMost e-liquids come in several strengths: high, medium, low, and zero. But different companies may not have the same standards for strength so it’s important to look at the number of milligrams of nicotine.

E-liquids commonly come in 24 mg, 18 mg, 12 mg, or 6 mg strengths among others.

Choose the right E-liquid strength for you.

Use the E-liquid strength guide below, to help you make your transition to using E-cigs easier, and more successful. (This guide is not based on scientific evidence, but based on the experiences of electronic cigarette users)

Here’s A Helpful Chart That Displays Nicotine Levels:

  • 0mg/mL Nicotine
    This means that there is no nicotine in your E-Liquid mixture. Zero nicotine levels are usually ordered by people who have quit smoking but still have an oral fixation and use an electronic cigarette to satisfy it.
  • 3mg/mL Nicotine
    This level of nicotine is the lowest level offered.  It is common level used by “drippers”.  As the intensity of the coils instantly vaporizes the nicotine and allows a bigger nicotine hit even at this low of a dosage.
  • 6mg/mL Nicotine
    This level of nicotine is a mid-range option for “drippers”.  Tank users will still enjoy a rather large amount of nicotine per hit. It is the lowest nic level offered for our homeline.
  • 12mg/mL Nicotine
    This is on the high side for “drippers” and tank users.  Those just off of cigarettes may want this dosage, but as a result of quitting smoking may soon find the throat hit associated with 12mg and above to be uncomfortable.
  • 18mg/ml Nicotine
    This is a high dosage of nicotine, mostly for those vapers just getting into vaping.  Users on entry level pens tend to go this route as they first transition away from cigarettes. Commonly suggested for those pack a day smokers.
  • 24mg/ml Nicotine
    This is the highest level of nicotine we offer, and only in our tobacco homelines.  This option is for those considered heavy smokers.  1-2 pack a day smokers.  Not suggested for high-end equipment as the dosage of nicotine being vaporized can be high and lead to nic headaches, etc.

    ***Keep in mind, nicotine is it’s own ingredient when it comes to juices. The higher the dosage of nicotine in a juice, it will change the flavor. While we have all these nic levels available, not necessarily  for each juice line.  Depending on the mixologist, they want their flavor to stay true no matter the nic level.  So stop on in, and we will try to accommodate you to the best of our ability.

Your Smoking Habits

While it is helpful to have a sense of nicotine levels in e-liquid, it is more important to look at your own smoking habits as a guide. A light smoker who only smokes a few cigarettes a day can generally easily make the switch to a low nicotine level. A two packs per day habit on the other hand will probably require a high nicotine level to enable the user to get enough nicotine. Most people will fall in between and can pick a strength somewhere in the middle.

It is also important to consider your personal habits. How much and how often do you smoke? If you only like to take a few puffs here and there, you might prefer a stronger e-liquid to quickly boost your nicotine levels during your break. But if you like to puff continuously throughout the day, you may be better off with a lower nicotine content so you don’t ingest too much nicotine and make yourself sick.

Or, perhaps you want to vary your nicotine levels for different situations. For example, you might find you like to use a higher strength after meals, but prefer a weaker e-liquid first thing in the morning. In this case, you will want to keep both a higher and lower strength e-juice on hand. Experiment until you find the strength that suits your personal habits.

More Is Not Always Better

New users of electronic cigarettes tend to choose very strong e-liquids the first time. They remember the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms when they have tried to stop smoking cigarettes in the past and are afraid this will happen again during the switch to the electronic cigarette.

More experienced users know this is not the case. The electronic cigarette can and does deliver plenty of nicotine, and with adequate nicotine levels in your E-liquid you shouldn’t feel any withdrawal symptoms when making the switch. Remember, you can always smoke more of an e-liquid that is a little too low for you, but if you get an e-liquid that is too high, you can make yourself sick or risk increasing your addiction to nicotine.

Be alert for symptoms of nicotine overdose. The most common symptoms include headache, nausea, and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms discontinue use of all nicotine products and speak to your doctor. Avoid nicotine overdose by picking a sensible nicotine level for you.

Don’t let fear of nicotine withdrawals cause you to pick a level that is too high. The electronic cigarette can be an enjoyable and easy switch from smoking cigarettes, just remember to use common sense, experiment, and listen to your body.

How to Choose Nicotine Strength for Electronic Cigarettes

It is important for those transitioning to vaping, to choose a nicotine strength as close to their tobacco-based cigarettes for two reasons:

1. Smoking to Compensate:

Because your body has become used to having a certain amount of nicotine in it, choosing a lighter replacement than the original tobacco based product will typically result in compensation smoking. This means that you will wind up smoking (or vaping) more to make up for the nicotine your body needs and craves. For example, if you smoke a regular strength cigarette and you choose an e-cigarette that is lighter in nicotine strength, you will unintentionally smoke (or vape) more than before to compensate for the nicotine loss and withdrawal.

If you choose a lower nicotine level than what you are used to, your body will still crave it’s normal amount of nicotine and therefore you may think that the e-cigarette doesn’t work for you and you’ll go back to smoking regular cigarettes.  When, in fact, it was just a matter of customizing and changing your eliquid nicotine strength.

2.  Too much throat hit

On the other hand, if you currently smoke a light tobacco based cigarette and you choose a full strength e-liquid strength, you will overload your body with more nicotine than it is used to while you were smoking tobacco-based cigarettes. The throat hit may be too intense for you.  This can result in not liking the e-cigarette, when, in fact, you just have the wrong eliquid nicotine strength.

Nicotine Strengths FAQ

Is My Nicotine Level Is Too Strong? 

When you inhale, does the back of your throat burn uncomfortably? Do you get dizzy or light headed after just a few drags? Do you get a headache after only a light session of vaping?

If any of these things apply to you, chances are you’re using a nicotine level that’s higher than your body is used to. For some people, stepping back on the nicotine level even just one level is enough to alleviate many of these symptoms. However, stepping back on your nicotine level is no guarantee that you’ll stop experiencing these symptoms.

Can I Reduce My Nicotine Level At Home?

If you’ve got some time and a few extra bottles of E-Liquid laying around at home, it’s easy enough to bring your nicotine level down if you find that it’s too high for your liking.

The best way to reduce the nicotine without reducing the flavour is to purchase the same flavour with less nicotine and mix the two.

For example, if you wanted to take your 24mg/mL E-Liquid down to 12mg/mL, you could buy some zero nicotine of that flavour and mix the two 50/50. If you wanted to go to 15mg/ml, you could buy some 6 mg/ml and mix those 50/50. This method allows you to create virtually any nicotine level if your math is good enough!

VG will work fine for diluting nicotine levels, though it will tend to thicken the E-Liquid.

PG is less syrupy compared to VG. We sell plain VG and PG, VG can also be bought at most health food stores, or your local pharmacy (at a higher cost). Purchasing Vegetable Glycerin, since it is also used as a skin softener, please make sure the label says either “Food Grade” or “USP”. PG will work fine, though if you are PG intolerant stick with VG.

Other Resources

On this page we will continue to link and update pages we find that will help to educate and inform customers!  Come back soon to see some updated videos, etc. as we comb the web for interesting facts and tidbits.