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Vaping explained – all the jargon and myths

By Katie Johnson

E-cigarettes do not emit second-hand smoke, unlike traditional cigarettes. Unfortunately, amid the massive public acclamation, there has been a tide of fabrication, junk science, scaremongering, and baseless condemnation for what can now be termed as a genuine game changer for many nicotine addicts across the world. The several lies and twists have left many individuals confused.

What Is Vaping?

First of all, let’s get the definition straight. Vaping is the process of inhaling, and exhaling vapor generated from e-liquid (or dry herb), which may or may not contain nicotine, through an electric device called a vape pen. There are many different models of vape pens which all perform different functions, so for those who are wanting to try out vaping for the first time, or are still a bit daunted by it all, a vape starter kit will help make the decision simple and easy.

Common Vaping Terms

In the vaping world, all sorts of jargons, terminology, and lingo float around, and can easily add to the confusion. Here are some common terms used in the vaping scene:

  • Atomizer: an e-cigarette element that is heated to vaporize the liquid.
  • E-liquid: the fluid used in the device which is vaporized, there are multiple flavors and strengths available.
  • Doubler/Tripler: used to refer to e-liquids without nicotine, which is used to reduce nicotine content or add flavor to another liquid.
  • Dry hit: taking a draw of an e-cigarette without producing any vapor (when there’s no liquid left).
  • Mouth-to-lung hit: inhaling vaper into the mouth and then the lungs (this is what cigarette smokers do).
  • Nic: the short term for nicotine.

Vaping Myths That Have Been Debunked

  1. E-liquids are dangerous

“You don’t know what you are putting in your body.”

This is a common myth frequently used by non-vapers and individuals who aren’t familiar with the vaping subject. The fact is, depending on what you vape, e-liquids contain 3 or 4 ingredients; Vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, artificial/natural food-grade flavoring, and nicotine. Except for nicotine, each of these products is in several everyday products we use such as foods, drinks, and cosmetics.

  1. Vaping devices explode

This myth has been a bit tricky to debunk due to the prevalence headlines with shocking stories about how a user just dodged serious injury or death as their e-cigarette exploded. However, on a closer look, you’ll find the so-called explosions are linked to using the wrong charging cord. If a different charger (not one provided for the e-cigarette) is used, there is a slight risk that the wrong voltage could be directed to the device and cause it to overheat. Nevertheless, this is a danger with many chargeable devices.

  1. Vaping is a gateway for teens to begin smoking

Another common myth that plasters all over the media each time someone reports on e-cigarettes is the gateway hypothesis. Some people suggest that the packaging and flavors are enticing to teens. However, the evidence seems to dispute the claims. For one, very few first-time smokers try e-cigs, and when they do, there is no indication that they progress to traditional smoking. A research done on the gateway hypothesis showed that only one out of 1,300 college students began nicotine use with vaping. A different study done by Action on Smoking and Health affirmed that experimenting with electronic cigs or vaping on a regular basis is closely related to pre-existing smoking habits and not vice versa.

  1. E-liquids contain anti-freeze

Propylene glycol (PG), an ingredient in e-liquid, is used as an ingredient in anti-freeze. I wonder how people translate that to e-liquids having anti-freeze. Moreover, PG used in anti-freeze is meant to make the anti-freeze less harmful in case it is swallowed. And did you know PG is used as an ingredient in a variety of foods and beverages, including Fireball Whisky? The PG is also used in several hospitals to keep areas sanitary.

  1. E-cigarettes cause cancer

This myth seems to be used more as a scare tactic. Some say that since some e-cigs contain nicotine, then they can cause cancer. However, in pure and straightforward terms, nicotine is not a carcinogen and therefore, cannot cause cancer. Different surveys haven’t found any link between nicotine and cancer. That shows that it has to be the chemicals in traditional cigarettes that cause cancer. In fact, as much as nicotine is addictive, it is about as harmful to your body as caffeine.

Bottom Line

It’s common that, when something gains popularity, so do the myths surrounding it. Vaping has not been an exception; several terminologies have been used to describe it, and the twisted truths about it seem endless. Nevertheless, it’s important to get the facts right before coming to any conclusions.

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