So what is vaping, and what is the big deal with vaping?

Vaping was started out as an electronic cigarette, which was created as an alternative to smoking for tobacco cigarettes, where they deliver nicotine through atomized, or heated up liquids which then create a vapor which can be inhaled.

This is without a doubt one of the most controversial topic of our times, and it is pretty big, as even the Oxford Dictionary called vape ‘The Word Of The Year’ in 2014.

Have you ever stopped to wonder where the word “vaping” comes from and how it has creeped into the vocabulary to become a recognized word? More and more people make that instant connection between “vaping” and “e cigs” than ever before, but they don’t necessarily know what the word really means and how e cigs are different from cigarettes.

About Vaping, the New “Smoking”

At the root of this word is “vapor,” like steam; the cloud you produce when you heat a liquid until it changes state and a cloud is just water. You can create vapor out of any liquid and even extract vapor from solid materials you wouldn’t expect. Tobacco, for instance, would release vapor if it were heated gently, but smokers burn tobacco so they inhale smoke which contains tiny particles of toxins, not just water.

Is E Cig Vapor Just Water?

That’s the million-dollar question in the e juice business and a critical one for scientists to investigate. The FDA and various health watchdogs aren’t convinced that “vaping” is safe. They wonder if any particles from e juice escape into the vapor such as fumes from plastic and metal used to make clearomizers and tanks, nicotine, diacetyl, and debris left behind during unsanitary e juice mixing practices.

Vapers can’t always be sure their e liquids are being mixed in professional establishments under supervision from a chemist or pharmacist using safe, hygienic methods and equipment. Only some companies describe their labs as FDA-approved or claim some kind of ISO certification for their clean rooms.

Safer than Cigarettes?

One fact remains: smokers who became vapers almost always argue they are healthier for the change. They stopped coughing all the time and were able to get back to sports. Symptoms of asthma or heart disease eased. A domino effect took place. Vaping instead of smoking tobacco slowly led to easier breathing. Easier breathing resulted in becoming more active. Being more active led to eating better and losing weight. Losing weight lowered a person’s cholesterol and blood sugar. No longer smelling of cigarettes, a person’s social life and mental health improved. All of this recommends vaping as the catalyst for a better life generally.

But vapor and e cigs can be potentially unsafe. Sure, you aren’t lighting tobacco on fire and inhaling ash, but the effects of inhaling impurities can take their toll. Some people have to deal with allergies they never encountered before because their ingredients are extracted from nuts.

Nicotine addicts can continue to inhale this stimulant. There is uncertainty around the relative effects of inhaling extracts rather than ingesting them, such as food-safe colorants and flavorings. As you can see, there are still some question marks which might not be resolved for years.

So, Is It Healthier Than Tobacco Cigarettes?

That is the big question, and there are raging debates on both sides. There are scores of people who state that it has benefitted them in many ways, including a plethora facets of their health, which were being affected negatively with smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Then there is the other side of the argument, with people who say that cigarettes were birthed with a similar appeal, in that they were in fact not bad for you, and then of course we know the history there.

At this point there don’t seem to be any strong cases of there being severe health consequences from them, and it also seems that claims of benefits are not being shouted from the rooftops, though you can find scores of those in the comments below e-cig articles in major publications, blogs, and YouTube videos.

Do People Legitimately Quit Smoking With E-Cigarettes?

At this point, it is hard to not know someone who has stopped smoking and vapes now. The politically correct would say that they have not quit, because they still inhale nicotine, and there is another reason there is a hesitancy to use the term ‘quit smoking’ with the topic of vaping, and that is the ramifications it has with the FDA getting involved, because as soon as there are absolute therapeutic claims made of any nature, vaping devices now fall under the umbrella of a medical category of products, and that deems FDA regulation, and proponents of the vape industry are convinced it would be the demise of it as we know it.

Do People Save Money Vaping?

Yes, the potential is there for significant savings over buying tobacco cigarettes. At the same time, with more high tech vape pens and other devices known as mods, box mods etc., these tend to cost a bit more for daily use with the amount of the vaping liquid that they consume, and so this could equal out the cost, but overall, yes someone could save significantly by vaping.

Vaping Equipment

A vaper requires a battery and a tank or atomized cartridge filled with e juice in order to vape. He can obtain these in their simplest form by purchasing a disposable mini cig from a corner store. This is the easiest way to start since one doesn’t need to recharge the battery or refill e juice.

The next level of equipment is rechargeable and refillable. The battery is plugged into a USB charger when it runs out of power. The cartomizer is replaced with a full one or refilled with more e juice. Vapers using mini cigs (cigarette-like in shape and size) usually buy a starter kit which contains batteries, cartomizers, and chargers.

Some consumers skip the rechargeable mini cig format and go straight to eGo-type e cigs. These are bigger, more like cigars, but the top part is usually a transparent vessel known as a “clearomizer” made with a plastic tube. This part typically holds more e juice than a cartomizer and the battery’s charge is longer lasting. One also creates hotter e juice and, thus, more vapor.

Vapers can move up to larger batteries in this format without really changing what they’re doing. Whereas mini cigs can be operated by puffing or by pressing a button, eGos are almost always button-activated. Otherwise, the basic format doesn’t alter until you get to variable voltage cells. A knurled ring at the base allows one to regulate voltage rather than allowing the battery to slowly drop from its highest to its lowest rating before it must be recharged.

Advanced vapers graduate to devices with regulated clearomizers or tanks. They feature airflow adjustment valves in the base of the tank which can be opened completely, partially, or shut to determine how much air flow is permitted. Vapers relate this to their vaping method: inhaling by mouth or by lung.

Advanced batteries feature more regulation options such as up and down buttons to adjust wattage. As they become seriously advanced, the battery becomes a separate piece which is inserted into a tube. A control chip allows vapers to regulate voltage and wattage, reads the resistance of an atomizer coil, and indicates when the battery must be recharged by displaying a battery icon.

Today’s Innovations

Consumers in the advanced category are keen to try all the latest technology and find out what it will do for vapor production and how technology might enhance the flavor of e juice. They are also concerned about vaping safely.

Now it’s not good enough to just buy a VV/VW mod with a screen and a glass tank. The next best thing is a temperature-controlled mod and, even better, one with TCR or Temperature Coefficient of Resistance.

Temperature-controlled vaping is more efficient and safer than regulating any other values, but TCR vaping is more precise. Whereas the coil for an ordinary eGo clearomizer might register as 2 ohms, it’s not unusual for TCR vapers to reach lows of 0.2 or even 0.05 ohms.

These progressions have been made possible by microchips which determine what a device is capable of: reading resistance, accepting a certain level of resistance, evaluating wattage/voltage/temperature and creating boundaries. These chips are also capable of protecting vapers and their machines from mishaps.

In the past, reversing the polarity of a battery could have caused a short and cells could overheat. Newer mods contain built-in safeguards against trouble.