We live in an exciting time. No longer are smokers limited to traditional tobacco products, which have become persona non grata across the medical community due to their widely documented negative health effects. Today, vaping products have filled the void and offer traditional tobacco users an alternative that is healthier in multiple aspects. That said, there have been concerns as to how healthy vaping is.
While the research on the longitudinal effects of vaping is ongoing, multiple questions have arisen regardless. Perhaps you are interested in getting into vaping but have concerns, or you are a seasoned veteran that ran into a troubling article online. In an effort keep people updated, we will cover a handful of these pressing issues in this article to keep you abreast of the latest developments in vaping safety.
As vaping continues to eclipse traditional tobacco, the question of whether vaping products are safe for consumers has increasingly come to the fore. Especially since 2019’s vaping crisis, where it was widely reported that vaping products have become popular with underage users, which raises multiple questions. Before answering these questions, we need to establish what a vape pen is exactly. The descriptor ‘vape pen’ is more of an umbrella term that encapsulates multiple categories including oil pens, wax pens, dry herb vapes, box mods, and the list goes on. While vape pens themselves are relatively safe, barring concerns with some coil materials, the materials one vapes are the primary concern.
E-cigarettes are a type of vape pen that primarily viewed as a tobacco substitute with its e-liquids that can contain differing levels of nicotine. These devices are currently under the microscope for safety concerns. This concern is not necessarily related to the devices themselves, but the e-liquids they vaporizer. In terms of e-liquids, there have been major questions as to their ingredients and whether such ingredients are safe to inhale. Also, researchers have begun to inquire on how effective e-cigarettes are for weening people off tobacco products and what risk they pose to youth. That said, answers to a few of these questions have yet to be produce. Until more research has been completed, verified, and released, the vaping community will have to eagerly await updates.
Another cause for concern is vape batteries and what risk they pose to the user. Sadly, there have been documented cases of vape batteries exploding during use and causing direct harm to the user. That said, there has yet to be a study released that shows certain vape batteries pose a verifiable risk to users. Regardless of battery type, it is recommended to strictly adhere to battery care routine to ensure your equipment is up to snuff. Also, check to see if your battery is compatible with your vape’s atomizer and maximum voltage.
When specifically talking about vape pens, there are a handful of questions that keep cropping up. Answering whether vape pens are safe or not is dependent on the vape pen in question, juice, and situation. In the section below you will find some of the most common concerns folks have about vape pens, we will break these down and explain them.
Since vape pens have become synonymous with tobacco alternatives, there have been many questions about e-liquids and oils used in vaporizers - how safe are e-liquids and oils, what do they contain ingredient wise, where was the product bottled, by who, what purity tests has it undergone, just to name a few. Although e-liquids have gotten their fair share of the spotlight, oils lack a regulatory framework in terms of purity testing. Thus, the tests used for different oil or concentrate products will dependent on the state where they have been purchased.
A common concern that has been mentioned over the last few years, popcorn lung has become largely associated with vaping activities due to cases occurring in heavy vape users. While this issue has been pointed out, cohesive research on the subject has yet to be released. We recommend that vape users purchase their e-liquids and oils from reputable manufacturers only and avoid any homemade concoctions until more evidence has been produced on the issue.
Another concern many folks have is whether vaping is addictive. This obviously depends on multiple factors, including whether nicotine is being used, or if the material in question is a wax or concentrate. Although nicotine has been clinically proven to be highly addictive, it remains to be seen whether vaping as an activity or e-liquids are additive in themselves. As with many of the questions we have talked about thus far, there simply is not enough data on the subject.
Although they are not as popular as e-liquids or oils, concentrates have grown massively in popularity with vape users due to their superior flavor, potency, and convenience. There have been concerns as to the purity of wax products and the testing methods being used. In general, consumers are safe vaping wax concentrates from reputable brands that utilize purity testing. It is advised to avoid wax concentrate products that are sourced from unknown producers.
All vaporizers utilize a heating element to directly heat and vaporize e-liquids, concentrates, oils, and dry herbs. The materials in these heating elements can differ but are generally safe. While there has been some concern regarding materials used in heating elements, no comprehensive study on this issue has yet to be produced. If users stick with reputable brands who produce vape pens and avoid homemade variants, then they should be fine.
Although this has happened, it is by no means a widely occurring issue. For the most part, vaporizer explosions are super rare and tend to occur in vape tricking circles or in cases where vape devices have been modified or tweaked. If vaporizer users follow manufacturing instructions and avoid tampering with their vaporizer, they should be perfectly safe. Most vaporizers produced today come with a host of safety features and explicitly warn users not to tamper with the product.
Since vaping shows zero signs of slowing down, questions of this sort are inevitably going to be raised at one point or another. Indeed, there have been cases of vape pen explosions, impure wax concentrates, popcorn lung, etc. Even in lieu of this, vaping has yet to be determined as an unsafe activity that poses serious risks. It is simply too new. Until then, we will continue to enjoy vaping and celebrate it as an excellent alternative to traditional tobacco products.
Written By: Colby M.