Sorry about ghosting out for a while, my free time has been consumed with the ongoing legislative and legal posturing and arguments that are going on up in my neck of the woods regarding this whole vape thing. Josh hit me up about whatever the problem with your device was if you're still having it
I haven't had time to swing through here to visit you guys.
Taking part in polls and petitions and helping spread information to counter a lot of skewed info being aimed against us (at least in my opinion). Huzzah for democracy and the freedom to attend public hearings and protest in public and bother my local representatives.
Short and sweet answer regarding the article
: we know it's not harmless but it's far safer than what preceded it, and studies like this are generated using skewed data from blatant misuse of the devices. No one vapes under the conditions used to create the data in these studies.
Details and opinions for anyone that is interested below, please skip if you don't care all that much:
These kind of studies are skewed in my opinion: the data from all the ones I have read invariably stems from an experiment where they've running an atomizer until it ran out of juice and the coil overheated and scorched the wicking material. No one vapes like that because it tastes like hot burning ass and it physically hurts.
Basically they take something like Woodzy's tank or one of those gas station pens and they run it continually as long as they can, and burn the shit out of the juice and wicking, often until the juice runs out and at that point the coil heats up red hot and burns the wicking material and even melts the insulator.
(The funny part is they are often using modified devices to achieve these results, as most have 10 or 12 second cutoffs specifically designed to stop you from doing this and producing anything harmful for you to inhale.
I could theoretically as an idiot run an unregulated mechanical mod for 60 seconds straight and expose myself to harmful chemical reactions, but it would get so fucking hot I'd have to drop it or risk burning my hand from the heat transfer, as mech mods are big ass metal tubes, let alone actually inhaling the lava hot boiling vapor or more realistically the burning wicking material as the juice would be long gone.)
In short (at least in my opinion so far), all the studies like this talking about toxic byproducts are from basically running a device far outside it's operating parameters for far longer than even an inexperienced user may do by mistake until the device practically catches on fire... and yeah well DUH melting rubber burning silica and over heating red hot resistance wire can produce toxic byproducts.
No one vapes like that: even the dumbest of the cloud chasing ultra sub ohm builders back the fuck off when things start to overheat, because the hotter it is the grosser it tastes, and there is a threshold where it's just TOO hot to physically inhale even if you wanted to (like if you were dumb enough to try it would scorch your throat kind of like hot popcorn steam burns), plus they know to watch out for overheating because they don't want to over tax a battery and end up holding a pipe bomb.
So even the ones at the most risk, the people running super low ohm builds on unregulated mechanical mods in order to compete or show off, aren't vaping at the level shown in the studies like this.
Regular casual vapers, like the ones that use the little pens and box/tank combos? They run setups like Woodzy's from like (random number out of my ass) 5 to 30 watts, not the hundreds. The heat is minor.
You need excessive heat to start catching crap inside the device on FIRE to produce these results. Excessive heat from running it constantly. Which you won't do because once it starts dry hitting you go EWW and put it down, fill it up again and let it cool the hell off.
Woodzy as someone with a more "regular" setup (as opposed to the cloud chasing goofballs) can you chime in? Have you ever had a dry puff from a tank running empty, (or especially a dripper when you ran those for a bit), or from running at watts WAY above the recommended level?
It was nasty and horrible and you strove to never do it again right?
A lot of studies like this ignore the fact that NO ONE vapes like that, because why would they? These studies kind of insinuate that EVERYONE is constantly vaping delicious burning silica or cotton and not even knowing it. (which if they did they would KNOW AND STOP, you never miss a dry hit, it's HORRIBLE)
At the lower temperatures and normal wattages, the coils don't overheat and the wicking material doesn't smolder or ignite, and you're running just enough heat to vaporize the liquid. Even if you run dry and start to get that EWW DRY phenomenon you'll stop and fix the situation, because it's gross!
To answer the question: the vaping community (at least the segments I personally know/have studied) generally acknowledge that nicotine is mildly harmful on the cardiovascular system according to all known data and can cause reproductive harm with long term use according to some studies, but in and of itself does not cause life threatening cancer (also according to all known data even the most anti vaping OR smoking institutions), and that inhaling water vapor laden with flavoring and containing smaller doses of nicotine than cigarettes is a far healthier alternative to traditional smoking.
They also generally believe that inhaling the smoke from traditional cigarettes in order to achieve nicotine delivery and thus inhaling all sorts of tar and carbon monoxide (from the combustion) plus all sorts of weird chemical combinations from all the additives (and burning those additives creating more wacky chemical reactions) is what leads to cancer, and lung damage like emphysema.
Current medical understanding supports these ideas as well so it's not like we made this shit up to defend something we are blindly passionate about. So in short most vapers agree vaping is not harmless, but it is FAR safer, as far as we can tell so far at least.
As I've pointed out before, and eyeballing a juice shop's selection can show you, most people vape lower nicotine or even zero nicotine juice, thus less is obviously better than more (regarding the one harmful ingredient: nicotine, as VG/PG are recognized as safe for inhalation by the FDA and the medical community, just ask a respiratory therapist or an asthma inhaler user).
The average cigarette contains 30 to 40mg of nicotine per inhale. E juice is commonly whipped up in strengths at 24mg, 18mg, 12mg, 6mg, 3mg, and of course 0mg. Rarely you see 36mg.
Every time I've ever hit a shop (or checked online) they have SCADS of 24 and 18 juice sitting there that is hardly selling and it eventually spoils (juice has a shelf life) and whenever a shop runs a flash sale to get rid of old stock it's always the higher nicotine juices they're practically giving away, and conversely they are always running low or entirely out of 12 6 3 and 0.
Thus it is safe to assume that more people are generally using LESS nicotine (the ONE known harmful ingredient) when vaping than they did when smoking, but despite that anti vaping articles like to insinuate that vapers are using MORE nicotine, and entirely gloss over the fact that we have 4 ingredients 1 harmful 3 benign, in comparison to smoking hundreds of known harmful chemicals.
All that being said, in my personal experience (and everyone else I personally know) my lungs feel BETTER than when I smoked two packs a day, I'm no longer hacking up phlegm or getting winded from moving around, hell I feel better than I did in my 20s when I smoked like a chimney. I feel like I did when I never smoked, like when I was a kid. At least lung wise.
The longer I vaped the more I realized a growing aversion to nicotine, and started lowering my dosage because of headaches and dizziness that became more prevalent the longer I vaped and the longer I DIDN'T smoke traditional tobacco. (took a while to kick "analogs" totally)
( I also lowered my dosage because I wanted more flavor and bigger clouds more than I wanted my nicotine fix, and nicotine ruins the flavors and makes inhaling large amounts of vapor difficult or even painful).
No doctor browbeat or cajoled me in to that, I did it entirely out of choice. That has to stand for something in this ongoing debate, that vapers WILLINGLY lower their own nicotine dosage the longer they vape, and it's not just me or just cloud chasers, ask around.
Personally I think it has something to do with the amount of chemical additives in cigarettes, I think they mask the body's aversion to nicotine, because everyone I know that vapes tells me the same basic thing.
"Yeah I started at 24 or 18 and couldn't handle it, way too harsh. It gave me headaches and made me queasy, so I jumped down to 12. Eventually that was too harsh, jumped down to 6." and so and and so forth ad nasueam. Not just cloud chasers I hear this from casual tank vapers too.
Just as an example I'm part of a weird little FB group of vapers in my area that is basically a mixture of 4chan's /b/ and a vape garage sale and a hub for demonstrating and organizing petitions and what not because of all of the bills we are fighting in my state, and we ran a poll recently for data to use in a counter point during the ongoing argument with the powers that be regarding taxation and regulation.
We asked who vapes what strength, and the vast majority of over 3000 members vaped 6mg 3mg or 0mg. The ones that stuck to 12 or 18 were a minority, and the ones that still vaped 24 or 36 were almost nonexistent. So a lot of the anti vaping jargon about it being a new gateway to hellish nicotine addiction are bunk as well (at least in my opinion).
Also on the topic, I've been to plenty of cloudy ass vape shops and competitions or even just other vaper's houses where we're all kind of swimming around in each other's exhaled clouds which is
kind of gross if you think about it because it probably contains someone else's spit particles, eww gross.
Have I seen an increase in people spreading colds and stuff? Not really. I kind of expected it when I started thinking about it, but so far everyone I know that vapes heavily gets colds/flus/whatever at the same damn rate as everyone else.
They seem to bounce back faster from colds/allergies than smokers do, probably because their lungs are healing up, IE they seem to recover like non smokers. I've got an article about how studies are starting to show that long terms smokers who switch to vaping are seeing improvements in lung function and actual healing if anyone is interested.
Yeah if someone had like fucking Pneumonic plague I wouldn't want them blowing clouds everywhere like a dickbag but in that case I wouldn't want them sneezing coughing or even breathing anywhere near me either, but generally cloud chasing anywhere other than a safe zone for it is considered extremely poor taste in the vape community anyway.
We actually have a saying, don't vape like an asshole (or just shouted D,VLAAH! which is fucking annoying).
So if you're out in public, vape only where smoking is allowed, not just fucking everywhere 24x7 like you own the world. Don't cloud chase in public because it's distracting and others find it annoying. Blowing fat clouds out of your car while driving is douchey and distracting, and blowing clouds IN your car or in someone else's car while they drive is just moronic and dangerous. If you run a dripping atomizer dripping and driving is fucking stupid and dangerous, get a tank for driving. If you're out in public close off your airflow and lower your watts, ergo keep your output to something resembling a normal cigarette.
Now in all honesty not everyone adheres to that, but it's really just more of an annoyance factor than a health risk of spreading germs, and I've yet to hear of an accident from cloud chasing or dripping in a car, although with people being idiots it's bound to happen at some point. I wouldn't call it an epidemic of stupidity at any level, or you would have already witnessed it or heard of it.
You can exhale roughly same the amount of your normal germy air at the amount and speed you can exhale a big fat cloud, it's just more noticeable with clouds so it gives people the idea of "eww germs in vape clouds".
If was really an issue all the shop crews that sit around and blow fat clouds all day long and stew in each other's vape would be passing colds and shit left and right and vape shops would be disgusting hives of disease, but so far, they're like any other business, just foggier.
So in my opinion, it's good they are researching, but they are doing it wrong. I just finished the article and yup, see the screen shots of the coil heating up RED HOT?
That's from it being over run with NO juice on it, or run continually until the juice ran out. That looks like a standard gas station vape pen, which means it has a 10 second cutoff, so to get it to glow they've either modified it by removing the cutoff switch or they're pulsing it 9 seconds cooling off for 2 and pulsing again for 9, and there is NO juice left on that fucker because look at it glow.
When you see someone vaping and actually inhaling and exhaling vapor, the inside of the device where the coil is DOES NOT GLOW LIKE THAT, it's running just enough heat to vaporize the juice.
That article, while having it's heart in the right place, fails.
Also of note, temperature control capable devices that if setup and used properly eliminate dry hits and burning cotton are still evolving, but are coming down in price to become more accessible to the regular vaping public (as they were highly expensive status symbols before)
I was about to post a big rambling explanation of how temperature control devices work and how to build for them, but instead here's the rough idea.
The mod can regulate the heating element to whatever degree you set it at and keep it there even if you vape the shit out of it, so as long as you set it under the burning temp of cotton, no more dry hits, no more over heating, no more nasty scorching juice or potential hazard of burning wicking material (which is minor to the point of not counting as EVERYONE learns their lesson after the first dry hit and learns to use their device properly: as I've said a billion times NO ONE vapes like the conditions in these studies)
So as temperature control devices become the new standard, these studies will mean even less than they do now. Temp control is pretty cool stuff, you literally can hold down the fire button and it keeps dumping vapor and when the juice runs out, vapor stops. If it's set to the correct temperature it will never burn or even scorch the wicking material.
Even the one idea I had about a potential risk down the road: vape "diabetes" from years of extended vaping of all the sweeteners found in flavors, is kind of falling flat so far from all the questions I have been asking.
I've talked to diabetics who used to smoke and now vape, and they've reported their blood sugars staying the same despite ridiculous levels of juice consumption, and their blood pressure lowering the more they lower their nicotine dosage (in order to blow those sweet clouds bro), and the medically trained people I have asked have assured me lungs do not work that way and you'd have to vape line multiple cans of coke worth of super sweet juice for that to even approach being a thing. The worst anyone can vape is like 30mls in a day, and even that is kind of insane.
So yeah, I wouldn't worry about it. Second hand vapor is just kind of gross because it's a visible remidner of how far someone's exhalation (and thus spit) can travel. It's harmless, albeit annoying if you're not in the mood to smell french vanilla cheesecake.
Honestly the real dangers of vaping, are battery safety issues and ignorance on how to build coils safely, and device incompatibility issues (like people running tanks with recessed 510 pins on hybrid mods despite warnings NOT TO and shorting them out and causing batteries to vent in their mods)
The only other known danger is hipster douchery, like stretching your earlobes out to fucking hilarious levels, growing a lumbersexual beard, and saying dumb shit like DAT VAPE LYFE DOE, SICK AS TITS, CHUCKIN CLOUDS MANG.
Honestly I love vaping and ~most~ vapers, but they can get pretty fucking silly with their "culture" sometimes. During the last round of protests at the capital in my area, I was HIGHLY tempted to make a picket sign that said DAT VAPE LYFE DOE and march around waving it as seriously and angrily as I could trolling shit out of everyone, but I decided that would be immature and counter productive.
I stuck to signing petitions and calling my senator's office and donating the various fundraising events and sharing pro vaping or neutral articles that presented the facts.
But part of me REALLY wanted to just kind of poke fun at them while they were all gathered together with the cameras on them.