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The Traditional Cigarette vs. the Electronic Cigarette
Smoke from a traditional cigarette emits over 4,000 chemicals when lit, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins.
A few of the ingredients that goes into the making of a regular cigarettes:
• Acetone - ingredient in nail polish remover
• Methanol - used as rocket fuel
• Naphthylamine - a carcinogen
• Pyrene - a carcinogen
• Naphthalene - moth repellent
• Cadmium - used in batteries, a carcinogen
• Carbon monoxide - poisonous gas
• Vinyl Chloride - used in plastic materials
• Cyanhydric acid - poisonous gas
• Ammonia - industrial cleaner and detergent
• Arsenic - lethal poison
• Dibenzacridine - a carcinogen
• Polonium 210 - a radioactive element
• DDT - insecticide
• Formaldehyde - embalming fluid
The electronic cigarette (or e-cig) is a device consisting of a battery and a heating element. When activated, the heating element boils a small amount of liquid in the device, creating a vapor, which is then inhaled by the user.
The liquid and vapor contain four main ingredients:
• Propylene glycol
• Vegetable glycerine
Frequently Asked Questions -
Q: Are personal vaporizers (electronic cigarettes) safe and are there any side effects?
A: Electronic cigarettes were intended to be a less-toxic (or “safer”) option to smoking tobacco cigarettes, but not a treatment to quit smoking. Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette in 2003 with a patented ultrasonic technology. Hon Lik was inspired to invent this smoking alternative, because his father was dying from lung cancer. Since then, most e-cigarette manufacturers use a heating element that vaporizes the nicotine liquid instead.
Q: What is the difference between vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol?
A: Vegetable glycerin is a natural organic glycerol made from vegetable oil, normally coconut and/or palm oil. The oil is heated to a high temperature under pressure with water. The glycerin separates from the fatty acids and is absorbed by the water. The glycerin is then isolated and distilled to obtain the pure product. Food-grade vegetable glycerin is 99.7% pure, with water being the remaining 0.3%. Vegetable glycerin is used for medical, pharmaceutical, and personal care products, for food additives and preservatives, and for some e liquids.
Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic glycerol made from propylene oxide, a petroleum byproduct. It has a wide range of uses from chemical additives and solvents to medical, pharmaceutical, and personal care products to food additives and preservatives, and is used in many e-liquids. Propylene glycol is considered “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Polyethylene Glycol 400 (PEG 400), another synthetic organic glycerol, is a low-molecular-weight grade of polyethylene glycol that comes from the ethylene line of chemicals. It has numerous uses similar to propylene glycol and is also used for e-liquids.
Vegetable glycerin has the consistency of syrup and is usually more viscous than propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol. Some vegetable glycerin based e liquids are mixed with propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol to reduce the viscosity while others are mixed with water or alcohol.
Q: How much nicotine is in e-liquid?
A: The nicotine content in e-liquid is measured by the number of milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid. So 18mg/ml means there is 18 milligrams of nicotine for each milliliter of liquid. The amount of nicotine can be controlled in e-liquid. Some e-liquid is also available without nicotine added.
Here is a quick quide to understand what strength of e-liquid to start with:
6mg (.6 %) - Ultra Light Cigarette Strength - LOW
12mg (1.2 %) - Light Cigarette Strength - MEDIUM
18mg (1.8 %) - Full Flavor Cigarette Strength - HIGH
24mg (2.4 %) - EXTRA HIGH
Q: How does the nicotine in e-liquid compare to the nicotine in tobacco products?
A: The nicotine in e-liquid is extracted from tobacco. It is accurately measured then added to a liquid base. The e-liquid is heated into a gas or vapor then the vapor is drawn into the mouth. Some people inhale the vapor into their lungs while others just blow the vapor back out of their mouth. Nicotine is absorbed by body tissue, enters the bloodstream, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and reaches the brain.
It is difficult to measure the amount of nicotine in tobacco products or more importantly, how much enters the body. The amount of nicotine absorbed by the body from tobacco depends on many factors. The types of tobacco, the additives in the tobacco, whether the tobacco is burned and the smoke is inhaled (cigarettes, cigars, and pipes), if the tobacco is placed in the mouth (chewing tobacco), or if it is taken in the nose (snuff).
In the case of smoking tobacco, the nicotine in the smoke travels through the rest of the unburned tobacco before reaching the mouth. Some of it is absorbed in the unburned tobacco. Some will be trapped in the filter of a filtered cigarette. The amount of nicotine absorbed in the body will increase as the tobacco product burns down.
In the case of chewing tobacco or snuff, the nicotine is absorbed directly from the tobacco and consequently, the nicotine level is much higher than smoking.
Q: How long will e-liquid last before it is unsafe to use?
A: Since no e-liquid has been approved by the FDA, no real accurate expiration dates have been established. Both USP food-grade vegetable glycerin and USP propylene glycol have a shelf life of about 2 years when stored in dark and cool conditions. The addition of nicotine will increase the oxidation process and exposure to light will rapidly degrade the glycerin. The addition of other flavorings or additives could have an effect on the shelf life but none have been officially determined in e liquids.
Q: What e-liquid do you recommend for an e-cigarette?
A: We recommend Ideal eCigs Premium E-Liquid. It is made in the USA with pure vegetable glycerin, 99+% pure nicotine, and the purest ingredients available. Our base mix is comprised of “USP Grade, Kosher” ingredients. All of our flavoring is GRAS approved and we practice cGMP guidelines. The best usa e-liquid on the market!
Guide to Steeping - The Why & How
A question often asked is "Why is my e-liquid not as dark as the last time I ordered the same liquid?"
Another question: “What is steeping?”, closely followed by
“How long should I steep a Liquid”?