This is Part 4 in the Electronic Cigarettes 101 -Introduction & Guide To Vaping Series. The purpose of this report is to help those curious about electronic cigarettes and vaping. The series discusses the basics on the topic and helps newcomers with making order & purchase decisions.
This particular segment speaks to topic surrounding the proper use of your electronic device. Many think that using an electronic cigarette is the same as smoking a tobacco cigarette. Although there are some similarities, there are a few important differences. Part 4 discusses a few technique to used in order to optimize your vaping experience. To return to the beginning of this series set you can link to it here (Electronic Cigarettes 101 -Introduction & Guide To Vaping)
So now you have got your electronic cigarette assembled, you have been trying it out and getting a feel for what it’s all about. Congratulations thus far. Now for some bad news. Or depending how you look at it (since you are reading this) It could be good news! The “news” is that unless you learn a few techniques much of your vaping may be in vane.
The tendency of a smoker is to attempt to mimic the methods used in smoking and apply them to using an electronic cigarette. Not really going to work folk. In truth, you may be able to use the device like that but you wont receive any sizable amount of vapor. Since it is the vapor that contains the nicotine, this could be a problem. Study’s have shown that improper use of electronic cigarettes (using like tobacco cigarettes) yields poor results that provide zero effect.
Ever since you first heard of electronic cigarettes you probably heard a sort of mantra going along with them like “Its just like smoking!” In truth, using and electronic cigarettes is far different than smoking a tobacco cigarette. A lot of the differences in using electronic cigarettes has to do with
The nicotine content in the vapor is at most about half the amount normally found in a regular cigarette. For that reason it is recommended that the electronic cigarette user use their device for about twice as long as they would normally smoke for. Pay attention to your body, there is no risk of harm in using and electronic cigarette for 10 minutes but if you begin to feel a bit light headed, take a moment to reflect because you have probably received the nicotine you wanted. Some people just absolutely love vaping and tend to “vape all day long.” Many of these people have a non-nicotine alternative that they can switch between using the one with nicotine. This allows them the enjoyment of constant vaping without developing a headache from getting too much nicotine. So that’s technique one: Your vaping sessions should last twice as long as your smoking sessions once did (about 10 minutes)
The body’s ability to absorb the nicotine from the vapor is much lower. This is in part due to the atomic structure of tobacco smoke particles compared to the vapor mist. With running the risk of sounding like Bill Nye the Science Guy, the particles in tobacco smoke are very tiny and so are able to penetrate into the deepest parts of the lungs (this is also what makes tobacco smoking so damaging) The mist produced by the electronic cigarette on the other hand, is made up of larger water molecules. These water molecules carry nicotine that gets absorbed by mucus membrane areas in the mouth and throat (similar delivery as nicotine gum, lozenges and inhalers). Because of this the nicotine absorption rate is far lower in electronic cigarettes.
For the two reasons mentioned about, using an electronic cigarettes is far different than smoking on a tobacco cigarette. We have discussed the first technique which is using the electronic cigarette in sessions of about 10 minutes. The second technique has to do with the actually process of taking a drag. Pull the air in slowly as you use the electronic cigarette. When smoking a tobacco cigarette a drag is usually accomplished in about 1 second. This is not the case with an electronic cigarette. Pull in the vapor slowly for about 3-5 seconds. Using an electronic cigarette is more like taking a big sip from a glass of water using a straw. Draw the vapor into you mouth at first then once the draw is complete then inhale like you would a normal smoke. The key to this is the 3-5 seconds you allow for the drag.
Allowing the 3-5 seconds for the drag allows for the atomizers to heat up fully (about 1-2 seconds) and then for a sufficient amount of vapor to be produced to make the drag worth while. A common mistake that was observed in studies was many of the subjects only took a 1-2 second drag. Aside from not allowing enough time for the atomizer to work properly, the drags were done in a quick and rapid manner that resembled smoking a cigarette. This is not how the electronic cigarette is meant to be used and so the results of the study showed very little nicotine absorption. Lucky for you, you now have a better understanding to why that was the case.
Another negative aspect to vaping too vigorously on the electronic cigarette is that you run the chance of pulling some of the eliquid right past the atomizer and into your mouth without first vaporizing it. This is harmless, but as you will soon find out if you try it; it tastes awful.
The final technique to mention here has more to do about the safety of vaping. Since you do have more control over the nicotine strength you choose to use it is important to understand some of the symptoms that may occur in the event you consume to much. As mentioned above, it is normally easy to tell if you have had too much nicotine. You feel a little light headed, you could develop a headache, feel sick to your stomach, sweat a little, ect. Basically, listen to your body on this one. It is difficult to consume too much nicotine due to the gradual progression of it’s effects. Chances are at the very worst, after plenty of bodily signs and continued use, you will vomit. That is the body’s natural final defense experienced probably by most in the form of excessive alcohol consumption. At which point if you light up another cigarette or continue using an electronic cigarette, well my friend, there is something a little strange with you. That is your body’s ultimate sign to stop, so stop.
No one has ever been reported harmed or killed by nicotine consumption through vaping. Any reported effects have been temporary and result in the person lowering their nicotine intake either by lowering the concentration of the liquid they vape or by lessening the frequency between sessions.
*In Part 5 of this series we will discuss health studies undertaken by the FDA and other medical authorities. Looking into topics such as emission reports and comparative analysis the final section will detail some of the health science behind electronic cigarettes.