Are e-cigarettes safe?

One of the U.S. Government required label for cigarettes.

The ONLY U.S. Government required label for E-Cigarettes.

The Bottom Line Upfront (BLUF) is that all the credible e-cigarette testing I have carefully read to date, In my opinion supports the claim that vaping is a harm reduction alternative to smoking but not risk free.

I also found in my research a great many other things including the opinion that vaping the worst e-cigarette is safer than smoking the best analog, light-it-on-fire, burn-stick, coffin nail, known simply as "the cigarette".

Public Health England were the first in the world to broadcast about the dangers of smoking. Professor Michael Russel 1976 "People smoke for the nicotine but they die from the tar".

They were very concerned about the e-cigarette initially but now support it and make the claim that e-cigarettes are 95% safer, reserving 5% simply for "wait and see".

Cancer Research UK have conducted evidenced based research from long term studies that prove e-cigarettes are safer.

This study from the UK actually proves the e-cigarette is twice as affective as any other NRT (Nicotine Reduction Therapy).

Dr Lynne Dawkins of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research, London South Bank University (LSBU) gave a lecture in 2013 (uploaded youtube July 2014) and another update in Nov 2018 (uploaded youtube Jan 2019). Please watch this if nothing else and keep in mind not only do they do research for the PHE and Cancer Research UK, these people TEACH them.

2018 Update:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpetvlAmIaU

2013 Initial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6KBGH2F63A&t=15s


Here are quotes I extracted directly out of the United States Food and Drug Administration Tobacco Deeming regulation that went into effect in the United States Code on 8.8.2016:

“FDA believes that the inhalation of nicotine (i.e., nicotine without the products of combustion) is of less risk to the user than the inhalation of nicotine delivered by smoke from combusted tobacco products. …

Researchers recognize that the effects from nicotine exposure by inhalation without combustion are likely not responsible for the high prevalence of tobacco-related death and disease in this country …

we recognize that the availability of alternatives to traditional tobacco flavors in some products (e.g., ENDS) may potentially help some adult users who are attempting to transition away from combusted products.”

* ENDS = Electronic Nicotine Delivery System a.k.a. e-cigarette

*Here is the link to read it for yourself, go to pages 17, 30 and 31: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-10685.pdf


Biggest myth: Vaping has not been around long enough in the mainstream to determine long term effects not with enough data. This is not true. Several research studies have been continuing for over a decade now. And the reason it continues is because e-cigarettes have continuously evolved and changed drastically over those years. Though even with the latest and greatest improvements, there is still risk, but the initial assessments from over aq decade ago which were good then, just keep getting better and better. Also, I believe there are ways to mitigate those few remaining residual risks for even less harm reduction although it can be argued is unnecessary. I mitigate those risks by controlling the ingredients in the eLiquid I vape, the materials of the vaporizer and by the temperature of the heating element creating the vapor. Details are below.


I DO want to talk about disappearing media. There was a Cochrane study about e-cigarettes adding 9 years on average vis-a-vis quitting smoking. This was published both on Cochrane and reported by major news agencies. I used to have the link on this site to an NBC news story. But that link is now dead. So I am posting here now for posterity what I can find today 9.6.19 on this topic for fear it too may disappear. I know that makes this page really long and it is already too long, but I hate it when media suddenly disappears. Especially important messages like this one. To be clear, this is NOT the original. And while muddied up now with lies and obfuscation, I have no problems reading between the lines.

 "A new Cochrane Review analysis provided an independent, rigorous assessment of the best available evidence to date about electronic cigarettes for quitting smoking and found that electronic cigarettes may help smokers stop their smoking, and there are no serious side effects associated with their use for up to two years.

 The first Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library in December 2014, also found that electronic cigarettes may be an aid to smokers in stopping their smoking. There haven't been any new randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with long-term outcomes looking at the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes in helping people to stop smoking, likely because the world leader in science, the United States, has put a de facto ban on the products by declaring anything made after 2007 must undergo FDA registration. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also conflates them with cigarettes, despite the fact that there is no smoke, and in the current politicization of science climate of the Obama administration, studies won't get funded if the hypothesis is anything else.

 Any smoking cessation or harm reduction tool is good. Smoking is a significant global health problem and, as the American Council on Science and Health has always phrased it, a pediatric disease. Once addicted to cigarettes, quitting is difficult, so if teens are going to do something for rebellion, an e-cigarette is much healthier than a cigarette.

 No strategy works for all people, but nicotine patches and chewing gum, which deliver nicotine without the carcinogenic smoke, are valuable tools. For that reason, it is believed that e-cigarettes, which have gained in popularity among smokers, could be a valuable tool as well, though they are forbidden by law to be marketed as smoking cessation tools. They help to recreate similar sensations of smoking without exposing users or others to the smoke from conventional cigarettes. Since they can't be marketed for smoking cessation, little is still known about how effective they are at helping people stop smoking.

 The original Review included two randomized clinical trials involving more than 600 participants, and found that electronic cigarettes containing nicotine may increase the chances of stopping smoking within six to 12 months, compared to using an electronic cigarette without nicotine. The researchers could not determine whether using electronic cigarettes was better than a nicotine patch in helping people stop smoking, because there were not enough people taking part in the study.

 This updated Review now includes observational data from an additional 11 studies.  Of the studies which measured side effects, none found any serious side effects of using electronic cigarettes for up to two years. The studies showed that throat and mouth irritation are the most commonly reported side effects in the short-to medium-term (up to two years).

 The lead author of this Cochrane Review, Jamie Hartmann-Boyce from the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, said, “The randomized evidence on smoking cessation is unchanged since the last version of the Review. We are encouraged to find many studies are now underway, particularly as electronic cigarettes are an evolving technology. Since the last version of the Review, 11 new observational and uncontrolled studies have been published. In terms of quitting, these can’t provide the same information we get from randomized controlled trials, but they contribute further information on the side effects of using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. None detected any serious side effects, but longer term data are needed.”

 Citation: Hartmann-Boyce J, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Begh R, Stead LF, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub3."

Now read this to eliminate the lies and fill in between the lines from the above:

https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20040623/quitting-smoking-add-10-years-life

My take on this section alone is that it vindicates many of the things I have been writing about on my website and talking about in my youtube videos since I first researched my ass off before switching completely over to vaping in September 2012, a full 7 years ago as I type this. Much to the chagrin of all the bought and paid for corrupt shills of Big Pharma including but not limited to U.S. Health agencies and self proclaimed Health officials, self proclaimed MD, PhD "experts", and of course major media and several organizations I thought were independent but upon further research I found they to are nothing more than bought and paid for CORRUPT SHILLS that stoop to the lowest level by parading children around the hallways of state and federal politicians under nothing more than a guise of a good sounding name including the following: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Truth Initiative. But don't take my word for it, research their funding for yourself.

MAKE NO MISTAKE, BIG PHARMA IS THE LARGEST MONEY MAKING MACHINE SECOND ONLY TO ENERGY. WHEN IN DOUBT FOLLOW THE MONEY. WE ARE THEIR MONEY COWS, THEY MAKE TRILLIONS OFF OUR SUFFERING. NOT OUR BEING HEALTHY.

WAKE UP AMERICA!


Is nicotine addictive?

By definition, addiction is the continued use despite negative consequences.

If there are no negative consequences, there is no addiction!

Nicotine and caffeine are a mild dependency, not a true "addiction".

There is some theory, not evidenced based fact, that nicotine may be harmful to fetus brain development, so pregnant women should stop nicotine in any form.

But it may actually be from the other thousands of toxins in cigarette smoke and have nothing to do with nicotine, that has NOT been determined yet.

And this is also abundantly clear, SMOKING IS ADDICTIVE, it kills, that is the worst "negative consequence" imaginable.

Research the difference between addiction and dependency. The two are not necessarily coincidental and definitely not the same.

Let me be clear, smoking is absolutely an addiction, coffee and vaping may be a mild dependency.


According to the law, namely the FDA tobacco deeming regulation, anyone that profits from the sale of e-cigarettes, components, or accessories is prohibited from saying that an e-cigarette is Harm Reduction to smoking. In fact, no health benefit claim can be made. Therefore, it is up to people like myself that in no way shape or form profit from e-cigarettes, e-liquid, components or accessories to get the message out there. And I prefer to provide the links, my personal opinion, my personal experiences and how I arrived at those opinions through my own thought process. Each of us needs to do our own individual research and form our own individual opinions using our own individual thought process, no one should take my or anyone else's opinions as their own. This entire page and this entire website are nothing more or less than my own personal opinions. I do not recommend that anyone take any of my opinions as their own. Everyone needs to arrive at their own personal opinions using their own personal thought process and their own research.


My Opinions based on my research:

All testing, even that done wrong, proves the worst e-Cigarette delivers a few bad by-products and of those few, in far less quantity than the thousands of bad things, all in much greater quantity in the best real cigarette. In other words:

THE WORST E-CIGARETTE IS SAFER THAN THE BEST CIGARETTE

Further the biggest risk in modern e-cigarettes are flavorings. Although Flavour Art and the University of Milan are making great strides, there is still a long way to go.

I dislike vape nazis as much as cigarette nazis. We must all decide for ourselves. I took to vaping while the wife did not. And that's just peachy. But I think we all prefer to make an informed decision.

E-Cigarettes produce VAPOR not smoke. We VAPE an e-Cigarette and smoke a real, light it up, analog, paper and tobacco cigarette. It is this key difference that makes the e-Cigarette inherently more safe than a cigarette. The vapor does not have the products of combustion, a.k.a. tar, i.e. thousands of toxins and dozens of carcinogens.

Even false tests done incorrectly have to lie to get headline grabbing conclusions. That's right, I said that and it's true. When I looked at the methods used and the data from those tests, I found that the tests were conducted completely wrong, in a fashion no human can because they use machines too do the vaping. Machines don't taste. Any vaper (human that vapes) knows instantly when they had a dry vape. The machines don't, continue vaping right on through dry puff collecting data when any human would have stopped and corrected the condition long ago at the first hint. But even at that, the output collected only has one or two dangerous byproducts in it compared to the thousands found in cigarette smoke. That by definition implies the e-Cigarette is safer to the most casual observer. Further, the concentration of those few was in far lower concentration than those found in cigarette smoke. Now, does that prove it? No it doesn't. Only through controlled, double blind, peer reviewed and independent health effects studies conducted over decades can it be "proved". Meanwhile, people are still dying from smoking. One would think that our government, namely the FDA would jump on this and help fine tune the e-cigarette as they have admitted in their own regulation by their own statements that e-cigarettes are safer. But that is not the case. The FDA does not test or aid anything. That is left up to industry. All the FDA can do is say "you can't do that". They offer no real help, nor protection and in fact put us all in danger. Their deeming regulation is actually counter to "Protecting the Public Health" which is supposed to be their mandate. And the industry with rare exception is made mostly of mom and pop stores that cannot afford the testing. So we are left in the quandry and meanwhile millions of Americans are dying from smoking. Therefore, I decided to do my own research.

Tobacco Companies are not behind the e-Cigarette / Vaping revolution. Nor are Tobacco companies behind the opposition to e-Cigarettes. Both are myths. The e-Cigarette revolution was started by a smoker in China by a guy named Hon Lik of Dragonite International Limited which is a pharmaceutical company who watched his father die from a smoking related disease. That was the original Ruyan sold starting in 2003. Since then, the vaping industry has grown a long ways through ex-smokers who have been hot on the trail of making the e-Cigarette more satisfying and safer. To make them more satisfying means a lot of things. Longer life, rechargeable versus disposable, open e-Liquid system so you can control what you inhale, more vapor production, and different flavors all aimed at keeping us from smoking. Because the more satisfying the vape, the less our desire to return to smoking. Smokers smoke cigarettes for the nicotine but die from the products of combustion a.k.a. tar which simply is not in an e-Cigarette because they create vapor not smoke, and they do not use combustion, no burning, just heating. Smoke creates gobs of particulates, e-Cigarettes create liquid droplets, no particles.


Nicotine Itself

Not all e-Cigarette e-Liquid contains nicotine. But Smokers looking at e-Cigarettes are wanting the nicotine. We smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar (products of combustion). So let us understand some basics facts about nicotine.

Let me be clear. Anything you like, is addictive. That is the only reasonable definition. Do not associate withdrawal symptoms with addiction. Different substances have different withdrawal symptoms. Do not associate difficulty with quitting with addiction. Some things are easy to quit like Nicotine, others are far more difficult like coffee. And do not associate permanent damage with addiction. Nicotine does not permanently and irreversibly damage the adult brain so it can no longer produce pleasure. Neither does coffee. However, other addictive substances do. But that does not mean that Nicotine and Caffeine are not addictive. Perhaps one might say "Nicotine is not as addictive as ... (fill in the blank)". There are lots of things I could write in that blank, like coffee, chocolate, steak, and sex as all of those I like far more than nicotine and are a lot harder to quit. Though I have to admit I like a good vape before and after all of them ;).

Concentrated raw Nicotine is a dangerous poison in large concentrations. Nicotine in large concentration causes birth defects and hinders brain development in children. What is unclear is what is the magic age this stops happening and at what concentration levels. I was surprised to learn that is not 18 nor 21 but perhaps older or younger given everyone is not the same and develops at different rates depending on many factors. Low Nicotine concentration is actually beneficial as opposed to harmful. Nicotine in low concentration helps focus and concentration. Nicotine even in high concentration levels does NOT cause cancer as opposed to the other 6000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Nicotine in low to moderate concentration has a definite positive affect on the central nervous system, heart rate and the cardiovascular system. It also has other subtle affects. I cannot say it is totally safe nor can I say it is harmful. Like most other things it depends on how much, how quickly, and my unique aspects. I believe what this means, as always, is we simply don't know enough. It could be some people are more sensitive to the effects of nicotine than others due to genetic disposition or other on-going health conditions wholly unrelated. And that is going to vary from person to person and with age and medical issues that crop up along the path of life. But the mere fact that people have and can die from too much nicotine (overdose) makes it dangerous in raw concentrated form. However, in moderate concentration levels like that found in e-cigarettes and e-liquid, it is actually beneficial.

I STRONGLY suggest reading this in it's entirety. There is a LOT in it. It describes the early days of e-cigarettes that is not wholly relevant to today's e-Cigarette but the sections on Nicotine, Propylene Glycol, tobacco, ENDS are very good primer reads. Understand that the e-Cigarettes tested and discussed in that report are NOT made today. Even though that report is dated 2014, the sources of data are MUCH older. But it is an excellent primer into the science. I break apart each risk of the modern e-Cigarette and it's related science below ON THIS PAGE; heating element, wick, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, container materials (from bottle to vaporizer) and battery.

Make no mistake there are those in the vaping industry that want to claim Nicotine is not addictive by the classical definition. Well maybe not. But by a reasonable definition as in "you don't WANT to stop nicotine" then it is addictive. It just isn't harmful in moderate amounts, in fact, Nicotine is actually beneficial like caffeine which is ALSO addictive. But like anything else, moderation is key.

Those of us adults that are already addicted to nicotine, smoke for the nicotine, but die from the combustible products. I do not recommend anyone get addicted to nicotine at any age. But as I already am addicted, there are safer ways to get my nicotine fix. Many don't know this but smokeless tobacco as in chewing tobacco reduces the risk of all forms of cancer from smoking including mouth, gums, tongue and throat. I know, hard to believe especially because of the FDA required warning level on every pouch or can, but it is true. Here is one reference on this topic. E-cigarettes can reduce that risk even further. It comes down to the ingredients. In both smokeless and smoking tobaccos "casings" are added. These are liquids akin to "flavorings". So it is similar to the flavorings issue in e-cigarettes. But the only way I can control that in tobaccos is by growing my own tobacco. Whereas in eliquid I choose what to use, and my choice is 100VG with zero flavorings.

There are studies that claim nicotine is as addictive as cocaine. I do not know if they are true or not. But I think not. I am not an expert and I have never been addicted to any chemical other than caffeine and nicotine and the loss of either one has very different withdrawal symptoms. I have cold turkeyed both before, not at the same time, and neither is fun and ultimately I go back. Though I was able to quit smoking for a decade, coffee only about 3 months. And as I do not do cocaine in any shape or form I cannot comment on that but it seems unlikely that cocaine and nicotine are the same. If they are, then all I can say is, caffeine is worse.

And I am not saying caffeine and nicotine are the same. Cold turkey caffeine and I get bad headaches. Cold turkey nicotine and I get sleepy. Very sleepy. But I missed coffee a helluva lot more than I did cigarettes.

But we know NICOTINE IS ADDICTIVE. Even if nicotine by itself is BENEFICIAL, not the cause of cancer, and in lower concentrations like what is found in e-cigarettes is not even as addictive as coffee, responsible vapers do not advocate people getting addicted to Nicotine. When I was young and started smoking I did not start because I wanted to BE addicted to nicotine. I really don't think anyone starts smoking or vaping BECAUSE they want to become addicted to nicotine. Now what you have to understand is that even though that is not the reason we start, once we do, we are addicted because we LIKE the effects it produces. Appetite suppression, and makes it easier to concentrate on what I am doing. Couple that with the addictive effects of caffeine, keeps me awake and alert, and gives me energy.

The key difference with Nicotine, like caffeine, from other "stimulants" is it does not damage an adult brain if taken in moderation. Other stimulants permanently destroy brain tissue and brain chemistry and it doesn't grow back. Alcohol is far, far more damaging and dangerous than Nicotine. Alcohol is not only a gateway drug, alcohol is THE gateway drug. Alcohol permanently destroys the brain and brain tissue. Although alcohol is classified as a depressant, Alcohol produces both stimulant and sedating effects until more than the body can handle at any given point in time is consumed and then it becomes a depressant. Continued use of alcohol destroys the brain, continued use of Nicotine (in moderation) as an adult does not. Alcohol is very insidious because of how it works.

Marlboro for example is the first I heard of using ammonia to "free base" the nicotine in a cigarette. Instead of 2mg in a boro, it was more like 20mg. As Far As I Know (AFAIK), Marlboro still does that but not as bad as they used to after a multi billion payoff to BC/BS - Bluecross/Blueshield.

So just how insidious are drugs that affect brain chemistry? The part of your brain that gets destroyed by alcohol and other drugs (not Nicotine in moderation) is the brain's PLEASURE center. That's right, keep "pleasuring yourself" with those drugs like alcohol and not even sex will be fun. Oh you can still do it, it just won't be fun. That's pretty off the chart insidious to me. Although that predisposition to alcohol addiction gene runs in my family, I have successfully steered away from it.

So I have been hitting nicotine and caffeine for over 35 years now HARD. I thought smoking gave a nicotine rush until I put in a chaw of days-o-work. (I should have had a vomit bag ready - and a soft place to land) And I assure you, I have seen many alcoholics come and go (literally I'm afraid, R.I.P.) and I have no problems enjoying sex at all or anything else. Now if I could just stop enjoying food...

SO I DO NOT FEAR NICOTINE in moderation. But I do FEAR ALCOHOL & DRUGS

So what is "in moderation"?  I cannot back this number up with hard science and it will depend on the individual and genetics but methinks anything north of 20mg/ml at a sustained 40W under temperature control and I could be in trouble. Note, sustained under temperature control. In fact past that volume, I cannot tolerate it and I am used to the massive nicotine delivery of chewing tobacco as well as smoking.

Moderation is all about risk reduction. For example I buy organic coffee that is non-GMO and free of herbicides and pesticides. This is a method of lowering risk. So why then should a method of getting nicotine with lower risk be any different? That is where the e-cigarette benefits come into play - they reduces harm, reduce my risk.

Read this article on a long term study that proves e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes based on this long term study which also conclusively states that there is minimal risk for long term use of e-cigarettes. It says to me that vaping is MUCH SAFER than smoking, MINIMAL RISK for long term use.

IN MY OPINION NICOTINE IS NOT THE ISSUE

I am careful of some so called "scientific" reports. They are more often misleading then they are not. I comprehend the scientific method and pick through them with a fine toothed comb. I have to know what was done and often more importantly what was NOT done. Many reports I have read about e-Cigarettes being just as bad or worse than cigarettes, e-Cigarettes causing second hand issues, e-Cigarettes causing cancer, e-Cigarettes being gateways to smoking, e-Cigarettes not being effective at smoking cessation and all other kinds of nonsense were easily debunked. In many cases the conclusions drawn by these "studies" cannot be made by the data collected. In others the testing or questioning was performed completely wrong. In these it is clear that the so called "scientists" are lying on purpose as no one is that stupid, especially not a "scientist" that understands the scientific method. I have even seen one group that was informed their data collection method was wrong so they repeated their "test" exactly the same way doing it wrong a second time and saying the same wrong conclusion. That is lying on purpose. That is not an honest mistake or difference in belief. That is outright evil and corrupt. An easy search online and it became clear, that specific group makes it's paycheck from those that stand to lose money from e-Cigarette success. And the exact opposite is also true, studies by those that make their paycheck from e-Cigarette success have also done it claiming by the "definition", nicotine is not addictive.

So I have placed here on this page links to studies and reports that I have sifted through and found accurate. There are more that I have not. I list caveats that are necessary for each when I reference them. At best these represent trends, not absolutes. But they were conducted correctly and drew correct conclusions based on the data collected and the test methods used and were done without bias as to their next paycheck.


Battery Safety

Most e-cigarettes use Lithium Ion batteries. Same types used in cell phones, laptops, cordless tools, flashlights, vacuum cleaners, hover boards, radios and etc. When you hear reports of e-Cigarettes blowing up or catching fire, it is the battery and the very same events happen with all those other items listed above that use Li-Ion batteries. These events are not common. Some products may experience the problem more than others due to the design. In other words, e-Cigarettes are not prone to catching on fire or blowing up any more than any other product that uses Li-Ion batteries. Further, I am not aware of a single e-Cigarette that is more prone than any other, unlike the Segway for example. The key here is to learn Li-Ion cell battery safety and my lessons learned are on the linked page above. It is important to note I think that I have literally dozens of individual cells, 18350, 18650, 20700, 21700. I use them in flashlights, cordless screwdrivers, I even have a radio that uses an 18650. And of course I use them in several e-Cigarettes. I have had two 18650s thus far that developed shunts from sitting too long without a charge. And never one that got hot or showed signs of venting. But I educated myself so I know what to watch for.

Two people have died as a result of Li-Ion cells used in e-Cigarettes from 2007 through Jan 2019. Meanwhile, 480,000 Americans die every single year from smoking. Making the e-Cigarette 99.9999% safer based on that alone.


e-Liquid Safety

I try not to get e-Liquid on my skin and always keep eLiquid out of the reach of pets, children and minors. I do not want eLiquid in its liquid state on my lips, tongue or mouth. And I do not even think about drinking it. But if I did, I would dial 911 immediately. Nicotine in liquid form is dangerous at any concentration level. I could get a massive nicotine dose very quickly by drinking it or through skin absorption that causes serious health issues including death. On the occasions I have gotten it on my skin I wash it off immediately and have the phone handy to dial 911 at the first sign of trouble, palpitations, cold sweats, nausea, vision trouble.

10ml of 12mg/ml would give a total dose of 120mg of nicotine which is massive. We do not have definitive science that says what total dose is too much. I have seen various numbers. It depends on many factors and will vary from person to person. But as an avid chewing tobacco user I can tell you that a plug of my days-o-work turned me, as a novice, green and burned my mouth. Levi Garrett and Redman was candy to me. When I first started vaping, 36mg/ml e-liquid was somewhat a let down, albeit needed. 18mg/ml was a total joke. So while I have no science to back up my claim or numbers, having spilled 4ml of 12mg/ml on my skin I can say that it was like what I used to get when I was chawing a plug of days-o-work. And when I was not used to it, my heart raced, and promised the almighty I will never ever do that again. I did the math, that's only 48mg. At 120mg, I wonder if I would survive. In fact I'm not sure I would now that I am over the hill and that is given I chewed hard most of my life.

Remember, a single cigarette supposedly contains 0.5-2mg of nicotine. 10-40mg in a pack.

All e-Liquid today comes with child resistant packaging by federal law. But that is just one barrier, I do not think that alone is enough. Packaging is not a substitute for denial of access. I keep ALL e-liquid out of the reach of pets and children. (PERIOD)

Now what is the amount of nicotine that can kill? Well I find a lot of varying opinions mostly because it depends on the person, age, compromised health factors, body weight. I read that the total amount for a healthy young adult is somewhere around 1g. To be clear, that is 1000mg. So a 12mg/ml bottle of 83ml contains 1g of nicotine. A 120ml bottle of 8.3mg/ml has 1g of nicotine. Now to be clear that is 1g immediately. Not 1g over days. However, I believe as little as 100mg or .1g could kill a human with very low body weight and compromised health.


Credible e-Cigarette testing

The Public Health England (PHE) has determined that E-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes. Royal College of Physicians were first to publish a report about the dangers of cigarettes in 1962. In 2016, they were not the first, but they did publish a report about E-cigarettes being safer.

This report on a long term study from the Cancer Research UK shows vaping and e-cigarettes are 97% safer than smoking and cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have no Second-Hand issues. "No Significant Risk" of harm to human health for vapor samples from e-liquids (A-D). In contrast, for tobacco smoke most findings markedly exceeded risk limits indicating a condition of "Significant Risk" of harm to human health. With regard to cancer risk analysis, no vapor sample from e-liquids A-D exceeded the risk limit for either children or adults. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23033998

The results of the Spanish Council of Scientific Research study on “A rapid method for the chromatographic analysis of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath of tobacco cigarette and electronic cigarette smokers” showed that indoor air and normal exhaled breath contains more VOCs than the E-cigarette vapor. – Dr. Farsalinos https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26243705

Environmental Research study on Cigarettes vs. e-cigarettes: Passive exposure at home measured by means of airborne marker and biomarkers showed “In conclusion, the levels of nicotine absorbed from “passive vaping” are not only harmless but do not even produce any biological effect (not even heart rate acceleration).” - Dr. Farsalinos http://www.e-cigarette-research.org/research/index.php/whats-new/whatsnew-2014/184-passive-vape

Here are direct quotes from the U.S. FDA Tobacco Deeming Regulation which was recorded into the Federal Register on 10 May 2016 and became effective on 8 August 2016 as Federal Law, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) TITLE 21 Parts 1100, 1140, and 1143.

"FDA believes that the inhalation of nicotine (i.e., nicotine without the products of combustion) is of less risk to the user than the inhalation of nicotine delivered by smoke from combusted tobacco products.

… Researchers recognize that the effects from nicotine exposure by inhalation without combustion are likely not responsible for the high prevalence of tobacco-related death and disease in this country.

… we recognize that the availability of alternatives to traditional tobacco flavors in some products (e.g., ENDS) may potentially help some adult users who are attempting to transition away from combusted products.”

Here is the link to read it for yourself, go to pages 17, 30 and 31: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-10685.pdf

In addition to the U.S. FDA quotes from their own Deeming Regulation, here are over 900 citations proving E-cigarettes: are safer than smoking and pose no second-hand issues. - http://e-researchfoundation.org/direct-from-the-experts/current-studies-2/

A Cochrane study I read showed that smokers add  9 yrs to their life expectancy by switching to vaping. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/e-cigarettes-help-smokers-quit-review-finds-n647811; http://www.science20.com/news_articles/new_cochrane_review_on_e-cigarettes-180194

All of the studies done to date are done with the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to the actual e-Cigarettes used in those studies. No study has been done with the LOWEST RISK e-Cigarette.

So while it is true that e-Cigarettes are safer than combustible cigarettes, there are known risks and they can be minimized and mitigated. I learned how by understanding the science of the known detriments uncovered in this research.


Known Detriments

Flavorings are perhaps the number one risk item for e-Cigarettes/e-Liquid/Vaping. The problem with flavorings is there just isn't a lot of data on most of them and the manufacturers are not even disclosing ingredients. So we have no idea what could decompose let alone at what temperature. The one exception being Flavourart that is working with the University of Milan and conducting all kinds of testing including epithelial cell testing. Here is one study "Flavoring Compounds Dominate Toxic Aldehyde Production during E-Cigarette Vaping" that finds aldehyde production is due entirely to the thermal decomposition of flavoring and directly correlated with flavoring concentration. While their test method avoids a dry puff condition, it does not use a temperature control device either. My take away from this test proves my decision to not use flavorings until more testing was completed and my decision to use temperature control ever since it first came out was correct. This in effect is a totally believable outcome because the science supports it making flavorings the number one risk item that can be avoided. Dr. Farsalinos is trying to make contact with the authors of that report, Andrey Khlystov* and Vera Samburova, to determine why their results differs from his results referenced below. My read is really simple, temperature too high for the flavor ingredients used. Further testing needs to be done to see if there is any temperature that produces vapor and does not produce aldehydes from the breakdown of the flavoring ingredients. Bottom line is the same as it was years ago, flavors are risk, to lower the risk simply avoid flavors.

As you can see from the graph above for PG, keeping the temperature below 200C or around 400F assures no carbonyls. For VG, the testing showed no production of the precursor acrolein until 270C or 518F. So what this meant to me for the ultimate in lowering risk was to, not use flavorings, not use PG, only use VG, and in temperature control at a low temperature, say 360F for margin. All bets are off when it comes to flavorings. Some flavorings produced immense amounts of carbonyls at even 360F.

While there is no long term data (10+ years) on health affects we do have credible studies by Dr. Farsalinos and others proving there are known detriments of vaping although far fewer and of those few, far lower in amount than in cigarette smoke. These detriments come from dangerous by-products caused by high coil temperature/dry hit, and while levels approaching cigarette smoke are not typical of a vaping experience, mistakes do happen. To be clear, there are far fewer chemicals present in eLiquid vapor even when done wrong than cigarette smoke. But even though the number is far fewer, the levels are also far lower. But those few do exist and they do represent risk. Further, although Dr. Farsalinos didn't use temperature control, his testing protocol minimized the high temperature excursions.

Here are my take-aways from Dr. Farsalinos test results. These are just my opinions:

1. e-cigarette vapor is far safer than smoking.

2. e-cigarette vapor can have minute amounts of known carcinogen (Formaldehyde) and toxin (Acrolein) these are far fewer and much less in quantity than in analog cigarette smoke (10's of carcinogens and 1000's of toxins and orders of magnitude higher quantities measured in ppm).

3. These health risks can be mitigated with an understanding of the processes involved and using Risk Management.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG) or Glycerol (C3H8O3) starts decomposing into acetaldehyde and Acrolein at around 536 degrees Fahrenheit (536F), reference 1.


Propylene Glycol (PG) starts decomposing at 329F, reference 3.

Notice formaldehyde was found in Dr.Farsalinos testing at far lower levels than cigarette smoke.

Formaldehyde levels as low as 0.046 ppm were positively correlated with eye and nasal irritation. Chronic exposure at higher levels, starting at around 1.9 ppm, have been shown to result in significant damage to pulmonary function. In 1987 the U.S. EPA classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen.

I have not found a reliable source for the temperature at which formaldehyde is formed but if temperature is maintained below 536F then there is no acrolein nor acetaldehyde from VG to form formaldehyde.

PG also creates acrolein which can then form formaldehyde but since its decomposition temperature is so low for vaping, it should be avoided altogether. Also, chronic inhalation of propylene glycol is not safe.

The presence of metal catalysts can reduce that formation temperature though I have no clear reference as to what metals or what temperature. In general terms, metals low on the reactivity scale and keeping temperature as low as possible giving widest margin is the best way to mitigate these risks.

A known - unknown risk is flavorings. While we know chemicals in flavorings will decompose at some temperature, we don't know what temperature or what those chemicals are. For example, simple vanilla. It is typically made synthetically and even the natural extract I have made from Madagascar vanilla beans has many different chemicals in it, not just vanillin, reference 4.

Flavourart company out of France is working with the University of Milan scientists and they are in vitro epithelial cell testing all their flavors. Due to the testing, I believe these flavorings are the safest on the planet right now. To my knowledge no one else is does this testing.

While the ppm were low, other flavor manufacturers were found to have Diacetyl, Acetoin, Heptane 2,3 dione, Hexane 2,3 dione, Hexane 3,4 dione and etc.

Flavorings for vaping are almost always suspended in PG. So the use of flavorings is adding PG to your vaporized content. Though flavorings are used at a very low ~2% concentration.

It is possible to determine through taste when by-products are being produced but not always the case. Burnt cellulose, formaldehyde and acrolein is unmistakable*. Assuming your taste has not been muted somehow like smoking for example, inexperienced vapers may not know what their eLiquid tastes like when not producing by-products. And some of the by-products can be masked or tasteless. Take acetaldehyde for example. It has a green apple taste. Some of the flavorings I like are apple, apple pie, double apple and green apple. The best answer is continued research though a risk mitigation technique for acetaldehyde would be to avoid apple flavorings so its taste isn't masked.

*At a certain level. What is not clear is the potential risk at a low enough level that they exist but cannot be detected through taste.


Metals and other health risks

Coils (heating element)

Metal (depending on which one) glows red at around 1000F and glows orange at around 2000F. And while we were glowing Kanthal coils on a dry burn before adding wicking or eLiquid to ensure we have no shorts and to burn off industrial contaminates before we inhale them, clearly that was not the best harm reduction method as metal alloys raised to such high temperatures also change metallurgy, can leave metal oxides and salts behind after cooling, and could free up nanoparticles. This could result in the inhalation of bad stuff. And however minimal that risk may be and perhaps better than smoking analogs as all that bad stuff resides in analogs and arguably to a larger degree, it still is not something I want to do. So I don’t dry burn my coils without Temperature Control anymore. When rebuilding atomizers, I do make a coil or take a loop of wire and fire it without wicking on a TC device at the temperature I intend to vape while blowing on the wire. This prevents the bad stuff while allowing the removal of any contaminates. It is best to make the coil, mount it in the atty and fire at temp dropping a few drops of e-Liquid on the coil while blowing on the coil prior to wicking. This will also reduce the bad taste from any finger oils left on the wire after making the coil. There is also industrial lubricants left on wire from manufacturing that has to be removed.

When titanium is exposed to ambient air at room temperature, a passive oxide film is spontaneously formed on its surface and increases with higher temperatures. Reference 21. Also Titanium dioxide (TiO2) used as whiteners in everything from food to fabrics is not safe to inhale and has been classified as a possible respiratory tract carcinogen. Reference 22.

From the limited information I can find, Nickel seems like a reasonable choice considering the lack of reactivity, toxicity, and health hazards. Also, nickel has great longevity and is less expensive.

For concerns about Ni200 (Nickel) coil wire used with TP APVs to enable the temperature protect feature:

From the Mayo Clinic at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nickel-allergy/basics/definition/con-20027616:

“Nickel allergy is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis — an itchy rash that appears when your skin touches a usually harmless substance.

Nickel allergy is commonly associated with earrings and other jewelry, particularly jewelry associated with body piercings. But nickel can be found in many everyday items — from coins to zippers, from cellphones to eyeglass frames.

Nickel allergy can affect people of all ages. A nickel allergy usually develops after repeated or prolonged exposure to items containing nickel. Treatments can reduce the symptoms of nickel allergy. I did read that once a nickel allergy occurs it does not go away, will always be sensitive to the metal and contact needs to be avoided.”

I want to point out that nanoparticles of any heavy metal are a concern. With Kanthal (FeCrAl) or Nichrome (NiCr) then you get chromium, aluminum, iron or nickel and chromium. Kanthal is widely used in glassomizer cartridge coils and nichrome is used in some disposables and cartos. Nanoparticles could be produced in vapor, due to the thermal expansion of the wire. A study of cartomizers (reference 20) confirms this. However, it also confirms that the nanoparticles tend to be larger than the nanoparticles in analogs and analogs produce much greater amounts of a wider range of metallic nanoparticles, some of them far worse than was found in the e-cigs tested. Further, those generation one and two e-cigarettes are no longer produced, so nanoparticles, metallic or otherwise, are not relevant to modern fifth generation e-cigarettes. Also, I noted the levels from those old moribund products were far below what I get driving sown the highway or breathing in a city or anywhere during a windy/dusty day.

Based on what the EPA says, nickel carbonyl and nickel refinery dust (includes subsulfides) are carcinogens, not nickel itself.

http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/nickel.html

 How nickel carbonyl is formed:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja01332a013

 Composition of nickel refinery dust:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10807039.2011.588152?journalCode=bher20#preview

 The EPA says "Nickel occurs naturally in the environment at low levels. Nickel is an essential element in some animal species, and it has been suggested it may be essential for human nutrition."

 The EPA recommends that drinking water levels for nickel should not be more than 0.1 mg per liter (nickel itself is insoluble so must be a compound). The OSHA has set an enforceable limit of 1.0 mg nickel/m3 for metallic nickel and nickel compounds in workroom air to protect workers during an 8-hour shift over a 40-hour work week.

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp.asp?id=245&tid=44

So based on all the above it is compounds of Nickel that are dangerous. Not Nickel itself. And those compounds will not occur in an e-cigarette as long as we keep temperature below refinery levels.

Concern about metal ions and nanoparticles with any wire has also been raised. It is noted that all the metals used for vaping wire are considered transition metals and can be found in the transition metal Wikipedia. I have not found a good source of information that scientifically measures metal ion production in e-cigarettes. With that said, many tests have been done measuring metal content in e-cigarette vapor and was found to have far less and fewer metals than in cigarette smoke. Reference 20. In fact, those were from the old moribund no longer manufactured e-cigarettes, the concern is no longer present.

Additional information on titanium:

http://www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text186.html

And titanium allergy:

http://www.melisa.org/metals-disease/metals/titanium/

A word about coil cartridges and cartomizers. I have seen posts that some of the coils in these have been found to have been soldered instead of welded. I find that troubling. Even if lead free solder is used.

A word about chromium (Cr). It is present in Kanthal, Stainless Steel and Nichrome. Chromium and chromium oxides are toxic and carcinogens. The chromium in Stainless Steel forms chromium oxide as a passivation layer in the presence of air. This is a function of Chromium itself. Therefore it is not too giant a leap to say the same about Kanthal and Nichrome.

A word about good old iron (Fe).

Well obviously it rusts but do I care?

Looking for inhalation hazards of iron oxide I found the CDC permissible level is 5mg per cubic meter (http://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1036.pdf).

There is also:

https://books.google.com/books?id=xQfTAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=iron+oxidation+inhalation+permissible+levels&source=bl&ots=db-_jgjgg6&sig=FLAA-A-bZNjPEsSQQVbf4IGjLF4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDcQ6AEwA2oVChMIyJXN-ZyPyQIVgRYeCh17tgr6#v=onepage&q=iron%20oxidation%20inhalation%20permissible%20levels&f=false

and

https://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_247400.html

and

http://digitalfire.com/4sight/hazards/ceramic_hazard_iron_oxide_and_hematite_350.html.

None of these indicate iron or iron oxides in vaping wire is a health problem. So I don't care if it rusts, let it rust. I assess the risk of iron oxides as LOW based on the above research.

Considering all that, I don't have a Nickel allergy, the dangerous nickel compounds are not being formed if I keep the coil temperature low with TC so I asses my risk of Ni200, Fe and NiFe for myself as LOW. And I will avoid the use of other metal types on a regular basis until further research is done as it is not clear to me what all metal types were tested in Dr. Farsalinos testing. But this is just my assessment for myself and should not be assumed to represent anything else.

Therefore, I do not mind seeing a move to nickel, iron or Nifethal but it does have limitations. Nickel wire is a lot softer and less springy than Kanthal and while I do not have a problem rebuilding attys with Ni200, it can be a bit more difficult. And I always obtain my wire from a reputable source. I like the made in USA TEMCo wire. Nifethal 70 wire is a lot easier to work with, has a higher resistance and is made in Sweden at Sandvik and is sold by Kidneypuncher.com. I greatly prefer the NiFe.

Tank/Build

Stainless steel is nonreactive at low temperatures. 316L has more corrosion resistance than 304, 18-8 and so on.

Copper although an excellent conductor, is a known catalyst to many organic chemical reactions and brass contains copper. I do not like to see copper or brass used in the atomizer anywhere eLiquid or it's vapor touches.

Aluminum will corrode, even after anodization, in wet environments especially with high or low pH like eLiquids. Aluminum and aluminum oxide have been rumored to cause adverse health effects. Though credible science and research refutes those studies. But I do not like to see aluminum used in the atomizer anywhere eLiquid or vapor touches.

Lead should never be used in the atomizer.


Wicking

Cellulose wicking material is safe as long as the wick stays wet and the temperature stays below the decomposition point of cellulose. See the link to more information and my own testing here. There are two forms, Rayon which is man made and cotton. I have tried various forms of rayon and cotton from yarn, butchers, string, twine, cloth to balls and I can say that nothing performs better and without any weird tastes than Graham Cellucotton and Muji or Koh Gen Doh organic cotton pads. Both products are made for and are used in the beauty industry.

Cellulose begins decomposing around 430F, reference 2. Though my own tests with Organic Cotton and Rayon show discoloration which I equate to decomposition at a much lower temperature but much longer than a typical vape duration. As low as 380F and 10 seconds. But add just one drop of eLiquid and the temperature where discoloration starts is much higher. Basically I had to vaporize all the eLiquid to dry out the wick before decomposition started at that temperature and duration. Please keep in mind, I am no expert and my tests are relevant only as my opinion.

Joyetech pushed the envelope once upon a time with the Delta II glassomizer that used premanufactured coil/wick cartridges with MMMF (Man Made Mineral Fiber). MMMF can be made of many different materials and it was never made clear by Joyetech WHAT they used. I can only say that MMMF have been known to have the same ill effects on the lungs as asbestos including mesothelioma. And I don't care how wet the wicking stays, that is a VERY BAD IDEA. Needless to say the vaping community pummeled Joyetech with lots of questions, I remember Phil Busardo really challenging them directly, and ultimately the vaping community at large condemned the product which served as a warning to Chinese vaping product manufacturers. WE ARE WATCHING

However that didn't stop Joyetech from coming out with the Riftcore Duo and Solo that uses AlN ceramic heating elements with a tungston core. And they took a lot of heat from the community on that, and ultimately those products have been condemned and the whole foray failed miserably. WE ARE WATCHING ... Unfortunately, the RFC heaters using AlN are actually...perfectly safe. LOL But how Joyetech handled the whole debacle is what made it a debacle and ultimately a miserable failure. Unfortunate because the technology is actually sound. AlN in powder form is ridiculously toxic. But vitrified (made into ceramic/glass) it is nontoxic and nonreactive at temperatures up to 1700C. Youtube video TBD. This paragraph is actually about the heating element (wire) but it felt right to put it here LOL. I have many Joyetech products that I like and IMHO are perfectly safe. But...they did what they did. There is no denying it. That is why I say all through out my site, do your own research and thinking and make your own conclusions, decisions and opinions.

Silica rope AFAIK has been used since the first Ruyan. Details on this and all these materials in Rebuildable Atomizers can be found here. I will simply say here that I try real hard to stay away from silica wicking as microscopic shards created from fraying during the building process can form invisible javelins that could get inhaled and imbed in your lungs forever. However, there is not one single documented case of this happening. Still it is an avoidable potential hazard.


I am a type 2 diabetic so let me talk about that first. The BLUF is some diabetics will have an effect and some diabetics will not. I have an entire page dedicated to this topic here. Nicotine affects insulin, pancreas and therefore blood sugar. PG metabolizes as lactic, pyruvic (a ketone), and acetic (vinegar) acids and VG results in a simple sugar (glucose) triglycerides, phospholipids with a glycemic index of 3 which is much lower than sucralose (table sugar) at 65. So the answer is pretty simple, if your triglyceride levels are high and/or your blood sugar level is high, cut down the VG. If you are in danger of lactic acidosis then discontinue PG. Both can affect kidney function. The best method is to vape the lowest amount of vapor that keeps you from smoking. In other words, lowest power and lowest e-liquid consumption per day. So it is true that vaping can affect diabetes, fatty liver and pancreas and belly fat. But there is no guarantee it will or will not any one person. It's just PLAUSIBLE. I have heard diabetics that say high VG increased their blood sugar so they switched to high PG and their blood sugar stabilized.

Here is my personal experience. I vape 100VG, I have for over seven years now as of 1/24/2019, it does not affect my blood sugar one iota which seems to always read in the 120-150 range no matter what I vape, 100PG, 50/50 or 100VG. Further while vaping my DIY 100VG, I lost 60 pounds once solely by changing my diet only. My diet affects my sugar, cholesterol and weight far more than vaping, in fact 50 points more (150-200). And that is adding the most trivial things to my diet like Ritz crackers. If I stick to just meat and cheese and green leafy plants, it stays 120-150.

I think it is important to note that I vape 4ml per day. Not 30 or more. these results may change so I pay attention and check my fasting blood sugar daily.


Bronchiolitis Obliterans (Popcorn Lung)

This is a very serious illness. Unfortunately what I have heard in the media is a complete lie. This is a result of an active disinformation campaign targeted against E-cigarettes and vaping. The media is happy to carry such stories as sensationalistic headline grabbing negative news attracts more readers and therefore sells more advertisements and articles. However they are in fact total lies and therefore irresponsible. I am not aware of a single case of Bronchiolitis Obliterans a.k.a. Popcorn Lung caused by an E-cigarette. And I don't believe there will be, the science simply isn't there. The chemicals that produce PL were indeed present in some e-liquids due to flavorings but in far lower amounts in the vapor then even in cigarette smoke. As proven by the credible, peer reviewed, independent, crowd source funded testing performed Dr. Farsalinos (links above).

The specific chemicals of concern are diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, and acetoin. Further, reputable e-Liquid manufacturers have proven those chemicals do not exist in their products. By reputable, I mean every single one that is in the mainstream market. If I were to buy e-liquid from a guy in a trailer in the parking lot of a grocery store, well then all bets are off obviously. The presence of these chemicals in e-liquids and flavorings were the result of using buttery flavors and sweeteners.

To lower my vaping risk of PL or any future condition promulgated by a sensationalistic headline grabbing disinformation campaign, I always buy flavorings or e-liquids that use flavorings from FlavourArt who conducts in vitro cell testing on all their vaping flavors with the University of Milan. Certainly I would not buy e-Liquids and flavorings that use sweeteners or "buttery" flavors from anyone else.

It is true that flavorings remain the number one risk item in vaping. This is due to true known-unknowns. In short a known unknown is indeed different from an unknown-unknown. An unknown unknown is something we do not know about i.e. we do not know it exists. A known unknown means we know that risk exists but we don't know what the risk level is. Dr. Farsalinos testing and FlavourArts testing with the university of Milan are the only methods that are mitigating the unknown unknowns and eliminating the known unknowns. But we can help in a significant way simply by avoiding the unnecessary risks. I define that as using the minimum necessary to stop smoking and convert to vaping. Over time, additional risks can be mitigated.

With respect to Popcorn Lung, this is a known risk that has been eliminated by reputable mainstream e-Liquid and e-Liquid flavoring manufacturers and there is not one single verified case caused by e-cigarettes anyways. But there are some still using the wrong stuff without doing any testing. I look for flavorings and eliquid manufacturers that specifically say they do not use diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, and acetoin.


Miscellaneous risk items

I could have a sensitivity to PG, VG, or any one of numerous chemicals in flavoring ingredients.

All wire, bottles and atomizers that store or measure eLiquid all need to be washed. Industrial lubricants are used in the manufacturing process of metal. I wash with everclear and then rinse with water and then let dry. Some industrial lubricants used on metals will not dissolve with alcohol so I use dawn and water. Others use simple green or even acetone but I do not trust those although acetone is the active ingredient in fingernail polish but I would never use fingernail polish either because it has other chemicals in it than just acetone. I Just make sure before using those that they are rinsed well. I do try to stay away from using acetone if at all possible and if I were ever to use it, I would wear gloves and make sure it was unscented, IE no fingernail polish remover. And I would never use acetone on plastics.

There is concern about chemicals from plastic leaching into e-liquid. Though I am not aware of any tests being done that prove or disprove this. Most e-liquid bottles are glass and use glass droppers. Further, some plastic tubes used in atomizer tanks will become sticky or crack with certain e-liquids. These are made from polycarbonate. Since I use 100VG with no flavorings then there is much less worry. USP VG Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the USDA for consumption is routinely stored, shipped and used in polyethylene containers making any PE type plastic much less of a concern. I believe they are safe and use them routinely without issue. That means PTFE and PET. However with use of flavorings then all bets are off. It depends on the chemicals a.k.a. ingredients in that flavoring that no one ever lists. With that said, I have noticed that all of Capellas flavors come in PTFE bottles and a lot of chemicals, acids and bases are stored and shipped in PE bottles. Further milk jugs, cola bottles and the like are also a PE or PET. So, I stay away from PolyCarbonate or PC type plastics. These seem to be the ones that get sticky and crack using some acidic/citrus e-liquids.


Managing Risk with a Worksheet

I avoid as much of the known detriments by using a quality temperature protection mod and an atomizer that uses stainless steel and glass everywhere the eLiquid and vapor touches. Copper and brass is fine if used for the 510 center pin external to the atomizer but not inside for coil posts. In other words minimize the surface area of reactive metals touching e-liquid. Ceramic insulators around the positive coil post are preferred as well as glass for the tank. While there are several atomizers that use glass for the tank material, most use plastic for the insulator though it’s contact/surface area with e-Liquid is small so that’s a decent compromise. Most plastic insulators in atomizers use PEEK today. PC plastic used for the tank in tank atomizers is not a good choice. I have never seen a PE tank personally but those would be acceptable to me as well. And I use 100VG typically with no flavorings. But with that said, I still use flavorings from time to time. It's all about risk.

There is a large temperature difference between the center wraps and the outside wraps of a heating coil (the center wraps heat up first and get hotter than the outside wraps) and a large temperature difference across the surface area of ceramic heating cores. The Temperature Control e-Cigarette or mod does not know this, it assumes an even temperature distribution across all wraps of the entire coil(s). So we need to leave margin. I use as much as possible, 50-100F would be great but 20F is my minimum and why I vape at 360F. Because the limiting factor in my risk management decision set is the cellulose wicking (cotton or rayon) which does start to turn brown at around 380F dry wick. While I do not know what can be done to even out the temperature differentials in ceramic heating elements, for wire wrap coil builds I spread the center coil wraps further apart and keep the outside wraps spread closer to even out the temperature differential across the entire coil.

As a BLUF, my personal risk assessment of cellulose wick and Nickel wire with 100VG if not heated above a vaping temperature of 400F is low risk with the limiting factor being the wicking (keeping it wet with eliquid). However just in case I ever let the coil dry out for some reason, a vape temperature around 360F lowers the risk even further. I personally assess the risk of silica rope wicking as moderate based on my experience of rebuilds using it so I stick with cellulose. Silica wick frays creating what I call micro javelins that if inhaled can impale in my mouth throat or lungs. And if those micro javelins impale in my lungs, I suggest they would never come out especially in the lungs of a long term prior smoker. My personal risk assessment on temperature is that vaping at 500F is moderate to high risk due to the lack of margin with center wraps on coils getting hotter and the decomposition temperature of vegetable glycerin. Since I prefer to have large margin, I enjoy a cool vape at around 360F. I would like to know if the ingredients in my favorite flavorings do not decompose at that temperature but I do not know. Therefore it is wise to not use flavorings other than Flavourart until more research is done. Though my opinion is that a lower temperature has a better chance of producing less or no decomposition byproducts than a higher temperature even for flavoring ingredients.

To me choices in vaping equipment and supplies is all about risk assessment, mitigation and acceptance. I believe each individual person must determine their own and there are many ways to do risk assessments but here is my own personal risk assessment worksheet:

My personal Risk worksheet

Risk Item

Assessment

Mitigation

My Acceptance

Pets and Children, People High if they have contact or consume any e-Liquid with nicotine at any concentration level. Deny access. All e-Liquid comes in CRP by federal law but that is no substitute for denying access. Accepted, I always put dangerous items out of the reach of those that could be harmed by them.
VG

LOW to Moderate if any part of the build temperature stays below 536F with margin.

See IR test in Temperature Control. Margin is needed. Accepted @ 360F vape temperature for margin
PG

HIGH at any temperature above 329F.

none, very little vapor is produced even at 330F. Avoid use DIY 100VG e-Liquid.
Flavorings UNKNOWN - potentially high especially since PG is often used for extraction. Exception may be FlavourArt* Additional research and testing needed. Avoid mostly unless needed to stay off smoking cigarettes and then only Flavourart*
Wire

LOW for Ni200 and Iron or Carbon Steel or NiFe

See metals research in Temperature Control. Accepted for Nickel and Iron, avoid others.
Wicking

LOW for cellulose if build temperature is below 380F

See my Rayon and OC test. Additional research and testing needed for silica. Accepted @ 360F vape temperature avoid all but cellulose.
E-Cigarette Heating Method Moderate as excessive build temperatures in atomizers cause e-Liquid decomposition and bad by-products even though far fewer and in far less quantity than a real cigarette. Use a quality, consistent and accurate Temperature Control (TC) mod. Accepted with EVOLV Vapor DNA device.
Container for storing e-Liquid UNKNOWN - There is an undocumented concern of chemicals in plastics leeching into the e-Liquid. Use Glass storage bottles for long term storage and select atomizers that either use ceramic insulator or minimize plastic insulator surface area in contact with e-Liquid in the vaporizer and daily refill (short term) plastic bottles that are polyethylene. Use glass for long term storage of e-Liquid. Minimize storage of e-Liquid in squeezable plastic fill bottles. Use only atomizers that have ceramic, SS, TI or glass tanks and vaporization chamber and minimum plastic insulator surface area.
Batteries High with Li-Ion thermal run away and possible venting. Battery selection based on the e-Cigarette being used current draw requirements and Mooch's cell temperature/amp rating and properly charge use, handle/transport in plastic transport case (never put bare cell in pocket) and maintain with a reputable charger, do not short circuit cell, do not let sit without charge, and inspect the cell and be vigilant with cells performance (longevity during use) and temperature when using (discharge) and while charging. Accepted with proper selection and noted mitigations.

Notes:

Some atomizers use heating elements that have Tungsten encapsulated in ceramic. As long as the ceramic is non-toxic at vaping temperatures and there are no cracks then there are no Tungsten issues. Some of the ceramic elements have lead legs that are silver soldered and some silver solder contains cadmium which is a huge concern to me. Although one ceramic tungsten heating element seals the solder joints/weldments IE vapin donuts. However just like a coil of wire they can have hotspots. Also, the TCR of the material depends on the purity of the Tungsten and manufacturers are not including the TCR for their products. But we have not seen adequate testing data on the vapor produced by these ceramic cores. This represents unknown risk. More research needs to be done.

All vaping wire and atomizers need to be thoroughly washed. I use Everclear. Then wash with water and dry. Wicking materials can be boiled then let to air dry though most are useable as-is.

Coil cartridges used in disposable, pen type and Clearo/Glassomizer e-cigarettes are also unknown. It is unknown what materials are used in them and if they were cleaned properly by the manufacturer. For example, some disposable e-cigarette vapor was found to contain lead (presumably from lead based solder). Further inspection found the build area had solder joints. Clearly made in a country that is known to still use lead solder. The truth is, there should be no solder used whether lead or otherwise. We also saw the introduction of a new material called man made mineral fiber (MMMF). And lastly I have seen supposed "data" and "testing" from overseas manufacturers. I'll simply say this. I do not know who to trust but I certainly do not trust such claims from a certain country. Not only does that country not respect intellectual property, their testing methods are worse than questionable and the word on the street is you can buy whatever test result you want there. This is not scientific but my advice is to at least smell all coil cartridges and the plastic/foil clamshell they come packaged in. Not all industrial lubricants and cleaners have an odor though so it is not foolproof, but it doesn't hurt. I minimize my risk by not using these and by building my own with wire that I have personally cleaned. I will take a brand new coil cartridge and before ever using it, take it apart, clean the metal parts and rebuild it with my own wire and wicking materials that I know is clean.

*FlavourArt flavorings is working with the University of Milan and doing great scientific testing of their flavors including in vitro epithelial cell testing. These are the only flavorings I know that have gone through this level of testing. And while that level of testing is requisite, there are other tests I would also like to see done including particulate and mass spectrometry of vapor produced at various temperatures on a TC device with Rayon/OC wicking and NiFe (Sanvik) and stainless steel wire (TEMPCO). And the only line of pre-made E-Liquid that uses Flavourart flavors to my knowledge was the "B" line from Phil Busardo. I am sure there are others, this is just the only one I was personally aware of. The flavorings themselves may in fact use PG but the testing shows the minimum quantity that results in final product it is not an issue. This is not surprising as the amount of flavoring per eLiquid volume is very low ranging from 0.5-2% meaning the total PG content is also very low. However, all premanufactured a.k.a. "store bought", i.e. non-DIY e-Liquid contains an appreciable amount of PG. I am not aware of a 100VG line of eLiquids.

Finally, note that an effect or impact column is missing from my risk table. In all risk assessments there is a factor called severity or impact which indicates what happens if the risk is NOT mitigated. Risk is probability of occurrence multiplied by consequence. I'm not using numbers here, this is a qualitative risk assessment not quantitative. Further I left consequence off because in every case if all of the identified risks summed together are not mitigated as I indicate, it is still better than smoking. There is one exception and that comes with batteries. Lithium Ion battery events are uncommon but the consequence can be worse because of how an e-cigarette is used. If a laptop or drill or hoverboard or drone has a battery vent, it is typically not in your pocket or near your face. You really need to be on your game with the batteries. And I am afraid as a group, vapers are not. If we were, there would be zero injuries. Do not construe this to mean I am in support of battery regulations from the FDA. I am not. I use these same cells in flashlights and other devices where you can remove them and hold the individual cell in your hand. In other words, these cells are not solely used for e-Cigarettes and not a food, drug nor cosmetic. But I do not mind a requirement to include battery protection inside every e-Cigarette.

What Right Looks Like to me:

Note the absence of black gunk buildup using 100VG with no flavorings and temperature control mod. Although there should be fewer wraps and wider spacing on the center wraps then the outside...I need to make a better picture for this.

 

What Wrong Looks Like:

Note the black gunk buildup. Both are due for a rebuild. Black is evidence that something is being reduced to carbon. These actually aren't that bad. I have seen pictures posted online that are far worse. On the left a flavoring containing chocolate was used. On the right a Variable Wattage (VW) mod was used instead of A Temperature Control (TC) mod. I will discuss these in Black Gunk.


In conclusion, my e-Cigarette, the way I vape, has not been tested. Every e-Cigarette that has been tested to date I believe is worse than mine. What I vape lowers the risk across the board:

100% USP VG with nicotine.

No flavorings.

Accurate Temperature Control set to 360F.

Nifethal 70 wire (only iron and nickel). Wire cleaned prior to use to remove contaminates from manufacturing.

Organic Cotton wicking or Rayon (cellulose).

Atomizer constructed of stainless steel and glass only, no copper, brass or other reactive metals and minimal plastic surface area exposed to e-Liquid.

The atomizer and e-Liquid bottles properly cleaned and sterilized before use.

LDPE and glass e-liquid bottles for filling and storage respectively.

I believe this is the lowest risk e-Cigarette solution set available today and if it were tested, then I believe no by-products would be found at all. But since no one has tested it this way I can't prove it. I would love to see this tested.

So with that said, the test data that has been done on worse e-Cigarettes show they are safer than the best smoking cigarette.


TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION

(THR)

There are some vapers that are now saying that maybe the latest trends in the e-cigarette / vaping enthusiast market are actually counter THR. I concur completely and this has been my conclusion from DAY ONE (2012 for me) and I haven't seen it stop. You will see this opinion/philosophy throughout my writings. Amazing that it took the introduction of 300W+ and four battery+ mods to get people to wake up. It shouldn't have. This should be evident to the most casual observer. The whole point of an e-cigarette is harm reduction not harm escalation.

No test done to date says e-cigarettes are risk free or completely harmless. No data shows e-cigarettes produce zero toxins. The more power is used, the more vapor is produced and therefore the more toxins. This should be QED.

Harm reduction is relative. If I was smoking a pack a day of unfiltered then just changing to filtered is harm reduction. If I was smoking anything equal to or worse than an ultralight, then the worst e-cigarette is harm reduction. If I was vaping an e-cigarette at 100W then vaping an e-cigarette at 10W is harm reduction. In fact, ten times harm reduction. If I was vaping a mechanical mod and switch to temperature control and set that temperature to a setting that reduces harmful by-product production considering all ingredients of my e-liquid and materials that touch the e-liquid and vapor, then that is harm reduction. Since that temperature is quite low for PG byproduct production, just switching to 100VG is harm reduction (I am a type 2 diabetic and studies exist that show PG inhalation at any concentration is harmful). If I was vaping with flavorings, just switching to NO flavorings is harm reduction. These are my opinions and I provide the links on this page. This implies that if I did not currently chew, smoke or vape, then starting any of those including vaping is HARM ESCALATION, not reduction. In my case, switching to vaping was a huge harm reduction for me.

Please don't misunderstand, I can't make this clear enough. I have the right to harm myself as long as it doesn't directly harm anyone else. I don't look down my nose at that. I was a smoker and chewer and I knew it was bad for me. Though the reason I continued was a) I was addicted to nicotine b) vaping was not available. But now that I vape, I am not now suddenly going to lie about this stuff. If I wasn't addicted to nicotine, I wouldn't vape. It is not "cool".

I want to talk about that 100W e-Cigarette mentioned above. This has been a ridiculous high power trend. The big question seems to be at what power level are enough toxins produced to "tip the scales" of harm. Another way to look at this might be, at what power do e-cigarettes become 51% as harmful as cigarettes? Or more?

That is not known. Perhaps we will have some independent factual testing on this in the future. Perhaps not.

But I can make some 'back of the napkin' computations if I make one assumption. Power equals vapor amount. And that is a correct assumption if I also assume that power isn't lost through inefficiencies. Then the reality is that e-cigarettes will NEVER get close to the toxin production of cigarettes. Why? Because even at a million watts, as long as all the risk factors I outline are reduced and the wick stays wet and under 360F, then a million watt e-cigarette will never put out 4000+ chemicals, dozens of carcinogen and many particulates. However, the few toxins that are produced will of course increase in quantity and beyond that of a cigarette and I am sure that at a power level far less than a million watts, that quantity is enough to kill me. But a million watts would probably fill the superdome, in other words I know I couldn't inhale all that LOL. So understand the point, at a certain power level, enough quantity of toxin, say acrolein for example, is produced that is not only more than a cigarette produces but is actually more harmful even though it is the ONLY toxin produced. That is why I look at the entire system holistically.

So let us say that at 12W an e-cigarette produces 9ppm of acrolein. At 120W, there will still be 9ppm of acrolein but, there will be 10X more acrolein produced along with 10X more vapor produced along with 10X more e-liquid consumed. So now the question becomes one of total quantity, not ppm, not density. And that total quantity for acrolein alone at some power level will be more than what I get with a cigarette. What I don't know is what is the total quantity and at what quantity does it medically affect a person. And it is likely those affects will be different for different people if due nothing else than to weight and lung function.

So if I understand all that then I can approach this from lung function. I have to say, I have great lung function. I was a swimmer, a lifeguard as well as a football player in my youth. When my mother got one, I could max out her spirometer. I can blow so hard I can keep that little yellow plastic hicky mashed to the top for quite a while. In fact I feel I could probably blow hard enough to break the thing. And the most vapor I can tolerate is less than 40W. Now I'm not talking nicotine amount. I used to chew, I can tolerate enormous nicotine in comparison to a single cigarette. And I have vaped 100VG zero nic at 100W and it is just way more vapor than even I am capable of tolerating. I am happy at 12-24W and 18mg/ml at a consumption rate of 4-8ml a day and really rockin at 20-40W. So how can I put this?????

I do not need more than 40W of vapor.

SO e-Cigarettes that are 300W and more make me wonder how much of that 300W is actually going into producing vapor versus how much is going into producing heat inefficiency. Heat in the atomizer and the mod electronics. If I, with my great lung function, can't tolerate more than an honest and efficient 40W of vapor production, then why am I seeing this trend in e-Cigarettes? I can see a super athlete with lets say 2X my lung function at 80W. But not 5-6X. Then maybe, just maybe, 200 of those watts are either never used or actually ghost watts going into inefficiency. Just like the tootsie roll lollypop, the world may never know. But what I believe, is that vaping at a power level  more than what is needed for satisfaction is actually HARM ESCALATION. I do not need the extra quantity of toxins when my objective is satisfaction to keep me from smoking IE HARM REDUCTION. But, if I wanted it, well that would be my right and I am certainly not going to look down my nose. But given that trend, it's just a matter of time that it will kill vaping all by itself regardless of any laws or regulations. I feel I have already explained why.

Let me be succinct. Open Vaping was a positive step forward in the direction of harm reduction. So was a Rebuildable Atomizer. So was Temperature Control. So was DIY e-liquid. In every single case these innovations allowed the consumer to fully know and fully control the risks of vaping. Even today I buy a flavoring or manufactured e-liquid, I still do NOT KNOW what is in it. There is no ingredient listing. And now I could get to have 300+W of those unknowns if I could tolerate that much vapor. LOL

I do understand and can appreciate more run time, more battery capacity. But at a certain point, it too becomes just plain ridiculous. What's next? Eight cell mods? Seriously?! I carry two mods. Because anything can go wrong. Break an atomizer, electronics burn up, run out of e-liquid, battery goes dead. So I carry two fully charged and filled mods. Not one mod, spare batteries and e-liquid. Imagine carrying 16 batteries. I draw the limit at four, two in each mod. And most of the time for all day trips, I carry an e-pipe that has one battery and a dual battery box mod so that's three batteries total. Both attys filled and thats 8ml. And if one mod goes poof then I have the other as a backup. So that is to say if I am vaping at a harm reduction power level, then I don't need to lug around 16 batteries and 120ml of juice.


COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term used for many maladies. First let me say there is not one case of an e-cigarette causing COPD...yet. Nor do I think there will be as long as vaping is at a low power, just enough to get the nicotine satisfaction needed to keep from smoking. I can't say that for vaping at anything greater than 50W, using PG or flavorings.

My Mother had COPD, the form where the blood vessels that exchange CO2 with oxygen in the lungs got thick walls which deteriorated the exchange efficiency. This was caused by excessive blood pressure between the heart and lungs, IE not indicated at the arm where BP is normally measured. This was caused by Atherosclerosis and heart disease and a quintuple bypass surgery when she was in her early 50s. The onset of COPD wasn't noticeable until her late 60's when she had to go on oxygen and at that point the situation degraded rapidly and she died in her mid 70's. At no point was she ever diagnosed with emphysema. She stopped smoking when she had the heart attack resulting in bypass surgery in her 50s. Her heart attack, heart disease which required bypass surgery was caused in part by smoking. That's not the whole cause but definitely part of it. So what was it about the smoking that caused heart disease? And how does that relate to vaping?

It is generally accepted that chemicals in cigarette smoke deteriorate blood cells and arteries. There is also concern about particulates and expansion/contraction of alveoli. There does not appear to be a link with VG to any of these issues. Flavorings are a big question. And in particular, flavoring byproducts (acrolein) caused by temperature which actually may be far lower than even PG for some flavoring ingredients. And one MSDS I could find about the inhalation of PG indicates it is not safe to inhale. As far as nicotine, it does not appear to be the cause of any of this. Also e-Cigarettes are designed to produce vapor which means droplets not particles as opposed to smoke which is loaded with particles.

The bottom line is we need more testing to provide better informed decisions about flavorings and PG. For now, it is easy to lower risk. I use 100VG, no flavorings, just enough power to attain satisfaction, certainly under 50W, TC and safe materials that are not decomposed by e-liquid as described above.


PARTICLES IN E-CIGARETTE VAPOR

Let me state this succinctly. THERE ARE NONE. Modern e-cigarettes do not produce particulates. Any particulates found in e-cigarette vapor come from the machine used to vape or the ambient environment. In other words, what you breathe every day that has nothing to do with an e-cigarette. That includes metal ions and metal nanoparticles which were undetectable in tests.

Particulates are solids and cigarette smoke is loaded with tons of particulates, that is the primary function of a cigarette filter, to eliminate particulates. However cigarette filters don't totally eliminate particles. But e-cigarette vapor is comprised of tiny liquid droplets. Not particulates which are solids. The entire industry needs to get in the habit of preaching this. This has been a red herring and false flag used by big pharma shills and it is pure deception. The denotation of the words are clear, look them up in webster. Particles are solids, droplets are liquid. E-cigarette vapor has droplets of liquid not particles. Words have meaning. Those meanings are important. Especially in medicine. Quit playing into the game plan of the shills.

With cigarette smoke, the particles (solids) stay in lungs forever and that is what causes black lung and partially leads to all the bad lung diseases.

E-Cigarette vapor has liquid droplets and they evaporate quickly:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/ac-nsf041916.php

If I ever see a so called "scientific test or study" that claims massive e-cigarette particles, it would be a hoax, bogus, lie, deception. I would carefully read through it, the test procedure and the data. The only way to get an e-cigarette to produce particles that I know of is if to ignite the wick on fire, IE way beyond dry-puff. A dry-puff condition in an e-Cigarette is where the wick goes dry i.e. insufficient or no e-liquid and power continues to be supplied (VW/VV or "mech mod"). A dry puff condition is instantly noticeable because it tastes horrible. Machines used to do the vaping in e-Cigarette testing do not taste so they continue on where a human would have stopped long before. So there is a clear indicator that it is time to wet the wick. And beyond that point where the wick catches on fire (combusts) is akin to smoking, not vaping, and the taste would be beyond horrible and way past tolerable.


   

 

 

All the information contained in these pages are only the opinions of the author and the author is not an expert at anything.