Vaping devices, also known as e-cigs, come in different shapes and sizes. Some look like regular cigarettes; whereas, others look entirely different. Often, e-cigs are known as mods, vape pens, e-hookahs, and tank systems. With so many global discussions about e-cigs, understanding the materials inside your vape is important.
How do E-Cigs Work?
The battery-powered devices are a more hip alternative to regular tobacco cigarettes. They require not to flame as their heating system differs from regular tobacco cigarettes. Typically, vaping devices comprise three parts – the battery, the atomizer, and the cartridge containing nicotine liquid.
When the user inhales the e-cig, a sensor is activated through the pressure, sending a signal to the circuit board. Subsequently, currents are sent to the pump and heating elements of the atomizer which then creates vapor. It draws in e-liquid from the cartridge. The atomizer converts the liquid into vapor which the smoker inhales.
E-Liquids and Nicotine Strengths
E-liquids and electronic cigarettes are also available in different nicotine strengths and vape flavors. As a matter of fact, there is a whole gamut of vape flavor options available, including fruits, deserts, menthol, and of course, the tobacco flavors along with different combinations.
E-liquids come in two forms. One of them is a freebase e-liquid, the variety of which can range from 0 to 18 mg of nicotine strength. If you are a heavy smoker and want to transition to e-cigs, we would not recommend using the freebase e-liquid. Instead, opt for the other form of e-liquid, which can be any flavor but contains salt-based nicotine.
The salt-based nicotine starts at 20 mg nicotine strength and can go all the way up to 60 mg. That said, if you are a heavy smoker putting down two packs a day, you might want to start with salt-based nicotine.
E-Liquids and PG/VG Ratio
Another couple of very crucial attributes set salt-based nicotine apart from freebase e-liquid. The two basic ingredients in the composition of e-liquid are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin which has proven to be pretty safe. The composition determines the thickness or viscosity of the e-liquid.
It is the ratio that varies between propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin that determines the viscosity of the e-liquid. The salt-based nicotine e-liquids are almost always 50:50 PG/VG; whereas, the freebase e-liquids are typically 70:30 VG/PG. VG/PG stands for the ratio of vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol.
The biggest and most important difference between freebase and salt-based nicotine is one key chemical that sets both tools apart is benzoic acid. The freebase e-liquid doesn’t contain benzoic acid; whereas, the salt-based nicotine does.
Why is that important?
You can burn freebase e-liquid at a much higher temperature and in a much higher quantity without inducing a heaviness in your lungs. If someone mixes a higher concentration of nicotine into freebase e-liquid, every time they would inhale, it would feel like a gorilla sitting on their chest. Besides, it would be tough on their throat, which is why the presence of benzoic acid in the salt-based nicotine allows us to burn e-liquid without that feeling of heaviness on our lungs.
There is absolutely no combustion in the vaping process. E-cigs incorporate a heating method in which a liquid containing nicotine is heated through a coil system that produces vapor. A recent study in England concluded that as compared to tobacco smoking, long-term vapor inhalation produces 95% less harm. That said, if you are trying to quit smoking, you might want to consider giving vaping a chance as it is seen as a better alternative and helps in transitioning from tobacco smoking to not smoking at all.