This is a particularly loaded question. One the one hand, there have been reports in the news about all sorts of unfortunate things happening to people who ‘vape’. However, there really isn’t a good way to broadly describe the vaping market, or the ‘vaper’, outside of saying that they own and use a vaporizer. There are dry herb, wax, e-juice, nicotine, and non-nicotine vapes and tons of different brands and devices and manufacturers. All of these factors really change the risk factors, if any, in using a particular vape product. Overall, vapes are incredibly safe products and when used properly they will never harm their owner.
In particular, keep in mind that the single-greatest commonality among all of the recent incidents all have in common are the misuse of normal vape products and the use of black market or lower quality cartridges filled with noxious concoctions. It is easy to understand that misusing a product will cause problems down the road – whether it’s running the vape too hot and burning it out or if it’s simply improperly cleaning and handling materials.
Moreover, the purchase and use of unsafe, cheap products is another issue. Too often, buyers are concerned only with the price they are paying for their cartridges. While simply spending money is not a guarantee safety tip, it is often the cheaper knock-off buys that have resulted in all the problems hitting the news. Be very careful when purchasing vaporizers online and ensure that the vendor is, in fact, legitimate and safe.
E-cigs are a bit different than the other types of vapes listed. These particular vape pens are also at the center of the discussion around safety including using proper cartridges and any residual health effects there may be from vaping. Overall, e-cigs are made with a safe and easy to use technology that poses no harm to anyone. In general, the safety of the pen in question will also depend on the user and their own precautions. E-Cigs are extremely popular amongst people who are trying to quit smoking or to find a healthier alternative. In other words, e-cigs are quickly replacing traditional tobacco across the board for normal users.
More specifically, e-cigs also suffer from the problems listed above – cheap, knock-off vendors are posing as legitimate vendors and end up including harmful chemicals in the liquids. Don’t be fooled by low prices too good to be true. Instead, opt for reputable vendors that have a history of successfully meeting the market demands and safety precautions.
In addition, a lot of controversy has surrounded e-cigs regarding the efficacy of quitting smoking as well as a potential issue involving enticing kids to smoke. While there is no direct evidence to show a causal link between kid smoking and vapes, vapes are certainly popular among younger adults than traditional tobacco. Moreover, there have been mixed results regarding whether or not e-cigs have helped or harmed traditional smokers looking to quit. Overall, the effect seems to be the same as it was prior to vaping – individuals with the willpower and dedication to overcome smoking tobacco are likely able to use vaping as an alternative to smoking cessation tools such as gum or patches. Overall, a more pleasant one certainly.
Overall, e-cigs will still pose issues because of the nicotine content. However, keep in mind that there are varying levels of nicotine concentration and certainly vape pods available without the substance at all. In this way, vaping can be significantly safer and better than smoking traditional tobacco or even smokeless tobacco.
Vape batteries, all told, are rather safe. Again, as mentioned before, there is always a user element associated with the risks of batteries malfunctioning or overheating. Generally, give the vape pen time to cool off and if it becomes significantly hotter than make sure to unplug it and ensure that the button hasn’t been left pressed down. There is no need to worry about a vape pen battery exploding in someone’s face. Particularly, when purchasing from a reputable vendor with a track record of producing high quality, highly rated vape pens.
Overall, it is difficult to quantify the risk percentage of using a particular vape over another. In general, understand that the answer will vary wildly based on things such as: the material being vaporized, the type of vape, quality of the vape, maintenance and care, user error, and much more. In addition, while there are no conclusive studies showing the safety of vape pens or any significant harms from vape pens remember that research is continually ongoing and, outside of knock-offs poisoning individuals, there has not been a major issue associated with vape pens.
The biggest risk associated with juice, oils, etc is that you’re not getting what you think you are. Essentially, the news has focused on the part of bad brands not providing a level of quality or care expected in such a high tech, high demand market. Overall, this is the easiest issue to fix by researching. Keep in mind as well, this also depends on the different products you purchase. Dry herb, for example, if purchased at a proper dispensary is not likely to have any issues with it given the quality control at these locations. However, purchasing e-juice online might pose a risk if the deal seems too good to be true. As far as e-cigs are concerned as well, this is entirely dependent on your ability to handle nicotine as well. Some smokers in transition gauge the strength of their former brand incorrectly and this may pose an issue.
Popcorn lung is something that made massive headlines in the earlier days of vaping but is no longer much of a concern. The initial flavoring additives used in e-cigs carried with them a chemical compound called acetaldehyde. This used to be a major concern because it was found in almost all vape liquids. However, the EU currently bans the chemical and most manufacturers have removed the compound from their recipes. However, this is not true for lower quality brands predominantly found in countries with lower health standards (keep in mind, it is not officially illegal in the US as in the EU). Overall, there is a great deal of care that should be taken when purchasing the cartridges but remember that the mass scares of popcorn lung are, on the whole, behind the entire industry.
Vaping something safe is certainly the most critical thing to pay attention to. Overall, vapes are incredibly safe and helpful. However, there are exceptions. For one, without the willpower to avoid keeping a high nicotine content, one is like not going to stop vaping or smoking. However, this can be overcome with any amount of discipline. In addition, juice with no nicotine is not addictive or unhealthy if purchased from a proper source.
While the wax vaping market is not as big as juice or oils, this market still requires attention to detail and being careful. Overall, just remember that wax can be great or of a detriment to your health if you don’t know that it is coming from a proper source. Particularly, purchasing black market or knock-off wax is not conducive to happy, healthy vaping. Overall, the products available through legitimate merchants are not going to cause any health problems or issues down the road.
While vapes are certainly works of art, there is not a rocket science to vaping. It is often easy to understand and pick up. There is predominantly a battery, heating element, and a place to keep the material to be vaporized. All of this translates into, more often than not, six or less parts to keep track of. The issue, however, isn’t the number of vape parts but the materials themselves. Purchasing low quality products made with low grade materials is never a good way to start your day. However, without making sure to check on the quality and reputation of the vendor there might be some surprises in store. Overall, just make sure to do a little research on a specific item or only browse reputable websites. Even besides quality control for inhaling vapor, no one wants to lightly drop a vape and have it shatter everywhere.
This is an extremely rare occurrence. More often than not, it’s an atomizer attachment that has overheated in a classic example of abuse or misuse of the product. Particularly, in competitive vaping circles where the devices are strained to their limits. Overall, treat the vape pen with the same level of respect you would your car’s engine or the battery on any other favorite electronic device and there will not be an issue – granting, of course, proper research and purchase of a quality product.
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