Vape shops have been popping up in cities across the US for the last few years, but the technology behind e-cigarettes has been around for decades. If you're new to vaping and want to learn more about how vaping works, you'll find a wealth of information here on White Cloud's blog. This series will focus on the history of e-cig technology, scientific research, vaping laws, and anything else you need to know when taking the first step into the world of vaping.What is Vaping?
Vaping involves using a device that heats liquids to produce vapor, which the user then inhales and exhales in a fashion that mimics smoking. According to Public Health England, vaping is safer than smoking by 95 percent. Consequently, many people have taken up vaping to help them quit smoking. The liquids used for vaping, usually called e-liquids or e-juices, are mixtures of vegetable oils and artificial flavorings. Some contain nicotine while others do not.The History of Vaping
Although the electronic cigarette still seems like a relatively new technology, the idea dates as far back as 1927, when Joseph Robinson filed for a patent, which was granted in 1930. Nothing ever came about after the patent was granted and it is unclear whether or not a prototype was ever created.
Serious research into the technology began in the 1960s when Herbert A. Gilbert was granted a patent for a device that closely resembles the modern e-cig devices we see today. Although Gilbert did create prototypes for his device, they were never commercialized.
By the late 70s into the 80s, a pioneer of computers and his personal physician began developing a variation of the electronic cigarette, which did reach major retailers; however, the device was faulty and did not prove to be a promising technology for nicotine delivery. Although the device didn't take off, the inventors are credited with contributing the word “vape” as a verb to describe the act of inhaling vapor.
By the 1990s, several patents for nicotine inhalers were filed, including the first “heat-not-burn” device developed by RJ Reynolds. This is also when the commercialization of more products resembling modern e cigarettes took place. In 1998, the FDA denied a request from a major US tobacco company to allow a variation of an e-cig to enter the market, as the FDA looked at it as an unapproved drug delivery device.
The first commercial e-cig was developed in 2003 by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist whose father, a heavy smoker, had recently died of lung cancer. As a heavy smoker himself, Lik's goal was to create a device to help wean people off of tobacco cigarettes. E cigs remained a niche market in Asia for a few years before becoming available in Europe and the US between 2006 and 2007.Vaping Laws and Regulations
As vaping became more popular, governments and health organizations around the world started to take notice of the growing industry. In 2008, Turkey became the first country to ban the sale of e cigs, claiming they were just as harmful as tobacco cigarettes and that “nicotine is the most dangerous element among 4,800 poisonous chemicals in cigarettes.” By the end of 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced its stance on e cigs, claiming that electronic cigarettes were not a legitimate smoking cessation aid and demanded vape companies remove any language suggesting e cigs were a safe and effective way to quit smoking. This is also when a study out of New Zealand concluded that e cigarettes were far less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes and nicotine delivery was comparable to nicotine inhalers.
By 2009, other countries began banning the importation of e cigarettes, including Australia and Jordan. In the US, the FDA began blocking e-cig shipments from abroad despite lacking the legal authority to do so. The FDA's interference with e-cig shipments resulted in a long lawsuit that ended in favor of one of the first US-based e-cig companies and marked the beginning of the FDA's attempts to claim authority over e cigarettes based on the Tobacco Control Act of 2009.
That same year, state and local governments in the US began passing laws to regulate vaping. In response, consumer advocacy groups, such as CASAA, began forming to push for more sensible vaping regulations.Misinformation About Vaping Begins
The backlash against e-cigs was and still is fueled by misinformation about vaping, some of which is intentionally spread by health organizations and anti-smoking campaigns. Throughout the last decade, sensational media misrepresentations of scientific studies have skewed public opinion and left most people ignorant of the real research surrounding vaping.
Since vaping looks like smoking, it's natural for many non-smokers to have a visceral reaction to e-cigs; however, if you read the thousands of pages of medical research on the topic, it's impossible to conclude that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking tobacco. Unfortunately, public health officials often make decisions based on politics rather than science, so they sometimes throw out the baby with the bath water by trying to ban e-cigs altogether.
The FDA has become increasingly draconian with its classification of e-cigs as tobacco products as of 2016, despite years of research pointing towards e-cigs as a safer alternative to tobacco. Consequently, e-cigs and vaping will soon be subject to the same rules that govern tobacco and smoking. Additionally, the FDA is requiring manufacturers to apply for pre-market approval for every product they make, a process that most e-cig companies simply can't afford and will result in the decimation of 99 percent of the industry if the FDA's vaping regulations remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, governments in other countries like the UK and New Zealand are actually promoting vaping for tobacco harm reduction by encouraging smokers to make the switch. The word “vape” was even named Oxford Dictionaries' International Word of the Year in 2014, and received an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary the following year.The Future of Electronic Cigarettes
Today, there are hundreds of vaping devices and thousands of e juices to suit any vaper's preferences. If you can't find a device you like, you can even build your own. Despite herculean efforts by various world governments to stifle the availability of e cigs, the number of vapers keeps growing every year while smoking statistics continue to plummet, resulting in a huge consumer-driven industry with its own language.
Newcomers to the e-cig scene are often overwhelmed by vaping terms like “cig-a-like” and “mod,” so the next part of this series will cover vaping terminology.
Everyone who uses e cigarettes eventually experiences the infamous icky “burnt” taste when vaping. There could be a few reasons why your vape tastes burnt sometimes, but the unpleasant phenomenon is usually the result of a dry puff.How to Avoid the Burnt Taste When Vaping
A few factors can cause dry puffs while vaping and although there are many different types of vaping devices, they all essentially have the same working parts: a battery to provide power to the heating element, referred to as the atomizer, which contains a coil of wire that gets heated and contains a wick to absorb the e-liquid to be turned into vapor. A dry puff can occur if the coil is heated without an adequate supply of e-liquid. The wick then becomes too hot, which produces the bitter taste. Additionally, the wick can dry out if it's not properly positioned in the chamber.
Chain vaping can also lead to dry puffs. Not allowing the heating element a moment to cool down dries out the wick. Different types of e cigs have their own temperature control mechanisms, some of which are customizable by the user, so the quality of your hardware and how you use it also greatly impact your vaping experience.Burnt Taste with Open Tank Systems
Open tank systems and e-cig mods are more susceptible to producing dry puffs due to the level of user customization, especially when it comes to inexperienced vapers. Improper wick installation, high battery wattage, low-quality e-liquids and old coils can all cause a burnt taste when vaping. Even the outdoor temperature can affect the performance of such devices, so it is important to understand how your vaping device works and follow tips for vaping safely.Burnt Taste With Prefilled Cartridges
E-cigs that use pre filled cartridges are less likely to produce dry puffs, but it still happens if the wick isn't saturated. This can occur if the cartridge is defective or almost empty. Before you get to that point, you should notice the flavor fading and the volume of vapor decreasing. If your vape tastes burnt, it's definitely time to change the cartridge.Are Dry Puffs Dangerous?
A study conducted at the University of Manchester has received media attention for purportedly proving that vaping inflames the lungs in a fashion similar to smoking. Most reports conveniently left out the researchers' flawed methodology.
Upon testing e-cig vapor, the investigators identified acrolein, a carcinogen found in tobacco smoke. They admitted to finding “acrolein in the vapour extract, but not the e-liquid itself,“ which means that acrolein was produced during the heating process. This would only occur if the element overheated, which would result in a dry puff. Therefore, an e-cig user couldn't comfortably vape at the temperatures needed to produce the carcinogen. Several other e-cig studies have made the same methodological mistake. The issue with such studies is the researchers do not understand vaping or the habits of vapers. Repeatedly inhaling dry puffs could indeed be dangerous; however, no vaper enjoys the acrid taste of a dry puff.
A 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine received backlash from the scientific community for its misleading statements about the presence of formaldehyde in e cigs. Like the University of Manchester study, the investigators heated e cigarettes to temperatures beyond what any vaper could tolerate. Despite criticisms from fellow scientists, media outlets presented the study as factual, and anti-vaping lobbyist still cite the flawed research when promoting anti-vaping legislation.
No one is claiming that e cigs are 100 percent harmless. In fact, Public Health England looked at all of the available evidence and determined that vaping is safer than smoking by 95 percent, which means that there are still risks associated with e cigs. However, it's also important to remember that tobacco cigarettes are known to be deadly, yet they continue to be sold everywhere in the world. Attempts to compare e cigs with traditional tobacco cigarettes are disingenuous and dangerous because they deter smokers from trying what evidence continues to suggest is a safer alternative.Does Your Vape Tastes Burnt? Give White Cloud a Chance
Veteran vapers know that all e-cigs are not created equally. Choosing a high-quality e-cig and e-liquid is your best bet for avoiding the burnt taste when vaping. White Cloud products are designed to ensure customer satisfaction for the best vaping experience.
We have a great many questions, comments, and conversations from our valued customers who come to us here at White Cloud. Lately, we have heard quite a few folks bring up vaping and e-cig use as completely separate things. But are they? Or aren't they? Well, let's sit back with a coffee, tea or sparkling beverage of your choice and see what the differences may be.What is Vaping?
It appears that many folks consider vaping strictly as the use of larger tank and mod systems where one must maintain the coils and refill the liquids manually.
It also seems that current parlance describes e-cig use as something akin to the majority of what White Cloud offers: batteries and pre-filled cartridges, or pre-filled disposable products, which look like a traditional cigarette when in use and require no manual filling or maintenance of coils. These are often called ‘cig-a-like' products in the industry.
We can only imagine the world of confusion those who are new to e-cigarettes may encounter. The innovation of the industry has resulted in tons of different products to choose from – all in different shapes, sizes, and colors – so it's no wonder why the inexperienced get vaping terminology wrong.
The delivery systems do have their differences, though. The tank systems are generally larger (sometimes a great deal larger) than White Cloud cig-a-likes, have larger apertures to puff from, offer a boxier and bulkier body design, will operate at higher temperatures (which accounts for the larger vapor output) and will generally offer a variety of settings to fine tune the temperature and vapor output. These systems usually require the pushing of a button which then causes the liquid to heat up and turn into vapor.
White Cloud products (and cig-a-likes in general) tend to be a bit more elegant and simple with no settings or dials and come with a sleeker and less obtrusive design that works with prefilled cartridges. They also operate at lower temperatures and generally have a smaller aperture to puff from.
While the form in both of these types of products is quite different, the function is basically the same. The liquid is heated via a battery to produce the vapor we inhale. In fact, the term “vape” was named the International Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries back in 2014 and was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015. So, if you Google “What does the term vape mean?”, you will see this:
And, when it comes to vaping laws – including the FDA's vaping regulations – the laws apply to any device that heats e-liquid to produce vapor for inhalation, regardless of whether it is a cig-a-like, vape pen, or open tank system.
Now let's look at a real world example: if you're at the wheel of a Ford or a Buick, your experience may vary by different degrees but either way you are still driving. The same goes for the subject at hand: whether you are using a cig-a-like (like a White Cloud disposable or rechargeable) or using a larger tank and mod system, you are still vaping or using an e-cig – perhaps, cig-a-vaping? In any case, it would still be the same process even though the steering wheel is a bit different.
I hope that clears up any confusion about industry terminology. And, of course, we are always happy to hear your thoughts!