Vaping: Rising Controversial Topic

Interested in vaping? Montclair is home to two local vape stores stocked with different vapes and dozens of different flavors you can choose from.

Is vaping a healthier alternative or hip trend?

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Herring.

Besides the flashy mods you can purchase, the assortment of different flavors with crazy names like “Project X” and “Bavarian Crème,” what exactly are the benefits to switching over? First off, vaping doesn’t turn your teeth yellow or leave a rank odor. Additionally, switching over is very cost-effective. Vapes can be as inexpensive as $20-$40, or as expensive as $100-$200 depending on what you’re looking for.

Once investing in the vape of your choice, the only money needed to spend goes towards changing your coils every two weeks and getting new juices. Coils are approximately $3-$5 dollars depending on the mod you use, and replacing your juice depending on the frequency of your vaping and much you want to buy at once. The mod that I use was $110, and every two weeks I purchase a new coil for about $5 and new juice every two to three weeks for $15. When I had a full-fledged cigarette addition, I would spend $10 on a pack of Newport 100s twice a week every week. In a month I was spending approximately $80 on cigarettes and after switching I only spend about $50 on supplies for my vape, saving me about $30 a month which has made all the difference.

Cumulus Cloud Vapery. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Herring.

A lot of people constantly question the health benefits of vaping to cigarette smoking, and argue that both possess risks and vaping is no better for you. However, when smoking a cigarette, you are not only smoking tobacco but an assortment of other chemicals in addition to nicotine, the addictive component that makes it so hard for so many people to quit. Some of the other ingredients include a plethora of different carcinogens (lead to cancer) and toxins. In deciding to vape, you are cutting the toxic compounds down to a minimum. There have been cases of pulmonary embolisms documented as a result of vaping, but this is caused by vaping at a nicotine level that is too high. Cigarettes are the cause of thousands of deaths each year, whether from cancer, heart-related diseases or secondhand smoke.

An important piece of information that not a lot of people are aware of is the difference between the types of juices people vape. The two most common types of juice people vape are propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG). PG e-cig juice is a lot thinner than VG, and is noted for producing less vapor but carrying out the flavor better. PG used in an assortment of items ranging from antifreeze to food preservatives.

Some individuals who vape PG have noted allergic reactions to the juice and a bitter after-taste if your coil overheats.  On the other hand, VG is derived from vegetables and is used in cosmetic products. It’s a lot thicker than the PG juice, appearing to be almost the same consistency as vegetable oil. VG is the juice used that produces those gigantic clouds of vapor. There have not been many documented cases of negative reactions to VG since it has a natural derivative, but it can cause complications within the vape itself due to its viscosity (thickness).

More research is being conducted to determine whether the damaging effects of PG, but the FDA has included both on its Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list[1]. I myself vape VG juice, but it all depends on your personal preference. There are also blends offered which contain a certain percentage of both (i.e. 30 percent VG, 70 percent PG[2]), so there is flexibility.

In choosing to vape VG, the worst ingredient in my juice is the nicotine. When deciding to vape, after picking your mod and your juice you can select the level of nicotine ranging from 0mg to about 24 or 36mg. There’s about 1.2mg in one Newport cigarette[3], and there’s 20 cigarettes in a pack. I originally started off vaping at 18mg but now I’m using a 2mg juice. Eventually you don’t even need the nicotine, and can simply vape at 0mg.

As someone who smoked cigarettes for five years, once I made the switch over to vaping I was able to successfully quit and have felt better ever since. Smoking cigarettes for so many years had definitely done a lot of damage to my lungs, and after a month of vaping I felt healthier and less out-of-breath all the time. I was able to start running again, something I hadn’t been able to do in a while due to my addiction. I also found that I was saving loads of money that I used to wake on buying packs twice a week. My mother, someone who smoked cigarettes for a good portion of her life, took up vaping as a method to quit. She started off vaping at a 24mg, and now she vapes at 0mg and hasn’t had a cigarette in more than a year.

While a lot of research still needs to be done, a lot of people have found great success in making the switch to vaping. There are two vapes shops in town—the Cumulus Cloud Vapery at 324 Bloomfield Avenue and the Artisan Vapor Company, located further up the block at 402 Bloomfield Avenue.




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