It’s easy for people to mis-perceive a product when it’s first introduced, especially when technology is involved. A perfect example of this is cloud computing. Electronic cigarettes, similarly, are often a source of confusion. Here are five things that make it challenging to understand these smoking-cessation devices that people use for vaping.
- Techno-Mythology: the Case of Cloud Computing
- Reason #1 – Electronic cigarettes come in two essentially disparate forms.
- Reason #2 – People are understandably concerned about the safety of something they’re inhaling.
- Making the Switch
Techno-Mythology: the Case of Cloud Computing
It always takes a little while for a general social understanding to develop around a new technology – in part because of the various vested interests at play in popular culture, but also because legitimate concerns must be addressed. Additionally, aside from anything that might be a subject of controversy, people often just don’t yet completely understand the new terms, tools and techniques. There are plenty of technologies that have been initially misconstrued or misreported, but one obvious recent one is cloud computing. Although the cloud may seem nearly ubiquitous now (and it pretty much is, with 19 of 20 businesses using it), there has been a huge amount of worry related to security. That understanding of cloud as unsafe was maybe a little misguided. Small businesses typically don’t have enough money to pay for security professionals and enterprise-grade hacking-prevention mechanisms on-premises. “Cloud providers, on the other hand, offer services such as layered security and antivirus protection,” explains TechAdvisory.org. These plans “not only specialize in keeping infrastructures safe from hackers but are available at a price that is much lower than you would pay for in-house IT staff.” E-cigarettes are similarly surrounded by a public perception made up of parts truth and fiction, along with gray areas of some people not yet knowing new words or concepts (such as a mod vape). Perhaps Mike Floorwalker of Gizmodo can help us out. As someone who has managed a Colorado-based e-cigarette retail store and e-juice maker, Mr. Floorwalker is intimately familiar with the world of vaping. He lists five primary reasons why people might be unclear on these devices, the liquids used in them, and the vapor they produce.
Reason #1 – Electronic cigarettes come in two essentially disparate forms.
One product that is billed as an e-cigarette is a device that can be purchased in a gas station or convenience store; it looks very close to a tobacco cigarette. This item, manufactured by big tobacco, is sold containing cartridges that are already filled and need to be replaced if the ecig is to be reused. A very small percentage of the people who use vaping to get away from smoking do so with e-cigarettes of this type. They are not typically sold in vape shops. Instead of the type of ecig described above, vape shops sell two basic products, advanced personalized vaporizers (APVs) and vape mods. “APVs… contain electronics allowing the user to regulate the power level, produce a moderate amount of vapor, and are generally priced under $100,” notes Floorwalker. “Mods… are for use with user-rebuildable atomizers, can potentially produce tons of vapor, and can be quite expensive.” Generally, people become familiar with electronic cigarettes via the corner-store variety; move to APVs to reduce nicotine and increase vapor; and finally move to mods when they have decided to minimize nicotine and focus more on flavor. This typical user pattern is probably a primary reason the mod, also called an “open system” ecig, is becoming increasingly popular at the same time that the gas-station type is becoming increasingly unpopular. Often you will see news reports that mention e-cigarettes, and there is no clear delineation between the two categories of device. Now you know the basic differences.
Reason #2 – People are understandably concerned about the safety of something they’re inhaling.
It’s easy to get suspicious about any substance you are breathing into your lungs. You should be, really. Plus, public health officials and others have come out and said that it’s unclear what is in e-cigarettes. Floorwalker counters that there has been substantial research to verify what is typically used in vaping devices and how nontoxic the e-liquid is when it’s inhaled as a vapor. Generally, the e-juice that is used in vaping devices, which users purchase online or through retail shops, contains four ingredients:
- Vegetable glycerin (VG) makes up the bulk of the liquid. Often a certified-organic version is used.
- Propylene glycol is usually the second ingredient. Some reports have claimed that this is the top component of antifreeze, but that’s a crossing of wires with diethylene glycol. How safe is propylene glycol (PG), then? It is the primary ingredient of albuterol, which is used for asthma inhalers. Generally PG is used to deliver the flavor since VG is not as able to do so effectively.
- The third ingredient, flavoring, is food-grade, and there are basically infinite possibilities.
- The fourth component of e-liquid is nicotine, if it’s used at all. The amount of nicotine that’s used is across a broad spectrum. Nicotine levels “range from ridiculous (up to 36 milligrams per milliliter—basically a Lucky Strike with the filter ripped off),” says Floorwalker, “all the way down to nothing at all.”
See below to continue with reasons 3-5.
Making the Switch
Are you interested in quitting smoking with vaping? Don’t allow confusion to keep you from making a decision that could save your life. At eCIG.com, we can answer all your questions by phone, chat, or email 24/7. Explore our starter kits. >>> Go to Part 2