Hey, Everyone!

A fair warning to my fellow readers: If you currently vape, please put your vape pen aside as you read this article, and I encourage you to please put it aside for good after this article is over.

Vaping is one of the most dangerous things we can do to our lungs, but sadly, it is so addictive. One of the many reasons why it is so addictive is the Nicotine content for one thing, and the flavors of the vape pen for another thing. The scary thing is that the trend of smoking e-cigarettes is on the rise for young kids, especially those who haven’t touched a cigarette before in their life. If you are younger, wouldn’t you love to taste fun flavors like cotton candy or soda pop or blue raspberry in your mouth all day? I’m sure I’d want to, but considering the negative side effects, I wouldn’t dare do it.

I personally don’t vape, but I know people who do whom are previous heavy cigarette smokers. They’ve had positive experiences with quitting cigarettes for good, as they dropped their nicotine content from 24 mg/mL to 0 mg/mL per cartridge. But, it’s all not what it seems. For reference, after smoking 20 cigarettes, you will inhale between 20–30 mg of nicotine. At the highest concentration of nicotine (24 mg/mL), after vaping one entire cartridge, you would’ve inhaled 24 mg of nicotine. Vaping is worse than smoking regular cigarettes, and FDA stated that vaping is not a tool to quit smoking.

There still are traces of nicotine even in cartridges labeled 0 mg/mL nicotine. According to a research article (Source: Pubmed), the low levels of nicotine were found in the e-cigarette flavors. When the researchers tested the nicotine content for other vape juices, the study reports that there was more nicotine in the vape than stated (instead of the claimed 18 mg/mL nicotine content, 27 mg/mL nicotine was actually present in the vape juice). I’m sorry to tell you, but you are still getting that nicotine hit, even if you think you’re not. That’s why it is so addictive.

I got curious one time, so with permission from the store manager, we unraveled the main tube from the vape cartridge from a 0 mg/mL nicotine cartridge, and also a 24 mg/mL nicotine cartridge. Laying them out side by side, the 24 mg/mL cartridge was heavily stained with nicotine (looked dark brown almost black), however, the 0 mg/mL cartridge was not completely white either. It cotton was a little bit brown (which was NOT the flavor) indicating the presence of nicotine in a claimed nicotine free content. I’ve since lost the picture. :(

The flavors must be great to taste too. Upon further research, the flavoring inside the e-cigarette is stamped with FEMAGRASTM (Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association Generally Recognized as Safe TM), which may suggest they are safe. However, these content in the flavors are safe for eating, and never for inhalation purposes. There are many negative side effects to inhaling the flavors. You are inhaling chemicals, destroying your respiratory system in the process. Everything is a chemical, essentially, but one of the reasons why it has the FEMAGRASTM stamp on it is because it is safe for consumption (eating). The digestive system is initially very acidic, which can denature (break down) the chemicals, so is non toxic to humans. The lungs, being very moist, do not have that ability, and the chemicals will quietly adhere to your airways and stay dormant, or will immediately cause negative side effects.

Vaping one of the flavors, buttered popcorn, can cause a condition called “popcorn lung.” This is a permanent scarring of the alveoli tissue, and is irreversible. Overall, this can lead to shortness of breath, among other negative consequences. There are other negative side effects from smoking other flavors such as cherry, other fruity flavors, and menthol. What happens during vaping is somewhat similar to the negative effects of the cinnamon challenge (but very subtly). One of the many dangerous side effects is inhaling the cinnamon into your lungs, where, if bad enough, can cease your breathing. Like the cinnamon challenge, if something were to go wrong from vaping (this is rather a when question, not an if), you can immediately have a negative reaction, prompting a medical emergency.

I’m sure cherry and other flavors taste great in our mouths. Upon further research, the main ingredient in cherry flavored vape is a group of chemicals called benzaldehyde (an aldehyde group attached to a benzene). While benzenaldehydes are used in everyday products, they are safe when consumed or when put on skin, but the same can’t be said for inhalation. Benzenaldehydes do not belong in the lungs, and they can alter their chemical shape when exposed to high heats. Other aldehyde groups, such as cinnamaldehyde (main ingredient in cinnamon) causes severe and possibly irreversible harm to white blood cells when inhaled, and when heated to a high temperature. White blood cells play a huge part in our immune system, so damaging them via vaping may make you have a weak immune system in the long run.

The most dangerous common flavors on the market today, according to many articles, include: Cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde), Vanilla, other vanilla flavors (all which include vanillin), buttered popcorn (diacetyl), fruity flavors, especially strawberry (Dimethylpyrazine) and banana (isoamyl acetate), creamy flavors, mint (menthol), and mixed flavors (meaning mixed chemicals).

Now that this article is over, I leave the decision in your hands. Would you still vape? What is happening to your lungs at this very moment? If you saw what happened to your lungs as you took your vape, would you stop? Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Cell death, increased risk for cancers, and heart problems, all just arise from the flavors itself. There are other negative consequences with inhaling Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin (the main constituents of the vape juice), and a lot more.

Take care of yourself! Cheers!