Recent media reports have raised alarms about e-cigarette safety. A 2014 e-cigarette research study published in the journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research suggests that sticking to conventional cig-a-likes from reputable e cig brands may be the safest form of vaping.
The reasons behind this assertion are related to how mods and tanks are constructed as well as how they function. Specifically the intensity of the heat generated by mods and how that heat impacts e-liquid safety.
The first concern discussed referred to how e-cig mods and tanks function in concert with the e cig liquid refill process. You can use any of the available e liquid brands in a mod tank and we certainly know that not all e-liquids are created equally.
The purity and quality of products available vary greatly. If you use an e-cig mod chances are that you are more likely to experiment with a range of e liquid brands and expose yourself to a lower quality e-liquid that may contain impurities. This especially applies to inexperienced vapers who are more likely to not understand the differences between quality brands and cheaply made ejuice.
In addition, the act of refilling tanks puts you at more risk of nicotine contamination on your skin. You do have to be careful! Make sure to follow some basic juice safety protocols. Also keep in mind that the the best e-cigarettes are designed to be simple to use, consistent in function and built with stable technology that ensures a consistent performance.
Mods Can Expose E-Liquid To Higher Voltages and Hotter Temperatures
While the concerns mentioned above are obvious, it is the findings surrounding what happens to vapor emissions when produced at higher voltages and higher heat. The research indicated that at higher heat there were higher levels of detectable formaldehyde. At 4.8 volts and higher, higher concentrations of formaldehyde were detected. The study did not show clearly which precise voltage and temperatures accelerated the production of formaldehyde.
It is important to note that in spite of concerns about formaldehyde, tobacco smoke contains a long list of carcinogens. There is not doubt that any vaping in any form is less harmful than smoking. That being said, consumers need to be aware of as much information as possible about anything regarding your health.
The additional concern over mech mods is the tendency for many vapers to perform their own modifications trying to generate more vapor. Many of these modifications expose the e-liquid to higher and longer heat. Many mods are actually cheaply made with less than ideal materials leading to very inconsistent voltages. Of course there are increased risks with cheap ecigs.
If you stick to a quality mod, like the Halo Triton for example, and use it as per the manufacturers specifications you are mush less likely to experience the risks associated with a cheap mod or a self-modified mod. The best e-cigarettes perform at a much higher level. The Halo Triton is designed to deliver a consistent voltage and protects users from overheating. Halo Cigs is a reputable brand that does not take short cuts when it comes to manufacturing.
To Drip Or Not To Drip
The findings involving the practice of dripping provoked more serious concerns about over-heating e-liquid. Dripping involves manually dripping e-liquid directly onto the atomizer, or heat source. This practice produces a lot of vapor but also exposes e-liquid to high levels of heat.
It is the higher levels of heat commonly associated with dripping that have been linked to an increased detection in the levels of toxins according to the Nicotine and Tobacco Research study.
Dr. Alan Shihadeh of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for the study of tobacco products said that dripping causes the e-liquid to heat with such intensity that the formaldehyde levels “approach the concentration in cigarettes”.
Dripping quite often exposes vapers to higher probabilities of accidentally getting e-liquid on your skin. Nicotine is quickly and easily absorbed through the skin and vapers. Particularly those that are less experienced, have unfortunately been prone to accidental exposure. Too much nicotine can be a side effect of vaping.
Dr. Shihadeh went on to say that if he had to puff on something that he would choose an e-cigarette over a tobacco cigarette but he wouldn’t drip. Despite these findings regarding formaldehyde, no form of vaping has shown to produce anywhere near the range of carcinogenic compounds that are created by the combustion of tobacco.
Sticking to a quality cig-a-like, such as those appearing on our top-ten list is the surest way to avoid exposure to poor quality e-liquids and extreme voltages that cause excessive heating. If you enjoy e-cig mods, use them with only high quality e-liquids. And follow the manufacturers guidelines in your users manual.
At the end of the day, e-cigarette safety and e-liquid safety are in your hands. Cig-a-like models used as designed are not likely to generate the heat necessary to cause impurities to be released in vapor. E-cig mods from reputable brands like Halo Cigs use quality materials that perform consistently so that you do not have to worry about uncontrolled, excessive heating.
If you are currently dripping, should you drop the drip? That’s up top you. Dripping is still probably better than smoking. But be aware that there may be safer forms of vaping according to this latest research. ECCR will continue to monitor what is happening with e-cigarette research and keep you updated. As always, feel free to add your comments below.
UPDATE ON DRIPPING
Hi folks. Since the original publication of this post, there have been changes! Dripping is not what it used to be. Since the days of mech mods and building our own coils, much has changed. New vape mods and vape tanks enable vapers to achieve massive clouds of vapor without the risks associated with dripping on a mech.
Dripping is still a thing! But it is much different. Now mods work in concert with a precision measurement of your atomizer resistance to optimize performance. Dripping is now a very controlled form of vaping as opposed to the old school vaping without a seat belt method.
The new style relies mostly on a type of atomizer called an RDA or rebuildable drip atomizer. Products like the golden Goon LP RDA, which really is gold, like real gold, are designed to work with advanced mods.
There is also a style of dripping from atomizers called RTA’s. An RTA is a rebuidable tank atomizer. Same concept as dripping but with a small reservior of e-juice at the base so you don;t have to drip in e-juice as frequently. For more on RTAs a great example is the Pharaoh. Check out our Digiflavor Pharaoh RTA review for more details.
There are still old school, wild side drippers out there. But for the most part old school dripping is not needed anymore. You can get incredible vapor output from controlled, advanced vapor devices.