Vaping involves inhaling an aerosol of liquid particles suspended in air as they cool after evaporation, then land on the lungs and transfer directly into the blood stream. It takes the vaped substance – nicotine, cannabis or others – about five seconds to reach the brain.
Some vapers say it is lighter on the lungs than combustible tobacco products and can be enjoyed for more extended periods. The most common substance vaped is known as e-juice, a liquid that usually contains nicotine and can be enhanced with a multitude of flavors. About 90% of e-juice or vape juice is propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin with the remainder made up of water and food-grade flavoring.
Vapers have several options when it comes to the actual instrument that heats the liquid.
E-cigarettes, designed to mimic the look and feel of a traditional cigarette, may be the most popular device for new vapers because they’re simple to use. The entry-level form is the one-time use, disposable vape pen that comes ready to use out of the package. Starter kits are also available.
Other types of vaping mechanisms allow users to vary how the product is delivered.
Pods and mods offer choices like one-time use vs. refillable, as well as size and airflow characteristics. They also feature different designs that let vapers express themselves, from sleek and clean looks to more artistic and bohemian styles.
Closed pod systems are made up of the heating device and the pods that contain the vaping liquid. When a pod is used up, you switch out the empty with a full one. Some pod systems allow for refillable pods.
Box mods feature refillable tanks as well as the ability to vaporize e-liquids, oils, dry herbs and other substances with interchangeable cartridges. They can also be tweaked to adjust the vape experience.
What are termed ‘mechanical mods’ allow users to vary the temperature of the liquid, tank size, intensity of product inhaled and qualities. Users – actually, at this level, more like enthusiasts – can even experiment with the unit battery’s power flow by changing the values of resistance, voltage, current and power. It can get quite technical. Because of the technology and craftmanship built into these units, they can cost upwards of $250 or more.
The degree of settings for these units can greatly increase the complexity of their use, which some feel makes them more the domain of dedicated vape shops with their more devoted clientele.