Category: Nicotine Or Nicotine Free

Nicotine Or Nicotine Free

Jump To Section

What Is Nicotine?

A primary reason why anybody has ever even heard of this chemical compound is because it is a natural byproduct of the tobacco plant. An estimated 45 million Americans use tobacco products daily. Although there are dozens of harmful and addictive substances in cigars, cigarettes, and dip; nicotine is by far the most vilified.

However, members of the ominous-sounding nightshade family of plants all produce nicotine. It's a naturally occurring alkaloid compound that's found in produce we consume regularly. The nightshade family, also known as the potato family, contains numerous plants including:

  • Potatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Peppers, including but not limited to; Paprika, Tamales, Tomatillos, Pimentos, Cayenne, Bell and Chili peppers
  • Goji Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Ground Cherries
  • Petunias

Very few people struggle to finally stop eating eggplant. What makes tobacco so different? It's partially because there are few Americans who habitually smoke eggplant. In all seriousness, tobacco plants do possess a higher concentration of the alkaloid than its fellow nightshade family members.

As a naturally occurring compound, the high concentration is a built-in defense mechanism to deter animals from chewing on tobacco plants and leaves in the wild. It is not some secret poison concocted in the laboratories of Big Tobacco. However, just because a chemical is commonly found in nature does not make it harmless to the human body.

In order to decide if nicotine vape is the right choice for you, let's first take a brief overview of how it affects your body.

How Nicotine Works

Nicotine exhibits strange and seemingly contradictory qualities. Both a mild stimulant with effects comparable to caffeine, and a mild sedative in larger doses, it delivers quick effects and dissipates just as fast. Quick, short inhalations provide a brief rush as the brain releases adrenaline.

This release provides a temporary increase in focus and pleasure. If longer puffs are taken, people experience relaxation and stress relief. This calming sensation, is in actuality a result of eliminating the effects of withdrawal such as headaches and irritability.

Smoking is an extremely quick way of getting lots of harmful substances to the brain quickly. Particles in smoke act as tiny transporters for other chemicals. These particles also carry nicotine into the lungs. Think of them as carcinogenic tour guides with nicotine in their backpack.

From there, it makes its way into the blood and up to the brain. This efficient process takes less than ten seconds to start affecting the brain. The massive flood of chemicals to brain receptors begins creating dependency almost immediately. The drastically reduced number of particulates associated with vapor as opposed to smoke makes it harder for large amounts of nicotine to permeate the body as quickly.

Benefits of Vaporization

E-juice is the consumable liquid product most vapers use in their devices. E-cigarettes heat the liquid to a determined temperature and atomize it into a vapor. This process creates zero burning or combustion. The combinations of ingredients used to make e-juice give people an unique level of customization in a familiar process.

E-juice can be broken down into four common components. The primary liquids that constitute the bulk of e-juice products are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). Many e-juices are calculated  hybrids of these two. A 70/30 mixture is a common chemical ratio for e-liquids.

E-Juices

E-Juices

E-juice is the consumable liquid product most vapers use in their devices. E-cigarettes heat the liquid to a determined temperature and atomize it into a vapor. This process creates zero burning or combustion. The combinations of ingredients used to make e-juice give people an unique level of customization in a familiar process.

E-juice can be broken down into four common components. The primary liquids that constitute the bulk of e-juice products are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). Many e-juices are calculated  hybrids of these two. A 70/30 mixture is a common chemical ratio for e-liquids.

PG

PG is a synthetic organic compound that is colorless, clear, mostly odorless and with a slightly sweet taste. It vaporizes at a relatively low temperature, which makes it especially useful for low power devices such as e-cigarettes. Propylene glycol binds to molecules to carry flavor and alkaloid dosage in a vapor. PG is also popular among vapers for its attribute of highlighting flavoring. Vapers who value the flavor of their juice go for liquids with higher PG volume.

VG

VG is similar in many respects to PG, such as being colorless, clear, and mostly odorless. It is a polyol compound made with a triglyceride base. The most important difference of VG compared to PG is that it has a higher vaporization temperature. As a result, VG is popular for producing much higher volumes of vapor than PG.

The best e-juices for cloud production will be primarily vegetable glycerin. Typically, new users experiment with various levels of PG/VG/Hybrid e-juices until they find one that suits them and their personal preferences best.

Flavorings

A major perk of switching to vaping is the vast array of flavor options. Usually, tobacco overwhelms any other flavor put into products alongside of it and should be used sparingly if users don't want it to overpower the flavor. However, take tobacco out of the equation and the flavor possibilities are endless.

Hundreds of new flavors and new e-juice companies enter the market every month. From Menthol and Very Cherry to Rainbow Candy and Banana Bread, the flavor options create an intersection of gourmet menus and whatever you call filling up a Big Gulp cup with a splash of every flavor in a soda machine. The point is, vaping allows users to have a personalized experience for virtually any taste preference.

E-Juices Nicotine Strengths

E-Juices Nicotine Strengths

In order to cater to all types of vapers, e-juice makers provide a wide range of levels in their products. There is not yet an industry standard in the terminology. While some vape juice will be labeled in milligrams (mg) of nicotine or prefer listing volume percentage, while some provide the pair. In other words, two products with identical levels can be listed as either 12mg, 1.2% or both.

Commonly, the levels will range from 3mg or 0.3% up to 24mg to 2.4%. While the range may include higher and lower dosages, these are the levels seen most often. It's important for users new to vaping to consider the amount they need to acclimate. Generally, it's recommended former pack-a-day smoker's start with 18-24mg and the scale slides up and down from there.

However, nicotine is not inherently necessary in vaping. There are an ever increasing range of vape juices without it on the market. The extra couple percent of volume saved by its elimination leaves room for more of the other ingredients. More PG or VG means more vapor, and more room for flavorings can up their intensity.

For former smokers, this is a necessity in any product that will keep them away from tobacco. E-juice manufacturers cater to the needs of all levels of user from 0mg up to 36mg. Vapers can choose not only whatever dose they desire, but most importantly whichever dose they need. From intense throat hits to barely noticeable rushes of tensile release, for those who choose non-nicotine e-juice, the flavor can grow more intense as their physical attachment to other sensations subsides.

Easing Down to Zero

A demographic of vapers is perfectly happy switching to a non-tobacco alternative. They stick with whatever e-juice strength best suits their tastes and incorporate it as part of their new life. However, for plenty of others vaping presents an attainable opportunity for them to gradually rid their lives of nicotine entirely.

For

example, users may switch to a slightly lower strength e-juice every few months with the goal of getting to zero. Vapers who finally reach 0% are able to maintain their mental habits and rituals without physical attachment. The feel of exhaling billowing clouds of vapor combined with the social aspects of the routine make vaping an important step for many users on their way to becoming smoke free.

Nicotine Vape Vs. Non Nicotine Vape

Taste Of Flavors And Food

What was once a continuous search for a simulated act of harm, suddenly becomes a pleasant experience. In fact, it can change the way taste buds function. While many former smokers report enhanced flavor of their food after quitting, this may be a result of the effects of nicotine on the tongue.

Healthier Throat

The constant irritation to the esophagus caused by 'throat hits' is no longer an issue. As a result, this means fewer sore throats and less coughing. The heat from the vapor will still cause some slight aggravation to the lining of the throat, but this is minimal when compared to the alternative.

How Do You Vape Without Nicotine?

In order to vape cleanly, choose one of the copious available flavors of zero strength e-juices on the market and give it a try. They are available in similar PG / VG blends, and can be used in exactly the same vaping devices. In additon, users report that the flavors taste significantly better with zero strength vape juices.

Part of this is certainly due to the taste buds not being dulled by the alkaloidal additive, which some report has a distinct pepper-like kick to it. However, the main advantage of vaping 0mg e-juice is the freedom.  First, and most importantly, the freedom from the cycle of addiction and withdrawal.

However, there is additionally the freedom to enjoy vaping for its own sake without feeling like you have to. In other words, vaping evolves from a choice you make to give up tobacco, to a choice whether to vape because you simply enjoy it and not because you need to. With that in mind, does getting to 0% mean that it's an entirely safe pastime?

Health Risks Of Vaping Without Nicotine

The health risks of vaping 0mg e-juice are two-fold. They are a combination of physical demand for something your body has become accustomed to and the mental bond to the effects it has on the brain and overall mood. For people who are trying to quit in large steps, the cravings can be intense. These users depend upon their next dose, and without it their bodies can go through an arduous withdrawal process.

Side Effects Of Vaping Without Nicotine

Unfortunately, there are very few professional studies on vaping's side effects thus far. This is partially due to the duration of time vaping has been a part of mainstream society. Until roughly ten years ago, vaping hadn't gained the popularity or notoriety it currently enjoys. With all the misconceptions and misinformation out there trying to dissuade people from vaping, scientists have been slow in studying the actual effects in human trials.

However, there is a fair amount of data gathered on the effects of quitting smoking. Some medical studies generate hypothetical or projected results through philosophical conjecture. In other words, based on the withdrawals of users quitting smoking, then these are the possible symptoms 0mg vapers may experience:

  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Acne (quit zits)

With that in mind, vaping allows people to step down gradually in order to lessen the severity of these issues. Some may get stuck at a particular strength for some time to acclimate, or possibly revert back to a higher dose. However, e-juices make the process of weaning easier by offering users a stable ladder, to slowly lower their bodies down from an uncomfortable height of withdrawal, one step at time.

Ingredient Safety

Vape companies are quick to point out that they use FDA grade or food grade ingredients. As far as either PG or VG is concerned this is true. The food industry considers these compounds safe to ingest and has used them as additives for decades.

Here is where the language becomes somewhat misleading. There is a small distinction between safe to ingest and safe to inhale. Obviously, one enters the digestive tract, while the other enters the user's lungs. Vapers receive different levels of the vaporized PG or VG than they do when it's digested.

While the FDA offers no specific guidelines for acceptable amounts of either additive through inhalation, the lack of long term studies on the effects are not yet known with regards to inhalation. In other words, extended use of 0mg e-juice has no quantifiable result. The massive expansion of flavor options is a wonderful incentive for vapers to switch. However, the lasting effects of their continued use in measured doses are a result the vaping community will have to wait for.

Is Vaping Without Nicotine Bad For Your Lungs?

If a smoker transitions to clean vaping, their lungs may be breathing a huge sigh of relief. However, the human lung is designed to process clean air without contaminants. Heated vapor alone can cause irritation to the lungs. How much damage is done, and what the possible long-term effects are haven't been thoroughly investigated yet.

Essentially, a throat hit is small agitation being felt by the body and processed by the brain. Even using non-nicotine vape, the varying degree of heat involved with vaping can produce different levels of lung irritation.

Vaping PG/VG blends can create additional chemical compounds and byproducts. So far, certain scientific studies have detected formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein. The risks from these chemicals are not known precisely, but they are similarly found in cigarette smoke.

However, these studies were somewhat debunked as they were conducted under parameters that heated the e-liquid to a higher degree and wattage than the majority of vapers use. In fact, skeptics said that not only would these levels be difficult to reach with most devices, but that it would be unpalatable as the heat and power would burn the flavor.

Still, some vape companies are getting ahead of any possible harmful findings. They are positioning themselves as "organic" and tout their ingredients are responsibly sourced. However, there is little in the way of details as to how these organic components are distilled.

While the jury is still out on the long term effects of 0mg  vaping, some commonsense observations should be noted. Vapers have not reported the same constant and debilitating lung diseases contracted by smoking. While vaping may cause irritation to the lungs of some users, any damage that might be occurring is presently speculative.

Pregnancy And Zero Nicotine Vaping

The CDC and health agencies have done countless reports on tobacco's harmful effects on unborn babies. There has been extensive research into the tragic outcomes. Low birth weight, premature birth, along with higher risks for asthma, heart defects, and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are all commonly attributed to smoking tobacco while pregnant.

There has been little-to-no scholarly research into vaping during pregnancy. Some argue that if vaping will allow a pregnant mother to quit smoking, then the benefits seem to outweigh the possible harm. However, there is crucial medical information to keep in mind.

Nicotine affects blood pressure as a stimulant, when used during a pregnancy this can directly effect the unborn fetus. The alkali itself is proven to have a slew of negative effects which may include the above mentioned effects in addition to restrictive blood flow which can be dangerous to a developing child and direct effects to the fetus' brain receptors.

Generally, if a pregnant person enjoys vaping 0mg e-liquid, it would be wise to abstain for the duration of the pregnancy. There is some research into the effects of mercury content in fish and risks of eating unwashed produce on pregnant women. However, just because there are no documented instances of 0mg vaping's negative effects on a fetus, doesn't mean it's a good idea. It's best to consult a physician with any medical questions regarding pregnancy health and vaping.

Who Vapes Without Nicotine?

Once considered a fringe subculture among vapers, the 0% vaping community is on the rise. The following is a brief list of some common types of users. Reflexively, many 0mg vapers may belong to more than one or none of the categories.

The Quitters

Ex-smokers are a huge contingent of this community. While many former smokers stick with traditionally dosed vaping, most at least consider lowering their levels. The plan for many vapers is to eventually join the 0% club.

Cannabis Users

For users of dry herb, concentrate and wax, vaping has become a trendy method of inhaling cannabis products. Presently, vaping is a growth industry and that's partly due to celebrity endorsements and products that expand their use. Though it still has an physical and mental effect, cannabis vaping is considered 0mg because it does not contain the tobacco-derived alkaloid.

The Escape Artists

Smokers have been made pariahs by society in the hopes of eliminating second hand smoke from all our public spaces. The irony is that many vapers, especially a contingent of former smokers agree with this. In fact, 81% of America's population lives in a place where smoking is banned in workplaces; which includes bars.

While both smokers and vapers have been cast outside, vaping is slowly gaining acceptance in more areas of society. However, because of it's regulation by the FDA as a tobacco product, it is still mostly banned in the same places as tobacco. With that in mind, 0mg e-juice isn't regulated the same way, causing many to see a possible future where they will be allowed to vape indoors.

Until then, many vapers are still content to have an excuse to step outside for some fresh air, or a break from their surroundings and a moment to themselves.

The Gourmets

These vaping foodies chase down the latest tastes like food critics. Some of these vapers have e-juice tasting parties to sample sour, savory, and sweet new varieties. For vapers looking to feed their sweet tooth, the curated flavors can satisfy food cravings.

Cloud Chasers

The vaping world has discovered how to take one of the most elegant parts of exhalation and make significant improvements. This includes massive vapor output and guiding swirling clouds that brings an almost magical precision to vaping.

Clouds And Tricks

What began as a way of bringing a combined satisfaction and legitimacy to vaping has grown into a semi-professional sport. Across the world there are competitions, both amateur and professional, where vapers compete in categories of cloud chasing. Prizes have soared to $10,000 or more for the winners of these events in recent years.

Besides being an opportunity for so-called "extreme vapers" to gather with like minded people and show off their skills, these cloud chasing competitions offer non-vaping spectators a chance to see the vaping culture in a positive light. Cloud chasing makes vaping more popular by making the process an exciting art form.

Competitors fall into the categories of cloud makers and trick vapers:

Cloud Makers

In this event people stand back to back and blow out clouds at the same time in opposite directions for comparison. Rules vary as to ohm settings, length of inhales allowed and other set parameters. Judges pick which clouds are superior based on length, girth and overall density. Competitors move on to the next round until a winner is crowned. Special devices with modified parts are used in often custom, sub ohm and mech mod setups. Tampering with vaporizer setups and batteries can be dangerous to novice users. However, there are many beginner mech mods being offered by manufacturers for new vapers to get a feel for heavy cloud production.

Trick Vapers

If simply exhaling dense vapor clouds does not seem particularly exciting, then the freestyle trick part of cloud competitions may be considerably more intriguing. New tricks, tactics and abilities push the boundaries of this pursuit continuously. YouTube and Instagram has produced cloud chasing celebrities whose vape trick videos have received millions of views. Some of the most popular types of tricks include cheerios, bubbles, French inhales, tornadoes, dragon breaths, atomic bombs, and a slew of other types that don't even have names yet. Most of the first tricks involved smoke rings of various sizes and combinations. Since then different props and techniques have developed, with each one impressing larger crowds of vape trick fans and aspiring tricksters.

Conclusions

Nicotine-free vaping has expanded greatly in recent years. With new users making the switch everyday, it shows no signs of slowing. There are a number of topics worth considering before widespread use is proclaimed safe.

Scientists and medical professionals are still hesitant to endorse any form of vaping, which includes as a tool for smoking cessation. The tobacco industry famously altered and marketed now debunked claims about the safety of smoking decades ago. Vaping advocates say the tobacco industry remains eager to suppress any studies pointing to the benefits of vaping.

According to the CDC: "In 2015, tobacco companies spent $8.9 billion marketing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in the United States. This amount translates to more than $24 million each day, or about $1 million every hour." Considering this excludes marketing on television and all public spaces including billboards, this massive marketing power is fighting hard to keep people opting for tobacco. However, firsthand experiences and word of mouth are proving that clean vaping is worth trying out.

Right Choice For You?

Lost in the marketing battles is the difference between harm reduction products and those that are safer than tobacco. Vapers themselves will likely not claim to know for sure that their interest poses no dire health risks. However, dismissing the huge advantages to vaping for those trying to quit smoking could hinder a beneficial switch of potential users. Widespread vaping may save lives lost to chronic and deadly tobacco-related diseases and cancer.

Nicotine-free vaping offers a dependence-free vaping experience focused on harm-reduction and freedom from tobacco products and their derivatives. However, e-juice products can be greatly improved both in terms of their safety and reliability with manufacturing regulations and honest scientific research. Consumers will decide for themselves which option is best, but the future of clean vaping remains an attainable process for becoming Nic-free. Through continued research, a smoke and Nic-free future is on the horizon.

Feel free to leave comments below describing personal experiences, health outcomes, and cloud competitions. The debate rages on below.

More Helpful Articles

Loading