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Guide to e-cig world.
Hi, dear forum users! Recently, I have finished a big text work, collecting all my e-cig knowledge into one book. It starts with history and other moments, and I will try to translate some parts of that text for you. Maybe someone will be interested to read this. Sorry, if there are some mistakes, it's really big and still a work in progress.

The history behind the creation of electronic cigarettes.
In the second half of the 20th century, mankind realized that smoking causes significant harm to health, and began to look for ways to save people from such a harmful habit.
Attempts were very diverse, but at first, all of the inventors tried to come up with an alternative means of delivering nicotine into the body, considering the dependence on it as the main reason why it is difficult for a person to quit smoking. Nicotine patches, chewing gum, and various other ways were explored on the way.
Unfortunately, this did not give any special effect, and the person, even after receiving a fair dose, still used a cigarette - which means that the dependence was either not related to nicotine in general, or related to something else. And one of the well-founded assumptions is the purely psychological dependence: a habit of the process of smoking tobacco and the rituals associated with this process. So - it is necessary to give a person the opportunity to keep his habit, while protecting health from harmful substances.
And in 2004, in China, a pharmacist named Hon Lik, who survived a family tragedy shortly before that - the death of his father from lung cancer, was preoccupied with the idea of inventing a fundamentally new device that helps to deliver the nicotine to end user, that could be smoked like a cigarette and which would be more safe for health. The problem, in general, was not too complicated, and soon enough, Hon Lik invented an object that is now commonly called an electronic cigarette.
Principles of the operation of an electronic cigarette.
Let's see how an electronic cigarette works, and why it is such an effective simulation of conventional smoking.
To begin with, it should be mentioned that the property of glycerin, which turns out to be very useful in this case, is to turn spontaneously into steam when heated to about 200-300 degrees Celsius. Or rather, not even into steam, because we know from the school physics course that steam is a gas, pretty invisible to the human eye, but, to put it scientifically, into an aerosol: into a fine suspension of liquid droplets in the air. I must say that this principle was known long before the invention of electronic cigarettes, and many of you came across it personally - just so, heating the liquid based on glycerin and turning it into an aerosol, the stage smoke machines work.
Thus, to obtain an imitation of tobacco smoke from glycerin aerosol was very simple, it required only to wrap it all in a "body" that will make the process of inhaling similar to smoking a regular cigarette. The easiest way is to use a heating spiral like the one you can easily find in any electric heating appliance: iron, hair dryer, electric stove, boiler and so on. If an electric current is applied to such a spiral, somehow moistened with glycerine, the spiral will heat up and warm up the glycerin, which will turn into steam. To supply electricity, it is most convenient to use a regular battery, because we need to carry a cigarette in your pocket. And, the method of delivering the liquid to the spiral is also well known - it's an ordinary wick made of any suitable material that can absorb liquid.
In general, this is how any electronic cigarette is built - it is based on a heater in the form of a spiral made of nichrome, stainless steel, titanium and other similar materials, which is fed by a wick of cotton wool or silica thread (special glass fiber) using the liquid from a special tank or compartment. The user's inhaled air passes by the spiral, or directly through it, enriching at this moment with aerosol from the heated liquid and converted into this very same vapor that the electronic cigarette gives.
As you can see, everything is very simple, but, as they say, "the devil is in the details".
How electricity can be supplied, what forms the coil takes, how the reservoirs are arranged to supply liquid to the spiral, what kind of batteries are there, we'll carefully consider all of this in the following chapters, but for now, let's see what else besides glycerine is included in the liquid for electronic cigarettes.
Liquid for electronic cigarettes.
Not the last, and maybe even the first role in the simulation of the smoking process is played by liquid for refueling electronic cigarettes.
The liquid is usually factory-made, packed in vials in volume from 10 and up to 120 milliliters, equipped with either a pipette, or a convenient spout for filling of a liquid in a tank of an electronic cigarette.
In disposable electronic cigarettes, the liquid is placed inside the electronic cigarette on the factory and, once it is over, the cigarette can be disposed of.
As you have already understood, the basis of the liquid, which turns everything into a thick white vapor when heated, is glycerin. From it we will begin our acquaintance with the components of the liquid.
Glycerin (VG - Vegetable Glycerin).
From the course of organic chemistry in high school, we probably remember that glycerin C3H5(OH)3 is a fairly simple chemical compound that belongs to a group of alcohols, and more specifically, it is a triatomic alcohol. Transparent, rather viscous liquid, with sweet taste. Very hygroscopic, loves to absorb water and mixes with it in any proportions. The boiling point of pure glycerin is 290 degrees Celsius. Derivatives of glycerol (triglycerides) are an important part of the metabolism in living organisms, so that glycerin is not alien to our body at all.
Glycerin is produced mainly from vegetable or animal raw materials, or synthetically. In the quality liquid for electronic cigarettes, glycerin is used exclusively of vegetable origin.
Glycerin as a substance has been known to mankind for a long time, and it is widely used in a wide range of fields and industries: food, cosmetics, tobacco, paper, leather, medicine, agriculture, etc. It has, among other things, the properties of the stabilizer and emulsifier, and is registered as a food additive E422. This number can be found on the packaging of many products: where it is required to make the consistency thicker, or simply mix some poorly miscible components.
As for the health hazard, glycerin does not apply to substances that pose any danger to it, otherwise it would not be so widely and freely used.
On the other hand, the product of dehydration of glycerin, which is obtained from it by simple heating to a sufficiently high temperature - acrolein, is poisonous. In addition, in the synthetic production of glycerin, acrolein is one of the process steps, and if the final product is poorly purified from it, traces of acrolein may remain in it.
In the liquid for electronic cigarettes, if the manufacturer adheres to all the rules, vegetable glycerine is included in the medical grade of purification, thus, containing no hazardous to health impurities.
Propylene glycol (PG - Propylene Glycol).
Liquid components is not limited to glycerin. By itself, it has a rather pronounced sweetish and not very pleasant taste, and if the liquid contained only glycerin, it would have to be masked with a very large amount of flavor.
In addition, glycerin is thick, and for this reason, it's very difficult to him to pass through various wicks alone, which is very important for an electronic cigarette. So glycerin is better to dilute with something less sweet and less viscous, and another alcohol, this time monohydric - propylene glycol, perfectly suited this role.
This is also a colorless viscous liquid, and also has a sweet (but less pronounced than glycerin) taste. Propylene glycol is also very fond of water and easily mixes with it. Propylene glycol boils at a temperature of 190 degrees.
There are two other reasons why propylene glycol is usually present in the liquid on a par with glycerin:
  • Propylene glycol has a lower boiling point, and, when added to glycerin, it lowers the boiling point of the mixture, which allows steam to be produced at lower energy costs and at a lower temperature. And the lower the temperature, the better - less chance that unpleasant acrolein will start to emit from glycerin.
  • Propylene glycol causes a slight irritation of the mucous membranes, and this property seems to be harmful, the vapers use it to feel the so-called Throat Hit, a blow to the throat: feelings, something reminiscent of smoking a regular cigarette. One, but not the main and not the only component of the liquid that causes such an effect, is precisely propylene glycol.
As for the harm to health, besides the mentioned irritation of mucous and rarely occurring allergic reactions, propylene glycol is not noticed for any other dirty tricks, and is considered a safe substance. For example, it has been used in aerosols for asthma patients since the middle of the 20th century, and no side effects from its inhalation have been observed so far.
Water is a necessary part of the liquid, whether we like it or not. There is a fact that both used spirits are extremely hygroscopic, and in order to completely extract water from them, a special and expensive procedure is required. So the water in the liquid is contained in any case, even if it was not specifically added there. And this is a plus, because the presence of water further reduces the boiling point, and makes vaporization easier and safer.
The question of the health hazards applied to water, is somehow embarrassing to discuss. Let's just say, a lethal dose of water - about 15 liters at one go.
Food flavoring.
If the whole liquid consisted only of glycerin and propylene glycol, then electronic cigarettes would have hardly gained such popularity - they would be completely tasteless. Therefore, to give the smoker a familiar tobacco taste, or simply to make the taste pleasant, food flavorings are added to the liquid. They can be very different - in fact, the fantasy of the manufacturer of the liquid is not limited here, the food flavorings industry produces a great variety of them, and there is no reason why they could not be added to the liquid. Of course, liquids for electronic cigarettes with a taste of pasta with cheese or pizza are rare (although there are some), but various kinds of fruit, dessert and other flavors are very common.
There are also liquids without flavors (the so-called base) - they can serve both for the addition of their own flavors, and for vaping in a pure form. In particular, liquid without flavoring is advised to vape in the case when over-saturated aromas messed up your taste receptors.
Exactly the same flavors give the taste and aroma to a huge number of different products that you eat every day - candy, confectionery, chips, baked goods and much more. And that's why an electronic cigarette, say, with a strawberry taste, tastes more like a strawberry candy - also sweet, and the same strawberry flavor.
And, finally, the most often mentioned component of the liquid for electronic cigarettes is nicotine. It is believed that it is because of nicotine addiction that people smoke ordinary cigarettes, and therefore any means of substituting for tobacco smoking should include the delivery of nicotine into the bloodstream. This is partly true, because we have already said above that the habit of smoking is more of a psychological origin.
However, an electronic cigarette is a fairly effective way of delivering nicotine into the body, by simply adding it to the liquid. Nicotine perfectly and very quickly absorbed through the mucous membranes, so that when the vapor is inhaled, this process begins in the mouth, and continues in the lungs. Nicotine is certainly a poison, and irresponsible or careless handling of it can lead to the most serious consequences, even lethal. Fortunately, using an electronic cigarette, the flow of nicotine into the blood can be regulated quite accurately, since it can be added to the liquid in any desired amount, down to the smallest. Or do not added at all - such non-nicotine liquiids are also popular with those who decided to completely break up with nicotine, but are not ready to give up the habit of smoking.
Nicotine, which is a part of liquids for electronic cigarettes, is obtained from tobacco leaves, and if it is manufactured by a large pharmaceutical company, it undergoes numerous purification steps. In other words, absolutely pure nicotine is added to the liquid without any traces of tobacco, from which it was made. Nicotine affects primarily the cardiovascular system, narrowing the blood vessels and causing the heart to beat more often. For a young and healthy person this is not too dangerous, but if a vaper already has certain health problems, he needs to be especially careful with nicotine. Nicotine overdose causes a nausea, dizziness, headache. It is excreted from the body for about three hours, after which all the symptoms should pass. But, in any case, you should contact the doctor immediately after you feel symptoms of an overdose. As for the concentration of nicotine in a liquid for electronic cigarettes, it is usually measured in milligrams per one milliliter of liquid.
Incidentally, all these figures in milligrams are very similar to those that are written on packets of ordinary cigarettes, and which indicate the content of nicotine per cigarette.
With all the temptation to bring out some correspondence between the fortitude of cigarettes that a person smoked and the strength of a liquid for electronic cigarettes that he will need, none of this will work, there is no direct dependence for many reasons. Nicotine tolerance in each person's body is different, and the effectiveness of nicotine delivery of electronic and conventional cigarettes is too much different, and, most importantly, the amount of nicotine in one puff in the case of electronic cigarettes depends very much on the features of e-cig, such as power or coil used. So the necessary concentration of nicotine in the liquid for each vaper should be selected individually. The taste of nicotine is burning like a pepper. That is why this is the main component in the liquid for electronic cigarettes that is responsible for the Throat Hit mentioned above (in fact, TH is an irritation caused by nicotine or, to a lesser extent, propylene glycol). Naturally, the higher the nicotine content in a liquid, the stronger TH it will cause.
Nicotine salts (Nicsalts).
Now, salt-based nicotine is gaining popularity, providing better absorption to the human circulatory system.
Nicotinic salts are a form of nicotine found in tobacco leaves. Unlike the usual nicotine, salt nicotine is a more complex compound that contains, besides the substance itself, other organic components. It can be a combination of one or several chemical elements, but the result is always the same - the formation of a more stable molecule. Nicotine, traditionally used in liquids for vaping, is called "free" ("freebase nicotine"). This nicotine is usually not associated with any other substances and is considered preferable for vaping because of its volatility. But despite its advantages, it is not devoid of an important drawback - a serious initial assimilation by the body, since getting into the blood occurs not immediately after the first inhale. A mixture with a low level of acidity (pH) was obtained by adding a benzoic acid, which was better absorbed by the human body. It should be noted that the higher the pH, the more "free" nicotine will be contained in the vapor, and the more severe it will be for inhalation. Liquids with nicotinic salts in contrast have a much smaller TH and, with smaller volumes, they better satisfy the need for nicotine. I must say that the content of nicotine in such liquids is measured by several other values and can reach up to 100 mg/ml, but only a couple of puffs are enough for "saturation". What do all these innovations mean for end users? And there are a lot of pluses here, in fact. First, liquids with nicotinic salts in the rate of absorption of nicotine into the blood are as close as possible to ordinary cigarettes (without the hundreds of different additives of different carcinogenicity used in regular cigarettes). A lot of newcomers, vapers, moving from cigarettes to e-cigs, faced a problem when the state of "saturation" comes with a great delay. Hence, as a consequence, many "overdoses" and a whole bunch of unpleasant consequences for health. Salt nicotine in this case is able to cope with the function of blood saturation much better, as it is immediately absorbed through the lungs. A reasonable question arises about the safety of a person of such a new variety of nicotine. As the initial studies showed, although nicotinic salts contain "excess" components in comparison with free nicotine, they remain as safe when vaping, as well as the more familiar form of this substance. And, although animal tests still showed a small health risk, nevertheless, in the long term, liquids containing nicotine salts are not more harmful than conventional and certainly safer than "analog" cigarettes. But Dr. K. Farsalinos states that, since there is practically no full-scale research to date, the acid contained in the composition can possibly react with some parts of the atomizers and cause their corrosion.

So, we have found out that the liquid for electronic cigarettes consists of glycerol, propylene glycol, water, flavor and nicotine (the latter two components may be completely absent). The strength of the liquid is determined by the concentration of nicotine, and can be different. The higher the strength of the liquid, the more nicotine will enter the blood of the vaper with one puff. And, of course, the taste of liquid at the same time can be very different - it all depends on the flavorings that were added to it during its production.
At this point, factory-manufactured fluids can have a different formulation and a different ratio of glycerin to propylene glycol. Sometimes the formulation is indicated on the packaging of the liquid, sometimes not, often the manufacturer does not report such details at all. There are several main variants of consistence:
  • Classical: 50/50 or so. A good balance between taste and quantity of vapor, the liquid is relatively non-viscous, suitable for small electronic cigarettes with small coils. Does not require a lot of flavors.
  • With a high content of glycerin (VG): a ratio of 70VG/30PG or 80VG/20PG. A large amount of vapor, but increased viscosity and requires a large concentration of flavor in the liquid to dampen the not very pleasant taste of the glycerin itself.
  • Without propylene glycol: it is produced on pure glycerin without the addition of propylene glycol, especially for consumers who have an allergic reaction to propylene glycol. Not to be confused with liquids referred to as MAX VG - this designation is applied to liquids containing propylene glycol only in the form of flavors based on it.
Liquids with a high content of glycerin and greater complexity of the flavor composition are often presented as "premium", intended for gourmets and vape enthusiasts. Such liquids often have complex and refined composite flavors, and their presentation is more developed: it can have additional packaging and various bonuses, such as a pack of cotton wool or replaceable spirals. Liquids oriented to everyday vaping and mass market segment usually have simpler tastes..
It should be noted that when switching from conventional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, consumers tend to initially choose liquids with tobacco flavors, in an attempt to preserve the usual sensations. But quickly enough, most of them part with the taste of tobacco and go on to other tastes: fruit, dessert - just because they are tastier. Often people who are not familiar with electronic cigarettes before, refuse to vape liquids with fruit or dessert flavors because in their view it is something like flavored tobacco, but in fact a strawberry-flavored liquid tastes not a strawberry tobacco, but a strawberry candy, and this is not the same thing.
Any "tobacco" liquids, even if they are called in the manner of popular brands of ordinary cigarettes, have a very, very remote relation to the taste of cigarettes, because it convincingly imitates the whole bunch of filth that the smoker tastes by inhaling tobacco smoke with the help of harmless food flavors is simply impossible. And if it turned out, it is unlikely to vape such a liquid would be nicer and safer than smoking conventional cigarettes.

To be continued...
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Messages In This Thread
Guide to e-cig world. - Crazybasil - 04-27-2018, 06:14 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Crazybasil - 04-28-2018, 04:07 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Liz (glizz) - 05-03-2018, 06:46 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Crazybasil - 05-04-2018, 07:08 PM
RE: Guide to e-cig world. - Vapelove - 06-08-2018, 05:36 PM

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