Prior to three months ago, I knew very little about vaping. When I started working with Totally Wicked my first question was: What is vaping and how does it work?
It was time to dive into my research.
I started where anyone would – the blogs Totally Wicked was sharing. I wanted to see the vaping world from their eyes. Their blog site is divided into several sections: vaping news, devices & e-liquids, technology, vaping lifestyle, legal, audio & video, and shop. I found these headers to be helpful when looking for a specific blog to read. Beyond the blogs being well-written and easy to read, they were filled with facts and information that I would have had to dig deep into Google to find others.
Totally Wicked is a multinational company with businesses in the USA, UK, and Germany. Although these locations each have similar operations with online sales and physical stores, there is a large difference between them. When it comes to vaping in the USA and the UK the government has very different views.
The UK is light years ahead with their acceptance of vaping. They devote the necessary resources and funds to learn all that they need to know about the effects of vaping.
The government even went as far as to include, for the first time ever, e-cigarettes in their Stoptober event. There were many reasons why they decided to add vaping as a stop smoking method. One of these reasons came after Public Health England embraced vaping and declared it to be at least 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. Another was that 53% of people who partook in last year’s campaign said e-cigarettes helped them quit. The final reasoning was that research from the University College London showed that with vaping, “20% of attempts were successful in the first six months of 2017, compared with an average of 16% over the previous 10 years”. It was too hard for them to ignore the fact that e-cigarettes were helping people quit smoking.
The USA on the other hand has, and continues to, fight the vaping industry with all that they can. The motives behind this are muffled, but many make the assumption that it is due to the significant and devastating loss that the tobacco industry has taken, and will continue to take, when the vaping market flourishes.
I did my research about the United States and their views on smoking. I learned that the FDA had tightened the leash so much on Totally Wicked that they would be forced to close their doors. However, this changed when I began working with Totally Wicked as the newly appointed head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, had announced a stay of execution. The FDA had decided to continue to research cigarettes and vaping for another 4 years. This means that Totally Wicked does not have to close its doors anymore.
The more research I did about studies from the United States, the more weary I became. In their blog, Totally Wicked mentioned a study performed by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where researchers tested saliva samples from vapers, smokers, and non-smokers to test for levels of protein that are linked to serious lung conditions. The problem with this study was that the sample size was made up of merely 44 people – 15 vapers, 14 smokers, and 15 non-smokers. Beyond this study already being skewed with a small amount of participants, out of the 15 vapers, 12 were ex-smokers and 5 still occasionally smoked cigarettes. This was obviously a limitation to the accuracy of the study. These studies, whether they are true or not, are used as click-bait and have lasting and damaging effects of the vaping industry.
It is clear that the UK is ahead of the US in their switch from cigarettes to vaping. This comparison was best showcased during this year’s Stoptober events.
Don’t be Afraid to ask Questions
You know the saying, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question?” As long as the goal of asking the question is to gain clarification, the saying holds merit.
I asked A LOT of questions.
What is the difference in the Nicotine levels?
The first thing I noticed when I looked at the e-liquids was the option to select my “strength”. I had to ask what the different percentages meant. I learned that the higher the percentage and the higher the mg/ml, the more potent the nicotine in the bottle is! Therefore, if someone was a heavy smoker, they would first start with 1.0% or 10 mg/ml of nicotine and then work their way down to no nicotine over time!
What’s an Atomizer?
I had no idea what an atomizer was or what it did. So i asked. I learned that an atomizer is the component of the device that turns the liquid into the mist or vapor that you inhale! This part of the device is extremely important and needs to be changed frequently, depending on the amount that the device is used.
What does Optimized VG mean?
I could understand what an e-liquid was, but when I started seeing the phrases “Optimized VG” and “High VG” I admit, I was confused. I quickly learned from the helpful team at Totally Wicked that VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin. VG is an odorless liquid that when combined with nicotine and flavor makes e-liquid. It falls into the alcohol chemical class and therefore turns to vapor when heated. VG e-liquids are different from other e-liquids that are made with PG (Propylene Glycol) because they both have unique mouth/throat sensations, consistencies, and tastes. Optimized VG is a thicker smoke which is ideal for creating big vape clouds.
The deeper into the comments and into the subreddits I went, the more engulfed I became with the sheer dedication, commitment, and passion that these contributors had. They were helpful to each other, active members who contributed often, and truly members of a vaping community. It was nice to see people who don’t know each other or owe each other anything, working together to provide tips, tricks, solutions, and support. All to reach the common goal of kicking the bad habit that had taken over their lives.
My external search engine research steered me towards the negative stigma of vaping. This interested me. As soon as my fingers typed “vaping” and hit enter, I was presented with the anti-vaping propaganda. I quickly realized why so many people are against vaping… it’s hard not to be concerned with the obscene click-bait headlines. Luckily, I wasn’t fooled or scared because I always do extensive research into studies and look at both sides of the story. I could see the holes in these “studies” and stories. I just hoped that others who were looking to switch to vaping could too.
Smoking rates have plummeted in the UK to an all-time low. Over 2.9 million people have made the switch to vaping! With numbers that substantial and impressive, I look forward to seeing these numbers rise over the years!
Overall, vaping is an interesting industry. From the scrutiny it undergoes from both society and from the government, the split sided arguments, and the contradictory governments, there is a lot to process and learn about. But once you get past the controversy, look more into the e-liquids and the e-cigarettes, and read the stories that members of the community share, it becomes extremely simple. I hope that this blog helped you learn more about the vape industry than you knew before. For more information about e-cigarettes, e-liquids, or vaping in general, contact the knowledgeable team at Totally Wicked!