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Naked Vaping has nothing to do with naturism, which is a pity because I would have had an excuse for including some more interesting pictures 🙂

Naked Vaping

Naked Vaping is one of those terms used to catch one’s eye. I would think that if you are naked, then vaping would be infinitely preferable to smoking cigarettes which have the potential to cause a painful injury should it be dropped on yourself – however Naked Vaping is something entirely different.

In common with most terms that are used in association with vaping, the exact meaning has shifted or been misused. When I first came across the term it referred to vaping an e-liquid that contains no nicotine, now it seems more common to use it in relation to organically flavoured e-liquids.

Chemical free

I’m not a chemist, scientist or physician – so what I’ll be expressing is my general views and not hard fact to be quoted as gospel. What I can do though, is recognise bunkum. An amusing example of this was a site (which will remain nameless) claiming that their ‘Naked E-juice’ was free from chemicals. Should I really trust somebody to supply e-liquid who appears not to understand what a chemical is?

An e-liquid can never be free from chemicals – in common with every other thing in life, e-liquid is made of chemicals – if e-liquid had no chemicals it would not exist.

Chemicals are not necessarily bad things, water is made of chemicals, the air that you breathe is made of chemicals, and you are made of chemicals. It is an oxymoron to describe an e-liquid as free from chemicals.

Only Natural

It is equally ridiculous to think that if something is natural then it is naturally good. Cyanide is natural, yet we know that at fairly low doses it can be dangerous. It is also present in very low concentrations in some natural products that can be purchased at the supermarket and in some herbal preparations in the health food shop.

Chemicals can be either good or bad. Natural substances can be either good or bad. My Mother always said to me ‘Everything in moderation’, which is broadly good advice – it is however my own opinion that something’s like drinking water, eating fruit and vegetables and breathing fresh air should be less moderated than say drinking alcohol, eating fast food and smoking.

E-liquid

I’m fond of repeating that we know what is in e-liquid and that it is only Nicotine, Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerine and flavourings. It is an important message to emphasise, especially when vaping is under attack from regulators who often insist that ‘we don’t know what is in it’. We know exactly what is in it! Don’t we?

I’m personally uneasy with a small trend that I have noticed toward ‘organic’ flavours; I’m not convinced that inhaling anything and assuming that because it is natural then it is always safe. I’m not saying that it is necessarily unsafe; I’m just suggesting that we should not assume that if it is natural then it must be safe. An example of something natural you would be well advised never to aspirate is Asbestos – natural & naturally deadly. To be very clear, I’m not suggesting that there is anyone who adds Asbestos to e-liquid; it is just an example of a natural mineral that is harmful if its particles are breathed in.

Regulated

With all of the recent talk about avoiding medical regulation of e-cigarettes we must not think that e-cigarettes and e-liquids are un-regulated. Aside from specific regulations relating to consumer goods there is always a requirement that something is not dangerous when it is used in the manor for which it is sold. Not only can manufacturers and distributors be sued by anybody who has suffered injury or illness caused by a product but they can also face criminal prosecution if they are negligent in their responsibility to supply a safe product. This is true whether the product in question is a medicine, a foodstuff, make-up or e-liquid.

If we vapers do not want our products regulated as medicines then we must ensure that any e-liquid that is offered for sale meets or exceeds every expectation of safety in production and ingredients.

Food Grade Flavourings

The flavouring added to e-liquid is an essential part of the enjoyment of vaping and contributes to its acceptability as a substitute to smoking tobacco. It is reassuring when purchasing e-liquid to read that the producer only uses food grade flavourings however it is important to recognise that not all food flavourings are suitable for vaping – just because it is recognised as safe to ingest does not necessarily mean than it is safe to aspirate. When DIY mixing e-liquid it is wise to use flavours specifically designed for use with e-liquid – they are known to have safe ingredient/carrier liquid contents and are correctly concentrated for their purpose.

Bacteria

Bacteria are too often falsely maligned, without bacteria we would not function as an organism and we would be knee deep (and more) in detritus – most bacteria perform a function that is useful to us. Unfortunately some bacteria can be harmful to our health, especially when it is in the wrong place in our body.

The wet and warm environment provided by an e-cigarette e-liquid tank may be an ideal culture bed for some bacteria which may cause us problems when atomised and aspirated. It is for this reason that ‘clean room’ precaution, akin to that of a food preparation plant, is a necessity for assurance of safe e-liquid.

Labels and Bottles

It may seem of only minor importance to the average vaper that the e-liquid that he/she purchases is correctly labelled and bottled – but it is a vital part of e-liquid production. There are two aspects to consider. Firstly it is important that all e-liquid on sale complies with all of the existing regulations, for it to be otherwise invalidates any argument against stricter regulation. Secondly, it is important for your health and safety and that of others in your household that your e-liquid is safely packaged and labelled with all the relevant information. Additionally ‘batch tracing’ is a further necessary safety precaution.

Kitchen Sink

The growth of ‘Kitchen Sink’ e-liquid production is a potential cause for concern for many reasons. Increasingly individuals mixing-up e-liquids at home are starting to market their product through websites. Inevitably the authorities will take a greater interest in this aspect of vaping safety, as its growth is observed.

Not all Kitchen Sink e-liquid makers have a clear understanding of the potential dangers presented by the use of incorrect flavours or sub-optimal hygiene procedures. I noticed a website the other day advertising that they don’t have fancy labels and suggesting that they offered better value by not bothering with them. Such behaviour will almost guarantee that e-liquid sales are ‘clamped down’ on – all of the e-liquid producers will be equally restricted along with the irresponsible few.

Colour My Sales

All producers of e-liquid will seek to differentiate their product from the rest of the market; ideally this is achieved by supplying a higher quality product than any other supplier. Naturally everybody can not be better than everyone else, so producers look for other identifiers that might attract consumers to their product. Low pricing is an effective marketing tool although this can quickly lead to lower quality product. It is acceptable, although slightly superlative, to make an e-juice noticeable by over-packaging – by adding much more to the packaging and labelling of an e-juice beyond that required to comply with regulation just adds cost to the product without bestowing any real advantage on the consumer.

I personally feel unsure of the wisdom of adding of caffeine to e-liquid, caffeine is a powerful stimulant, the addition of which may cause further regulator attention, especially while e-cigarettes are so much in their sights.

I can appreciate the temptation for a manufacturer to add food colour to e-liquid, it is inexpensive to do and it easily differentiates their product by making it stand-out in a crowded market place. Let us be clear – food colouring adds nothing useful to e-liquid. Adding food colour is nothing but a marketing ploy designed to maximise profits for the producer, with a total disregard to any unknown risk to the user or potential damage to the reputation of e-liquid manufacturers in general – all of whom will be ‘tarred with the same brush’ as those that are seeking short term profit instead of upholding the necessary high standard which guarantee long-term benefit to both themselves and their customers.

Ending

Please, please, help me to keep being able to truthfully state that we know what is e-liquid, without having to add a string of caveats and warnings, to that assertion. Let’s keep e-liquid pure and safe – Nudity is optional.  The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those held by ECigWizard.

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