What exactly is a vape device?

What exactly is a vape device?

There’s a lot of information out there about nicotine vaping products (NVPs). Not all of it accurate. 

myduke® is authorised to prescribe and deliver nicotine vapes in Australia. We also want to make vaping as safe and transparent as possible. As part of that mission, we’re going to break down some of the common questions surrounding vaping: what it is, whether it works, and what are some of the common risks.

What is vaping?

Vapes are quite simple. They’re battery-powered devices that turn e-liquid into an aerosol, which is then inhaled by the user. 

Unlike cigarettes, nicotine vapes don’t produce smoke, and they don’t rely on tobacco. E-liquid is usually made from three things: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and food-grade flavouring. It can also contain nicotine.

What are the types of vapes?

Vapes come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few common models. It’s generally best to break down the categories into pod systems, vape mods and disposables.

Pod systems, also known as ‘pod mods’, are smaller and consist of a cartridge pre-filled with e-liquid that inserts into a device which contains a rechargeable battery.

Mods, or ‘box mods’, are larger and more boxy in shape. They are also rechargeable, and usually consist of a refillable tank and adjustable power levels.

Disposable vapes are single-use products that consist of a battery and a pre-filled tank. The whole device is closed and disposed of once the tank is empty.

How is vaping different to smoking?

Vaping and smoking are not the same thing. Cigarettes burn tobacco leaf, creating smoke, which is then inhaled. And it’s that burning process that produces many harmful chemicals. Vaping turns e-liquid into vapour, so there’s no smoke and no tobacco. 

It’s important to remember that vaping, particularly nicotine vaping, is not harmless, and the long-term effects of vaping are not yet fully understood. 

Can vaping help me quit?

Nicotine vaping products are not classified as medication in Australia, although they are approved for consumption by the TGA. Also, NVPs are just one of many cessation tools on the market. Check out our article on nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) for other useful quitting tools. 

So what about efficacy? Well, according to recent research, vaping is potentially a more effective quitting method than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Other studies have backed this up. 

While these results are certainly promising, they’re not definitive, and more research needs to be done on vaping’s utility as a quitting aid. 

What are the risks?

Although nicotine vapes have been shown to be “substantially” less harmful than smoking, they’re not harmless. No-one can officially call vaping ‘safe’ because we simply don’t know enough about the long-term effects of vapes.

The most common side effects of vaping are mouth irritation, coughs, headache and nausea. These reactions are usually mild, and tend to settle down over time. Some non-smokers who vape can also become addicted to nicotine. 

We cover vaping risks in more detail over here.

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