Recent laws and regulations banning the sale of vaping devices and flavored e-juices has resulted in store shelves going bare. While it’s a good thing that the authorities are taking steps to prevent teenage vaping, ironically, the problem seems to be getting bigger. To begin with, nicotine addicts are now turning to the black market to find unregulated supplies typically made with sub-standard materials and ingredients. And, when the supplies are not available, users are making e-liquids at home.
The Internet is Teeming with Videos Providing Directions
Should you check the internet, you’ll come across a slew of YouTube and social media sites that provide videos. Anyone wishing to try their hand at mixing e-liquids and e-juices at home can give it a shot. Although die-hard vaping enthusiasts have been playing around with ideas for a while, the recent ban (and, non-availability) has made the fun activity a necessity. A Reddit forum with DIY e-juice making techniques suddenly saw a spike from a total of 30 subscribers to a mind-boggling 336 members in a single day.
Amateurs Working with Toxic Chemicals is Extremely Risky
Experts are raising concerns about the dangers of amateurs attempting to recreate their favorite flavors at home. Commercial e-juice manufacturers have specialized labs where trained chemists use all the necessary safety precautions when mixing e-liquids. These technicians have in-depth training and knowledge about how the compounds should be combined and their possible reactions. DIY vapers trying to pick up the skills at home risk serious injuries and poisoning. Here are some of the reasons why you would absolutely not want to try making e-liquids at home.
Making E-Liquids Involves Handling Toxic Chemicals
The folks at Blackout Vapors warn that e-liquids are made with a selection of different ingredients, including concentrated pure nicotine, oil-based artificial flavors, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, benzoic acid, and various others. Together these compounds give you those rich clouds of vapor.
Pure, liquid nicotine is so toxic that even a few drops coming into contact with your skin can result in poisoning. Nicotine rapidly enters the bloodstream resulting in respiratory failure because of paralysis of the muscles in the respiratory system. Additional risks include vomiting, diarrhea, hypertension, and irregular heartbeats. Just 40mg to 60mg of nicotine is enough to cause a fatal reaction in humans. Death can occur within a few short minutes.
Safety Protocols Must Be Followed
Manufacturers making e-liquids have controlled lab environments that follow all the safety protocols laid down by the government. You should also know that each flavor is researched and developed after extensive trial and error, which sometimes takes years to perfect and get approved. The products make it to the market only after careful testing. Small errors with measuring ingredients can cause dangerous accidents that could be hard to manage at home.
People thinking of experimenting with vaping products should also know that making e-liquids at home isn’t like mixing cocktails or cooking meals. You just can’t play around with alternatives and go with whatever tastes good. You’re dealing with toxic chemicals and getting the measurements just right is critical.
Working on E-Liquids Needs Training and Experience
Lack of experience is one of the biggest risk factors when developing e-juices. You would need to learn under a trained chemist for at least six months before attempting to do this on your own. Several factors go into getting the balance of ingredients just right. Like, for example, the level of nicotine and vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol ratios. All of these compounds influence the nicotine hit and volumes of vapors.
You would also have to add the right flavoring agents in appropriate quantities to get the specific tastes you like best. Chances are that you won’t get the exact tastes as store-bought e-juices even after attempting to replicate them the first, second, or fiftieth time. Unlike food recipes, you can’t tweak the final product if you don’t really like it.
Purchasing and Experimenting Leads to Wastage
The costs of ingredients are quickly going to spiral when you’re experimenting. Even if you make just one bottle at a time, you’ll probably come up with a bunch of duds that are unusable. Or, you might absolutely hate the finished e-juice that no one will take off your hands. You would also want to be prepared for wastage from spills and mistakes when you’re trying to learn the process. Most novices agree that the end hole in their pockets and wasted time and effort is just not worth it.
You’ll Invest in Protective Equipment
While on the subject of costs, lets also talk about the protective equipment you’ll purchase. And that includes a mask with eye gear to prevent the toxic chemicals from entering your eyes and gloves so liquid nicotine does not come into direct contact with your skin. Keeping the supplies out of reach from children and pets is also critical.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that around 3,583 cases of liquid nicotine and vaping devices poisoning cases emerged in the nine months leading up to September 30th, 2019. The most worrisome figure is that 50% of the emergency calls were for children aged 5 years and below. So, if you have kids and pets, making e-liquids at home is a totally bad idea.
E-Liquids Need Ingredients Intended for Vaping Devices
Many users experimenting with e-juices make the critical mistake of ordering ingredients online or purchasing flavoring agents from grocery store aisles like, for instance, lemon essences and extracts and peppermint oil. However, heating and inhaling these products can lead to lipoid pneumonia, a condition that can be fatal. The components that go into manufactured e-liquids are specially designed for using with e-cigs and may not be readily available.
Attempting to create your preferred e-juice flavors at home carries a high risk of accidental poisoning. Developing the right balance of components that you can safely vape is also tricky and requires years of practice before you get it right. It is preferable to get the supplies you need from certified stores that will sell you only government-regulated safe e-liquids.