THE BLOG
08/31/2015 07:09 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Beware eLiquid Sharks: The Uncertainty of Vaping Is Real

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I want to start by saying that I was guilty of falling into the vaping trap and there is no shame in acknowledging that I caught the vapors. Vaping has become big business, but not all business is good business. While some Vapor dealers are sharks and others are large companies, all have one thing in common -- an addictive ingredient.

As a gadget guy, when I saw these new vaping devices, I had to have one, or two, or three... or a whole collection of them! I also perceived them as a means to smoke without the side effects of conventional smoking. Specifically, I thought that using them was like smoking a cigarette but without any negative impacts to my health. At the time though, I wasn't smoking cigarettes, and just thought that from time to time I could enjoy a nice scotch and a good vape with some flavored e-liquid. I want to make it very clear that I was extremely wrong. What happened was that I quickly became anchored to my vaporizer or e-cig in a sea full of electronic cigarette sharks. What do I mean by anchored? Let me explain...

I can't leave the house without my Sprint iPhone, I need unlimited data in my pocket all the time. I have to be able to check Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and now, Periscope. I couldn't imagine not being able to watch a video or open an email attachment with lightning-fast speed no matter where I am. Like most people reading this, I am tethered to my mobile device. If I leave home without it, I turn around and get it. I have chargers in my office, my car, all over my house. I am sure it's all in my mind but nonetheless, I feel like I need my phone; it's literally my lifeline. Without it, I cannot connect... but there is no chemicals, no physical dependence and no irritability that is commensurate without having it available. Only a temporary case of connectile dysfunction!

The anxiety of somebody who vapes being without their vaporizing device is real. Soon after I started vaping, I realized a strong feeling of anxiety when I didn't have my vaping stuff and my pockets were getting quite full because in addition to needing my iPhone, I needed the e-cig, an extra e-cig battery "just in case" I ran out of power, a bottle of e-liquid "just in case" my tank ran empty, yada yada yada. It got to the point where if I traveled, I had to bring a few vaporizers with me, a couple of bottles of e-liquid and extra tanks "just in case" something broke. I went from not smoking to feeling stress if I thought I couldn't vape! I've since knocked the vape habit and I am really glad that I did, because I am reading a lot of new info on the internet and seeing stories in the news about chemicals found in the e-liquid like glycerine or propylene glycol. I even read that some e-liquid showed signs of formaldehyde, acetone, and other potentially dangerous compounds. Here is the kicker that is most disappointing about vaping; they may actually create something similar to second-hand smoke. It's referred to as "passive vaping" and despite e-cigs being portrayed as not being harmful to those breathing their second-hand vape, some experts say the vape may actually contain tiny particles of heavy metals and substances that can damage the lungs! People are even reportedly being poisoned by e-cigs.

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Why not smoke a nice side of beef with friends at a barbecue instead of smoking a bottle of nicotine?

I recently read that The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule to begin regulating these products and I truly hope they do it fast. There are too many people using them without knowing the possible repercussions of them and those around them who unwittingly have to breathe in the plumes of vapor. I haven't even touched on the recent studies that show how kids are trying to vape and the consequences of that, but I will soon... In the meantime, I want to share that I think vaping, if absolutely necessary, should be done in private and never around children or at the workplace.

Glorifying vaping on social media and places where kids can see it should cease immediately, especially by role models, that is my humble opinion and I only wish I knew all of this sooner.