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Nicotine gets a lot of bad press because it’s a chemical compound from tobacco plants used in cigarettes. On its own, the highly addictive substance is not what makes cigarettes harmful, contrary to popular belief. Instead the eight million deaths a year stem from the mixture of chemicals in tobacco. For instance, when tobacco burns, it's then inhaled causing a sticky tar substance to build up in the lungs, leading to a variety of smoking illnesses. Together with thousands of other toxic chemicals, up to 70 can cause cancer. Despite multiple respected sources claiming vaping is a wiser alternative, many believe vaping e-liquids which contain nicotine is harmful. In fact, some think vaping without nicotine can be just as dangerous. What happens if you decide to vape without nicotine, would that be safe?
Each individual has to weigh up why they want to vape without nicotine and whether it’s a worthwhile option. For instance, if you are a smoker, your reason for wanting to cut down your nicotine levels could be because of feeling too addicted to inhaling substances. If you are a dual vaper or ex-smoker, the levels of addiction will differ. Removing nicotine completely from vaping leaves you with mainly natural ingredients in e-liquids, but more on that later. Nevertheless, it’s important to approach every health decision you make in life with caution, starting with the impact nicotine has on the body.
For cigarette users, whether casual or chain smokers, there is nothing better you can do for your short-term and long-term health than to stop. Within 30 days, the results are clear, making you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. The heart is just one organ that improves very quickly. Studies from the British Heart Foundation suggest ‘vaping may be less harmful to your blood vessels than smoking cigarettes’. Another potential benefit to the body - vaping might help you lose weight. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. If you stop using it suddenly, this can lead to withdrawal symptoms and even increased food cravings. Because a cigarette has roughly one spoonful of sugar per stick, it’s going to be difficult replacing them instantly. As vaping contains substances used for food production like vegetable glycerine, which is naturally sweet, you can satisfy cravings while not feeling as addicted by gradually removing nicotine.
What we are not aware of yet is the long-term effects of vaping over a sustained period of time. That will take another 20 to 40 years before we have more concrete evidence with or without nicotine. Partial studies indicate vaping without nicotine could cause minor inflammation to your immune system. Plus, would anxiety levels increase if there is no nicotine present whatsoever? Other potential side effects for nicotine free vaping include:
Toxic damage to cells
Meanwhile, studies highlight vaping with nicotine potentially creates reproduction issues or respiratory issues with the lungs. Factor in psychologically how nicotine affects the brain and vaping could become a concern. However, with limited research on the subject, the question remains how valid these claims are currently. Bear in mind most clinical research relates to nicotine consumption alongside tobacco, which is only in cigarettes.
Therefore, it’s best to always go with certified vaping products, checking the ingredients carefully. In particular, avoid any e-liquids containing diacetyl, which ended up being the cause of the ‘popcorn lung’ myth related to deaths in the US. If this thick chemical combines with other properties in e-liquids, it can cause inflammation, thickening the air sacs in the process, leading to disease in the lungs.
Now you know what happens when you combine nicotine with tobacco or use it in your vape, let’s look at the reasons for vaping without nicotine.
You instantly remove the only mildly addictive substance in a vape. Without it, you’re just vaping certified ingredients. Also bear in mind that nicotine, especially at the typical 3mg concentrate, contains a very mild amount which you hardly notice.
Remember that if you need the familiar habit of inhaling something, it’s better to vape nic free substances. Chemical ingredients like VG and PG, often used in food and pharmaceutical production, offer a much safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Without nicotine, you get a much smoother experience that reduces the chances of a sore throat.
If you would like to increase cloud production on your vaping journey, you’ll need to drop the nicotine levels, with the eventual aim of zero. Otherwise, when vapour production increases, you will be inhaling too much nicotine each time you vape. More experienced vapers often turn to Sub-Ohm devices, so it’s important to reduce nicotine to under 6mg at least for improved flavour, to ease the intensity on your throat and a smoother vape when switching to direct to lung.
Even if you vape nicotine from time to time, you can keep the habit of vaping going by alternating. Simply switching between vaping nicotine free and adding a nic shot to a shortfill later can spice things up, plus reduce the chances of headaches!
Just think of all the places you’re able to vape where you can’t smoke. This means you’ll feel less like you need to go outside and vape in the cold weather during working hours. Without nicotine, the addiction is less, saving you money to enjoy more activities, while improving your health for cleaner lungs to embrace some additional exercise!
It's a great move to become nicotine free when the time is right. However, the first thing to check is what strength of nicotine you are using at the moment. The best e-cigarette websites have a range of e-liquids with bold flavours and different levels of nicotine. How many cigarettes you consumed daily will be an indicator of the nicotine level you require.
If the desired end goal is to cut the nicotine out of your life completely, whether with vaping, cigarettes or a combination of both, you must do so gradually, because:
Quitting smoking by going cold turkey is a bad choice. With such a desire for cigarettes, mainly due to the addiction from inhaling nicotine regularly, it’s advised not to give it up without a plan in place.
Nicotine free vaping is a great idea and causes less harm to the body and mind, but only once the nicotine addiction is under control. Chances are if it’s not, you’ll be tempted to switch back to smoking.
If the temptation of smoking is too much and you think you’ll never quit, vaping is considered a better alternative for multiple reasons. If you manage to curb your nicotine addiction and wean off the process, you have more control regarding how much you vape and when.
For a more detailed explanation and advice on how to successfully reduce your nicotine levels to become nicotine free, read our helpful guide.
With nicotine free e-liquids in the platinum range and shortfills (bottles of juice and you simply add a nic shot if you wish), the choices are endless. But what’s actually in a vape juice? The typical key ingredients are:
Vegetable glycerine (VG)
Propylene glycol (PG)
Leading organisations such as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, the NHS and Public Health England recommend vaping as a suitable replacement for smoking. With or without nicotine, vaping contains far less damaging ingredients than smoking. As research into the subject increases and misinformation decreases, this will only improve the image of vaping long-term.
There are often three stages to most e-liquid journeys of discovery. First off as a beginner you want a high nicotine strength that resembles familiar smoking habits. One way of doing this without over exceeding the amount you vape is through nic salts. A higher concentration of nicotine through less frequent vaping. Stage two - a 50/50 ratio of VG and PG with roughly 3-6mg of nicotine (which is still considered a mild amount). Finally, with your nicotine comfortably out of sight and mind, you can look for the right vape juice with nicotine removed. But with so much choice, which is the best option?
This all depends on personal preference and how you discovered nicotine free vaping. First of all, we must stress that we believe you shouldn’t be vaping just for the sake of it. Vaping is predominantly for ex-smokers looking to quit. Even without nicotine, a lack of research into the inhalation of the other ingredients used in e-liquids is limited. Therefore, we advise against starting up just for experiment or recreation. The only scenario is if you’re tempted to smoke cigarettes. Vaping is far less damaging and easier to give up.
For any established vapers or regular smokers hoping to cut out nicotine completely, there are many choices available and we applaud you for taking this positive step with a nicotine free vape! Enjoy warmer temperatures when you vape and a smoother experience with lots of different e-liquid flavours, ranging from classic flavours such as arctic menthol to fruity pleasures such as strawberry cream.
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