The following is a guest post by Daniel. As usual, these opinions are solely those of the author.
Why do people use nicotine free e-liquids?
Electronic cigarettes are battery powered devices that vaporize a water based liquid, which the user can inhale, creating a similar sensation to smoking. The liquids usually come in cartridges, but when you own a device that uses refillable ones, you can buy the e-liquids in bottles, and refill the cartridges yourself. The liquid itself can come in thousands of flavors, and it can contain anything from 4 mg’s of nicotine, up to 48, but if you want a liquid that contains no nicotine at all, you also have many available choices.
What happens to your liquid with time
Containing your e-liquid can pose a tricky challenge, the liquids can react to the environment, especially to heat and humidity, but they can also change when exposed to various lights and different air conditions. Their color can change because of the oxidation process, or due to the nicotine that the liquid contains. This doesn’t necessarily means it will go bad, but its structure and minor qualities can change, especially if we leave them in the open for a long time.
Not only the liquid’s color and structure can change, but it will also lose some of its strength, and will get weaker as the time goes by. This process would happen anyway regardless of someone’s storing habits, but if the liquid is directly exposed to various environmental effects, this otherwise natural aging process will happen much faster.
General storing guidelines
If you want to prolong your liquid’s shelf life, there are some ground rules you should definitely keep. Let’s take a more detailed look at those rules, and why are they so important.
Always seal the e-liquid after use: If you use refillable cartridges, sealing the bottle of your e-liquid is one of the, if not the most important criteria you should always keep in mind. Remember, those liquids are water based, and if the container is not fully sealed, the liquid will slowly evaporate.
Finding a dark, arid place: The next important principle of storing has a lot to do with the combination of lighting and humidity levels. If you can find a place that is arid, and also out of reach for any light sources, you are good to go. A cabinet in your basement should be a perfect place, not only because of the listed reasons, but because it will also keep the stuff out of children’s way.
You can’t outrun father time: No matter what you do, your e-liquid will slowly deteriorate; starting from the moment you buy it, or even before. However, if you stay within those guidelines, your e-liquid will stay fresh much longer, and it will keep not only its flavor, but nicotine contents as well.
Nicotine-free liquid, what are the advantages?
In order to fully understand why nicotine-free liquids can represent a better choice for some, first let’s take a look at the e-liquids general ingredients. You average liquid will contain five basic components. Water, propylene glycol, glycerol, the nicotine, and the flavor.
Propylene glycol: The propylene glycol is an organic compound that comes in a colorless and almost odorless liquid form, with a sweet taste. It is miscible with not only water, but other substances like acetone and or chloroform. It is also used as humectants within the food industry, and it is recognized as a safe additive by the FDA.
Glycerol: Glycerol is a simple sugar alcohol, which comes in a colorless and odorless form, and they usually use it for pharmaceutical formulations. It is another food grade substance, which they use for its sweet flavor, as a sugar substitute. Just like propylene glycol, the glycerol is also approved by the FDA.
Flavoring: For the flavoring, they use “flavor concentrates”, which they usually derive from various plant materials, using a specific gum that can emulsify various flavor oils, which they can extract and combine to creaty any kind of flavor they want to. Most flavor emulsions will use acacia as the emulsifier agent.
The ratio of the ingredients can slightly change depending on the manufacturers, but the ratios are generally similar. The propylene glycol and the glycerol will make up the majority of the liquid, anywhere from 84,6% to as high as 92%. The nicotine can take anything from 0% (with no nicotine liquids) up to 5,4%, while the flavorings will generally account for anything from 8 to 10% of the finished product.
There are three main advantages of totally nicotine free liquids:
You just got rid of a dangerous, addictive habit: If you only vapor nicotine free liquids, it suggests that you managed to get rid of your nicotine addiction completely! Quitting smoking for good isn’t easy, but e-cigarettes can help, and an e-liquid plan that implements gradually decreasing nicotine contents can get the job done. Once you have managed to get to the lowest levels (4-8 mg), cutting down on nicotine for good seems like the last logical step of your journey.
Better flavor: While nicotine doesn’t really have a distinct taste, it does have a “sting”. In nicotine free liquids, not only there is more room for additional flavors, but that sting won’t bother your tasting buds, and you will be able to taste the flavor more.
Longer shelf life: The last and probably most convenient advantage of a nicotine free flavor is the longer shelf life. While a liquid that contains nicotine can change (or even go bad) in a couple of months, a nicotine free e-juice will usually have a shelf life that will range from 12 to 18 months, if it’s kept in ideal conditions.
If you switched to e-cigarettes because you want to quit smoking, using only nicotine free liquid should be a main priority in the long run. Although nicotine is only part of the equation why regular tobacco products are so damaging, they are still a big part of it, and getting rid of this addiction completely, don’t have to signal the end of your vaping journey.
Daniel is a writer who has published articles both in the e-cigarette industry and in other industries. He is also the owner of Slims eJuice, so I’m sure he’d really like it if you go there and buy ejuice.