I'm not content with theory, never have been, never will be. I prefer practice. Theory is suggesting possible answers to questions, practice is testing the theories and either proving or disproving them.
E-liquid, in the traditional sense (if indeed vaping is long-established enough to have "traditions"), is essentially a mixture of propylene glycol and nicotine, with possibly VG and flavoring added.
Whole tobacco alkaloid e-liquid is different. It does not use nicotine purified from tobacco, but rather it uses the entire alkaloid content purified from tobacco. Instead of an e-liquid just containing nicotine as it's active ingredient, a whole tobacco alkaloid e-liquid's active ingredient list is around 90+% nicotine, and around 10% all the other alkaloids present in tobacco.
Having purified the alkaloids from tobacco, and soliciting feedback from a limited number of individuals (4) who find nicotine e-liquid fails to "scratch a certain itch", and thus consume a large amount of e-liquid along with other tobacco products, feedback has been excellent. 3 of 4 testers found the WTA liquid significantly more effective at reducing tobacco cravings than regular nicotine e-liquid, while one tester found it to have limited effectiveness (possibly due to his avowed love of snus and high tolerance for nicotine/alkaloids).
When we smoke an analog, we can consider the coal to be analogous to the atomizer in an e-cigarette. Due to it's high temperature, it produces both vapor and smoke. The smoke is the result of inhaling tobacco being pyrolyzed (burned) in the tobacco coal. The vapor is the result of the action of the coal heating the yet unburned tobacco in close proximity to the coal.
Imagine tobacco in an analog half a millimeter away from the coal, it's about to be burned, but not quite yet. As the coal advances, the tobacco is first heated. This heating vaporizes the volatile and semi-volatile components of the tobacco. These vaporized components are then carried along by the smoke to the smoker.
As far as active components go, these volatilized components include quite a bit of nicotine, but also about a tenth as much as the nicotine of the rest of the alkaloids in tobacco. This "alkaloid spread" provides essentially all the satisfying (and addictive) properties of smoking. Nicotine alone can only do so much for our cravings, these other alkaloids do the rest.
Have you ever considered the throat hit of a good full flavor cigarette? What is it? Is is smoke? no. Is it nicotine? Partially. Vape a good 36 mg e-liquid, and you'll get a good nicotine throat-hit. Is is the same throat hit as you get from an analog? No, it's a pale imitation. Vape a 30 mg whole tobacco alkaloid e-liquid. In the words of one of the testers of the WTA e-liquid, "It's liquid analogs". WTA provides not an imitation of the analog throat hit, it provides the analog throat hit, but without the smoke.
What about safety? Before I'd vape a WTA liquid, I'd want to be damned sure whoever produced it knew exactly what they were doing. The idea is harm reduction, not replacing one harm with another via sloppy isolation of the tobacco alkaloids. What's in WTA liquid? Nothing that isn't in tobacco (assuming a competent extraction and purification), but far less than the totality of what is in tobacco. I posted a picture to one of the threads showing a 2 liter bottle full to the top with 300 grams of tobacco. This 300 grams (10.6 ounces) of tobacco yielded around 2 mL of alkaloids. You would have to smoke a few pounds of tobacco to get those same alkaloids once efficiency of vaping vs smoking is taken into account. These alkaloids represent only a fraction of what is vaporized by the advancing coal of an analog, and none of the smoke produced in the coal itself. So what about safety? All in all, healthwise, I'd rather be breathing pure air. But given a choice, I'd much sooner vape that 2 grams of alkaloids mixed down in an e-liquid than smoke pounds of tobacco.
When we smoke, we inhale a lot of crap to get very few alkaloids (and very strictly speaking, these alkaloids are crap in their own right). It seem wiser, in my view, to simply vape a few alkaloids to get a few alkaloids.
(Edit: January, 2010: Since whole tobacco alkaloid e-liquid isn't really available, the concept, even proven, doesn't help a lot of people. What has helped many folks is adding Swedish Snus. Granted using snus is not as harmless as not using snus, but for many who would otherwise fall back to smoking, snus has proven to be an effective and arguably far less harmful alternative).
You need to be logged in to comment