In a new article published by Kaleigh Rogers, a regular journalist for the Motherboard section at Vice.com, warned that tight regulations of the e-cigarette market is causing an exodus in the vaping community to purchase e-cigarette product off the black market and to make their own (DIY).
Rogers discusses how, on a global level, regulations governing vaping products are too strict, and in a move to bypass these restrictions, vapers are turning to DIY or the black market. The regulations she’s referring to are those released by the European Union and the FDA this year, called the TPD (tobacco products directive). Both governing bodies have attempted to restrict how and what can be sold, to create a controlled market. But this could have an adverse effect where people will simply make their own or buy from the black market to get what they want.
It’s relatively easy to get your hands on all the ingredients required to create your own e-liquid. And a small section of the vaping community has been ‘doing it yourself’, way before the e-cigarette regulations came into force this year.
So it’s nothing new.
But the fear is that many more people will pursue this route and potentially have dangerous chemicals lying around their homes. And you might be thinking; “what dangerous chemical?”. However, 99% pure liquid nicotine is sold online in China, which is a lot more dangerous than the diluted kinds of nicotine you can purchase in authorised e-cigarette shops. Just one teaspoon of 99% nicotine liquid can kill a child. It is also irritable to your skin and eyes, as well as being highly flammable. The only perceived benefit of buying this high concentration nicotine liquid, is that you can make large quantities of e-liquid fairly cheaply. But it’s very difficult for a novice to use this kind of purity, and we don’t advise people buying it. One, because of the risk involved, and two, because Chinese manufacturers are not trustworthy, as evidenced by the cheap e-liquids they’ve distributed in the past.
So the danger is real for vapers looking to go D.I.Y. And of course all the other ingredients needed for creating your own e-liquid are readily available online, as these are common food additives, and are not at all regulated by the FDA or the EU. Ingredients such as vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol and even flavouring can be used safely. The apparent danger is the nicotine in its purest form.
How do you stay safe?
First of all, the flavours and e-liquids you usually purchase are most likely still available in the UK until at least May next year. TPD regulations stipulate that all suppliers can sell old stock until May 2017. Even after that, your favourites may still be available. For example, we still stock 15 of our original Vapourlites E-liquid, and will continue to sell them for the foreseeable future. As well as all our Mixology and Alto e-liquids, not to mention our new range of high VG e-liquids are launching soon. Those aside, if you still wish to go it alone and make your own, then we have some advice for you.
D.I.Y. E-liquid safety tips:
- Do not buy 99% pure nicotine liquid, look for diluted or lower percentage forms available
- Always buy from reputable sources
- Store any nicotine liquid you buy away from children, for example top shelf of cupboards, and clearly labelled, with tamperproof packaging
- Always wear rubber gloves when handling the nicotine liquid
- Consider covering your eyes when handling nicotine liquid
- Pure nicotine liquid at 99% purity is equal to 990mg per millilitre in a 10 ml bottle. When compared to our standard e-liquids, one ml is equal to 20 drops, therefore, there is nearly 50mg in each drop, whereas, our e-liquid has from 0.5 to 1mg of nicotine per drop. Therefore, due to the high concentrations of pure nicotine, you need to use a very small amount. In fact, to make a regular 10mg/ml bottle of your own e-liquid, you’d only need a fifth of a drop or 1 microliter. It’s very hard to measure your nicotine intake when using such high concentrations. So it’s better to actually mix ready-made e-liquids, like ours so you know and can calculate the nicotine content you are using.
To conclude, we advise you shop around and try and find your favourite flavour and strength e-liquids before considering going D.I.Y. And if you can’t, it’s always good to try mixing existing flavours, like with our many flavour e-liquids, there are over 105 flavour combinations. We even have a set of recipe blogs, with readymade concoctions for you to try. And if you must try making your own, stay safe and do your research. You don’t want to give the anti-vaping movement any more fuel to their ridiculous fire, by being another bad e-cigarette news story, do you?