Upon entering a vape store, customers usually find vaporizers for every occasion. Looking for something slim that can go in your pocket? A vape pen is likely ideal, with no or very few buttons, and its ease of use. Looking for something to enjoy with a group of friends in your own living room? A volcano style is likely to be the life of the party, as you pass around the hose hookah style, but without the dangers of burning your tobacco or herb.
However, if you aren’t careful, you might find yourself purchasing a vaporizer that isn’t really a vaporizer at all. Sly marketers love to market “vape pens” at affordable prices, only to have their customers find that the vape pen is getting so hot, the product is burned as if it were smoked.
While this may still be a convenient way to consume tobacco and herbs, it’s worth noting that there are significant health risks. Because these “vaporizers” actually get hot enough for combustion, the product is burned, not vaporized. Toxins from the combusted herbs and tobacco can cause cancer, emphysema and other health problems commonly associated with smoking.
In fact, the definition of vaping is when a substance becomes gaseous at a temperature lower than its combustion. When vaporizing, the herb or tobacco does not reach combustion, and therefore, no new compounds are created. Put simply, you’re either vaping, or you’re smoking, and the temperature of your vape makes this important decision for you.
So how can you be sure the salesman behind the counter is selling you an actual vape, and not just another way to end up with a smoker’s cough? The key is to ask questions, or ask to see an owner’s manual. Important questions to ask, or to seek information regarding, are:
- Am I able to adjust the temperature on this device?
- At what temperature does this device operate, if I am not able to adjust it?
- Is this designed as a smoking device, or a true vaporizer? In other words, does it release smoke or vapor?
If the salesman isn’t able to answer these questions, ask to see an owner’s manual from the packaging. If this isn’t available, the salesman should be able to provide a model number, which will help you research the product online. With a little research, you can then find if the product is designed to be healthy, or simply convenient.