While the vitamin vaping trend is generating some buzz, experts say it does way more harm than good.
For a quick explainer on vaping; they are e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine in flavors like crème brûlée and cucumber. An atomizer (heating coil) heats the liquid nicotine (e-juice) to a boiling point that turns it into a vapor. That’s then inhaled through the tip of the device.
Leading companies setting this trend
Meet vitamin vapes, real e-cigs that mist B12 or other vitamin concoctions instead of nicotine. VitaminVape, which delivers B12, and VitaStick, which contains vitamin A, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, and CoQ10, were the first two “healthy vapes” on the growing market that popped up a few years ago.
These companies suggest that by puffing on nicotine-free, tobacco-free vitamin cocktails, consumers can supposedly ensure they are receiving all their basic nutritional needs.
This emerging trend in the world of over-the-counter health products is vitamins that you don’t swallow or chew, but that you inhale, a distinction that creates a gray area in how they are used and regulated.
But is Vaping really good for you?
Vaping liquids that claim to include vitamins fall between two regulatory worlds. The supplement world and the world of tobacco products. It’s possible that e-liquids containing vitamins. But no tobacco could be treated as dietary supplements, which the FDA does not regulate before they go to market. But the vaporizers themselves might also fit the definition of tobacco products and must undergo public health and safety evaluations before marketing.
But some companies claim the benefits are scientifically proven. Some experts have pointed out that actual studies are meager and extremely outdated.
“To me, [using vitamins and nutrients] is a marketing ploy to sell this product and make it look healthier. Consumers associate vitamins with health,” Regan Bailey, a nutritional epidemiologist at Purdue University, told Scientific American.
Given the extraordinary lack of modern research, experts are warning that vitamin vaping may not work and may not even be safe.
Vaping Vitamins: Caught Between Two Worlds
Despite the skepticism of vitamin vaping from the scientific community. It remains unclear how the FDA will regulate these products that look a lot like vitamin supplements. But are inhaled through vaporizers — which are technically tobacco products.
Companies like VitaminVape and Breathe, both market e-liquids that contain no nicotine at all. The FDA’s policy on regulating tobacco products stipulates that the definition of a “tobacco product” includes components, parts or accessories which include vape pens, and e-cigarettes. From that standpoint, vitamin vape companies may be subjected to regulation of the devices. The status of the liquids isn’t set in stone.
FDA will likely make these determinations on a case-by-case basis. It seems like the regulation of these vitamin vape companies will vary greatly by company.
As this regulatory landscape develops in the meantime, there’s still plenty of work out there suggesting that it’s not a great idea to vape vitamins anyway.
Would you Vape your Vitamins?
I think that unless you’re vaping as a means of quitting cigarette smoking, it’s a bad idea. The best advice for vaping vitamins is to look at new wellness tools with a critical eye. Do your research and speak with your doctor to figure out the best option for you. Lastly, consider if you really want to be the sort of person who vapes.