When electronic cigarettes first emerged on the scene in 2003, they were unequivocally advertised as devices intended to assist smokers with their efforts to quit. In that respect, the evidence appears to indicate that smokers who attempt to kick the habit are just as likely to be successful without resorting to vaping as an intermediary step; to say nothing of how those who transition to vaping are more likely to retain their nicotine addictions. Still, there’s something to be said for transitioning to a product that effectively eliminates secondhand smoke, and involves substantially fewer toxins compared to traditional tobacco products.
As vaping has evolved, of course, it’s moved far beyond tobacco — most prominently, into cannabis. (Big Vape has also gotten into a lot of trouble for marketing its products to young adults in their late teens and early 20s, which inarguably contributed to the 2018 finding that teenagers between the ages of 15 and 16 were 16 times more likely to vape than people between the ages of 25 and 34.) Never one to let a trend go unnoticed, the wellness industry has also hopped onto the bandwagon with vapable vitamins.
Should I be vaping vitamins?
That’s a loaded question that needs to be simplified. We should probably start with whether or not you even need to be taking vitamins.
Fine. Should I be taking vitamins?
As long as you’re not reckless about it, I honestly don’t see how supplementing with vitamins can seriously harm you. If you look at all of the vitamins and minerals that are considered essential, along with the relative difficulty in accounting for many of those micronutrients in your daily food intake, having a tool that can assist you with supplementing some of those nutrient shortfalls, if not all of them, is a worthwhile investment.
Detractors and naysayers will produce data indicating that vitamin consumption hasn’t been proven to prevent cancer, heart disease or several other major illnesses, as if those are the only conditions worth protecting yourself against. That’s like someone telling you that smoke detectors are completely useless because they don’t protect you from arson. If certain vitamins have been deemed to be essential, and if some form of daily supplementation can help make up any kind of difference within your diet, it’s probably worth your while to at least investigate it.
That settles that. So should I be vaping vitamins?
We’re not there yet. First, we should get a handle on whether or not you should be vaping, period.
If you ask me, the answer is an unequivocal “no.” If you told me you needed to utilize vaping to scrap your two-pack-a-day smoking habit, that’s a different discussion (even if the evidence indicates that you’re probably just going to end up addicted to vaping). However, if you’re asking me if someone who’s neither an active smoker nor a current vaper should begin the process of vaping under any circumstances, I’d suggest that it’s highly inadvisable. Regular vaping of nicotine will expose you to even higher concentrations of it than smoking will, and simply separating the nicotine from the smoke doesn’t make the nicotine itself beneficial, nor does it make the actual chemical dependency less detrimental.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s evaluate the key loophole that allows vitamin vapes to exist. Because vitamins fall outside of the realm of the drug category, and instead land in the food and dietary supplements category, they have a far looser set of standards to abide by. In essence, food and supplements are given the benefit of the doubt until they’re proven to be somehow pernicious, as opposed to drugs, which are customarily required to jump through hoops in order to be brought to the market.
In other words, the advertising for a vape containing vitamins in its cartridge isn’t required to be accompanied by modern studies showing that inhaling vitamins is actually an efficient way to absorb them. Nor is it obligated to disclose any information suggesting that inhaling vitamins might be injurious. Frankly, for the sake of plausible deniability, companies selling vitamin vapes are probably better off not knowing one way or the other.
Sounds kind of shady.
I know, right? But there’s another thing you should consider from a practical standpoint if the alleged point of your vaping is to provide your body with essential vitamin content.
Once price is introduced as a factor, the arguments in favor of vitamin vapes begin to crack. For less than the price of one vitamin B vape that’s advertised to contain 30 servings of 133 mcg — or one month’s worth of vitamin B doses — you can purchase nearly half a year’s supply of vitamin B complex in capsule form. These individual capsules also contain more than 1,600 mcg of vitamin B, which is more than 10 times the quantity dispensed through a single vapable serving.
I’m not necessarily making the argument that more is better, but I’d love to hear the convincing rationale as to why someone should have to pay 50 percent more for at least 90 percent less per serving, and for 80 percent fewer servings.
Oh, indeed. It’s unlikely that the vaping revolution is going to lose steam any time soon; if anything, we’re probably only just getting started with respect to vaping’s proliferation. But if you want vitamins, there are better, tastier and less costly ways to acquire them. In fact, as opposed to the future, I suggest looking to the past — going prehistoric even — for your vitamin consumption and buying a bottle of Flintstones Vitamins instead.