It’s important to understand from the outset that vaping isn’t risk free.
But what if you are an adult consumer who is already vaping? It is important to always purchase products from reputable shops and manufacturers, and never tamper with the products.
What is vape tampering?
Vape tampering can take a number of forms. For some, it means dismantling and customising their own e-cigarettes, tweaking components to provide more vapour or a stronger hit of nicotine. They are sometimes referred to as “e-cigarette hackers” – and it’s not uncommon for them to also mix and develop their own flavours or add illicit substances such as THC which is derived from cannabis.
This form of “hacking” is extremely dangerous and is not advisable. Creating do-it-yourself homebrews may result in the consumption of dangerous contaminants or chemicals which could lead to serious health issues.
There is also another serious form of tampering to be aware of. The US public health body, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is increasingly concerned about the rise of counterfeit or black-market products, including potentially mislabelled solvents that consumers buy, believing them to be tested and safe to use.
It points to ‘pop-up shops’ – unlicensed retailers that move frequently, advertise by word of mouth and often fail to follow safety regulations. They sell cheap products that look authentic but, in reality, are easy to tamper with and can be filled with counterfeit, untested substances.
How to avoid risks associated with tampering
1. Always purchase products from reputable shops and manufacturers
There are many e-cigarettes and e-liquids sold by responsible retailers that have been manufactured to high standards and that are backed by science, research and testing.
Many vapers choose to buy vaping products made by brands they know and recognise, purchased from a reputable retailer and/or manufacturer.
Never buy vaping products off the street or from friends as you do not know what the e-liquid may contain or to what standard a device has been made or modified.
2. Research pricing
If the price of a vaping device looks too good to be true, it probably is. Before you purchase a vape or e-liquid, do your research to understand how much you should be paying – counterfeit devices and e-liquids tend to retail for significantly less than their legitimate counterparts, making them easier to identify.
3. Never personally tamper with the products in any way
If you want customisation, consider a ‘mod’ device, which often come with digital displays allowing you to manually adjust settings. Do not break open devices to adjust or replace components.
Find out more about the components of a vaping device and how they work, here.