The Truth About What’s Inside Your Vape Pen

Vaping has become an integral part of the modern conversation around personal choice, public health, and lifestyles. For many, the allure of the vape pen is rooted in its convenience, the variety of flavours, and the perception of it being a ‘safer alternative’ to traditional smoking. But what exactly is inside those sleek, compact devices that have permeated pop culture and personal spaces? And more importantly, what do vapers need to know about the ingredients they’re drawing into their lungs? This blog post journeys through the vape pen’s anatomy, scrutinises the contents of the vape juice, and dispels some common myths surrounding vaping.

The Anatomy of a Vape Pen

Understanding a vape pen starts with its building blocks. At its core, a vape pen can be broken down into a heating element, a battery, a mouthpiece, and a tank to hold the e-liquid. The battery provides power to the heating element, atomising the e-liquid, which is then inhaled through the mouthpiece. Here, we’ll explore these components and their role in delivering the vape experience.

The Heating Element

Also known as the atomiser, the heating element is made of a coil that turns the vape juice into vapour. It’s the part of the pen that gets hot when activated and is essential for enjoying the contents of the vape juice.

The Battery

A vape pen’s battery provides the power needed to heat the coil. Modern vape pens offer a range of battery options, from rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to innovative induction-powered solutions. The battery’s capacity and voltage will directly impact the vaping experience, affecting everything from the heat of the vapour to how long you can puff for before recharging.

The Tank

The tank is the housing for the vape juice. It’s typically transparent, allowing users to see the level of e-liquid and ensuring they don’t run out mid-puff. The tank can come with replaceable or refillable cartridges, depending on the design of the vape pen.

The Mouthpiece

This is the end of the vape pen where the vaper inhales the vapour. Mouthpiece design varies, from traditional straight tips to more ergonomic, rounded shapes.

The Truth About Vape Juice

What is inside a vape? Most commonly, you’ll find a mixture often referred to as vape juice, e-liquid, or e-juice. This liquid is composed of several key ingredients:

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

These are the base ingredients in most vape juices. They create the vaporisation effect and contribute to the sensation of ‘throat hit’ for vapers, replicating the feeling of smoking. Both PG and VG are considered safe by the FDA for human consumption and have uses in products ranging from inhalers to baked goods.


Flavourings are added to the PG/VG base to create the many different options of vape juice on the market. They range from natural extracts to synthesized chemicals made specifically for vaping. Consumer awareness about the origins and safety profiles of these flavourings varies greatly, impacting the choices and trust vapers put in their vape juice brands.

Nicotine (Optional)

While not all vape juices contain nicotine, many do. Nicotine is highly addictive and has health consequences, including impacts on the cardiovascular system. Its presence in vape juice can be a significant factor in public health debates surrounding vaping and its use as a smoking cessation tool.

Other Additives

Some vape juices may contain water, alcohol, and a wide range of sweeteners. The presence of these additives can have implications for health, taste, and the consistency of the vapor produced.

Debunking Myths and Clarifying Facts

With so much misinformation around vaping, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction. Here are a few myths that deserve scrutiny:

“Vaping is Totally Safe.”

While vaping is generally considered to be a less harmful alternative to smoking, it’s not without risks. Long-term effects are still being researched, and concerns over lung health, especially for young or inexperienced vapers, persist.

“Vaping Doesn’t Smell or Leave Residue.”

Vaping can produce a noticeable scent, dependent on the flavour in the e-liquid, and can leave a residue or ‘film’ in your personal space or car, especially with frequent use.

“Second-Hand Vapor is Harmless.”

Exhaled vapor can contain some of the same toxins as inhaled smoke, though typically at much lower levels. Public health officials still advise caution, particularly around vulnerable populations.

Health and Safety Considerations

When it comes to vaping, health and safety should always be a priority. Here are some key considerations:

Potential Health Risks

Heightened risks of cardiovascular and respiratory complications have been linked to vaping, especially with the use of certain types of vape juice. Certain studies have raised concerns about the effects of the aerosol on lung cells.

Tips for Safe Vaping

To minimise risks, vapers can employ certain practices such as choosing reputable vape juice brands, maintaining and cleaning their vape pens regularly, and using their devices responsibly.

The Future of Vaping

Vaping has undergone significant shifts in perception, technology, and culture. Looking ahead, trends suggest a continued focus on product safety, more stringent regulation, and an emphasis on the quality and traceability of e-liquid ingredients. The role of vaping in public health is also likely to evolve, with further studies needed to clarify its impact.

How to clean a vape device?

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your vape pen can ensure longevity and a better vaping experience. Here’s a quick guide to cleaning your vape device:

  • Disassemble the pen and remove the tank
  • Rinse the tank under warm water and dry thoroughly
  • Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the inside of the mouthpiece and the outside of the tank
  • Wipe the battery end of the pen with a dry cloth
  • Reassemble the pen and prepare for your next vaping session

Remember, always consult the manual for specific cleaning instructions for your vape pen model.