Answers to some of your Questions

Question: What is an electronic cigarette?

An electronic cigarette is simply a device that vaporises e-liquid (also called e-juice) that the user then inhales. The inhaled vapour mimics the sensation and appearance of smoke but contains none of the deadly chemicals or tar associated with traditional tobacco smoking.

There is no staining, unpleasant smells or passive smoking normally associated with tobacco cigarettes. Your sense of taste in not affected by e-cigarettes, you won’t feel like you’ve swallowed an ashtray after a good night out and you’ll never have to scrounge a lighter again. 

The devices are made up of a couple of components: a rechargeable lithium ion battery, a heating element, clearomiser that holds your e-liquid and a mouthpiece or tip.

E-liquids are available in a vast array of flavours and nicotine strengths to suit your personal preferences, even down to zero percent where your enjoyment is based solely on the flavour of the juice.

Devices vary from the disposable ‘look-a-likey’ cigarette to a more involved vaping experience with models that even include downloadable software to track your vaping history, voltage readings to gauge your vaping ‘sweet spot’ and puff counters (see the Joyetech eVic).

The word ‘vaping’ comes from the conversion of the liquid into a vapour. As opposed to smoking which involves the combustion of tobacco, and all the carcinogenic toxins resulting from that, such as: tar, arsenic, formaldehyde, polonium, hydrogen cyanide and thousands of others.

Will I stop smoking by using electronic cigarettes?

No - we do not advertise our products as quitting aids. However, administering your nicotine hit in this healthier alternative can reduce your craving for traditional tobacco cigarettes. But stopping completely takes will power - the electronic alternative may be able to help you on that journey.

Will I save money using electronic cigarettes?

The answer is most definitely yes. Vaping models will last a long time and replacement parts are not expensive. You only really have to buy your chosen e-liquids. Even disposable ‘look-a-like’ models will last the equivalent time of 15-20 cigarettes, although not as long as some manufacturers promise.

However, don’t be shocked if you begin to acquire a collection of various vaping devices, as the technical side becomes intriguing. Many vapers have different models in different colours for different occasions.

If you join a local vape group or attend a vaping festival you’ll see what we mean.

But if you’re looking for a figure a vaper can save well over €2500 per year compared to their previous smoking habit. So, start dreaming of what you can do with that money! 

Question: Is vaping safe?

That is a good and important question. The honest answer is that in comparison to traditional cigarettes most definitely. Cigarettes contain over 4000 harmful substances aside from nicotine – electronic cigarettes eliminate all of these and the exhaled vapour or mist is of no danger to those in close proximity.

However, nicotine is still a stimulant and as such when inhaled has an effect on the brain and body – releasing stimulant chemicals such as dopamine, various endorphins and glutamate. These are ‘feel good’ chemical reactions and as such create the desire or addiction to repeat the process. A similar affect takes place in vaying degrees with caffeine, chocolate, exercise and even laughter. (See our blog on current research as to the effects of nicotine on the body).

The question of whether inhaling the nicotine within a vapor is safe is yet to be answered definitively, as the studies are on-going and too new to form a conclusive opinion. Whilst the medical jury is still out on whether electronic cigarettes are inherently safe – the viewpoint that vaping as a healthy alternative to getting a nicotine hit is definitely positive.

Clive Bates former head of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) discusses nicotine and offers a well balanced appraisal of electronic alternatives in this interview with Paul L. Bergen of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Project and of ECTA (Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada), conducted for

The worldwide vaping community is growing and many users do simply enjoy inhaling the flavoured e-juice with zero percent nicotine. The question of whether inhaling a flavoured liquid with no stimulant can actually be called smoking is gathering momentum. Let us know your thoughts…

It is worth noting that almost everyone will have traces of nicotine in their body as it occurs naturally in many vegetables. 

Okay I’m interested - so what kind should I go for?

You may well find that a number of devices suit your purposes.

For the evening out with friends in the pub you may prefer the look-a-like models. For your daily vape you may prefer a more sophisticated kit with a self-charging case such as the Joyetech e-Roll and as you progress you may well switch to the Joyetech E-Vic with accompanying software.

Devices come in a variety of colours, sizes, battery capacity (measured in milliamps per hour (mAh)) and some include variable self-controlled voltage options.

A higher mAh battery will last longer between recharges, high voltage combined with the wattage resistance of the clearomiser will determine throat hit of the vapour and its density upon exhaling. Manipulating these two factors will lead to the discovery of your own personal ‘sweet spot’ – pleasant throat hit, optimum flavour and your preferred vapour density.

With so many options available, and at times little to distinguish between models, choosing can be a little overwhelming. So, either call into us in the shop or give us a call and we can help you make an informed choice that suits your lifestyle and vaping needs.

Can I vape anywhere and everywhere? 

That depends. Firstly, there is actually no reason why not – there is no combustion so no smoke is produced from burning tobacco. Secondly, there is no toxic element to the exhaled vapour, it is simply a water-based mist. And thirdly, there is no passive smoking element to vaping. Furthermore there is no smoke smell, staining of paintwork or cigarette stubs on the ground. In fact, the exhaled vapour can retain traces of its original flavour and can give a pleasantly faint aroma as it dissipates.

On a practical front vaping from a distance can seem very similar to smoking so it is always best to politely ask management of any business location whether vaping is permitted.

However, positive attitudes and opinions to vaping are swelling rapidly and as knowledge increases and many bars, cafes and casinos in Dublin permit vaping – so just ask.

 Tell me more about the e-liquid.

This is the fun part! The single most important factor when it comes to vaping is the e-juice. Flavor will determine whether you continue to vape or not.

The good news is there are hundreds of flavours to try and it’s not a costly exercise to find out what are not too keen on. Taste is purely subjective – the flavor debates rage amongst vapers and sharing opinions as well as liquids is very popular in the community.

purplebox vapours principally supply Hangsen e-liquids (see our e-liquids page) – one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world. E-liquids are made up of PG (Propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin), food grade flavourings and a percentage of nicotine.

Will my tobacco flavor taste exactly like smoking a cigarette?

Yes and no – tobacco flavor is just that – a flavouring design to mimic the tobacco taste. The burning of tobacco cannot be copied without burning leaves. However, feedback states that within a very short time you will not notice the difference but will be enjoying trying the subtle tobacco flavours available as e-liquid.

What are PG and VG?

Propylene glycol (or PG) is a clear, slightly syrupy liquid made by the reaction of propylene oxide with water. PG has had an unsurpassed reputation for safe use in a wide range of consumer products and has antibacterial properties. PG is used to keep many foods that we eat moist, and the FDA has deemed it safe for human consumption. It’s used in many drinks, including beers. It’s also present in the manufacturing process of several types of cookies, cakes and sweets. Because of its water-retaining properties, propylene glycol is the compound of choice for delivering atomized medications. It has been used in asthma inhalers and nebulizers since the 1950s. In electronic cigarettes, PG allows atomization to occur at substantially lower temperatures than required for tobacco cigarettes, and also helps to deliver the nicotine when inhaled.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a natural carbohydrate derived from certain types of plants, and is used in every day products worldwide, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods. It is non toxic, and also deemed safe for human consumption by the FDA.

When e-juices are made with a base that combines PG and VG, they generally produce more vapour and give less “throat hit” than e-liquids made solely with propylene glycol. 


If you have any questions that haven't been answered on our site then just contact us or drop in and we can answer your concerns and queries.