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DNA testing on vaping

E-cigs and DNA – Bad Science Strikes Again

It probably won’t surprise anyone to hear that another study on the dangers of vapor products is starting to make waves on the wild seas of the internet. It’s already been picked up by some science-themed websites and online news sources like the Huffington Post, and most likely it’s only a matter of time before the mainstream media glom onto it too. This is unfortunate because, as usual, it’s based on some very dubious science.

The latest attack on vaping comes from the University of Connecticut, where a team of researchers has used a new technique to analyze how much damage e-cig vapor does to the DNA in human cells. This isn’t exactly a new angle; there have been at least two previous studies into the effect of vapor in DNA before, and they gave contradictory results.

First came a study from the University of California, San Diego. This was published in January 2016 and, considering it came from the relentlessly negative UC system, its results were about what you’d expect. So was its methodology. After an initial surge of attention caused by lead researcher Jessica Wang-Rodruiguez’s wild claims – she told the media the experiment had shown vaping was no safer than smoking – the paper was systematically taken to pieces by more objective scientists.

It turned out that Wang-Rodriguez and her colleagues had exposed cultures of human cells to e-cig vapor extract for eight weeks; at the end of the period around 5% of them had died. What wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the publicity was that the control sample of cells, which had been exposed to cigarette smoke, all died in one day. The media, cued by Wang-Rodriguez, had been making claims that the research simply didn’t support. This was, at best, incompetent media management; at worst it was blatant dishonesty.

Spot The Difference

Then, last December, another study appeared. This one used a highly realistic 3D model of a human airway to compare the effects of both vapor and tobacco smoke on cells. The researchers found that after 48 hours exposure to cigarette smoke a total of 1,078 genes showed changes. With e-cig vapor the number was just four – and none of them showed double-strand DNA breaks of the type which can lead to cancer. This experiment showed that using an e-cigarette instead of combustible tobacco eliminated almost all the excess risk. Mysteriously, it didn’t get very much publicity.

Actually the reason for the media’s relative silence isn’t really all that mysterious. The research was funded by British American Tobacco, so in the eyes of health journalists it’s fatally tainted. This is convenient because it meant they could simply ignore it, and didn’t have to look for weaknesses in the research itself.

In fact the research strictly followed accepted methods of testing for damage caused by cigarette smoke, and six months after it was published nobody has found any criticism of the science. That’s more than can be said for Wang-Rodriguez’s “science”, which had no resemblance to real-life use and, despite the negative spin she put on it, found little or no harmful effect on DNA.

Making A Mess Of It

So, finally, that brings us to the latest study. Like the Wang-Rodriguez one, it claims to show that vaping is “at least” as bad for DNA as smoking unfiltered cigarettes. The first interesting thing about this study is that lead researcher Karteek Kadimisetty isn’t a scientist; he’s just a Research Assistant. RAs are people who have a science degree but haven’t gone on to do a PhD. They don’t do independent research; they help actual scientists by growing cell cultures, taking notes and running the lab equipment.

So either Kadimisetty was allowed to run his little experiment because he was at a loose end and his research leader thought he looked bored, or he’s a front for someone else. I wouldn’t like to speculate on who he might be a front for, although he does use Stanton Glantz as a source of figures, but it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is that the experimental design was predictably terrible. Like Wang-Rodriguez, they didn’t even try to realistically model the human body; this time they just used a small 3D-printed array of chambers which each contained human enzymes and DNA. If the enzymes could turn the vapor extract into something dangerous to DNA, it lit up and was detected by a camera.

One point that interested me is that the array was spray-painted with Krylon ColorMaster acrylic paint. According to its OSHA safety data sheet this is corrosive to skin and a Category 2 carcinogen. I’m not saying the paint might have caused the DNA damage, of course, but it does make you think…

Anything To Worry About?

Anyway, obviously this test isn’t very relevant to the real world and the test equipment might cause cancer, but it gets even worse. By now all competent researchers know that conventional smoking machines don’t work with e-cigarettes, but Kadimisetty didn’t even do that well; he used a syringe to collect the vapor. When the e-cig stopped producing as much vapor after around 20 puffs they used more vacuum.

It’s pretty obvious what was happening; they were inducing dry puffs. Real-world vapers don’t inhale dry puffs; in fact we try very, very hard to avoid them. Sadly this doesn’t stop over-zealous but under-informed researchers making the same mistake time after time. If you dry-puff an e-cigarette the level of formaldehyde in the vapor spikes dramatically – and formaldehyde kills cells.

Summing up, this was a study carried out by someone with pretty minimal scientific qualifications who used a collection method with known problems and painted their experimental equipment with toxic paint. Is it worth looking at this issue again just in case the BAT study missed something? Of course. Is this particular study worth worrying about? Absolutely not.

Right now the best evidence available says e-cig vapor doesn’t cause DNA damage. This paper changes nothing. Do not worry about its alarmist claims, because they almost certainly aren’t true.




A former soldier in the British Army, Fergus Mason is now a freelance writer with a special interest in e-cigarettes and travel. When he’s not writing Fergus enjoys sailing, archery and fishing. He’s been vaping since early 2013 and doesn’t ever plan to stop.

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What is Naturally Extracted Tobacco E-Liquid?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.