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Dry hit coil ecigarette

Is it Dangerous to Dry Burn Your Coils?

Finding out about the potential risks associated with specific aspects of vaping is a bit of a minefield. Choose any topic at random and you’ll end up with two types of articles: ones written by anti-vaping people and groups, declaring a state of national emergency about everything from dripping to cinnamon flavorings, and ones written by pro-vaping people and groups that tell you everything is fine. This makes it a challenge to find out what specific things to avoid and which you shouldn’t worry about, but sometimes a scientist steps in to put the uninformed speculation to bed and give us a realistic take on an issue.


The potential issues with dry-burning your coils are one example of where this happened, thanks to Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, Pedro Carvalho and Dr. Miroslaw Dworniczak, offering a deep dive into the chemistry of coils and answering the question: is it dangerous to dry burn your coils?


What is Dry-Burning and Why Do Vapers Do It?


Dry burning in the context of coils means firing the coil without a wick or e-liquid so the metal glows hot. There are many reasons to do this, but the most common ones are to check for an even glow (and no hot-spots) when you build your own coil and as a simple way of cleaning an old coil that’s picked up gunk or other debris after being vaped for a while. When vapers make contact coils (where the neighboring wraps touch one another) they also do this to heat the metal and make it more easily pliable. If you don’t build your own coils, neither of these are something you’re likely to do, because if you do either with the wick inserted, you’ll burn it and need a replacement.


Is Dry-Burning Dangerous?


This is the key question in this discussion, and the short answer is: more dangerous than vaping with a coil that hasn’t been dry-burned, but still much less dangerous than smoking.


But why? The main issue is what the process of dry-burning does to the coil itself. When you vape normally, there is e-liquid present. This takes energy away from the coil and thereby keeps the temperature lower. This is why if you fire your RDA with the cap off you won’t see the coil glow, but if you fire a coil without a wick or e-liquid, it will start to glow almost instantly. The lack of e-liquid means that all of the energy goes into heating the coil and it reaches much higher temperatures, well over 700 °C according to Dr. Farsalinos and Pedro Carvalho. This increased temperature is the key to why dry burning is different from ordinary vaping.


The extreme heat likely leads to changes in the structure of the metal. It affects the bonds between the metal atoms and possibly changes the grain size, in addition to encouraging oxidation of the coil.


Reasons for Concern: Oxidized Material Breaking Off


When you dry burn your coil, a layer of oxidized material forms on the surface of the coil, and the specific composition of this depends on the materials used in the coil. For instance, kanthal (the most common coil material) has 20 to 30% chromium and up to 7% aluminum, nichrome is made from 80% chromium and 20% nickel, Ni200 is pure nickel and stainless steel is an alloy of iron, carbon and chromium, with possible smaller amounts of molybdenum and manganese. This leads to oxides of aluminum on kanthal, chromium (III) on nichrome and stainless steel (although it’s unlikely – but not impossible – that the more dangerous hexavalent chromium (VI) could be formed), and a nickel oxide on nickel coils.


This material coats your coil, but can come off during vaping and lead to you inhaling metal particles. Very small amounts of metals have been detected in e-cigarette vapor so far, but this would likely increase the quantities a little bit. Although most talk of “particulates” in e-cigarette vapor conflates liquid droplets with solid particles, this would actually be the latter.


Reasons for Concern: Risk of Allergies


Inhaling metallic particles isn’t ideal under any circumstances, but the additional risk of allergies with nickel coils in particular is a potential issue. Nickel coils are used for temperature control vaping, so dry burning is much less likely to happen, but there is still the potential for oxides to develop if you do dry burn and your coils reach temperatures above 400°C (although this is higher than most TC devices will allow).


Reasons for Concern: Toxicity of Particulates


Finally, the particulate matter itself could be toxic. One example is manganese oxides that you might find in stainless steel coils, which has been shown to cause problems in welders exposed during work. Similarly, if hexavalent chromium did form this would be an issue for the same reason.  These are not things you want to be inhaling in large quantities.


How Dangerous is it?


The issue of metals in e-cigarette vapor was covered in detail by Dr. Farsalinos and colleagues in a separate study. They compared levels of different metals in vapor (based on existing research) with exposure limits for the metals as set by U.S. Pharmacopeia, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry and the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health. For how much you’d be exposed to by vaping, they took an extreme case of 1,200 puffs per day.


The results showed that when metals are present in e-cigarette vapor, the average levels were well within safety margins applied for inhalable medicines and in occupational settings, and within the Minimal Risk Level for manganese (where it was the only standard available). Those tested against USP limits for inhalable medicines were 2.6 to 387 times lower than the limits, and the differences between vaping and occupational exposure limits was much bigger. Only one tested e-cig had chromium (at 30 times lower that USP limits) and one had manganese (at 25 times less than the Minimal Risk Level). Several had nickel, but the average daily exposure was 4.7 times less than the USP limit. Out of the whole test, only one metal – cadmium – exceeded USP limits, but this was only 10% higher and only in one product.


The authors conclude:


“Based on currently available data, overall exposure to metals from [e-cigarette] use is not expected to be of significant health concern for smokers switching to [e-cigarette] use, but is an unnecessary source of exposure for never-smokers.”


This is the context that tells us about the likely risks from dry-burning. While levels will be increased to some degree, it’s unlikely to really change the conclusion substantially, and definitely not enough to make them as bad as smoking. But that doesn’t change the fact that it does increase the risk compared to a coil that hasn’t been dry burned.  


In their blog post on the issue of dry-burning, Dr. Farsalinos concludes:


“[D]ry-burning the coils will not make vaping similar or worse than smoking. This is clear and there is no need for over-reactions. However, we should reach to a point that e-cigarettes should not just be compared to smoking (which is an extremely bad comparator) but should be evaluated on absolute terms. If something can be avoided, vapers should be aware of it so that they can avoid it if they want to.”


This is the key take-away on the health risks of dry burning. And with that in mind…


How to Vape Without Dry Burning Your Coils


Avoiding dry-burning is really easy, because it normally happens on purpose. We have another post on avoiding accidental dry burning – dry puffs – which you can read here, but for rebuilders who dry-burn on purpose, the advice is simple:


  • Make a new coil rather than dry-burning to clean. Kanthal is cheap and you can make a coil quickly. You should do this when your coil is getting gunky or dirty instead of dry burning and then wiping.
  • Clean your coil before installing to remove manufacturing residues. If you’re concerned about manufacturing residues on your coils, simply wipe your wire down with water and/or alcohol and dry it before you build.
  • Stop checking for hot-spots. If you dry-burn to look for hot-spots, the only alternative is to build your coils carefully and keep things even. Hot-spots are quite rare and you can generally get by without checking the majority of builds.
  • Avoid contact coils or take time over your build. If you never want to dry burn your coils, contact coils are best avoided. You can build very carefully – so the wraps are as close to touching as possible – and compress the coil cold with pliers or tweezers. This won’t be perfect but it will work well if you’re careful enough. However, with different wire types like Clapton or twisted wire, there are plenty of interesting things you can do without contact coils.


How many steps you want to take to avoid dry-burning your coils is really down to you. Personally I still dry-burn to build contact coils, but only for that reason. Given the information above, you might not be particularly worried about dry-burning, so you can continue as you ordinarily would. If you want to avoid it altogether, it is really easy if you don’t build your own coils, and not much more difficult if you do.

Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Writer at Black Note
Lee Johnson is a writer and vaper from the UK. He started vaping in 2012, and since then has contributed to E-Cigarette Reviewed, E-Cigarette Direct’s Ashtray Blog and Vaping360. He strongly believes smokers need accurate information about vaping and other reduced-harm alternatives to smoking. He has a degree in physics from the Open University and a passion for all forms of science.
Lee Johnson

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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.