You'll Never Guess Who's Va­p­ing Now ... And Why! Bon­nie Halper by

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Choco­late mouse. Tiramisu. Crème brulee. Kal­hua and cream. Pecan pie. There’s no doubt that Amer­ica – and most of the rest of the world – has a sweet tooth, but if you’re a di­a­betic, par­tic­u­larly a Type 2 di­a­betic, these are just a hand­ful of the desserts and in­dul­gences that are lit­er­ally off the table.

For Type 2 di­a­bet­ics, elec­tronic vapes are a game changer. And a way to sat­isfy their crav­ings for sweets with­out suf­fer­ing the phys­i­cal con­se­quences that come with set­ting off their blood sugar lev­els.

While they’re of­ten re­ferred to as elec­tronic cig­a­rettes, or e-cigs, that name is some­what mis­lead­ing. While it’s true that the vape liq­uids can con­tain nico­tine, the liq­uid base is propy­lene gly­col, which is used in asthma in­halers and other med­i­cal de­vices; veg­etable glyc­er­ine, which is widely used in foods and med­i­ca­tions; or some com­bi­na­tion of the two, along with a hand­ful of other chem­i­cals and fla­vor­ings, while cig­a­rettes con­tain over 4000 chem­i­cals, in­clud­ing a num­ber of po­ten­tial car­cino­gens. Not so with vapes, as they con­tain absolutely no to­bacco.

Or sugar.

Or nico­tine, depend­ing on the user’s pref­er­ence.

De­spite the fact that they are to­bacco-free and emit mois­ture rather than smoke (the old adage is, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” con­versely, where there’s no smoke…well, you get it), to­bacco-based cig­a­rettes have be­come so taboo that di­a­bet­ics are loathe to dis­cuss the fact that they’ve turned to vapes to sat­isfy their sweet tooth crav­ings. We only found out by ac­ci­dent, while chat­ting with on­line vape ven­dor Andy Aranda of Breazy, the largest va­po­r­ium on the web, who had re­ceived a fan email from a di­a­betic.

Which was when we be­gan read­ing user feed­back at var­i­ous vape sites, and saw com­ments from happy cus­tomers, some of whom had never smoked a to­bacco-based cig­a­rette in his or her life, but who had turned to va­p­ing to sat­isfy their sweet tooth crav­ings.

With­out set­ting off their Type 2 di­a­betes symp­toms, al­though it comes as a sur­prise to many peo­ple that not ev­ery­one who vapes is a tra­di­tional cig­a­rette smoker, or a for­mer or re­cov­er­ing cig­a­rette smoker.

Vapes can be or­dered with var­i­ous lev­els of nico­tine – in­clud­ing zero or no nico­tine at all, which may ac­count for

the pop­u­lar­ity of vapes which con­tain zero nico­tine, beyond for­mer smok­ers who ratchet down their nico­tine lev­els. It seems that with the va­p­ing com­mu­nity, un­like with to­bacco-based cig­a­rette smok­ers, it’s not all about the nico­tine fix.

Usu­ally the sweeter fla­vors are the most pop­u­lar ones that par­tic­u­larly ap­peal to di­a­bet­ics as well as di­eters, ac­cord­ing to Justin Pow­ell at Beyond Vape in New York City.

“Usu­ally things with marsh­mal­lows tend to be the sweet­est, like the Rice Krispie fla­vor we have, or some of the fruit candy ones. The gummy worm fla­vor was very pop­u­lar for peo­ple’s sweet tooth, but we’re out of stock right now, and it switched over to some fruitier stuff more re­cently.”

Aranda also noted that the candy and dessert fla­vors tend to be top sell­ers, as well as the ce­real fla­vors, ac­cord­ing to Pow­ell, which may be as much a tes­ta­ment to the amount of sugar added to break­fast ce­re­als – or maybe it’s just that some peo­ple never grow up, or out of their crav­ings for their fa­vorite break­fast ce­re­als!

“Loopr (think Fruit Loops) is prob­a­bly

the most pop­u­lar, and an­other one that’s very sim­i­lar to Loopr, but with­out the lemon fla­vor. A lot of peo­ple are sen­si­tive to the lemon be­cause it re­minds them of Liq­uid Pledge or other clean­ing sol­vents. But it’s been more pop­u­lar be­cause of that spec­trum of peo­ple Loopr wasn’t able to reach be­fore - now they can reach them.”

Many fruits that the rest of us take for granted are also on the no-fly list for Type 2s, or they must eat them spar­ingly. The same goes for fruit juices, which are high in nat­u­ral sugars and car­bo­hy­drates, so Type 2s must be cau­tious about their juice in­take as well.

“Fruit fla­vors are al­ways pop­u­lar – es­pe­cially the blended ones," Justin com­mented. “The Naked line has blended fruits, which we’re sold out of for a rea­son!”

“Sweeter fla­vors will have ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers in them to make them sweeter, since the nat­u­ral fla­vors them­selves cap at fruit sweet­ness, so if you’re go­ing for a candy, they’re go­ing to put some sugar in it,” he said.

Of course, it’s not ac­tu­ally sugar, since that would af­fect the coils. And no doubt a di­a­betic’s blood sugar lev­els.

While tra­di­tional to­bacco cig­a­rettes aren’t rec­om­mended for any­one, di­a­betic or not, the elec­tronic va­ri­ety doesn’t take the toll on one’s body that to­bacco-based al­ter­na­tives do, and the lat­ter is es­pe­cially hard on a di­a­betic’s heart and cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem,

ac­cord­ing to Sue Mar­shall, au­thor of Di­a­betes: The Es­sen­tial Guide.

But peo­ple turn to vapes for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. While it is a less harm­ful way to get your nico­tine fix, it isn’t al­ways about that. For some it’s the phys­i­cal habit. For some, it sat­is­fies an oral fix­a­tion. For oth­ers, it’s about the fla­vors and the taste.

It’s also some­thing of a celebrity ac­ces­sory. Leonardo Di­Caprio, Katy Perry, Cather­ine Zeta-Jones, Colin Far­rell, Char­lie Sheen, Johnny Depp, Lind­say Lo­han, Robert Pat­ti­son, Jack Ni­chol­son, John Cu­sack and even Kate Mid­dle­ton are among the grow­ing list of fa­mil­iar faces spot­ted around town with vape in hand.

As for di­a­bet­ics, who need to mon­i­tor their sugar and car­bo­hy­drate in­take, they’re out there va­p­ing away, fi­nally happy to have found a much safer way to have their cake - or ce­real, fruit, aper­i­tif or fa­vorite con­fec­tion – and eat it, too.

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