Alcohol in Vape Pens — Yay or Nay?

Here’s the thing…

You might think that vaping alcohol is a weird idea, but the truth is — you’re probably already doing that.

Many vape brands add a small amount of alcohol to thin out vape e-liquid or give it an extra throat hit. In fact, get your vape juice bottles right now and look at the labels. I bet at least one of them says ‘contains pure grain alcohol’ or ‘contains PGA.’ 

And that’s okay.

The amount of alcohol that’s in those vape juices is negligible. So it won’t harm you, and it likely won’t appear on a breathalyzer test.

However, vaping on pure alcohol — as in filling up your tank with pure vodka — is not a good idea. I’ll get to that in a bit, but suffice to say that there’s no reason to do that, and you should avoid it to stay on the safe side. If you want to get drunk, drink — it’s more enjoyable, and you won’t risk destroying your e-cigarette. Alcohol in liquid form is much more enjoyable, anyway.

But before we move on to the perils of vaping pure alcohol, let’s take a look at some of the more pressing questions.

Can You Get Drunk from Alcohol in Your Vape Juice?

I’ll be blunt and unhelpful here and say — it depends.

Getting drunk from vaped alcohol depends on how much alcohol we’re talking about. It also depends on the percentage of alcohol and your constitution and metabolism. You may have even thought about quitting vaping altogether… gasp! But let’s tackle alcohol in your vaping juice for now…

But, generally, you won’t get a buzz from a bit of alcohol in your vape juice.
That’s because, even though this alcohol goes directly into your blood, it has low bioavailability, and there isn’t much of it in there in the first place.

Keep in mind that your body produces alcohol as well. It’s called endogenic alcohol, and you make around 20g of it every day. So the 1-3% that some vape juices contain really won’t make much of a difference here. 

At least, that’s what common sense tells us.

However, scientists from Yale conducted a study in 2016 that found that people do get drunk from alcohol-laced vape juices. They tested Virgin Vapor e-liquids and found that some had more than 20% organic ethyl alcohol in them [used to create flavors]. This percentage is huge. Furthermore, researchers claim that this alcohol was detected in the urine samples of people who vaped on it. Possibly… but unless they vaped a glass of this in under an hour, it’s hard to believe that they were drunk.

Remember, you would need to vape 60ml+ of vape juice with a high percentage of alcohol in a few hours to be affected. And I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Can You Put Pure Alcohol in Your Vape Tank?

Yes, you can — but this is a bad idea.

First of all, it isn’t easy to taste this alcohol. The flavor is muted, and the effect isn’t what you’d expect. I’ve never heard that someone managed to get drunk this way.

Secondly, alcohol isn’t viscose enough. It would seep through the vape pen all the way to your battery and would probably ruin your vape. Also, alcohol burns — if it self-ignites while in contact with your atomizer, you’re in a world of trouble.

I’m guessing that vodka and whiskey wouldn’t pose a problem because they’re not 95% proof… But still… wouldn’t you rather drink this? Also, heating alcohol up creates alcohol vapor that’s full of chemicals and toxins… and why would you want to vape that?

How Do People Vape Alcohol?
Unsurprisingly, most people who are into vaping alcohol don’t use vape pens or vape mods to do it. However, there are specialty devices out there that can help you do this.

For example, this is the Vaportini:

It was created specifically for vaping alcohol.

The jury is still very much out on it, though. Some people like it [a few], but most say that the flavor is disgusting, the taste of alcohol isn’t there, and that the hit is weird and short-lasting.

The Dangers of Vaping Alcohol
Now, as I said, there isn’t much danger lurking from the mere act of vaping on e-liquid with 0.2% of alcohol in it.

But, if you’re going above that, things can get tricky. And this goes triple if you’re using a Vaportini or putting pure-grain isopropyl alcohol into your vape pen.

There are some serious side-effects associated with that, such as:

·no way to expel alcohol — if you vape too much, you can’t get miraculously better by vomiting. That’s not how it works because liquor is in your bloodstream now, not your stomach.

·risk of injury goes up — alcohol has a low boiling point. Once it hits your coil head and starts evaporating, it’s going to start flying out of the mouthpiece. This can result in severe burns on your skin and mouth.

·there’s an increased risk of brain damage here — this alcohol is going straight into your brain, and there’s no way to tell what damage it’s going to do there. So worst-case scenario, you can die from this.

·developing an addiction is more likely — the easier the method of getting buzzed, the bigger the shot you will get hooked. So please don’t do it. 

The Verdict on Vaping on Vodka or Whiskey
I’ll leave you with the same advice I gave to people who insist on vaping pure water – don’t do it!

Vaping is not an effective method of ingesting alcohol. You won’t get what you’re looking for, you can get hurt, and you will definitely ruin your vape device. Stick to e-liquids that contain nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavorings — these things are safe to vape.

And, if you really want to get alcohol poisoning, go out to your local watering hole. That’s the easiest way to get wasted from booze, trust me. However, Vaping alcohol is a dangerous practice — you’re better off sticking with the old-fashioned way of getting drunk.

Note: if you’re adding alcohol to your e-juice for easier e-cigarette use, never add more than 5%. It’s enough for a healthy throat hit but not so much that you’ll be affected in any way.