What’s in a Vape Pen?

What’s in a ‘Vape’?

The difference between portable aromatherapy and nicotine delivery systems.


In a world where everything you need fits in your pocket, e-cigarettes have quickly become a trend. What once started as a “solution” to the problem of cigarettes, has turned into a growing movement of nicotine addiction.  They’re in workplaces, schools, airports and everywhere in between.

So despite how trendy it all may seem, what exactly is in a vape pen? What do these infamous pods actually contain?

Now, the intention of the e-cigarette was not to cause harm. The goal of the invention was to maintain the attraction of oral fixation and the ritual of smoking, to keep the ‘good’ and remove the ‘bad’ from the cigarette habit. The industry started off strong with this new, hip, replacement for stinky cigarettes.

smoking used to be cool - start welling.

The early days of e-cigarettes featured campaigns depicting ‘young and hip’ users, playing on the trendiness of the product, and unintentionally led to a surge in underage use. Despite efforts to recall the original campaigns and steer away from marketing to young people, the damage had been done.

Despite the marketing messages that e-cigarettes (vape pen) help individuals quit smoking, research actually shows quite the opposite. It has unfortunately helped promote the consumption of nicotine amongst people who hadn’t been addicted to cigarettes in the first place. The most concerning statistics are amongst teens. For kids just trying to fit in, the price of “trendiness” is actually harmful to their health now [1].

As with the curse of marketing for any product in America these days, many kids and adults alike have justified the usage of a vape pen as “healthy” or “not as bad as smoking”. Unfortunately if you actually look inside these well-marketed pods, the contents are appalling. Most e-cigarettes contain either synthesized (lab created) nicotine or nicotine salts, both of which are highly addictive. Seems ironically depressing that the cure for the cigarette epidemic is actually turning into a gateway to nicotine addiction.

In an effort to keep up the friendly image, the pods often contain appealing flavors such as mango, mint, creme, covering up the fact that these include artificial flavorings, colorings and other toxic chemicals. These ingredients can heat to a degree that they create additional harmful substances such as formaldehyde and acrolein, which can cause irreversible damage to the lungs or blood vessels [2, 1].

Beyond the flavoring, the “e-juice” in a vape pen contains other harmful chemicals, toxins, and contaminants to help maintain the consistency of the juice, and produce the vape clouds that everyone lusts after. Propylene Glycol is included to thin the liquid and carry the flavor of the pods, but this harmful substance is derived from petroleum.

An artificial chemical medley of sorts.

PG can also be found in antifreeze, artificial smoke, and commonly used in the paint and plastic industries [3]. When it comes to the “phat clouds yo”, you can give all the credit to glycerin. Alone it can be recognized as safe, but the toxicity increases with inhalation and the addition of other chemicals [4].

So maybe you knew a lot of this, or maybe your mind is blown that your Juul isn’t harmless. Marketing truly can be a magically deceptive tool. So what’s a person to do if they’re looking to kick their unhealthy habits, but aren’t ready to give up the oral fixation? Insert “healthy Juul” here. The purpose wasn’t just make a device without toxicity, but to actually change the entire experience, helping people boost their mood in a healthy way.

Essential oils were humans’ first medicine; nature’s pharmacy, so we wanted to find a way to harness the natural healing benefits in a way that could directly align with your wellness. The Kinin system brings the wellness powers of an aromatherapy diffuser, to a convenient pocket sized technology called the Eco. The ‘wellness pod’ blends contain only natural botanical extracts (steam distilled, CO2 extracted, or cold pressed essential oils), kosher, palm-derived, pharma grade vegetable glycerin, and water.

The ‘Switch pod’ in particular, contains black pepper, spruce, rosemary, clary sage, organic lemon, and a touch of tea tree, specifically blended to help with nicotine withdrawals.

KININ Switch - Black Pepper to Quit Nicotine

Black pepper is the not-so-secret ingredient to the magic. More than just a match for table salt, black pepper has been studied and found to reduce cravings, reduce symptoms of nicotine withdrawal like anxiety. Inhaling diluted black pepper essential oils stimulates a similar feeling in the chest that is experienced while smoking, without any of the repercussions.

We believe in transparency of ingredients. We believe in minimizing toxic chemicals in as many areas of our lives as possible. We are proponents of healing, nourishing our minds and bodies with all-natural remedies. We want to live a little bit longer, with more thriving, less dying, and a little more vitality. So that’s why here at Kinin, it’s not vaping – it’s welling. Some examples of our blends and their ingredients include: 

KININ Recover – Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Petitgrain, Tea Tree.

KININ Relax – Copaiba, Chamomile, Lemon, and Frankincense.

KININ Meditate – Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Bergamot

KININ Awake – Grapefruit, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Lemon

All other blends and ingredients are available here.


[1] “What You Need to Know About Vaping.” About Heart Attacks, 2016, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking-tobacco/what-you-need-to-know-about-vaping.

[2] “E-Cigarettes and Lung Health.” American Lung Association, 2019, www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html.

[3] “Toxic Substances Portal.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Mar. 2011, www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=240.

[4] Phillips, B, et al. “Toxicity of the Main Electronic Cigarette Components, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, and Nicotine, in Sprague-Dawley Rats in a 90-Day OECD Inhalation Study Complemented by Molecular Endpoints.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28882640.

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