Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question about DuraSmoke products? If you're looking for answers, here's the place to start. We've compiled some of our most frequently asked questions in one place so that you don't have to hunt high and low for the answers. Remember, if you can't find the answer to your problem here, you can always give us a call at 800-668-0472 and talk to one of our expert representatives.
Make sure to check out our new Dr. Dura section at the bottom of the page for answers to some of the more intricate scientific questions! Here
Who is DuraSmoke?
DuraSmoke is a Wisconsin based eLiquid manufacturing company. We not only manufacture our own brand, but hundreds of other private label brands world-wide. We have easily scalable production capabilities that exceed 1M bottles a month, and offer hundreds of flavors, multiple base liquids and nicotine strengths.
How are DuraSmoke eLiquids different from other brands?
DuraSmoke was the first US eLiquid manufacturer to be ISO 9001:2008 compliant and certified through our GMP. We built our GMP into our ISO compliancy, then have a third party (ASR) come into our facility and audit us to ensure that we adhere to guidelines. Some of the guidelines we follow include, manufacturing identical products, safe and consistent practices and that we have a trackable system of our products (Lot #'s). We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build our labs, and to have this 3rd party auditor continually look into our facility and our processes.
Think of this process like a gas station pump. Each pump is certified to ensure the amount of gas that is put in your vehicle matches what the read out on the screen says.
All of our ingredients are from FDA approved facilities.
Our production management team consists of a Ph.D chemist, chemical engineers and flavorists. This helps to ensure we not only have safe ingredients, but the best tasting eLiquids on the market!
What is ISO and ASR? What does it take to have your facility up to ISO standards?
Think of ISO as an entity that creates the rules and guidelines. They set the standard for what is acceptable. ASR polices the rules set forth by the ISO guidelines. ASR is the 3rd party that comes into our facility to ensure we are following the guidelines set forth by the ISO 9001:2008 standards. Some of the stadards that are required are: Temperature control, air purity, safety procedures, training and clean room.
When an ecig company says they are FDA Registered, what does that mean?
What that currently means is that they went online to fill out a free form on the FDA website. The FDA is currently pending regulation on ecigarettes, so this is really only a marketing scheme to make people assume that they have a higher quality product. The big issue with this is that a company can register their business, but it is for a classification that does not yet exist in the ecig industry.
When the FDA does regulate our industry it will change the meaning of having this registration to include impromptu audits to the facility to ensure quality among other things.
Another scenario is that a manufacturer can make other products (other than ecigarettes or eLiquid) and because they make other products in their facility they can have an FDA approved facility. This does not mean anything for the eLiquid/ecigarette manufacturing, and only relates to the products that are regulated by the FDA.
What are the FDA Regulations on Electronic Cigarettes?
There are currently no regulations in place by the FDA. That being said, the FDA is currently in the process of creating them. At this point, each state may have individual laws/regulations/classifications in place. Some states classify ecigarettes as tobacco products and some don't. This of course will change. This also means that some states tax ecigarettes and regulate it in different ways.
For more info on what is currently being proposed for FDA regulations go here.
I want to learn more about the industry... where do I start?
If you are looking for more info on regulations, certifications or announcements here are some helpful resources:
Dr. Dura is a pen name for our on-site Ph.D. chemist Dr. Tony Pace. Here is a little background on Dr. Pace.
- BS Chemistry - University of Florida
- PhD Chemistry - University of Texas, Austin
- Robert A Welch Foundation Research Fellowships
- Adjunct Professor of Chemistry - Emory University, Atlanta
- Visiting Research Fellow - Georgia Institute of Technology, Chemistry Dept.
- 25 years experience in Industrial R&D with Fortune 500 companies
- Holds 3 US Patents
- Has 7 Journal Publications
Dr. Dura is here to answer all your science related questions about our products. There are a lot of unknowns and misinformation in our industry's products, and we want to help educate our consumers to the best of our ability. So we created a special section to break down the science behind eLiquids and give you information in simpler terms.
To submit a question to Dr. Dura, click here.
Question: What is the truth behind Diacetyl in ecigs? In what flavors is it most common? How much? Is it harmful?
Dr. Dura Answer: Well folks, I’m back. They unlocked the door to my dungeon laboratory so I could check my web-mail. These are all great questions and, fortunately, I can answer at least some of them.
First let’s talk about what diacetyl is and why it is of interest to anyone. Diacetyl (fyi, I pronounce it as di-ah-SEE-till, but there are other ways to say it) and it’s relatives, such as acetyl propionyl, belong to the family that chemists call alpha-diketones. These compounds have the characteristic of imparting a buttery sensation to foods. They are used in a wide variety of products such as baked goods (cakes and cookies), confections (candy and chocolates), and snacks (potato or corn chips).
Diacetyl became a concern when food workers in plants making butter-flavored microwave popcorn started having health problems. Subsequent toxicology studies with rats tagged the high levels of diacetyl fumes from the imitation butter flavoring used as contributing to the problem, … at least in part.
A pretty well-known maxim in the science of toxicology states that, when it comes to chemicals and people, it’s the dose that makes the difference. For example, moisture (water) is only a small fraction of a percent in humid air and is often desirable, particularly if one lives in Arizona. However, breathing 100% water (i.e., drowning) is not recommended. In a more familiar case, most prescription medicines can be toxic in too large doses.
As for the question of diacetyl (or acetyl propionyl) in ecigs, it is true that these diketones are also used in some artificially flavored e-cigarettes to achieve that same buttery/creamy flavor note. Some tobacco flavors and most creamy blends have it. (Without the acetyl propionyl, would butter rum just be rum and butterscotch just be … scotch?) Also recognize that the flavor blends that do contain diketones have very very small amounts of the ingredient. A 1-milliliter charge of e-liquid blend may contain micrograms of diacetyl or acetyl propionyl (not both). And most of that is exhaled when vaped.
How much may be harmful is a question that even the CDC and OSHA can’t precisely answer. The popcorn workers were continuously exposed to high concentrations of numerous fume components in the factory over a long period of time. Under normal conditions for the average person, is it possible to smell too many butter cookies? Vaping falls in the same intermittent, low-exposure category. Alternately, we offer many flavors (fruit, dessert, etc.) that have none of the ingredient in question. Unfortunately, listing all the flavors with or without diketones is impractical here. Feel free to contact us for suggestions.
Question: My e-juice turns darker the longer I have it; or my new bottle of e-juice is not the same color as the last time I bought that flavor. Why???
Dr. Dura's Answer:
These are both good questions, and very common observations among the vaping community. The simplistic (though not very satisfying) answer is … chemistry. While e-juice is really just a mixture of liquids (food grade flavorings and glycerin plus a little nicotine), that little bit of nicotine is actually fairly important. (I may be wrong, but isn’t it one of the reason for vaping?)
It is well known that nicotine, all by itself, is sensitive to heat, light (mostly the UV in sunlight) and oxygen in the air. Nicotine freshly distilled from some tobacco is almost colorless at 99.9% purity. However, put a clear glass bottle of it on a shelf by a window and it will turn straw yellow within a few days. Does this mean it is now junk? No. Now it is probably 99.8% pure and has traces of oxidized or photolyzed by-products. These by-products are often more highly colored.
Also, in the terms of chemist’s jargon, nicotine is a fairly strong Lewis base due to the presence of a pyridine ring in the molecule structure. Such bases are known to “add to” (i.e., react with) a wide variety of other chemical types. Here is where the flavorings come in.
The food grade flavorings we use in e-juice are often a complex combination of chemical ingredients. E-juices may contain artificial or natural flavors or both. For example, vanilla smells and tastes like vanilla because it is mostly the chemical vanillin. Highly pure artificially made vanillin can be found in the spice aisle of the local grocery store as “imitation vanilla”. It’s right next to the more expensive brand name “pure vanilla extract” from vanilla beans. So what? The extract contains a lot more “secondary” ingredients from the beans. These minor components are what distinguish vanillas from Madagascar versus Mexico.
Some components in food grade flavorings, whether main or minor, natural or artificial, may also be sensitive to combination with nicotine. simply by virtue of the fact that they are “active” chemicals. That’s why they act as flavorings. Such nicotine additions are often a different color from original components. The reaction (or color change) may be immediate or may take a while, particularly if the change s due to the reaction with oxidized nicotine.
Question: I have two bottles of e-Liquid (different flavors) both with the same nicotine strength and the same glycerin base. Why does one flavor look so much thicker than the other???
Dr. Dura's Answer:
This type of phenomenon is usually most noticeable in e-Liquid blends that use 100%VG (vegetable glycerin) as the base liquid. The confusion comes from the fact that an “all VG base” is not necessarily the same as an “all VG eLiquid”.
The thickness or thinness of a liquid blend (i.e., “viscosity” in geek-speak) depends on the chemical components in the blend, their relative amounts, and their compatibilities (think of oil and water). We pre-dissolve some flavoring components to make them more compatible with VG. These flavor solutions can then be easily mixed (in very small amounts) with VG and appropriate amount of liquid nicotine to produce a desired e-Liquid blend.
Since these solvents have very different viscosities, the relative amounts of VG, PG, and/or ethanol determine the thickness of the final blend. Viscosities are typically measured in centipoise - abbreviated cP in honor of the scientist Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille. While ethanol (and water) have a viscosity of about 1 cP at normal room temperatures, PG is somewhat thicker at 45-50 cP, and VG clocks in at 1200-1400 cP.
With all that being said, some flavorings we use are very intense and concentrated, and take only a little to achieve a desired taste. Other flavors are more subtle, needing a stronger dose to get the desired taste. What this can cause is for some liquids to have different consistencies in thickness.
Our Blue Label e-Liquid blends are essentially 100% VG as defined by its base liquid. There are no 100% VG eLiquids; as the contents of the bottle would only be VG. When you add nicotine and flavoring the VG becomes less than 100% (as liquid total… not as base liquid total) by definition. Adding other ingredients changes each eLiquids viscosity (thickness) as all ingredient types are different and react different with other ingredients.