Ever since the mid-2000s, e-cigarettes have seemingly dangled from the hand of at least one smoker in any given crowd. The smell of tobacco smoke, once a staple aroma of so many outdoor events, concerts, and parties, has been steadily replaced by the sweet scent of vaping flavours; cherry, vanilla crème, polar mint, and peach passion are now the fragrances that float by us in gatherings and on the street. And now, with the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the amount of vape pens around seems to have increased by tenfold.
But a new company is forgoing nicotine liquids (or E-liquids) and CBD oil for something else entirely — and something a whole lot healthier. Vitamins.
Sparq Life Inc., a New York-based company, successfully funded an Indiegogo campaign in December of last year (funded by a whopping 584%, in fact) for a product it totes as the “World’s first eco-friendly vitamin inhalation device,” replacing nicotine with an assortment of lab-tested vitamins, amino acids, and botanicals.
Promising an extensive amount of scientific research in the development of this product, including formulation under the direction of a renowned inhalation toxicologist as well as testing by an ISO-accredited independent laboratory, the company has introduced a sleekly designed device named Vitamin Air™. Built from stainless steel and sustainable wood, with food-grade silicon and a non-toxic wick, this vape pen looks like it might have belonged between the fingers of Don Draper. It’s a patented design with biodegradable internal components and weighs a mere 0.07 oz. Committed to its eco-sensitive branding, Sparq also offers a free recycling program for its customers.
Vitamin Air™ comes in three varieties that promise to “boost your metabolism, defy your age, and unlock your energy.” The first, FUEL, is designed to help channel the vitality of forest ecosystems. Like the others, it contains D3 and L-Choline, while this option is enhanced with a mixture of Beta-Alanine and L-Theanine from asparagus and broccoli, respectively. These ingredients are often found in supplements designed to enhance mental and physical endurance.
The second option available, PURE, is geared towards anti-aging. This variety contains blueberry extract and grapeseed, which, according to Sparq, are the most eminent nutraceuticals in the anti-aging community and are “designed to mirror the regenerative effects of water.”
The third variety, MELT, is filled with herbally-sourced vitamins and amino acids. Key among these is green tea and acai berry, also found in supplements and often present in foods that are said to boost metabolism.
All three are available in your choice of vanilla or strawberry flavours.
Skeptics out there may scoff at the idea of vitamins you can smoke as a futuristic wonder (like lab grown meat, say), though members of the science and nutrition communities have been equally reserved about this co-opting of a traditionally unhealthy habit as a wellness practice. According to Healthline, which sites a 2018 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, e-cigarette vapour contains lower levels of toxic chemicals, and fewer kinds, than cigarette smoke. However, according to the publication, heating liquids — even healthy ones — can produce harmful chemicals as by-products.
Sparq, it would seem, has taken this into account; the company has extensively tested ingredients when heated to monitor their potential to break down into toxic materials. 3 GC/MS scans, transparently included on the Indiegogo page, show a lack of harmful by-products like Diacetyl, Acrolein, and Acetoin.
So, are vape cigarettes the future of the health-and-wellness movement? The answer remains to be seen. So much, naturally, will depend on long-term testing. Due to the relative newness of any e-cigarette on the market, it’s hard to guess the effects of these — be it the negative effects of nicotine or positive effects of vitamins — over the course of many years. For now, only time will tell. Perhaps the secret, as Elle recently pointed out in a piece on vitamin vapes, is to simply approach these, like any new wellness tool, with a “critical eye.”
All photos via Indiegogo