“Dripping” is when the e-cigarette liquid is dripped directly onto the exposed heating coils, then immediately inhaled, explains Krishnan-Sarin, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
Krishnan-Sarin, upon learning about the method of dripping, took a survey among high school students about e-cigarette use. The survey revealed that 26 percent of high school vapers at eight Connecticut high schools had experimented with dripping at least once.
“They say it makes the flavors taste better and gives you a stronger hit,” Krishnan-Sarin said, adding that “the levels of some chemicals like formaldehyde and other aldehydes, which are known carcinogens, are higher with direct dripping than with conventional e-cigarette use.”
In the survey, 64 percent of students said the reason behind dripping included thicker clouds of vapor, which gave researchers indication that the users likely engage in vape competitions and vaping tricks. Two out of five students said they dripped for better flavor, and 22 percent said they dripped out of mere curiosity. About 28 percent said dripping produces a stronger “throat hit,” which is the feeling in the back of the throat with inhalation.
E-cigarettes have also been found to contain diacetyl, a chemical used to mimic the smooth, creamy taste of butter. The chemical has been linked to serious lung diseases such as bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease in which scar tissue builds up in the smallest airways of the lungs, diminishing breathing. Bronchiolitis obliterans is a permanent, incurable disease that can only be treated by a lung transplant.