Every time I think America might be getting slightly less dumb, I notice that my local Walgreens has had to lock up its Tide Pods and remember that Logan Paul still exists. But apparently things are even worse than that, since a ridiculous number of people (and more than one is a ridiculous number in this instance) keep ordering concentrated food flavoring from Amazon under the impression that it’s vape juice, and then, uh, vaping it.
Writer Rob Whisman tweeted his observation that this was a “thing” last Thursday, and he’s right. It’s both fun and terrifying to witness this phenomenon, because the majority of the confused people making this error probably also have drivers’ licenses and voter registration cards.
On the product listing for the Capella Flavor Drops Sweet Strawberry Concentrate, the variety highlighted by Whisman, there are 27 customer questions, and 20 of them are some variation on “Can I vape this?” To be fair, some vape-related websites sell Capella-brand flavorings, which are food-grade but marketed as multi-purpose, to be used in DIY e-juice, but they also note that these highly concentrated drops need to be diluted in either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, not used by themselves.
So despite being listed as a food flavoring—and despite countless e-cig sites that teach over-eager vapers how to use concentrates correctly—not-so-savvy shoppers keep buying Capella flavors and then reporting their disappointment in poorly spelled product reviews. Here’s a sampling, from a variety of Capella’s food flavors:
One star review: “I thought these drops were vape juices liquid, I was so sad when I found out it wasnʻt for the vape.”
One star review: “Very angry. Thought this was vape juice smh just wasted 7$”
One star review: “These should not be for vapes, to much water in it, could give someone pneumoniae. Do not buy!”
One star review: “I order vape juice and this dam thing is for drinks”
One star review: Advertised As A "Vapeing Juice" But Actually A Cooking Ptoduct That if used Wrong such as for you Vapeing Liquid where such juices are used strait out of bottle When Made for cooking purposes as this product you only need a few drops.”
One star review: “this product is nothing i thought it’d be, when i put it into my vale it not only ruined it but burnt my throat every hit i took. would not recommend”
One star review: “It smells nice but when used in a vape it burns when you breath it in. Also once it's in your vape, the flavor lingers”
One star review: “Not vapeable taste like ass”
One star review: “Idk what it is but I put it on my vape and man it is terrible”
Two star review: “This vape juice doesn’t taste sweet, or blue raspberry. This juice just tastes like an unknown medicine.”
Three star review: “The flavoring is probably better for candies and food rather than for vaping.”
One star review: “IT IS VERY BAD. PLACE IT IN THE AREA OF VAPE. WHEN SIMPLY IS A VAPE REFRIGERATOR FLAVOR. BUT IT IS NOT A VAPEO LIQUID”
One star review: “This vape juice tastes like a weird medicine. It make me want to now even hit my vape.”
One star review: “I looked this up as ‘vape juice with nicotine’ & didn’t get vape juice or nictonine”
One star review: “I asked for vap juice and this was NOT vap juice. It was FOOD flavoring.”
One star review: “I was not expecting the immensity that came from one small puff. Stick to regular vape juice.”
So, yes, please stick to regular store-bought vape juice, and not the kind sold in Amazon’s Cooking and Baking section. Honestly, now I understand what makes people eat Tide Pods.