Can You Smoke Water with E-cigarettes

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Yesterday Mark, a reader of, asked me the following question:

I was wondering if it was possible to use plain water (or distilled water or perhaps a ‘home made’ mixture) in place of the e-liquid. I have seen the zero nicotine e-liquid.  I would assume that since it has zero nicotine, there is no risk of chemical addiction?  I was looking for information on atomizers, because I was trying to figure out if I could use plain water with one.

Mark’s question made me curious, so I did an experiment:

Experiment Using Water Instead of E-liquid for E-cigarettes

It’s important that I used an e-cigarette atomizer that had been used previously. Used atomizers have deposits of e-liquid that cannot be cleaned completely. And this affected my initial results.

In my experiment, I used a new cartridge, the one without e-liquid, and my super mini e-cigarette. I filled the cartridge with sink water instead of e-liquid. At first my e-cigarette worked as if it was filled with e-liquid—weaker taste, lots of smoke. But after 10 puffs, the smoke tasted more and more like pure water vapor. Ten more puffs and less and less vapor. It also became harder and harder to suck on the mouthpiece.

What Did These Results Mean?

  • It is possible to use a dilute e-liquid since deposits of e-liquid in atomizer chamber and water from cartridge produced a lot of vapor.
  • You can’t smoke water with your e-cigarette. The e-cigarette might produce a very small amount of water vapor, and you have to suck on your e-cigarette  like a hungry baby at her mamma’s breast.

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