The Best Vape Detector (for Vaping and E-Cigarette Smoke)

Particulate Matter PM2.5, Vape Detector -

The Best Vape Detector (for Vaping and E-Cigarette Smoke)

Vape detectors are used to measure the air quality relating to vapers and e-cigarettes in indoor environments, for home, hotels, office, work, schools, or other enclosed spaces. A PM2.5 detector is an excellent low cost detector in an indoor environment to confirm if vapers or e-cigarettes were used. A sensitive PM2.5 detector can be considered a vaping, vaper, or e-cigarette detector. PM2.5 detectors can be used by hotel staff, landlords, or even for property inspections to confirm vaping or e-cigarette use. 

Pros

Cons

  • Vape and e-cigarette vapor detectors (PM2.5) are relatively low cost
  • Many detectors that are able to detect the use of e-cigarettes or vaping can also detect the presence of cannabis and weed smoke
  • PM2.5 detectors can help landlords and hotel owners solve problems associated with vaping and e-cigarette use
  • Vaping and e-cigarette use is common and increasing
  • Vaping and e-cigarettes are often used indoors to deliver nicotine to the body in a fast way
  • Limited product options exists to detect vaping and e-cigarette vapor

The Best Vape Detector?

There are various technologies that detect vapor caused by e-cigarettes. Here are some top and popular units:

    • Forensics Detectors Vape Detector Handheld or Wall Mount
      • This detector uses advanced laser sensor technology to detect small vape particles emitted during vape or e-cigarette use.

    • This detector has 12 sensors that detect particulate caused by vape and smoke, as well as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide gas. Remember, you are paying for the extra bells and whistles.
  • Zeptive Vape Detector
    • This detector has high sensitivity and low-false flag rate. It works by detecting the components of vape aerosol.
  • Triton 3D Sense Vape Detector
    • This detector measures chemicals in the air to determine the likelihood and severity of someone vaping in an enclosed space.

Do Vape Detectors Really Work?

Yes they do.

See the below video which is a demonstration of our Handheld Vape Detector and comparing it to the responsivity to various home smoke alarms. This is a exaggerated test but gives and insight into the superior sensitivity of PM2.5 sensors in the application of detecting vape particles in the air.

 

Is there a Vape Detector for Schools?

Yes there is.

The Forensics Detectors Wall Mount Vape Detector is best for stationary situation like hotels, school bathrooms or public restrooms.

This unit employs laser scattering sensor technology to detect the slightest airborne particle from a vape or E-cigarette. This technology is very stable and eliminates false positives. This is the only vape detector that can detect particles from 1 micron all the way up to 10 microns, making it extremely sensitive for a variety of smoke and vape smoke coming from various consumer smoke and vape products. View the vape detector here:

The operation and design is different to the fixed wall mount vape detectors sold by Halo, Zeptive and Triton.

The Forensics Detectors has a more "robust" aesthetic to deter would-be offenders. In addition, it has been specifically designed with a large digital readout screen so "would-be" offenders can be deterred from undertaking prohibitive acts. This unit was designed with use-case considerations in schools, K-12, restrooms, businesses, hospitality toilets, bathrooms, and confined spaces to detect the slightest vapor, smoke, or aerosol particles.

Administrators must determine the best systems for their school considering the pros and cons. For example, a fixed system acts as a deterrent - if students know the system is installed, they will reduce vaping at that location. On the other hand, a portable unit can be used to undertake point sampling at various indoor locations where one suspects vaping or smoking has occurred.

What Chemicals are in Vaping?

    • A study showed that cigarette vapor is made up of aerosols, particulate matter, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), aldehydes, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phenolic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), tobacco alkaloids, and drugs (amino-tadalafil and rimonabant).
    • Pellegrino et al measured the ultrafine particulate matter (PM) fraction yield of e-cigarettes. Data showed that the PM emission values were lower in e-cigarettes compared with the conventional cigarette (eg, PM1=14 vs 80 μg/m3 and PM10=52 vs 922 μg/m3
    • In one study, it was shown that PM2.5 concentrations were correlated with the number of e-cigarette users present in a vape-shop.

    What is a E-Cigarette?

    Electronic cigarettes also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapers, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), vape pens, vaping devices, mods and tank systems are battery-operated devices that vaporize a liquid (also known as e-liquid) to produce an aerosol.

    Users inhale the aerosol that includes nicotine and other flavored substances.

    Yes there is.

    The most effective and low-cost devices are Vape Detector PM2.5 units. This detector is accurate and will detect the slightest particles produced from vaping and e-cigs.

    Yes, but not always and not reliably since smoke detectors are not sensitive enough to detector vape. It must be very very smoky for it to detect vape smoke making it an unreliable vape detector. Vapes Detectors are 100x more sensitive than smoke detectors.

    Is There a Device to Detect Vaping Odor?

    Yes.

    A person can smell vaping odor since their nose is smelling the vapor cloud produced during the use of an e-cigarette. The vapor is particulate matter that is microns in size. These continue to rest or float and are aromatic, hence their smell. 

    The vape detector with a special vape sensor functions essentially as a very sensitive air quality detector, which means it can detect the presence of the aromatic vapor caused by vaping or e-cigarette use.

    How to Use a Vape Detector?

    1. Turn on the vape detector.  
    2. Leave it in a known vapor-free and smoke-free room for 10 minutes. This will be referred to as a clean room.
    3. Record a baseline reading of the clean room of the PM2.5 level. You will use this value when comparing to your reading in a suspected room.
    4. Then, move the detector to a suspected room where you believe someone has vaped or used an e-cigarette within.
    5. Leave the detector in the room for 10 minutes. Then, take a reading.
    6. If there is an increase from the clean room to the suspected room, there is a strong likelihood that vapor particles exist and are suspended within the suspected room.

    What Does Vaping Smell Like?

    Vaping and e-cigarettes have different smells depending on what is being consumed. Most vape pens and e-cigarettes use cartridges that are flavored with various flavorings related to food, such as fruit, candy, or mint. As a result, the smell of vaping can smell like many different food-related flavorings. 

    While it is being vaped, the scent of the vape or e-cigarette is amplified. It is often described as "sickly-sweet".

    However, some vape and e-cigarette cartridges are filled with marijuana, or cannabis. This type of vapor can have notes that are described as herbal or earthy. 

    How Long Does Vape Smell Last?

    The length of time that the smell from e-cigarette use lasts is mainly associated the indoor ventilation, volume and amount of initial vape smoke volume. For example, lets assume a studnet vapes in the restroom. If the restroom is well ventilated, the vape smoke may quickly dissipate. If not, it will linger and vape smoke particles will accumulate. The vapor particles will:

    • Penetrate into porous items, such as the carpet and furniture.
    • Over longer periods of time, and dependent on the ventilation in the enclosed space, the aromatic vapor particles will mix into the clean air and reduce in odor.
    • High levels of ventilation will allow for the smell to reduce at a faster rate than it will in an enclosed space with poor air circulation.
    • If a hotel owner or landlord has problems associated with vape or e-cigarette smell, it is recommended to  increase ventilation by implementing blowers or fans, and eventually the smell will dissipate. 

    How Does the Vape and E-Cigarette Odor Detector Work?

    • A vape detector, which is used for detecting poor air quality related to vaping and e-cigarette use, works by measuring the amount of particulate matter in the air.
    • Specifically, the vape detector described utilizes advanced laser sensor technology to detect the particulate in the air. The EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) definition of particulate matter is the solid and liquid matter (ie particles and droplets) that reside in the air. These detectors measure the level of droplets and particles that are suspended in the air.
    • Vaping and e-cigarette use produces vapor particles, which can be measured by the detector in an indoor area.

    Does a Vape Detector Work With Cigarette Smoke and Cannabis?

    If a vape detector monitors the presence of particulate matter in an enclosed environment, then it would also work with cigarette smoke and cannabis smoke as well.

    Vape Detectors (PM2.5 detectors) can measure vapor from e-cigarettes, cigarette smoke, and cannabis smoke. 

    How Long Do Air Quality Detectors Last?

    Air quality detectors that measure particulate optically last 5 years or more. Forensics Detectors Vape Detectors lasts over 24 hours on one charge and has an expected life over 10 years.

    How Much Does a Vape Detector Cost?

    A basic handheld vape detector costs about $100. A single unit that is mounted on the ceiling or wall costs between $300 to $1000. Integrated vape detectors for schools that send email notifications costs over $10,000 and with ongoing subscription costs. 

    Can an Air Quality Test Detect the Presence of Vapor from E-Cigarette Use?

    If a PM2.5 detector is used, then a air quality test can do it. Some PM2.5 detectors are often referred to as air quality tests.

    Does Vaping Affect Air Quality?

    Yes.

    Studies have shown that using e-cigarettes has negative effect on air quality in an enclosed and indoor environment. Air quality can also be affected in an outdoor environment with poor circulation.

    Does Vaping Produce Carbon Monoxide Gas?

    No, e-cigarettes and vaping do not produce carbon monoxide gas.

    As a result, carbon monoxide sensors cannot detect the use of e-cigarettes in an environment

    What do Vape Detectors Look Like?

    Ceiling mount vape detectors look like smoke detectors or carbon monoxide alarms. Handheld version look like a hand held sniffer and industrial units look like heavy duty control equipment.

    Who Needs a Vape Detector?

    • Schools to Detect Students Who Vape in restrooms or indoor spaces. Perfect for teachers and administrators.
    • Hotel to Detect unauthorized E-Cigarette Usage in Rooms and Lobby.
    • Landlords to Detector E-Cigarette Usage from tenants.

    Final Words

    • A vape detector can easily detect vapor produced by e-cigarette use
    • Vapor produced by e-cigarette use can and do affect the air quality of indoor environments and can affect outdoor air quality with poor air circulation. 
    • Most air quality detectors can monitor the presence of vapor in the air along with smoke produced through other means such as cigarettes - as long as they employ a PM2.5 sensor.
    • Vapor caused by e-cigarette use will not set off smoke alarms - a special super sensitive smoke vape detector (PM2.5) is needed to detect vaping in an enclosed area, which can be thought of as a extremely low level smoke and ultra super sensitive smoke detector.

    About the Author

    Dr. Koz is the President of FORENSICS DETECTORS, where the company operates from the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, California. He is a subject matter expert on gas sensor technology, gas detectors, gas meters, and gas analyzers. He has been designing, building, manufacturing and testing toxic gas detection systems for over 20 years.

    gas detector expert

    Every day is a blessing for Dr. Koz. He loves to help customers solve their unique problems. Dr. Koz also loves spending time with his wife and his three children going to the beach, grilling burgers, and having a cold beer. 

    Read more about Forensics Detectors here.

    Email:  drkoz@forensicsdetectors.com
    Phone: +1 424-341-3886


    4 comments

    • randy

      I too am having respiratory issues and phlegm and want to use one of these to prove kids are vaping. Looking to purchase.

    • Tati

      Hi. I have the same problem as Mark Stuart. A neighbour from next unit to my unit smoking something, I am suspecting vape odourless. It gets to my unit causes me severe respiratory issues. Would your device detect vape or cigarettes or marijuana? I need to prove that he smoke.thank you

    • Greg Hall

      How are these set up? Are they secure from students removing or vandalizing them? How do we monitor the device and how do they alert staff of vape usage? Is there a demo or video?

    • Mark Stuart

      Hi Dr. Koz,
      My wife and I moved into an apartment a few months ago and in the last few weeks detected an odor. We’ve had the apartment management check it and they found nothing. I think it is vape smoke coming from another apartment in our building but can’t prove that. Would one of these PM2.5 detectors get a result that we can show the apartment management?
      Thanx,
      Mark

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