ARE E-JUICES HARMFUL?
Vape juice is the substance that is heated to produce vapor in electronic-cigarettes which are also known as vapes or vaporizers. Vape juice is also known as e-juice or e-liquids.
It is an essential component to vaporizers and although integral to vaping, it is a fairly simple compound. E-juice is made up only of a few ingredients but are available in a wide variety of flavors from fruit-flavored ones to pastry-based liquids with varying nicotine levels to suit every possible taste preference there is.
The focus on the risks and dangers of e-cigarettes has zeroed in on e-juices given that it is the very material that is turned into vapor and consumed. At face value, the question has always been “are vaporizers harmful?” and this is due to their rising popularity over the years. However, the real question really is “are e-juices harmful?”.
A Public Health England study recently came out claiming that e-juices are 95% less dangerous than the smoke from combusted tobacco. It was added that e-juices and vaporizers should be greatly considered as a “potential tool in cessation strategies.”
So what is in e-juice? If you break an e-juice down to what comprises it, you will find a combination of 5 ingredients namely water, flavoring, nicotine, propylene glycol or PG, and vegetable glycerin or VG. In some e-juices, nicotine, PG, or VG may be absent depending on the preference. All of these are food-grade consumer market ingredients and considered safe for ingestion.
There is no question about water and flavoring. However, PG and VG may come off as unfamiliar and so are explained in summary further below.
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
Studies have shown that PG is safe to ingest and is, in fact, considered a food additive. It is commonly found in ordinary household items such as pet food, toothpaste and other oral hygiene products, and in oral medicine. In e-juice, PG is used t a carrier for the flavor. It is less viscous than VG and so does not produce a lot of vapor but does delivered a pretty good throat hit.
VG, on the other hand, is an organic viscous oil from vegetables. It is a natural chemical and is considered very safe for ingestion. It is used as a sugar replacement in food such as baked goods. It is also found in toothpaste and other dental care products just like PG. Unlike, PG, VG is used in e-juice for its ability to generate a lot of vapor when heated and when vaped, is very smooth. It does not, however, deliver well on flavor.
Nicotine is the addictive content of tobacco and is culprit on why we get hooked on cigarettes. It is safe to ingest nicotine. However, it should be noted that our body can only tolerate so much nicotine at a given time although we are able to adjust our tolerance with time.
Nicotine in e-juice can be customized to suit a vaper’s tolerance. For switchers, setting their e-juice’s nicotine level to that of their current tolerance level is usually the first step and to gradually lower it down for cessation purposes. E-juice with zero nicotine is available for those who are no longer dependent on it.
Given that these ingredients are all safe to consume on their own and are also found in other products that are also ingested, it is therefore concluded that e-juice is not harmful at all. However, with the growing popularity of vaporizers across the world, studies are continuously being conducted to understand long-term effects if there are any.