You must fill a vaping device with vape juice to supply yourself with nicotine and other chemicals and produce clouds. So, what chemicals are in your e liquids are important questions when considering the risks of vaping.
So, exactly what are the vape juice ingredients used in e-cigarettes and other vape products?
Overall, there are four key e-liquid ingredients: vegetable glycerin base (VG), propylene glycol, flavoring, and nicotine. The concentration levels of the ingredients in e juices affect their performance.
The 4 Key Vape Juice Ingredients
1. Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
Vegetable glycerin is a thick, odorless liquid usually extracted from palm trees or soybeans, making it a naturally occurring chemical. VG has a slightly sweet taste, so it’s ideal for use in certain e-cigarette flavors.
Although this ingredient has been passed off as “safe for consumption” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the long-term health risks of ingesting this ingredient are not yet fully understood. They could potentially be as harmful as tobacco.
Why Do Vape Liquid Manufacturers Use VG?
If you read the labels of products regularly, you will be familiar with VG. After all, manufacturers use VG in items ranging from skin creams, shampoo, and deodorant to food products like yogurt, cheese, and baked goods.
Vegetable glycerin is used in e liquids primarily for its ability to help produce large clouds of vapor. Cloud chasers and sub-ohm chasers look for an e-liquid with a higher concentrated level of VG.
However, the thickness of VG can be harsh on the coils. You will have a higher chance of experiencing dry hits with a Max VG e liquid.
Also, you should know that e-juices with higher VG blends aren’t as flavorful as e-juices with higher PG blends.
2. Propylene Glycol (PG)
Propylene glycol is another essential ingredient of vape juice. PG is extracted from petroleum and has a similar texture to syrup.
Often misidentified as the harmful chemical ethylene glycol, PG has passed the safety tests conducted by the FDA and is reasonably safe for consumption. However, extensive research has yet to provide conclusive reports of its health effects in the long run, mainly how it affects the lungs.
Also, the American Lung Association does not advise inhaling both PG and VG. There is also concern that e-cigarette products, like e liquids, do not come in child-resistant packaging, posing a safety risk if not stored properly.
Why Do E Juice Manufacturers Use PG?
In general cases, manufacturers of food and cosmetic products use this ingredient to retain moisture. However, vape juice manufacturers utilize PG to carry the e-liquid flavors to the inhaler’s mouth.
With a higher concentrated level of PG in your vape juice, you can expect the e-liquid to have sharper, more flavorful hits. Also, an e juice with a higher PG blend tends to have a stronger throat hit and can thus mimic the sensation of smoking a cigarette.
Unfortunately, more potent throat hits can also result in a sore throat. So, be careful when picking a vape juice with a higher PG ratio.
Since PG isn’t as thick as VG, e liquids with a higher PG mix are easy on the coils and to clean.
Without proper flavoring chemicals added to the vape juice, you wouldn’t get the taste of your favorite cereal, fruit, or drink in your vape juice. Vape juice manufacturers usually use blends of natural and artificial chemicals to help carry flavor in e liquids.
If you purchase a vape juice of a respected brand, there are higher chances that the flavoring chemicals have been deemed generally safe for consumption by FEMA (Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association). Therefore, only purchase from recognized brands, outlets, and online stores.
Regrettably, there are e liquids that use small amounts of toxic substances such as diethylene glycol, diacetyl, and acetyl propionyl, which the FDA does not regulate in inhalation products. Diacetyl, a buttery flavor, is particularly dangerous. Inhaling diacetyl may cause Obliterative bronchiolitis, also called popcorn lung.
On the bright side, the presence of these toxins in e-cigarettes is 10 to 100 times less than in traditional cigarettes.
Overall, flavoring concentrates don’t exceed more than 10% of the total vape juice content.
Part of the reason many people transition from smoking to vaping is to smoke less nicotine content.
Many consider nicotine as one of the root causes of lung disease and cancer; however, there are no conclusive scientific reports to back that up. It is actually the tar and other toxic chemicals in cigarettes that carry carcinogenic properties.
But, nicotine isn’t entirely safe. The chemical increases blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to heart disease after long-term exposure.
Nicotine is a highly addictive alkaloid that consists of nitrogen derived from many types of plants of the nightshade family, particularly tobacco plants. The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that the addictive properties of nicotine can prime the brain to addiction to other substances. Nicotine may also cause birth defects and other reproductive harm.
E-cigarette liquids attempt to make people less reliant on nicotine. The juices in e-cigarettes are available in a wide range of concentrated nicotine levels, including 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, and even as high as 36mg. The different milligram levels allow people to ween off.
There are two things you need to know when determining the nicotine strength you need.
- Juices that contain higher nicotine levels produce sharper throat hits, resulting in your vape hitting harshly. Such liquids can also make the flavors taste harsher.
- To combat the stress of harsh throat hits, many manufacturers have started using nicotine salts. This ingredient allows vapers to enjoy higher nicotine strength vape juices without worrying about harsh taste. Furthermore, since nic salts are smoother, vapers are less likely to suffer from a sore throat.
Although using a vaping device is safer than smoking cigarettes, vapes can still cause breathing problems. Vape sparingly and only to combat your withdrawal symptoms.