So What Exactly Am I Vaping?
Posted 28th Jul 2014 to The Science of Vaping
There has been a lot of controversy in the news as of late on what exactly E-Juice is and how it contains trace amounts of poison or how one of the main ingredients is actually anti-freeze. Let’s break down all of the ingredients one by one and put this controversy to bed. E-Juice is composed of 3 major elements, nicotine, flavoring, and your base which is a combination of PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin).
PG is an organic compound that is actually used in everyday items such as asthma inhalers, preservatives found in food items, and especially cosmetics. Yes, PG is found in antifreeze but it is not the active ingredient which actually is Ethylene Glycol (a very deadly toxin); keep in mind another ingredient in antifreeze is water, which we all know is pretty non-toxic. One of the main reasons PG is used in E-Juice is its ability to combine and hold liquids together that normally wouldn’t combine otherwise. PG is also tasteless and has no smell to it either so it won’t affect the how your E-Juice tastes; in addition, PG is where your throat hit comes from. VG is yet another organic compound that is in everyday foods as well. In fact, if you have ever looked at the ingredients in most diet or low-carb snacks and meal replacements, you will most likely see VG as an ingredient or listed as a sugar alcohol. Unlike PG, VG actually does carry as sweet flavor to it, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as it often compliments the E-Juice more so than takes away from it. Again unlike PG, VG is actually much thicker at room temperature and when vaporized creates a thick, luscious cloud of vapor that most cloud chasers crave, but one of the downsides to VG is it contains no throat hit. Unfortunately, some people (myself included) are allergic to PG; it creates a horrible throat sensation almost as though my throat is closing up. The good news is Vape Mate like many vendors accommodate by releasing a line of max VG or high-VG E-Juice where the base is made of mostly or entirely VG based liquids.
The flavorings used in E-Juice are the same flavorings that are used for food such as bakery and dessert items. The flavorings are all food grade flavorings and use a PG base as it carries the flavor much better than anything else. Only a small ratio of flavoring is actually used in E-Juice often times it is just 5 to 15 percent of the E-Juice is actually flavoring. Very rarely would you find a bottle of E-Juice with over 25 percent flavoring as the flavor would be just too overpowering and for lack of a better term, just plain nasty. Since I am completely open and honest, I would like to point out that some E-Juices may contain diacetyl as part of their flavoring for creamy and buttery flavors. Diacetyl can cause bronchiolitis obliterans when exposed in large quantities. But rest assured as there are many flavorings that do not contain diacetyl at all and most reputable flavoring manufacturers have avoided using diacetyl completely in creating their flavors.
Even with dilution nicotine in E-Juice should not be taken lightly as large doses that are ingested orally or absorbed through the skin can be very harmful and poisonous
Nicotine, nicotine, nicotine. Most of us are all former smokers or are at least looking for an alternative to smoking so we know exactly what nicotine is and how addicting in can be. Nicotine like caffeine is a stimulant for our bodies, but unlike caffeine it does not contain addictive properties. Nicotine targets the pleasure centers of our brains and when nicotine is released into our blood stream our pleasure centers are triggered and releases a calming and very addicting sensation. Nicotine for E-Juices are not from tobacco leaves, but are created in a lab and heavily diluted before entering any bottle of E-Juice. Even with dilution nicotine in E-Juice should not be taken lightly as large doses that are ingested orally or absorbed through the skin can be very harmful and poisonous. Nicotine poisoning is a real thing and some systems include headaches, stomach pains, bloating, and even vomiting. There has only been one recorded case of death caused by ingesting E-Juice as of this date. A toddler lost her life due to neglect and bad parenting as she drank from a bottle of E-Juice that was carelessly laid out and not properly stored. This even, although very unfortunate, should serve as a reminder that E-Juice should always be stored persistently especially if you have young children or pets in your home.
Well, there you have it ladies and gentlemen. E-Juice is comprised of nicotine, flavoring, and base nothing extra is being added in terms of toxins or other deadly chemicals. But I do want to say that it is always wise to understand where and how your E-Juice is being created. Many E-Juice manufactures have a clean room dedicated to E-Juice making and E-Juice making alone. Proper safety equipment is used when creating the E-Juice as to avoid contaminating the E-Juice. I’ve seen some horrible practices in my time of some local places that make in-house E-Juice. Let’s just say it is always a good practice to know what exactly you are vaping so definitely ask before purchasing. This is why I really cannot suggest buying E-Juice from China as they have horrible quality control. Instead, buy locally or at least within your own country where the vendor can answer to what they are selling. Mixologists always welcome questions as they want people to know where their hard work, diligence, and love is going into every bottle they make.