Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, or a medical expert, I am giving my opinion and backing it up with the research I’ve found. Please draw your own conclusions and do your own research.
We don’t know enough about what goes into e-liquid to know if they’re safe. Oh, really? Let me just show you this;
If we don’t know enough about the safety of the ingredients in e-liquid, then we’d better take the nicotine inhalers off the market too.
If you’re worried about the flavourings in eliquids, then buy from a good UK/EU/US based vendor, who lists their ingredients, tests their products and who supplies it in clearly marked foodsafe containers with child safe caps. There are good quality eliquids manufactured outside the UK/EU/US, so don’t reject them just because of their origin; read up and make your own decisions. If you see dubious looking eliquid for sale, or the vendor can’t list you the ingredients or tell you the PG/VG ratio, vote with your feet and your cash and buy elsewhere. http://www.ecita.org.uk/ has some good information on what the industry expects from it’s members. This all looks like good practice to me.
E liquid isn’t standard or regulated, is it? Yes, it is. It In the UK E Liquid production is currently regulated by Trading Standards. CLP standards must be met http://www.hse.gov.uk/chemical-classification/legal/clp-regulation.htm and trading standards will ensure that what is put in the bottles you buy is what is stated on the label. For example ensuring that the nicotine content is correct.
These flavours are for kids aren’t they? NO! Adults like them. Why would I want to vape something that tastes like old ashtray when my taste buds are starting to work again? Why ‘old ashtray’ flavour when I can vape a guilt free Black Forest Gateau, or apple pie, or caramel, or bubblegum if that’s what floats my boat? I stopped eating those things because they’re bad for me, not because I’m an adult and suddenly stopped enjoying them when I hit my 18th birthday. Touch my flavours and there will be a vaper-rage. If you’ve never used vaping to switch from smoking, then you don’t understand, and you never will. Don’t. Mess. With. My. Flavours. I mean it. And I’m not alone: http://ecigarettereviewed.com/study-e-cigarette-flavors-important-for-quitting-smoking
There’s anti-freeze in e liquid, isn’t there? If you hear this one, then the chances are you’ve been listening to someone who has a hidden agenda in discrediting vaping. Juice does contain a chemical (Propylene Glycol which is known as PG) that has a lower freezing point than water. But, unlike industrial antifreeze, PG is safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. You will find PG in lots of things you use every day, like toothpaste and mouthwash and asthma inhalers oh and NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY INHALED PRODUCTS. It is also used as an additive in the ‘safer’ non-toxic antifreeze, yes, but it is not Diethylene Glycol which is the toxic stuff.
BUT there was a report that said they’d found Diethylene Glycol in e-cigarettes too? There was, yes. It has only been found in one cartridge, on one occasion, and at a non-lethal level. The levels were almost untraceable and certainly not what you’d call “finding toxins”. However, it shouldn’t have been found at all. It was probably the quality of the PG being used or contamination in a particular batch – so again buy from a GOOD source and there won’t be any. If ejuices did contain anti‐freeze, there would be news reports about millions of vapers suffering from diethylene glycol poisoning. To date there have been no such reports.
There’s OIL in e-juice, isn’t there? No, there’s not. PG and VG are not oils. All flavourings added to ejuice should be PG (Propylene Glycol) based. Please do your own research on any flavourings you intend to use if mixing your own juice, and read what your ejuice vendor says about what they use. Diacetyl containing flavours should not be used in ejuice at all. There may be traces of natural oils in some naturally extracted PG based flavourings, and the safety of these is still being investigated. From Dr Farsalinos “We know that most flavours in the food industry are dissolved in oil (usually vegetable oil). These should NOT be used for inhalation. Inhaling oils can lead to lipoid pneumonia.”
There are other toxins in vapour though, right? Trace amounts of “tobacco‐specific nitrosamines” that come out of the nicotine itself, yes. Dr. Murray Laugesen conducted an independant study which showed that an averge electronic cigarette contained 8.18ng nitrosamines per 1g of liquid. 8 ng in 1g = eight parts per trillion, an extremely tiny amount. By comparision, nicotine gum contains 2ng, the nicotine patch: 8ng and Marlborough cigarettes tested at 11,190ng. That translates to electronic cigarettes containing 1,200 times LESS of these cancer causing nitrosamines than tobacco cigarettes.
I don’t want to breathe your second hand vapour, it looks like smoke, so I’m going to do my anti smoking hand wave and shout at you. Electronic cigarette vapor does not behave in the same way as tobacco smoke. There is no “side stream vapor” and what is breathed out when I vape dissipates very quickly. In order to actually get any nicotine out of it, you’d have to get right up in my face at kissing distance and breathe it straight in. I’ll guarantee you it’ll be more pleasant than doing that with a smoker. At that you’d probably get as much nicotine as you would from a plate of chips, or a portion of mousakka, or cauliflower. All of these foods contain nicotine. As for the nasty chemicals? Really? Still? Go and read this and then come back. Don’t wheel me outside with the smokers. Their sidestream smoke IS dangerous to me, and stinks as bad for me as it does for you. I switched. HELP ME STAY SWITCHED.
Edited to add: One e-cigarette vaped in a closed room released 3 millionths of a gram of nicotine into the air. Modern laboratories can detect this amount, but it is of no clinical consequence. It won’t do anything. It’s basically background noise. Visible electronic cigarette vapor, a white aerosol or mist, is exhaled from the mouth, disperses and vanishes within seconds to become an invisible vapor. The visible e-cigarette vapor consists of droplets (< 1 micrometer diameter) of propylene glycol (PG) and glycerol in the same proportions as in the liquid. No harm has been reported due from water-soluble e-cigarette vapor or from PG mist, which was found safe for inhalation by hospitalized children over months, and was highly effective in killing respiratory bacteria and the influenza virus. Unlike diesel, coal, and cigarette smoke, electronic cigarette vapor on the evidence is not harmful to health because of its particulates
Why don’t you just give up instead, you lilly-livered weak willed pansy? I tried. None of the methods out there have worked. I am a nicotine addict, and this works to reduce the harm that does me significantly without me having to use willpower. Why would I want to go do it the hard way and fail again, just so your unfounded fears about e-cigarettes can be put aside.
But you’re still addicted to nicotine and that’s a baaaaad thing. No worse than caffiene actually. It’s the other stuff in fags that’ll kill you, I could cite some health benefits for nicotine that has been studied, but I won’t. I don’t want the non smokers to find them and take it up. Nicotine is a toxic substance in overdose, yes. So is caffiene, so are other drugs. Ye gods, there’s enough arsenic in the average lettuce to kill a baby. Ban lettuce! Think of the children! Nicotine has been demonised because for a long time it couldn’t be studied separate from tobacco. If you want to know more look here: http://ecigarettereviewed.com/top-10-studies-on-nicotine-you-need-to-know-about
Is vaping safe? We know enough to be able to say that it is a lot safer than smoking, and we have based that on good evidence: an hour long presentation on it here:
This is my own risk analysis, done in the same way I do them for new medical treatments for my health issues. I am not a doctor and I make no medical claims. On balance, in my opinion, and based on the evidence I’ve seen, vaping is safer than smoking. It is probably not as safe as breathing fresh air (when I can find any) but it’s working to make me healthier than I was.