Are Vape Juice Ingredients Safe?
Vaping has sprung onto the scene in an immense way in recent years, with an estimated 3.1 to 3.2 millions adults in the UK who are now classed as vapers. E-cigarettes are considered one of the most effective smoking cessation methods around, but despite this, there’s still a lot of mystery that surrounds vaping. One such mystery is that of vape juice, with many people still questioning what’s in it and whether these ingredients are actually safe. This article will take a closer look at the components of vape juice and examine whether they pose any health risks.
Understanding Vape Juice
Before we talk about the ingredients that are found in vape juice and address the safety concerns, it’s first important to understand exactly what vape juice is. Vape juice, also known as e-liquid or e-juice, is a crucial part of the vaping experience. It is a liquid that is stored inside either a vape tank or replacement pod, which is then heated up. This is what produces the vapour that is then inhaled. E-liquids can come in a variety of different flavours and nicotine strengths.
Common Ingredients in Vape Juice
Propylene Glycol (PG)
PG is an odourless, colourless liquid known for its ability to create a throat hit similar to that experienced when smoking traditional cigarettes. It is recognised as safe for consumption by both US and European food authorities and is commonly used in various consumer products, including food and pharmaceuticals.
Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
In contrast to PG, VG is a thicker, sweeter liquid. It is prized for its ability to produce large vapour clouds, making it a favourite among cloud-chasing vaping enthusiasts. Like PG, VG is also found in many everyday products, such as food and cosmetics.
The addictive component of tobacco – nicotine – is available in varying concentrations in vape juice, ranging from nicotine-free options to high-nicotine varieties. Nicotine is a primary concern due to its potential for addiction and its association with various health risks. For this reason, nicotine is considered the least safe component of vape juice. However, it’s worth pointing out that for anyone using vaping to quit cigarettes, nicotine-containing e-liquid is still far less harmful because it doesn’t contain the carbon monoxide and tar found in cigarettes.
The wide array of flavours in vape juice is made possible by flavourings, which can range from fruity concoctions to dessert-like delights. However, the presence of flavourings in vape juice raises questions, especially when certain flavourings contain potentially harmful compounds. This is why vape juice flavourings are strictly regulated and any flavours that may cause harm are banned.
Each of these ingredients plays a critical role in the vaping experience. PG and VG determine the thickness of the vapour and the sensation of a throat hit, nicotine provides the desired buzz, and flavourings allow users to explore a vast spectrum of tastes.
Safety Concerns and Controversies
Nicotine, whether from traditional cigarettes or vape juice, is highly addictive and is one of the main safety concerns when it comes to e-liquids. However, many often confuse tobacco and nicotine, believing nicotine is as harmful as tobacco smoke. Whilst nicotine is addictive, cigarettes are far more harmful due to the 70+ cancer-causing chemicals present in cigarettes.
Vape juice also comes in a wide range of different nicotine strengths, from 0mg nicotine juices up to 20mg. This helps vapers pick a strength that suits their needs, but also provides a way to slowly reduce their nicotine consumption gradually and healthily.
An ingredient named diacetyl is largely responsible for the safety concern surrounding vape juice. A condition known as “popcorn lung” is thought to be linked to the inhalation of diacetyl-containing substances, raising alarm bells within the vaping community and among health professionals. However, the good news is that diacetyl has been banned as an ingredient for vapes and e-liquid in the UK since 2016. This means that the dangers of popcorn lung no longer exist when it comes to vaping. Despite this, popcorn lung is still feared amongst vapers and non-vapers, unaware of the ingredient that is actually responsible for causing this condition.
Regulation and Labelling
In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) oversees the regulation of nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes and vape products. This regulatory body ensures that these products meet safety and quality standards. Manufacturers and importers of vape products in the UK are required to submit detailed product information to the MHRA. This includes information about the ingredients used, nicotine levels, and manufacturing processes. This system allows for better oversight and traceability of vape products in the market, helping to ensure the ingredients used in vape juice are safe to vape.
As the vaping industry adapts to changing regulations, it is essential for individuals to make informed choices regarding vaping. Whether you are an experienced vaper or considering vaping as a smoking cessation tool, understanding exactly what is in your vape juice. To learn more about vape juice and explore a wide range of different flavours, head on over to Vaping 101. This online vape shop offers e-liquids from some of the biggest names in the vaping industry, ensuring regulatory standards are met for a safer vaping experience.