E-cigarettes are under constant scrutiny. Sceptics are always speculating about the potential health effects of long-term vaporising. This is circulated in the media and may lead people, both vapers and non-vapers, to question what exactly e-liquids are made of. Quite rightly this is a valid concern and people should know what they are vaping. So to put doubt to rest, we’ve broken down what our e-liquids contain, and what ingredients to look out for when buying e-liquid mixtures.
The first thing everyone needs to know is that e-liquids are not harmful. They do not contain any carcinogenic compounds, like that found in regular tobacco cigarettes. A study conducted by the Spanish Council of Scientific Research analysed levels of Volatile Organic Compounds in exhaled breath of tobacco cigarette and electronic cigarette smokers. The results were published on Monday 7th September this year in the Journal of Chromatography A. They found e-cigarette exhaled breath alone contains less volatile organic compounds than regular indoor air and exhaled breath. Therefore, it can be concluded that e-cigarette exhalation is less harmful than regular breaths of air and the natural air indoors.
Chinese e-liquid manufacturers are largely to blame for substandard e-liquid juice. Some companies have chosen to source their e-liquids from Asia or other countries not from the UK. These companies may even claim their products to be ‘sourced in the UK’ or ‘made to USA or EU standards’. Though sourced in the UK, does not mean the e-liquid is produced in the UK. This means that they cannot guarantee the provenance or quality of their e-liquids ingredients. Our e-liquids are 100% developed and made in the UK in our own UK-based factories to pharmaceutical grade.
The liquids themselves contain five key ingredients; pharmaceutical grade nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings and distilled water. You will have seen with every e-liquid an advertised PG/VG balance which describes the ratio of Propylene Glycol to Vegetable Glycerin. Great, so are these compounds safe? VG is a carbohydrate derived from plant oils and is the ingredient that produces the smoke-like vapour we all love to enjoy. It is hypo-allergenic, of low toxicity when ingested or inhaled, and is permitted as a food additive by government health agencies. Propylene Glycol is commonly known for being used in de-icing and anti-freeze solutions, which may sound alarming, however, it is also an additive that has been ‘generally’ recognised as safe to use in food by the Food and Drug Administration in America. It is a clear, colourless liquid that breaks down very quickly in the body, is tasteless and is used to maintain moisture in cosmetic and medicinal liquids.
If you didn’t know already, is a chemical that has been proven to cause ‘popcorn lung’ through exposure. ‘Popcorn lung’ derives from an incident in which workers at a popcorn production plant that were exposed to open vats of flavourings and vapour who subsequently developed serious lung diseases. It has been used by some manufacturers in some creamy flavoured e-liquids, as it provides an intense buttery flavour, but should be completely avoided. And that is why all our e-liquid flavours and products are Diacetyl-free, and we suggest any e-liquid you buy should be too.
Regulation of e-liquids
Starting next year there are two routes of regulation e-cigarettes could follow. There is the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which proposes to regulate e-cigs as a tobacco-related product. This means that from the 20th May 2016, all companies will have to abide by new rules, and lots of unnecessary red tape. There will be advertising restrictions, and a standardised refilling mechanism. This means we will be unable to inform customers to make the positive choice of switching to an alternative to combustible cigarettes. And with a standardised refilling mechanism being regulation, customisable tanks, clearomisers and kits will be restricted, so no more innovative designs. Sucks right?