PG, a synthetic liquid substance derived from petroleum, is a main ingredient in most e-liquids, used as a carrier for the flavorings and often for nicotine, too. PG is largely responsible for the strong throat hit vapers experience, and does produce some vapor, though the majority is a result of the vegetable glycerin (VG). So why do more and more vapers prefer VG?
There is a pervasive sensitivity to PG sweeping the vape community, and detracting countless potential vapers. Reported symptoms include: sore throat, sinus irritation, nausea, hives, bronchoconstriction (constriction of the airways in the lungs, resulting in coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath), swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and even sore muscles.
Fortunately, there are 100% VG e-juices that new vapers and anyone experiencing the above symptoms can try instead. Most such products on the market would be suitable for anyone with a mild sensitivity to PG, as even if touted “100% VG,” this term is used to describe the contents of the base, regardless of whether flavorings or nicotine are carried in PG. We advise that if you have more than a mild sensitivity or simply want to completely avoid PG, look for e-liquid that’s described as 100% PG free, from suppliers that can truly guarantee the chemical’s absence (for example, Vape Organics e-liquids are USDA certified organic, which prevents the presence of PG). Read more about our ingredients here.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified PG as an additive that is “Generally Recognized As Safe,” meaning it’s considered acceptable for use in flavorings, drugs, and cosmetics, and as a direct food additive, there is no determination about heating and then inhaling the substance. It has not been adequately studied with regard to its safety when inhaled deeply and repeatedly.
One study determined that airborne propylene glycol circulating indoors can induce or exacerbate, asthma, eczema, and many allergic symptoms. Another study helps us better understand the effects of PG when heated and has found that, when heated and vaporized, PG can form propylene oxide, which is a recognized carcinogen. However, the heating conditions utilized in the study are unrealistic for vaping; vaping does not reach the heat levels or duration of heat recorded in the study. Additional research is needed to accurately and conclusively evaluate the safety of the heating and inhalation of PG under conditions akin to those experienced when vaping.
3. Increased Demand for All-Natural Vape Juice
E-cigarettes just may be the foremost smoking cessation devices; most people who become interested in vaping are smokers attempting to better their lives by quitting cigarettes. Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals and more and more vapers are trying to get away from the inundation of chemicals into products used on a regular basis.
The study focused on diacetyl and acetyl propionyl that was recently released from Harvard is compromised; as Dr. Farsalinos points out in his response, the study failed to mention that diacetyl and acetyl propionyl are present in analog cigarettes in quantities that are 100 and 10 times greater, respectively, than those in a sample of e-liquids evaluated by Dr. Farsalinos in an independent study (Dr. Michael Siegel actually argues that cigarettes have 750 times the amount of diacetyl than that found in e-cigarettes). Nonetheless, we agree with Dr. Farsalinos that it’s best to avoid any and all unnecessary risk and abstain from such chemicals additives to our e-liquids. Our commitment to crafting e-liquids that not only have a 100% VG base but are 100% free of PG is for the same reason: harm reduction. As consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about synthetic chemicals in vapor products, opting instead for natural products, it’s important that they have choices they can truly embrace and enjoy.