E liquid is a commonly misunderstood thing, often being confused with the smoke that is produced when a person smokes a cigarette. Nothing is further from the truth, and in reality e liquid actually contains none of the carcinogens that are contained in smoke due to the fact that e liquid is not burned. E liquid is vaporized when it is placed into a tank on an e cig or in a personal vaporizer, and a battery is engaged in order to produce a water vapor. This vapor is essentially made up of the same ingredients that are used in inhalers that are prescribed by doctors in order to assist patients with asthma, although the ingredients that are transferred to the body within the vapor cloud are not medicinal. This is not to say that they are in any way harmful, but only to point out that the transfer mechanism for the ingredients is not in any way harmful to breathe, either as the person doing the vaping or a person in the general vicinity of someone who is vaping. The vapor cloud is not made up of any carcinogens, and is therefor absolutely not comparative to smoke.
E liquids are a blend of a liquid base, flavorings and an amount of nicotine. A commonly misunderstood element to vaping is that everyone is using a nicotine e liquid, which is not true. As a matter of fact, when you consider the percentages of nicotine in the total amount of bottles sold nationwide, zero nicotine is the most popular type of e liquid. Another common misconception is that there are a large amount of chemicals mixed into the e liquid that are undisclosed, which is completely not the case. All reputable e liquid manufacturers will list all the ingredients on the label, and they will also use pharmaceutical grade ingredients to make their blends. With all of this said, it is important for people to understand what are the ingredients of e liquid so that it cannot be confused with smoke, and so that they realize that it is not a health risk to breathe it in.
The ingredients in e liquid are typically less than five. These ingredients are as follows:
- VG (Vegetable Glycerin) This is the base of e liquids and typically makes up about 80% – 90% of the total ingredients involved. VG is used in all sorts of foods and personal care products, and is completely safe to consume. It is used to create the vapor that is used as the transfer mechanism for the flavorings and nicotine.
- PG (Propylene glycol) This is a solvent and is used in many household items. It is also used in fog machines. Typically it is mixed with VG in order to produce a thicker vapor and provide a better transfer of the flavorings and nicotine.
- Flavorings. All reputable manufacturers use food grade flavorings that are the same as those used in cooking or baking.
- Nicotine. Somewhere between 0%-2.4% of the e liquid is pharmaceutical grade nicotine.
- Distilled water. Only sometimes used to thin the e liquid if necessary.