While cigarettes have been around for quite some time and have long been the only way to take nicotine, besides dip and cigars, vaping devices are now increasing in popularity. Many people believe they are safer than smoking cigarettes, but this is still up for debate.
Vaping consists of inhaling a vapor from a vape, or e-cigarette, that was created by heating a liquid in a tank called vape juice. But what is vape juice? In this article, we will discuss what vape juice is exactly and briefly go over the ingredients it contains.
What Exactly Is Vape Juice?
Vape juice, e-liquid, e-juice, whatever you want to call it, is the liquid in your vape that you “smoke.” When you hit a button on your vaping device, the device begins heating the liquid, which turns the liquid into a vapor. This is what you inhale when you take a puff or hit of your vaporizer.
This juice is a blend of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol for the base, along with flavorings and nicotine. There is also vape juice that doesn’t contain nicotine, and this is normally used by people who have a habit of inhaling a cigarette but don’t want the nicotine anymore.
There are also many different flavors and nicotine strengths you can choose from, which is why new smokers are more attracted to vaping as opposed to smoking.
It’s always important to choose high-quality vape juice from a reputable store or manufacturer to avoid potentially harmful ingredients or contaminants. Some manufacturers may see harmful substances in their vape juice in an effort to save money.
So, now that you know what vape juice is let’s check out the most common ingredients found in vape juice.
1. Propylene Glycol
The first ingredients in your vape juice are going to be what makes up the base. Propylene glycol, or PG, is a preservative commonly found in foods and cosmetics, and it makes up a portion of the base used to make vape juice. They use this ingredient to carry flavor and nicotine.
It is also responsible for the vapor you see when you take a hit off of your vape. PG is actually the primary ingredient used in fog machines that people use for Halloween parties and concerts.
While some vape juices may have a higher PG level than VG, you will usually see a higher VG level in most vape juices. This means that there is more VG in the vape juice than PG.
2. Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin, also known as VG, also helps make up the base of the vape liquid. It also acts as a carrier for the flavor and nicotine. One of the main differences between VG and PG is that VG creates a thicker vapor cloud than PG, so it makes for a better vaping experience for most people.
VG is organic and completely natural and is approved by the FDA for use in foods. You may also see it on the back of makeup packaging or a lotion bottle because it has moisturizing properties.
However, Just like with PG, some people may be sensitive to VG as well, so take precautions if you are sensitive or have allergies.
You may have heard of nicotine or recognize it for its use in traditional cigarettes. Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco plants that works similarly to a drug. For cigarettes, these tobacco leaves are dried and rolled in a type of thin paper. They usually have a filter on end to filter out the tar from the leaves.
In vape juice, nicotine is extracted from the tobacco plants so that only the concentrated liquid is added.
When you inhale nicotine, it goes into your bloodstream and triggers an immediate dopamine release.
This will cause you to feel extremely relaxed and less anxious, which is why many people smoke more during very stressful times. This is also how people become addicted to nicotine. They become addicted to dopamine release.
Vape juices have different nicotine levels or strengths, typically ranging from 3 mg (milligrams) to 0 mg per ml (milliliters).
People will usually opt for a low-nicotine-strength vape juice if they are trying to wean themselves off of smoking traditional cigarettes and a high-strength if they want the high from smoking nicotine without the other side effects like cigarette smoke.
Let’s take a look at some common nicotine strengths found in vape juice:
- 3 mg: This is the lowest nicotine strength aside from 0 and is usually for light vapers or smokers who smoke less than half a pack a day.
- 6 mg: This is a medium nicotine strength and is usually for moderate vapers or smokers who smoke up to one pack a day.
- 12 mg: This is a higher nicotine strength and is usually for heavy vapers or smokers who smoke up to two packs a day.
- 18 mg or higher: This is an extremely high nicotine strength and is usually for very heavy vapers or smokers who smoke more than two packs a day.
If you are new to vaping, you should probably start with a lower strength and gradually increase your intake to avoid getting too much nicotine in your system at once.
You should also be careful when you store your vape juice and make sure it isn’t somewhere that it could crack easily or spill. Most vape juice tanks are made out of glass, so they are pretty easy to break if dropped.
Nicotine absorbed through your skin can be highly toxic and even deadly if ingested in large amounts.
Next, let’s talk about flavoring. Vape juice flavors can be natural or artificial, and there is a wide variety of flavors available.
Common flavors consist of fruit flavors, such as strawberry and coconut, and dessert flavors, like chocolate or caramel; candy flavors, like bubblegum and cotton candy; and menthol-type flavors, like peppermint.
There are also tobacco flavors that are made to resemble the taste of a cigarette or cigar. These flavors are usually used by people who have smoked for a long time and like the flavor associated with tobacco.
Is Vape Juice Harmful?
Whether vape juice is harmful or not is a debate that has been going on since vapes first came on the scene.
Some people say they are much safer than smoking cigarettes, while others claim inhaling the substances found in vape juice over a long period can cause significant health issues.
Vape juice is known to be highly addictive and can negatively impact the brains of teenagers and young adults whose brains are not fully developed. Another common concern associated with vaping is the respiratory issues caused by irritated lungs.
There is also some evidence that some of the ingredients in the vape juice become harmful when heated, creating chemicals such as formaldehyde.
Along with these risks, one common ingredient found in some vape juices, diacetyl, can be harmful when inhaled through vaping.
Diacetyl is often used as a flavoring for things such as popcorn, which gives the popcorn its buttery flavor. It also adds a buttery taste to some vape flavors, like caramel. While it is entirely safe for consumption, inhaling the chemical is known to cause an untreatable lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn lung.”
Even though the condition is rare, it is extremely serious. The disease affects your small airways by causing inflammation and scarring, leading to coughing and difficulty breathing.
Because of this side effect, some vape juice makers have stopped using the ingredient altogether and started using an alternative that isn’t harmful. However, check the label on the back of your vape juice to ensure it doesn’t have this dangerous ingredient in it.
Although vape juice is considered to have safe ingredients and vaping may be slightly safer than cigarettes, it is important to always be aware of the risks involved with vaping.
Always be sure to choose high-quality vape juice and check the ingredient labels for extra ingredients that may be harmful, especially if you have asthma or other allergies.
We hope you found this article helpful! If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below. We love to hear from our readers.