If you're thinking about taking up vaping, or have already started, it's only natural that you'd try and be sure that vaping is as safe as possible (of course, inhaling anything but clean air is worse than not doing so). After all, what would be the point in switching from cigarettes to vaping if it turned out that it was just as bad, or even worse for you!?
E-liquid is not some strange and mysterious substance, though. It's a fairly simple one, and contains just a few relatively safe ingredients.
Is E-Liquid Poisonous?
Despite what some people would lead you to believe (usually people who have a vested interest in keeping people smoking cigarettes) vaping is hardly comparable to smoking at all. Is it poisonous? Only if it's abused, much like nearly every substance around. Vaping hasn't been around long enough to properly study long-term effects unfortunately, so we can't definitively say that it's safe, but all the signs point to it being significantly less of a risk than smoking, which we know has several toxic and disease-causing chemicals.
What's in E-Liquid?
Propylene glycol (PG) - this is an organic compound, and forms the main part of the e-juice along with VG. It is generally recognised as safe for human ingestion by the FDA
Vegetable glycerin (VG) - this is a natural chemical derived from vegetable oil. It is a thick, heavy liquid with a sweet taste and is used in several foods and drinks as a sweetener
Flavouring - food-grade flavourings are used in e-cigarettes to replicate all your favourite flavours
Water - you know this one
Nicotine - the infamous (but misunderstood) cigarette ingredient. Levels can vary, allowing you to choose a high level of nicotine or a nicotine-free e-juice
Isn't Nicotine Poisonous?
Nicotine is an addictive substance, and in high enough doses it can have negative effects, like most things. However, it pales in comparison to the other substances in cigarettes/cigarette smoke such as tobacco, tar, ammonia, carbon monoxide and arsenic, to name a few. The doses required to actually poison you are significantly higher than the amount you would get while vaping even a strong e-liquid though.
The only realistic way of getting nicotine poisoning would be to drink your bottle of e-liquid, and hopefully most people have the requisite IQ to avoid this. It raises an issue with regards to child safety though, but much like alcohol, medication and many more things, it should be up to the adult to be responsible and keep e-juice out of the reach of children. Many bottles of e-liquid now have child-proof caps too, for an extra layer of safety.
Another part of e-liquids people have some concerns with are the flavourings. Vaping lacks a lot of regulation at the moment, meaning we don't know what exactly is going into many of the artificial flavours in e-juice. This could be problematic if unscrupulous manufacturers use low quality or even dangerous substances to create these weird and wonderful flavours. As such, it's important that, like anything, you buy from a reputable manufacturer and be wary of any deals that seem too good to be true. If you're sensible, though, you should be able to avoid sub-par e-liquids.