How much do we really know about vegetable glycerin and vaping?
Vaping has become more popular in today’s society. Although vaping is still relatively new to society, we are starting to learn more and more about what it does to the body.
When vaping, a person must fill a reservoir with a liquid known as e-liquid or “vape juice”. This is the substance that delivers the nicotine to the user. (Think of this as the cigarette of the vaping process).
This “vape juice”, however, isn’t made up entirely of nicotine. There needs to be a medium, or liquid, for the nicotine to travel in. One of the most popular of these solutions is vegetable glycerin.
Vegetable glycerin is said to be one of the healthiest options for vaping, but it appears that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to vegetable glycerin vaping.
Why Vegetable Glycerin Vaping
Vegetable glycerin is one of the standard bases used for vaping e-liquids. The other is propylene glycol. As mentioned earlier, these compounds are used as bases to deliver nicotine to the user, and also to create thick clouds of smoke when users exhale.
Manufacturers and users tend to prefer vegetable glycerin vaping because it’s a base that holds onto flavoring longer. It also absorbs into a user’s vaporizer more slowly which can make e-liquid last longer.
In addition, vegetable glycerin is said to have a sweeter taste and less “throat hit”. Throat hit is a slang term for soreness in the back of a user’s throat created from vaping. The vegetable glycerin also helps vape users to exhale much thicker clouds.
This all seems “well and good”. And if someone was a vape enthusiast they would probably be saying “sign me up!” at this point. But all of these benefits could come at a price.
Vegetable Glycerin Then And Now
Vaping burst onto the scene as a cleaner, healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes and using other nicotine products. Is that true? For a while people had thought so, but more and more cases of lung injury via vaping are starting to surface in the news.
A study conducted in 2018 involving 30 young adults aged 21-30. The test group in this study was asked to vape vegetable glycerin. They were asked to vape the liquid twice a day for 30 days.
The outcome of the study was that a definitive link couldn’t be made between inhaling vegetable glycerin and lung injury. Doctors involved in the study were quoted as saying “inhaling anything has an effect on the lungs. If you’re not a smoker, we wouldn’t suggest vaping”.
Researchers went on to say that although this isn’t concrete evidence that inhaling these compounds is bad for lung health, it’s a possible piece of evidence that can be used to build up the case against vaping.
At this point in time, just two years ago, not enough evidence had been compiled to determine whether or not vegetable glycerin was harmful.
Fast Forward To Today
Since that previous study was conducted, more testing and research has gone into the topic of vaping. According to the American Lung Association, as recently as May of 2020, vegetable glycerin vaping is, in fact, harmful to the body.
According to a more recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina, both base compounds(propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin) have shown to increase toxicity levels in our cells.
In addition to that, the act of vaping alone has been found to produce a number of harmful chemicals. It’s believed this has to do with the combination of the base and flavoring compounds used in most e-liquids.
Researchers have since found that vape liquids contain herbicides used to kill weeds, chemicals that can cause lung disease, as well as volatile organic chemicals such as benzene.
The Surgeon General even warned against the effects of second-hand smoke in vaping. Because of the giant clouds of smoke vaping creates, it is easier to affect more people around you with second-hand smoke.
The Surgeon General concluded that these plumes of second-hand smoke can carry things such as nicotine, benzene, and heavy metals like lead, nickel, or tin. Second-hand smoke even carried toxic flavoring compounds. One of these compounds, known as diacetyl, is a known lung cancer-causing agent.
In addition, the FDA has come out and said that there has been no evidence of vape use helping cigarette-smokers quit, which was one of the primary “benefits” of vaping that was promoted when vaping was created.
Where Does This Leave Us
Although there has been some confusion around vaping in the past, it seems pretty clear now. Vaping doesn’t do what it was originally intended to do.
It doesn’t help smokers quit, and as we’ve seen here today, it certainly isn’t a “healthier” alternative to cigarettes. The American Lung Association’s stance on the subject is “Quit, don’t switch”. That sounds like smart advice.
If you, or someone you know, are struggling with vaping or addiction please reach out to us here at Just Believe. We’re here to listen, always willing to help, and happy to do whatever it takes to improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.