A Breath of Fresh Propylene Glycol Vapor

Electronic cigarettes are praised by many as the perfect smoking alternative and even as the easiest way to quit smoking, because they mimic smoking in every way. But do you know what is in the “smoke” or “vapor” that comes out of electronic cigarettes? E-Cigarette liquid, or e-liquid, is made in most part of Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol. Nicotine is optional.

Vegetable Glycerin (also known as glycerol or VG) is derived from natural fats and oils. It has been the main ingredient in soap for as long as soap exists. It is a thick, sweet-tasting liquid that is used in everything from food to cosmetics to medicines. VG‘s chemical formula is C3H5 (OH) 3 and if slightly heated evaporates into H2O (water vapor) and CO2 (carbon dioxide). Carbon dioxide is not toxic but it is an asphyxiant, which in high concentrations (in an enclosed space) can lead to suffocation. MSDS data sheets only mention that prolonged continuous inhalation of vegetable glycerin mist may irritate the respiratory tract.

What happens when you heat propylene glycol and what is in the vapor that is produced? Propylene glycol (chemical formula C3H8O2) is a manufactured substance that does not occur in nature and it has first been used in 1859. Propylene Glycol (PG) is a colorless, odorless liquid which is soluble, to various extents, in a wide range of organic materials and is completely soluble in water.

When slightly heated, propylene glycol breaks down into H2O (water vapor) and CO2 (carbon dioxide). Here is what the United States Department of Agriculture has to say about PG:


Propylene Glycol Inhalation is Safe

Particularly, the part about “inhalation” (breathing in):

Inhalation: No adverse health effects via inhalation.

As you can see, electronic cigarette smoke is in fact simply water vapor carrying nicotine and some flavor. There is no reason at all to be afraid of e-cigarettes, let alone ban their sale like some dishonest health agencies have suggested doing, with their own interests in mind. In fact, e-cigarettes have shown themselves to be the best and easiest way to quit smoking. No other nicotine cessation drug or therapy even comes close to the success rates that e-cigarettes have had in helping smokers quit. This is the only reason why so many corporations are after them. Nicorette will probably go bankrupt if e-cigarettes aren’t stopped somehow and quick. This is why some states like Utah are proposing to heavily tax e-cigarettes, so as to discourage their purchase. The less people buy e-cigarettes, the more tobacco and pharmaceutical companies that cater to smokers will profit. Find out what you can do locally to prevent heavy taxation of electronic cigarette products to protect your rights!

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About the Author

Senior Editor

After many previous failed attempts at quitting smoking I stumbled upon electronic cigarettes and decided to give them a try. It has been five years now that I smoked my last tobacco cigarette and I am 100% nicotine-free!


  1. I tried e-cigs once with no luck, but with the convenience of my easily-refilled vaporizer, I’ve been tobacco-free for six weeks and counting. Additionally, I’m slowly stepping down nicotine content successfully. Never thought twelve years of smoking and trying to quit could have such an easy solution!

  2. I have been smoking since I was 16 years old.I have tried to quit many times but always failed. a friend of mine said she was smoking to much so she tried e-cigarette . she said she has cut down on her smoking with the cigarette. she also said she feels better smoking the e-cigarette rather than the regular cigarette.she also said her lungs feel better and she can breathe better.

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