What is PG and/or VG?
Propylene Glycol is the primary ingredient in the majority of e-liquids and e-cigarette cartridges on the marketplace today. Most e-liquid contains at least 80% and as much as 92% propylene glycol. This is the ingredient that produces the smoke like vapor when the e-cigarette is exhaled.
Propylene Glycol is approved by Health Canada for use in various forms in Canada. These include items injected, applied topically, and inhaled. Products with Propylene Glycol can be found in various common items around your house. A few examples include:
- Pharmaceuticals – Oral, injectable and topical formulations
- Beauty products including makeup, mousse, shampoo, bubble bath, after shave, and deodorant
- baby wipes
- Asthma inhalers
When propylene glycol is injected, it is metabolized in the human body into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion)  , and propionaldehyde. Because of its low chronic oral toxicity, propylene glycol was classified by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive.
The following is the abstract from a study done by the following doctors: O. H. ROBERTSON, CLAYTON G. LOOSLI, THEODORE T. PUCK, HENRY WISE, HENRY M. LEMON and WILLIAM LESTER, JR. It is entitled: TESTS FOR THE CHRONIC TOXICITY OF PROPYLEXE GLYCOL AND TRIETHYLENE GLYCOL ON MONKEYS AND RATS BY VAPOR INHALATION AND ORAL ADMINISTRATION.
“With a view to determining the safety of employing the vapors of propylene glycol and triethylene glycol in atmospheres inhabited by human beings, monkeys and rats were exposed continuously to high concentrations of these vapors for periods of 12 to 18 months. Equal numbers of control animals were maintained under physically similar conditions. Long term tests of the effects on ingesting triethylene glycol were also carried out. The doses administered represented 50 to 700 times the amount of glycol the animal could absorb by breathing air saturated with the glycol.
Comparative observations on the growth rates, blood counts, urine examinations, kidney function tests, fertility and general condition of the test and control groups, exhibited no essential differences between them with the exception that the rats in the glycol atmospheres exhibited consistently higher weight gains. Some drying of the skin of the monkeys’ faces occurred after several months continuous exposure to a heavy fog of triethylene glycol. However, when the vapor concentration was maintained just below saturation by means of the glycostat this effect did not occur.
Examination at autopsy likewise failed to reveal any differences between the animals kept in glycolized air and those living in the ordinary room atmosphere. Extensive histological study of the lungs was made to ascertain whether the glycol had produced any generalized or local irritation. None was found. The kidneys, liver, spleen and bone marrow also were normal.
The results of these experiments in conjunction with the absence of any observed ill effects in patients exposed to both triethylene glycol and propylene glycol vapors for months at a time, provide assurance that air containing these vapors in amounts up to the saturation point is completely harmless.
*Note: Bolding in Studies added for emphasis of the results.Health Canada on Propylene Glycol:
According to the Health Canada website, “…there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol based on the low toxicity observed in studies near or above testing limit doses. Based on this, the USEPA did not conduct any quantitative human health risk assessments and concluded that exposure does not present a human health risk of concern.”
Health Canada also permits Propylene glycol for use as a food additive.
The risk of being allergic to propylene glycol is very low, but some investigators believe people with eczema have a >2% chance of developing allergies to propylene glycol. If you have or have had an allergy to propylene glycol, it is very likely that you would already know about it, as such a large number of products that most of us use on a daily basis contain propylene glycol, such as deodorant, shampoo, and hair and skin products. The few people who have an irritation towards propylene glycol have found success using Vegetable glycerin as an alternate to propylene glycol in their e-cigarette.
The most common noted side effect of inhalation of e-liquid containing propylene glycol is a dry mouth, sore throat, and increased thirst. These symptoms usually last just a few days to a week as the body gets used to the propylene glycol. These symptoms can be elevated by drinking more water and liquids then usual for the first few weeks of using your e-cigarette.
If you are moving from smoking traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes, you will find there are many side effects of quitting smoking tobacco products. It is very easy for a new user of an e-cigarette to incorrectly attribute these quitting smoking side effects to the e-cigarette, when in fact they are likely the result of your bodies reaction to quitting smoking tobacco cigarettes. Side effects of quitting smoking include: Bad breath, stomach pain, nausea, constipation, increased appetite, skin breakout’s, increased coughing, insomnia, depression, vagueness, irritability, gas, dry throat, nasal drip, dizziness, vertigo. Many of these side effects of quitting smoking will be reduced by using the e-cigarette. Personally, I was nearly symptom free when I made the switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes, but I did notice my throat was often dry, and for a few days I woke up with a sore throat.
Vegetable glycerin is also known as vegetable glycerol. It is a carbohydrate that is usually derived from plant oils. It is used as a sweetener and as an ingredient in a number of cosmetic products. Vegetable glycerin is also used in place of alcohol to extract botanicals.
Vegetable glycerin based E-liquid usually contain at least 80% and as much as 92% Vegetable glycerin. This is the ingredient that produces the smoke like vapor when the e-cigarette is exhaled. Approximately 20% of all e-liquids on the market today are vegetable glycerin based. Vegetable glycerin typically produces more vapor production then propylene glycol, but has reduced throat hit. It is also slightly more viscous (thicker) and slightly sweeter then propylene glycol. Its increased thickness makes it a culprit in reducing the life of atomizers. Some e-smokers use a blend of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol – most often 80-90% PG and 10-20% VG, and sometimes a 50/50 split VG to PG in their e-liquid.
Vegetable glycerin is approved by Health Canada for use in various forms in Canada. Products with Vegetable Glycerin can be found in various common items around your house. A few examples include:
- Sugar substitute
- In Beauty products including makeup, mousse, shampoo, bubble bath, after shave, and deodorant
- Skin and hand cream
- Baked goods – increase moisture
- As a thick gel for creams, gel capsule pills, rubs and jellies
- Eye & ear drops, toothpastes, pastes, and many dental care products
Vegetable glycerin comes in USP grade and food grade. We sell only USP grade (99.7% pure) vegetable glycerin on our Canadian E-cigarette Store.
Glycerine is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) and complies with specifications for the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur. or EP) E244. It is manufactured according to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and is shipped according to applicable Good Trade and Distribution Practices (GTDP).
Glycerol is one of the most benign organic liquids known to man. It is hype-allergenic, non-carcinigeic, non teratogenic and non-mutagenic. It is metabolized quite easily by a process called beta-oxidation. This process results in the production of CO2 and H2O and is a quite normal, common, and natural catabolic process.
The following is a few excerpts from a study called SIDS initial assessment profile of Glycerol
- Glycerol is of low toxicity when injested, inhaled, or in contact with skin
- The NOACE for local irritant effects to the upper respiratory tract is 165 mg/m3
- Glycerol is of a low order of acute oral and dermal toxicity with LD50 values in excess of 4000 mg/kw bw.
- Glycerol has low potential to irritate the skin and the eye
- Glycerol is not a skin sensitiser
- Glycerol does not induce gene mutations in bacterial strains, chromosomal effects in mammalian cells or primary DNA damage in vitro
- Overall, glycerol is not considered to possess genotoxic potential
- No effects on fertility and reproductive performance were observed
- No further work is indicated by this study, because of the low hazard potential of this substance.
Vegetable glycerin, and more generally glycerin (a.k.a. Glycerol) is labeled by the environment Canada domestic substance: “This chemical was NOT flagged by CEPA for further attention. The chemical was flagged for as a low human health priority.”
Health Canada also permits Vegetable Glycerin for use as a food additive.
The risk of being allergic to vegetable glycerin is very low. The only patient population which may experience problems with metabolism of Glycerol would be diabetics owing to the anabolic hepatic pathway which can convert free Glycerol to glucose(but this would still not be an issue at the levels used in vaping).
The most common noted side effect of inhalation of e-liquid containing vegetable glycerin is a dry mouth, sore throat, and increased thirst. These symptoms usually last just a few days to a week as the body gets used to the vegetable glycerin. These symptoms can be lessened by drinking more water and liquids then usual for the first few weeks of using your e-cigarette.
If you are moving from smoking traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes, you will find there are many side effects of quitting smoking tobacco products. It is very easy for a new user of an e-cigarette to incorrectly attribute these quitting smoking side effects to the e-cigarette, when in fact they are likely the result of your bodies reaction to quitting smoking tobacco cigarettes. Side effects of quitting smoking include: Bad breath, stomach pain, nausea, constipation, increased appetite, skin breakout’s, increased coughing, insomnia, depression, vagueness, irritability, gas, dry throat, nasal drip, dizziness, vertigo. Many of these side effects of quitting smoking will be alleviated by using the e-cigarette.
E-LIQUID CONTAINS NICOTINE WHICH IS BOTH HIGHLY TOXIC AND VERY ADDICTIVE. KEEP WELL AWAY FROM CHILDREN AND PETS. E-LIQUID IS ONLY INTENDED TO BE USED WITH YOUR ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES, E-CIGS, E-CIGARS, E-PIPES OR VAPORIZERS. NOT FOR SALE TO ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18.
Nicotine, in its pure form, when taken in high enough doses can kill. It is classified as a poison.
FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND OTHERS AROUND YOU, PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION VERY CAREFULLY WHERE THE TERM E-LIQUID REFERS TO A NICOTINE CONTAINING FLUID AND TAKE ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.
Please treat our nicotine e-liquids with the utmost care and ensure that you adhere to the following safety advice:
- Keep e-liquid/cartridges locked up, out of reach of children and pets at all times.
- Seek full medical attention immediately in case of an accident, or if you feel unwell, and take this leaflet with you to your doctor.
- Seek medical advice immediately if this product is swallowed.
- Nicotine is highly toxic
- Nicotine is very addictive
- Danger of serious damage to health
- Very toxic by inhalation
- Very toxic when in contact with skin
- Very toxic if swallowed
- May cause sensation/ irritation by skin contact
- Do not use if you are pregnant, and/ or breastfeeding, it may cause harm to the (un)born child
- Vapour from E-liquid may cause irritation to eues and skin
- Vapour from E-liquid may cause drowsiness or dizziness
- E-liquid is very toxic to aquatic organisms
- E-liquid may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment
- In case of contact with skin, wash immediatly and thoroughly with soap and water
- In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediatly and thoroughly with water and seek full medical advice immediatly
- In case of an accident, or if you feel unwell, seek full medical advice, and show this information to your doctor
- Both container and E-liquid contained within, must be disposed of in a safe way, with due care to both man and the environment
- Use appropriate containment for your E-liquid, to avoid environmental contamination
To avoid risk to man and the environment, comply with the FOLLOWING instructions for use:
- E-liquid is not to be used by anyone under the age of 18
- Keep your electronic smoking device locked away at all times
- In the event E-liquid is swallowed, seek full medical advice immediatly, from a trained medical professional, and provide this information
- Nicotine in its pure form is a poison and can cause very serious harm to both man and the environment
- All nicotine cartridges and E-liquids must be kept in a safe place locked away from children and pets at all times
- The amount of nicotine in one cartridge if ingested by a small child, could cause serious harm. In this case, medical assistance must be sought immediatly without delay.
The electronic cigarette will not magically cure a smoker's addiction to nicotine. Instead the electronic cigarette serves a similar purpose as a tobacco cigarette - it delivers its user nicotine, but just in a slightly different manner.
Important Note: We are not a pharmaceutical company and we do not produce medicalproducts.