Gore and employees at 918 Vapes said a maximum of five ingredients are in the liquids used in e-cigs, known as e-liquids.
One ingredient, propylene glycol, has created some confusion as to whether it is safe. The FDA has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products.
According to the FDA’s website, propylene glycol can be ingested over long periods of time and in substantial quantities (up to 5 percent of the total food intake) without causing frank toxic effects. At lethal or near lethal doses (6 g per kg or more), however, it has been reported to cause kidney damage in several species. There is no evidence in the available information on propylene glycol and propylene glycol monostearate that demonstrates, or suggests reason to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in future.
Another ingredient found in e-liquids is vegetable glycerin, an organic substance extracted from vegetable oils. Gore said it is of a sweet nature and of low toxicity and is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations.
The remaining ingredients are U.S. food grade flavorings, distilled water, and nicotine which is optional. Typically, e-cig users who choose to add tobacco into their e-liquid use between 6 and 24 mg.
“These five ingredients are what make up the e-liquids and should be the only ingredients allowed to make e-liquids. All these ingredients are approved by the FDA for human consumption,” Gore said.
The FDA, the World Health Organization, the American Lung Association, and other health organizations all agree on one thing about e-cigs. Nobody knows the potential harm that may be caused by using them.