By: Nicholas King.
With all of the recent attention given to electronic cigarettes and the companies that produce them, it was only natural that there would be some focus on e-liquid as well. While many government experts and others like to promote a narrative that suggests that there are simply too many unknowns related to use of liquid nicotine and vaping products, the truth suggests something else entirely. In fact, quite a bit of research in this area has been conducted over the last several years. Here is a summary of some of the most recent e-liquid research.
- Propylene Glycol. Given that this substance is a key ingredient in e-liquid, even older studies are important for understanding how these products can affect your health. In this study, conducted in 1947, both rats and monkeys were intentionally exposed to this compound in high concentrations over a period of roughly eighteen months. The scientists conducting the test concluded that the air in which these vapors were present was “completely harmless.”
- Vaporized e-Liquid. A 2012 study tested the effects of vaporizing e-liquid containing high concentrations of nicotine to determine whether any harmful effects were present. These tests used tobacco smoke samples as a control, and discovered that the e-liquid vapor – even at extreme nicotine concentrations – never exceeded the scientifically determined risk limit. That held true for both adults and children. The researchers concluded that e-cig emissions posed “no apparent risk to human health.”
- A 2013 study from the Drexel University school of Public Health evaluated available data on e-cigarette liquids and determined that the chemicals contained within those liquids did not present any serious health concerns.
- Effects on Cardiac Cells. In another study published in 2013, a test of twenty different 2-liquids found that the vapors they released did not negatively impact the integrity of cardiac cells. Those that did demonstrate some effect, did so in a negligible way – and were at least three times less harmful than smoke from tobacco cigarettes.
- Nicotine Toxicity. A November 2013 study of nicotine safety determined that the commonly-held assumption that nicotine levels of more than 50 or 60 mg are fatal in adults may be inaccurate. The researchers found that those levels were not as deadly as had been previously assumed.
- E-Liquid Flavors. In December of 2013, another study dealt with e-liquid flavors. While many government critics and medical professionals criticize certain flavors as being lures to attract children and non-smokers to electronic cigarettes, researchers discovered that they actually serve a vital role. In their tests, these scientists learned that quality flavors actually play an important role in securing commitment from smokers who desire to use these products as a smoking cessation system.
- Workplace Risks. An early 2014 study dealt with the often-repeated claim that these e-liquids produce harmful byproducts that lead to unsafe work environments. Researchers examined those claims and found no evidence to support that contention.
- Nicotine and Addiction. An article in Discovery Magazine revealed that nicotine may actually have beneficial effects, particularly when freed from tobacco and the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that it may be those chemicals that actually work to create nicotine addiction.
- A July 2014 report from a group of toxicology experts recommended that e-liquids that contain the average concentration of nicotine actually be reclassified to reflect a lower degree of risk than their current classification suggests.
- Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl. A 2014 study looking at diacetyl and acetyl propionyl in e-juice found that nearly three-quarters of evaluated liquids contained the substances. Most contained them within safe limits, and all had substantially lower amounts of the chemicals than are typically found in tobacco cigarettes.
- A study published last year found that e-liquid used in vaping delivery devices provided not more than a third of the nicotine delivered by traditional tobacco cigarettes over five minutes of use. Older devices delivered even less.
There’s a host of additional research out there covering everything from the safety of electronic cigarette devices to their effectiveness in smoking cessation, and just about every other topic of interest that you can imagine. So, while government regulators attempt to impose new controls over these products by deeming them to be tobacco and scientific experts on television continue to try to obfuscate the issue, anyone interested in the real truth about e-liquids and vaping devices can find the facts with a little effort online. And those facts demonstrate that the research says something entirely different than what most vaping opponents would have you believe.