Vape Myths Debunked #1 - eCigs Contain Antifreeze


Many ecigarette myths have developed because ecigs, vaporizers, and the like are lumped into the stigmas of conventional tobacco cigarettes and smoking.

We don’t fear what we understand. We only fear what we do not understand. If you recognize something enough to know that it poses a real threat to you, you’re not scared of it—you take steps to avoid it.

Much of these circles are very politically motivated; city councils left and right are going on banning sprees, and are effectively reducing the number of places where people can use their ecigarettes. Successfully turning these stigmas, for people not in the vaping community—into fear.

Those leading the banning initiatives understand that ecigs are not tobacco products, nor are they related, but there is still an assertion that they are equally “bad” for you. Therein lies the problem for those who vape. Many questions come up during these banning processes, and those questions aren’t reliably or sufficiently addressed, and because of this, many ecigarette myths have arisen.

In this blog series, we at VOLCANO are hoping to quash the many myths and false claims that have garnered fruition due to the lack of knowledge those individuals outside of the vaping community currently have. Marie Curie once said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

You are unlikely to fear what you truly know and in the spirit of Mrs. Curie’s wise words, our goal is to educate non ecig users, new vapers and even experienced vapers alike in order to better arm all of you against the negative propaganda out there targeted at electronic cigarette devices and the vaping community.

Myth #1: Does eliquid contain toxic anti-freeze?

One of the main rumors that have been swirling around the ecig world is the belief that eliquid contains toxic antifreeze. This is not true, at least not the “toxic” claim.

The solution used to create eliquid contains (depending on the manufacturer’s recipe) a combination of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, water, flavoring, and nicotine. The ingredient under fire is propylene glycol, as yes, it is used in some anti-freeze, but what people fail to mention or simply don’t know is that it is used in many other daily used consumer goods in addition to non-toxic anti-freeze. Before you jump to conclusions, take a moment to learn why propylene glycol is used.

The general public has been confusing propylene glycol with ethylene glycol, which is used in regular automobile antifreeze and ethylene glycol is toxic. But not propylene glycol as for a long time now, it has been used as antifreeze in areas where there is a potential to come into contact with foodstuffs to protect people and animals.

Despite the scientifically backed studies from the FDA, putting propylene glycol on their “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) list for over 50 years, its many uses from food, cosmetics, and medical products—as soon as the mere mention of anti-freeze comes up in conversation, immediately people think back to the characteristics of toxic Ethylene Glycol. Because of this, fear mongers harp on this fact only, spreading rumors and making up outlandish stories rather than digging deeper into the science.

The truth is, propylene glycol has been proven as a safe food additive. It is often used as an emulsifier, a humectant (holds in moisture), and as a solvent for other chemicals that are not water soluble, for example many injectable, oral, and topical pharmacological formulations use PG as a solvent. 

In foodstuffs, propylene glycol is used as a diluent for ingredients, or to keep certain foods moist. It is commonly used in cosmetics, shampoos, mouthwashes, lotions, massage oils, medicines, deodorants—the list is endless. You probably don’t even realize that it is in the products that you use everyday.

In summary, propylene glycol is safe for human consumption and everyday use. The FDA has approved it as a safe food additive and so has been used for over 50 years as such. Because of its versatility, it has also been utilized in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and is still being used in these industries today.

Propylene glycol has many beneficial applications, which is why it is an ingredient in so many products that we use in our day-to-day lives. Though it is true that it is used as one component of non-toxic antifreeze, it should be emphasized that it is used in non-toxic antifreeze—and is not at all the toxic ingredient from regular and older formulations of antifreeze—that is ethylene glycol.

In addition, at VOLCANO – all propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin used in our e-liquid is 99.7% pure, natural, kosher, medical grade, and third party batch tested by an independent lab to ensure quality and consistency. For more in-depth information on propylene glycol and its uses, check out our blog, What is Propylene Glycol?

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