This is the second in what is likely to be a long series of blog posts written to bust myths about electronic cigarettes, smoking, and nicotine. In part 1 we discussed e-cigarettes without nicotine and the situation in Canada. In this post, we will try to address myths regarding what is in an e-cigarette.
Myth 1: We don’t know what is in electronic cigarettes.
Busted? All e-cigarette liquid (or e-liquid) contains propylene glycol and/or glycerin (this is the base ingredient needed to create the vapor), water, nicotine (optional), and flavoring. Reputable e-cigarette suppliers will have the list of ingredients on each bottle or pack of cartridges and should be using all food grade ingredients. Ideally each supplier will have have their e-liquid tested as well.
Myth 2: E-Cigarettes contain anti-freeze.
Busted? This myth originated from the testing that the FDA did on 2 company’s e-liquid. In one sample of one company they found about 1% of diethylene glycol (DEG) which is used in anti-freeze. This was not good (DEG is toxic) and meant that this particular manufacturer was not using food grade propylene glycol. However this doesn’t mean that all e-liquid contains DEG.
Propylene glycol on the other hand is found in many consumer products. As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes on it’s website,
“In contrast to ethylene glycol, a potent cause of acute toxicity in humans, propylene glycol is a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) additive for foods and medications.”
Myth 3: The FDA wants to ban electronic cigarettes because they are dangerous.
Busted? The FDA wants to control electronic cigarettes as a new drug and drug delivery device. This would mean a ban until a pharmaceutical company runs a clinical trial to prove that e-cigarettes are “safe and effective” at helping smokers quit smoking and then pay the fee to the FDA. This fee is very large and would put most if not all current e-cigarette suppliers out of business. E-Cigarettes would then only be sold in pharmacies and possibly only with a prescription.