Is Vape Liquid Dangerous and Should We Be Worried About Recent Warning?

There have been widespread reports recently about a number of potentially dangerous ingredients found in E-liquids.

A report details how scientists at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland used a state-of-the-art scanning technique to analyse four “popular” E-liquids and discovered around 2,000 chemicals present, a small number of which are said to be potentially harmful to humans.

Mi-Salt, Vuse, Juul and Blue – under the microscope
In the experiment, the scientists tested products made by Mi-Salt, Vuse, Juul and Blu.

According to the results of the study, the worrying substances included hydrocarbon-like compounds, pesticides and three industrial chemicals, leading the scientists carrying out the research to issue a warning over vaping, which has since been picked up by the media and reported across the world. 

 Ingredients discovered

Among the ingredients found in the E-liquids were:

·Isophorone – used as a solvent and a precursor to polymers
·Flame retardants – possibly caused by the device itself
·Vanillin – a synthetic form of vanilla that can cause allergic reactions
·Caffeine – probably included to increase alertness among users (safe but not listed)

Important study, or misleading information?
While we commend the work done by these scientists and believe it’s necessary to carry out such research to help keep people safe, it appears this study is being used to draw negative conclusions about the vaping industry as a whole and many people are now wondering ‘is vape liquid dangerous?’. When we consider the fact only four liquids were tested in the experiment, this seems statistically unreliable – especially when it appears all of the products were sourced in the United States.

Mysterious illness in U.S
This isn’t the first time contaminated E-liquids have caused headlines in the U.S. A while ago there was a mystery illness among vapers in the country, which was later attributed to the presence of illegal contaminants – namely tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – in E-liquids.

It was found that those who suffered as a result of vaping these illegal ingredients bought their products from the black market. Nethertheless, the media was quick to point fingers at the vaping industry with even the president of the United States (Trump at the time) campaigning for a ban on all E-liquids, whether they were safe or not.

U.S Regulations vs EU Regulations
Regulation for the production of E-liquids and other vaping products can differ wildly depending on the country they’re manufactured in. With that considered, it’s important to remember the U.S has regulatory standards that are different to those of the EU/UK.

In the EU/UK, regulatory standards are stricter than those across the pond, with rules in place restricting the size of tanks and capping the strength of liquid, so it’s dangerously misleading to use such a small-scale study carried out overseas on a product that does not meet the strict regulations of the U.K.

Is vaping still safe? 
After these reports, some people will no doubt be asking the question ‘is vaping safe?’. If that’s you, just remember that vaping products manufactured in the UK are endorsed by both the NHS and Public Health England (PHE), with both bodies recommending vape products as a way to help people quit smoking, so the answer is yes vaping is still safe because the ingredients listed aren’t used in the manufacture of British E-liquids.

Is vaping really the safer alternative?”
According to the report, Prof. Prasse was motivated to conduct the study after hearing about his cousin who had recently quit smoking with vaping. However, when questioned about the study, Prof. Prasse went on to say:

“I have a problem with how vaping is being marketed as more healthy than smoking cigarettes. In my opinion we are just not at the point when we can really say that.”

We are absolutely at a point where we can say that.

Study after study is conducted on an annual basis to look at vaping compared to smoking. We have had 0 accredited deaths from vaping, whilst smoking traditional tobacco kills 1 in 5 people in the US (or more than 480,000 per year).

The article, and the study, fails to consider that vaping is still 95% safer than smoking traditional cigarettes after countless studies, and that his cousin is making a major, and often life-saving decision, by using vaping as a nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking.

“There are millions of middle school and high-school students vaping that would not otherwise think of smoking,” study co-author Ana M. Rule, an expert in metals exposures from vaping with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, concludes. “For them there is no risk reduction, only increased risk.”

This is an argument that we hear all the time, however, there is no research to suggest that there is a crisis with young people vaping with the vast majority of vapers being adults who have previously smoked. In comparison, children taking up smoking is still a far worse crisis than children vaping.

PHE study confirms that vaping is still at least 95% safer than smoking
PHE published a landmark study which concluded E-cigarettes are more than 95% safer than combustible tobacco products, so it’s potentially life-endangering for the media to dismiss something that could help millions of people make a positive health choice based on this minimal study carried out in the U.S.  

How to ensure that your liquid is safe
So, is vape liquid dangerous? Not if you purchase it from a reputable, trusted retailer. If you’re worried about the presence of unidentified or potentially hazardous ingredients in your E-liquid, for peace of mind be sure to always purchase your vape juice from a supplier that’s regulated by the TPD.