Vegetable Glycerine and Health
According to CanadaVapes up to 20% of the e-liquids on the market are vegetable glycerin (VG) based.
What is most pertinent for health-conscious vapers is the knowledge that while VG is not the same as Propylene Glycol (PG), the dominant vehicle used in e-cigarettes, it has a similar risk profile. Like PG, vegetable glycerin has been classified as “generally recognized as safe”.
And like PG, this product has numerous applications in the personal care field including oral care products.
It has also found use as a sugar substitute – which might explain why some vapers taste an increased sweetness in comparison to PG.
VG or PG?
In regards to health, whether you are vaping a VG or PG based device does not matter. However, there are some differences that could matter from a user comfort perspective.
Some individuals who have shown sensitivity to PG (such as sore throat) have found that VG does not have the same effect. One reported side effect that VG can also allay is muscle cramps and aches from PG breaking down into lactic acid (see Right to Vape). It should be kept in mind though that though these symptoms might be uncomfortable they should not be thought of as actual health risks.
While VG is also known to produce more vapor, oddly enough vapers have reported that it produces less of a “throat hit” . On a practical note, the greater thickness of VG fluid can cause a reduction in the lifespan of the atomizer (though the reduction does not seem that dramatic).
So, in summary, though some users might find they prefer one over the other, both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin can be considered safe components in any e-cigarette product.
David M.A, Henry G.S, Glycerol: A Jack Of All Trades, Chemistry Hall of Fame, York University
Petre A, What Is Vegetable Glycerin? Uses, Benefits and Side Effects, Dec 2018, Healthline.com
Phillips B, Titz B et al, Toxicity of the main electronic cigarette components, propylene glycol, glycerin, and nicotine, in Sprague-Dawley rats in a 90-day OECD inhalation study complemented by molecular endpoints, Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 109, Part 1, November 2017, Pages 315-332, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.09.001