Electronic cigarettes provide an alternative to traditional tobacco use. E cigarettes are comprised of a liquid mixture that is made up of water, flavoring, nicotine and a base. There are some e cig companies, such as Green Nicotine, that offer a “no” nicotine option. It is absolutely crucial that the liquid mixture is free from contaminants. It goes beyond simulating a “smoking” experience that looks, tastes and feels like the real thing. Many e cigarette companies have frequently failed quality control tests to detect the presence of diethylene glycol, which is a chemical that is also found in antifreeze.
The source of the controversy surrounding the presence of diethylene glycol is the use of propylene glycol as a base. The FDA has deemed that pure propylene glycol is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food, cosmetics and medicines. However, the e cigarette industry has gained plenty of notoriety for using propylene glycol that is NOT PURE.
The only way to be absolutely sure that your electronic cigarette is free from the possibility of contamination from diethylene glycol is the choose an e cigarette that uses no propylene glycol. The alternative to this is the use of vegetable glycol, which also provides a thicker vapor that increases the satisfaction of a “smoking” experience. So if propylene glycol has the potential to harm consumers, and vegetable glycol exists as a viable alternative that eliminates the possibility of contamination by diethylene glycol, why do e cig companies continue to use it?
Two reasons: technology and money. Most e cigarette companies use a three part system, where the atomizer is separate from the cartridge. In such a design, the atomizers are not meant to be frequently replaced. Vegetable glycol is very hard on atomizers and would require a more frequent purchasing of new atomizers. Consumers would be forced to buy high priced atomizers frequently, or e cigarette companies would have to lower the price, cutting in to their profit margins.
There is technology available, called an integrated atomizer, however that will allow for vegetable glycol to be readily used. Don’t settle for the possibility of diethylene glycol. Choose an electronic cigarette company that implements integrated atomizer technology and has completely abandoned the use of propylene glycol in favor of the safer, more satisfying alternative: vegetable glycol.