Posted by Amanda on 11/18/2013
E-cigarettes are the latest advancement in smoking cessation and alternatives. They typically consist of a small cigarette-shaped battery that is attached to an atomizer containing nicotine-enriched fluid that is vaporized when the battery’s element heats and thereby delivered to the user. The rapid increase in popularity of e-cigarettes leads many to wonder what the liquid that delivers the nicotine to the body is made from.
Analog cigarettes commonly contain a range of undesirable ingredients unfit for human consumption in any capacity. This reality invites the question of whether the same is true of e-cigarettes. The majority of manufacturers make the fluid in their e-cigarettes from propylene glycol, a base solvent in many food colorings and flavorings as well as saline solutions, or its natural alternative vegetable glycerin. This substance accounts for as much as 92 percent of the total composition of a given e-cigarette flavor.
E-cigarette liquid contains up to a 5 percent nicotine concentration, but can have as little as zero in the case of nicotine-free liquid. The remainder of the liquid is flavoring agents, which vary by flavor and are made with the same USDA-certified food-grade flavoring components as candy and sodas, as well as packaged snacks and foods. None of the ingredients in e-cigarettes have been definitively shown to be harmful with moderate use.
All available evidence points to e-cigarettes as a much safer alternative to analog cigarettes. The ingredients used are generally safe and are all-natural in the cases of some flavors. Flavor agents vary widely by variety but are most often derived from the same ingredients used to make foods and drinks of a similar flavor.