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Oil in the lungs? Lipid laden macrophages? Know the FACTS about what’s in Canada Vapes e-liquid!

In recent media reports, there have been many misguided statements regarding the e-liquid traditionally used in e-cigarettes.  These conversations make statements like “Doctors found his lungs had become severely congested with solidified oil (Source) and lipid laden macrophages,” calling them “oily chemicals” and making statements like “inhaling oil into your lungs” (Source).  These are certainly scary statements: “oils in your lungs”, “buildup of oils causing respiratory distress”, “solvents”, and “inflammation.”

Before you consider throwing away your vapes in favour of (GASP) cigarettes here are some facts about the ingredients use by Canada Vapes e-liquid, which are created & manufactured for vaping nicotine:

Propylene Glycol liquid
Propylene Glycol – Odorless, colourless, water based and GRAS by the FDA and Health Canada.

Primary ingredient #1:  Propylene Glycol:

Propylene Glycol (PG) has been used in nicotine e-liquid for many years.  It is water soluble, colourless, odorless, non-toxic, and easily metabolized by your body.  The FDA has classified Propylene Glycol as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).  PG is easily metabolized in the body into normal products of the citric acid metabolic cycle, which are completely nontoxic to the body. (Source)

Propylene Glycol has been around for a long time, and been very stringently studied.  “Exposure to it does not result in human health affects or concern.  All animal studies show that no measurable harmful effects were observed with high concentrations of PG vapor and this is fully consistent with its designation by the FDA as “generally recognized as safe” (Source)

Propylene Glycol is found in many products around your house.  These include:  Soft drinks, ice cream, salad dressings, alcoholic beverages, dried soups, marshmallows, and much more.  It also has many cosmetic uses, such as diaper creams and baby lotions, and is used by pharmaceutical companies in topical, intravenous and oral medications.  (Source)

Primary Ingredient #2:  Vegetable Glycerin:

Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable Glycerin – Odorless, colourless semi-sweet organic compound.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is an odorless, water based carbohydrate that is widely used in the food industry, and is typically extracted from plants.  We use plant sourced USP grade vegetable glycerin.  “The toxicity of glycerin is remarkably low across a broad range of animal models and in humans.” (Source)

Vegetable Glycerin has been approved by Health Canada and the FDA, is labeled GRAS (generally regarded as Safe), and it is one of the most benign organic liquids.  Its hype-allergenic, non-mutagenic, non-teratogenic, and non-carcinogenic. (Source)

Vegetable Glycerin is used in a wide variety of products used daily by consumers.  It is used in many baked goods, soaps, pet foods, gel capsules, dental care products, eye & ear drops, toothpastes, and in many cosmetics, including shampoos, face washes, blushes, and foundations.

Canada Vapes uses only plant derived USP grade Vegetable Glycerin in our e-liquids.

Primary Ingredient #3: Flavouring:

The flavouring we use at Canada vapes is water soluble, and GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by both Heath Canada and/or the FDA.  We do offer many different flavour options at Canada Vapes, so the exact percentage of flavouring we use varies from e-liquid to e-liquid, however the general concentration of flavouring is between 1%-10%.   Our flavoring is PG based, and water soluble.

From our flavouring manufacturers:  “The material is not thought to produce respiratory irritation (as classified by EC directives using animal models), nevertheless, inhalation of vapors, fumes or aerosols, especially for prolonged periods, may produce respiratory discomfort and occasionally distress.”

Depending on the individual using our e-liquids it is possible that some flavouring may cause irritation.  In general, it is always better to choose not to vape, smoke, marijuana, or any draw any other substances into your lungs.  The best air is fresh air.  That being said, vaping is a harm reduction product and in comparison with combustable cigarettes the health risks are greatly reduced.

Primary Ingredient #4:  Nicotine:

We offer our e-liquids in 8 Nicotine Levels, including a (0mg/ml) no nicotine option.  Nicotine eliquid

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, however it’s health affects are similar to that of coffee.  Nicotine slightly raises your heart rate and therefore blood pressure, slightly increasing your insulin production.

While there are some risks to using nicotine, of all the ingredients in a tobacco cigarette, nicotine is one of the least harmful ones.  While nicotine is typically the reason that smokers become addicted, having nicotine available in e-liquid is the reason that vaping is remarkably effective in smoking cessation.

Nicotine also has a few potential benefits – including the potential to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease (Source), reduce stress & anxiety, and stabilize mood.  Lynn Kozlowsky, a Professor of Community Health & Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo stated, “Nicotine may be a useful drug for some people and help them function better.”

But Howie, so many people are suddenly getting sick all at once.  Have the ingredients in e-liquid recently changed?

CanadaVapes.com has been using the same ingredients in our e-liquids for over 9 years.  In our history, none of our patrons have developed any sudden respiratory distress or significant heath issues as a result of vaping our e-liquids.

The answer is most likely that the recent epidemic of people getting sick is not from vaping traditional e-cigarettes with nicotine e-liquid.  There has been a new additive that a few manufacturers, or individuals, have been adding to pre-filled, black market THC Pods that is most likely causing this epidemic.  A product that Canada Vapes does not, and has not, sold.

But Howie, I didn’t see you say anything about “oils” or “oily substances” or “chemicals attacking immune systems” – where did that come from in the media?

That is a great question!  The answer is, I’m not sure.

There are a few theories going around that suggest that some ‘street sellers’, specifically of THC pens & pods, are using ingredients that are NOT safe for human consumption; mainly MCT Oils, Vitamin E Oils, and other chemicals dangerous to inhale.  They use these additives to modify their product; THC or otherwise (Source). Unfortunately, with very little regulation in this industry it is possible for a new company or individual to come onto the vaping scene and use unsafe ingredients to create an unsafe product.

OK , I think I get it now.  Vaping with e-cigarettes & e-liquids that have been around for 15+ years is not the culprit.  But what can I do to protect myself?

That’s a great question!  There are a number of things you can do to ensure your safety:

First, I would recommend you only purchase your vaping products from a reputable & long-standing vaping company.  I would NOT buy vaping products from a variety store, the street, a pop up kiosk, or any company that seems to be new to the market.

Second, I would ensure that the place you are buying your e-liquid from lists their ingredients.  If you see something on the ingredients that you don’t recognize, don’t vape this e-liquid.  Do some research and make sure your e-liquid displays its ingredients.  If the vape company is reputable in Canada, it should also include a lot number, a poison symbol, an expiry date, and first aid information.  These are signs of a reputable company following all laws in Canada.

Third, I would listen to your body!  It is possible that some people have sensitivities to any of the ingredients in e-liquid, including Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and some flavours.  If you experience any stress when vaping, try switching to a different flavour, or you could try No Flavour E-liquid, which we produce here at Canada Vapes.  Another option is a High VG E-liquid if you think you may have a sensitivity to PG.

I feel better!  I was pretty worried about hearing all the news in the media.

Unfortunately, the old saying goes ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ in our media, and more and more it seems the big media outlets are going for that big ‘click bait’ title to entice people to read their articles.  The media has lumped all vaping products together with a scary warning, instead of looking at the facts: traditional vaping products manufactured by reputable companies are not the culprit, and those people currently using these products should not be fearful.

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