Home Vaping Health Evidence The Low Down on Vapor in the Lungs

The Low Down on Vapor in the Lungs



Once again we find ourselves listening to the same, tired, repetitive tripe vomiting violently out of the mouths of ANTZ (Anti-Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots).  It generally goes something like this, “There still haven’t been any serious studies on the health effects of electronic cigarettes.”  This statement has been repeated like a broken record, like a broken record, like a broken record, like a… ehem… for about seven years now.  The actual level of ignorance present in this asinine statement, backed by all of the intimidating power of ulterior motives and corrupt special interests, is tantamount to me telling everyone I come across, in a self-assured, arrogant tone of voice, that nobody really knows yet whether or not Penicillin is effective.  The actual, real truth behind this phenomenon is that there have been more scientific studies, laboratory analyses, surveys, and medical professional opinion journal writings than you can shake a stick at.  On the flip side, however, there was once a single study, of a single (disposable, gas-station-purchased) electronic cigarette that uncovered trace amounts of ethylene glycol which (in much larger amounts) is toxic to human beings.  These trace amounts of ethylene glycol were due to the usage of polyethylene glycol, which has since been replaced by the completely safe propylene glycol.

And now to answer those nay-sayers who are reading this saying, “Oh, yeah… Prove it!”  First, let’s discuss the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) study from 1994 regarding the use of various glycols in theatrical fog, used repeatedly in productions on Broadway (and elsewhere of course) to the point where actors began to worry about the effects of the fog on their respiratory function.  Their fears, however, were put to rest when studies revealed that, outside of a mild drying of the mucus membranes, a constant exposure to theatrical fog (over many years) resulted in zero negative health effects.

Next, we have a recent (February of this year; 2013) study by FAME laboratories in Thessaly, Greece.  This particular study was designed to research the effects (if any) of e-cigarette vapor on human lung functioning.  The test was done with both smokers and non-smokers and studied the effects of first-hand and second-hand smoke and vapor.  The results of this test?  Vaping causes much smaller, or non-existent changes in lung functioning than does smoking.  Second-hand vaping is completely harmless, and also results in such a small intake of nicotine that it is barely worth mentioning.  Second-hand smoking, on the other hand, yielded the same results as all previous studies on second-hand smoking.

HSE Consulting and Sampling did a comprehensive study of the various glycols used in industry, entertainment services, and other technological usages.  Propylene glycol’s toxicity is extremely low, which leads to it’s prolific (FDA-approved) use in many foods and pharmaceuticals.  It is readily metabolised into lactic acid, then pyruvic acid, and eventually into carbon dioxide and dihydrogen monoxide… or water, to the layperson.  This report also relayed results of other tests done in the early 1970s, which concluded that the majority of inhaled PG (Propylene Glycol) became lodges in the nasal membranes and eventually found its way down into the stomach.  Animals exposed exclusively to PG-saturated air for periods up to a year and a half exhibited no adverse health effects, with the exception of a slight (completely reversible) dehydration of the nasal and ocular areas, which eventually produced a small amount of cracking and bleeding, mostly due to the fact that the animals were exposed to the PG-laden atmosphere 24/7, without moisturising relief.

Finally (at least for the purposes of this article) we have a study released by Health New Zealand four years ago which used for its test e-cigarettes from the Beijing company, Ruyan.  These cartomizer-based e-cigs presented an image of electronic cigarette technology which can’t be described in any way other than “life-saving.”  These E-cigs scored a zero in toxic emissions, an eight in “normal” puffs and nine in “intense” puffs (as opposed to Marlboro Reds’ 48 in “normal” puffs and a 103 in “intense” puffs) as far as nicotine intake is concerned.  That’s only 10% of the nicotine taken in through a puff of smoke off of a traditional (analog) tobacco cigarette.  Also, it’s interesting to note that the nicotine molecules suspended in PG/VG (vegetable glycerine) are two small to be deposited in any substantial amount onto the alveoli or bronchioles in your lungs.  Most of it will be exhaled with the rest of the vapor and dissipate in the atmosphere before ever having a chance to present any sort of “second-hand” vaping dangers.

So, next time you hear a parrot parroting the pre-canned response of the headline “scientists” out there, you can respond with something that will no doubt sound like Ancient Greek to them… the Truth!  Even the New York Post (you know, that same idyllic town that just recently decided in their infinite wisdom that e-cigarettes were to be legally treated with all of the same considerations of regular “analog” cigarettes) pointed out recently, through the writing abilities of author Jacob Sullum, that a win for the FDA equals a restriction of information and access to this monumental advancement in health and the fight against tobacco-related illnesses, diseases, cancers, and deaths, ironically, all in the name of health!  This “not-enough-serious-research” argument has long since been exhausted… and then some.  If they really wish to continue this line of propaganda with some modicum of solid backing, the ANTZ really need to go out there and do another study more recent than 2006/2007.  I believe, however, that they don’t want to do this because they already know that whatever scientific research they fund from this point on is going to reveal exactly what they don’t want the public to know… that E-cigs are not only safe, but are a potentially life-saving new technology that will more than likely bury the tobacco and smoking-cessation-drug industries in less than ten years time.  There is too much money involved for the ANTZ to admit defeat, tuck their tail, and sulk away.  Many powerful and “influential” people will lose their shirt through the collapse of these industries.  Then they will most likely be left with only four houses instead of ten, and reduced to the sad state of only having their BMW and Bentley left to drive.  So, since they are not going to do any of this of their own free will, we simply need to force their hand in this matter.


-Literature Review for Glycerol and Glycols

-Ruyan® E-cigarette Bench-top Tests

-CDC Report of Safety of Theatrical Fog

-Acute impact of active and passive electronic cigarette smoking on serum cotinine and lung function

-The lunatic war on e-cigarettes


  1. You really think electronic cigarettes are going to bury the tobacco and smoking cessation industries in a decade? Even if you are right about the smoking cessation part of that (which I highly doubt) the tobacco industry still pulls in multiple billions of dollars a year plus you are forgetting that some people enjoy smoking, cigarettes are not the only product of the industry (cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chew) and not everyone is going to start vaping no matter how much you get the word out.

    As far as the studies go, what exactly do you mean by, “…yielded the same results as all previous studies on second-hand smoke.”? Does that mean that the results were inconclusive or revealed no actual danger to those exposed?

    I both vape and smoke because I enjoy both. If someone wants to quit then I absolutely point them towards vaping. However, if the e-cig market decides to go head to head with the tobacco industry, you’ll lose. Likewise, if you guys keep comparing yourselves to the tobacco industry then the public will see you as the same.

    • I mean that Phillip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and Lorrilard are jumping on the e-cig bandwagon because they’ve watched this competing industry skyrocket beyond even the most hopeful expectations over the past five years or so. And the money they’re putting towards their new vaping products is truly staggering. And yes, by “yielded the same results” I do actually mean “inconclusive data,” but that’s not what I’m battling in this article. Combating that corrupt element of science is for another time and place.

      • Why haven’t American/Euro/Aussie/ smokers risen up and defended their rights??? How many years has taxation and ostricizing been rough riding over the herd. If smokers would have protested each and every tax hike since the 1970’s hm…. instead we have no where for a smoker to smoke in peace left. Now vaping on the other hand is 99% less whatever than smoking is. Vaping is a billion dollar business boom and has organized accordingly. Individual smokers could argue till the end of time, but without a voice that would be heard is it too late in the game? Second Hand smoke causing disease is a total lie! Look how much success it’s had, though!

        • I’m only offering my opinion here, but I believe the “Western World” (which somehow includes Australia) has been conditioned so far into believing that all of their needs are supposed to be taken care of exteriorly to themselves (i.e. the ‘government’) that no matter what happens, no matter how f***ed up life becomes under the tyrannical pressure of those we (as in, NOT me) place into positions of world caretakers. Somewhere along the way, not only did we give up our rights, but we seems to have made ourselves blissfully unaware that there even is such a thing as personal responsibility. We expect everyone to run amuck to the point of complete chaos and absolute destructive behavior so much so, that we actually tell our elected leaders to create organizations that regulate our lives down to two or three acceptable acts and two or three acceptable behaviors. I feel like I’m ranting here, but at least it all makes sense in my head. How do we combat this thing that is strangling the life out of us, collectively? The same way they combat our unconscious struggle to break free of slavery… through imagery aimed at appealing to base emotions. The problem with the “right” side of any issue is that they know that their arguments are logically valid and licit, so they only make their arguments in terms of logic and correctly-formed syllogisms. The rest of the world is out there responding with pure panic at the image of a nineteen year-old on TV with a hole in her throat and a missing leg and a wig over her tragically bald head and a missing breast and whatnot. Then the clincher is delivered at the end of the commercial; “Second-hand smoke is bad!” (and by implication causes tracheotomies, breast cancer, and amputation of limbs). This is such a poorly constructed “argument” that it holds absolutely no bearing in the realm of debate and logic whatsoever, not to mention the fields of science and medicine. Essentially, the language of the easily-swayed masses is not logic and scientific procedure. It’s base appeals to emotional reaction. So, if we want to get a foot up on the competition, we need to begin translating our logic into emotion. In short, we need to hire Snoop Dogg (or Lion, whatever nomenclature he bears currently) to be the spokesman for E-cigs (we is a vaper, after all!). We need to start showing people dying of tobacco-related illnesses in really disgusting ways, and then showing the same people, much healthier after switching to E-cigs. We need to create a symbol (like one of those stupid ribbons that every other cause has adopted). In fact, I think I’m going to write up an article about this and see if I can’t get the ball rolling a bit.

    • @different breed-
      Cool story bro…
      The FDA is comparing electronic cigarettes to tobacco, how else do you suggest people approach the issue? This industry is absolutely a threat to big tobacco, and hence why they are pushing with all their lobbying power to bury this industry that we so dearly need. Furthermore you ask the author to clarify a completely self explanatory statement regarding the study on second hand smoke. Don’t be dense, and while your at it make the switch and put those cancer sticks away dude.

      To the author, GREAT article! Every word of this is pure win and I WILL be sharing this wherever possible! #VapeOn

  2. You are one pretentious mother fucker. Did you coin the acronym or is this an actual group of people? Cigarettes are bad, so is standing too close to the smoke produced by any fire. E-cigs?!? really?!? all the problems in the world and you put out an piece about goddamn E-cigs…. Holy shit. “…that E-cigs are not only safe, but are a potentially life-saving new technology…” bahahaha. this is your life, e-cig zealots.

    • Actually, if it’s the acronym ANTZ to which you are referring, that’s a fairly long standing acronym coined by someone else years ago. And I actually agree that there’s a lot of BS being repeated about the over-demonized act of smoking tobacco in general. The so-called “Truth” ads and, in my home state, the “Tobacco Free Florida” commercials always default to fallacy and appeals to emotional response to sell their product. However, this is not my blog’s reason for existence. I’m here to promote an industry that is being derailed in the name of health, so that admittedly unhealthy practices backed by bottomless bankrolls can prevail. In other words, I resent being told to quit smoking incessantly by society then, when I actually do quit, being told, “wait… That’s not what we meant! We wanted you to quit by chewing our Nicorette products, or our amazing new Chantix medication. Also, for future reference, I try to keep things PG-13 around here, I’d appreciate the same from my commentators. Thanks.

      • haha. sorry about the language, i was pretty Christmas drunk when i commented on this. I don’t support analog cigs or electronic. I believe I was really just commenting on the way the blog came across to me. “The actual level of ignorance present in this asinine statement, backed by all of the intimidating power of ulterior motives and corrupt special interests, is tantamount to me telling everyone I come across, in a self-assured, arrogant tone of voice, that nobody really knows yet whether or not Penicillin is effective.” You feel like that’s a fair comparison? This blog is asinine, you could slam nicotine for all I care.

        • I feel that it’s a very fair comparison. The medical community (at least the portion that isn’t financed directly or indirectly by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Lorrilard, or the FDA) has drawn this exact comparison many times already because of the actual, real-life health potential of E-cigs. Several publications have referred to the advent of E-cigs as the biggest step towards healthy living SINCE Penicillin. So I do actually choose my words carefully. And remember that every issue has its parent issue. The parent issue for the e-cig debacle is, of course, unbridled government and corporate greed and tyranny. This is just one small battlefield in the theater of operations comprising the war against government interference run amuck.

    • Perhaps the author was incorrect in calling them a “potentially life saving technology” when he should have said “ABSOLUTELY life saving technology” I thought the authors acronym was both witty and an apt description of the fucktards trying to devalue the benefits of electronic vaporizers. Fucktards much like yourself… I pity you and your warped views.

      • Now, now… PG-13, people! But I agree that “ABSOLUTELY life-saving” would have been more apropos. However, I can’t say that I hold this commentator’s opinion against him… aside from the fact that I do not now, now have I ever f***** my own mother. That’s absurd and frankly, unwarranted. I may possibly be a bit pretentious. A bunch of hard-earned degrees tends to do that to a person. For that, I apologize. But the opinion that there is an element of society that blows the so-called “tobacco-threat” WAY out of proportion is sadly true. That’s actually part of the thought behind the acronym ANTZ, which of course stands for Anti-Nicotine AND TOBACCO Zealots. Having an education in Logic sucks when, while watching TV, you see an anti-tobacco commercial that claims that “half of life-time users of tobacco products (which apparently now actually include e-cigs, according to the glorious state of New York) will eventually die.” This naturally insinuates that the other half are, in fact, immortals and will never, ever die. The entire battle, from almost every angle, has long since abandoned any semblance of logic or reason. And to the original commentator; I started this blog to keep myself enthused about E-cigs, so I wouldn’t be tempted to go out and buy another pack of cigs. The fact that it took off like this was unplanned, if very welcome. I picked this particular war to fight because honestly, I was tired of fighting the losing battle of non-mainstream political parties in US politics. This one just sort of fell into my lap. It’s a fight worth fighting, as anyone who has lost a relative to lung cancer will tell you. And while I agree that tobacco is demonized and its dangers are hyper-exaggerated, there is no avoiding the simple fact that those who have made the switch to e-cigs are generally a whole lot healthier than those who have yet to do so. In other words, my dear Moe Moe, why don’t you give e-cigs a serious, two-to-three month try with good equipment and get back to me. If you don’t care to, I’m sure neither I nor the rest of my readers would care very much if you were to go fuck yourself with a lit hookah. TTFN, muthafucka!

      • I in no way devalued the benefits of electronic vaporizers (or whatever you wanna call ’em) I devalued this blog in general. Glad you like the acronym so much, you should start using it when you preach to your friends about how awesome e-cigs are. Do you know what zealot means. It’s never good to be one no matter what side of the fence you’re on, so take a puff and chill out.

    • To someone that was able to give up those dammed cancer sticks, the threat of losing our right to vape is very important. And while I know that there are a lot of very important issues in the world needing rock solid solutions, to me, this is a very meaningful issue. I never thought I could quit smoking and then along came this beautiful little device called a personal vaporizer and now I am free from cigs after 35 years! When the FDA starts talking, one realizes, “holy crap” they’re trying to make vaping more expensive and harder for vendors and retailers to supply to consumers. To me, that is a very BIG DEAL. The world of vaping and all its products should NEVER be harder or more expensive to get than cigarettes and/or alcohol! And just because you don’t deem this an important topic, doesn’t mean it’s not important for thousands who are living proof that vaping is the healthier alternative. You should have respect dude!

  3. I’m a firm believer in herbal medicine – most of which the FDA will not approve simply because they want us to get sick. I mean how can they possible approve tobacco cigarettes and frown upon e-cigs?

    Yeah, smoking an e-cig might not be as healthy as smoking nothing at all, but in damn sure smoking an ecig isn’t as bad for you as smoking 20 malboro lights per day.

    I wish the FDA would f-off and leave the decisions to the people and allow then to use whatever product they see fit.

    • I’ve gotten to the point where that typical “These statements have not been endorsed by the FDA… yada, yada, yada” statements are actually ALL the endorsement I need to decide that that particular product is definitely one I want to buy! Just recently I was turned on to multi-vitamin packs which can be found at 7-11. That FDA message is prominently displayed on the label. Once I saw it, my decision was made for me and I purchased a whole stack of them. I suggest everyone else do the same. If the FDA is ignored long enough, there will no longer be a reason for its existence. Not that the government won’t continue to breath money into it long after it’s dead and buried, but at least our souls will be clear in the matter. 🙂

  4. Wow, see nicotine can bring out the best in all of us….. I quit smoking kools;( 07.. But the cig company sold me the nicotine gum… So made more $ off me… I still miss it…. But so glad I did.. Good luck to all of you… And really pg13……. Happy 2014

    • I try. LOL. Congrats on quitting! Stick with it!!! And Kools? I don’t know how you did it. I tried them once and it was like inhaling the entire continent of Antarctica in one breath during the evening of their shortest day. I actually felt my ancestors’ eye liquid freeze in their eyeballs. But then again, I was never really a menthol smoker. Haha

  5. I tend to agreed with Ginger. Too much Gov Intervention in our lives! Freedom to choose isn’t limited to freedom to only choose wisely. Get the Gov out of the way and let us make our own decisions. If you don’t like second hand smoke, walk away!

  6. As I am not a native English speaker I tend to miss the idea of forreign articles. Not this time! It is so well written even a dummy like me can catch up with the story behind it.

    The war on e-cigs spreads all over the world. The good part is that the FDA finally got to meet dr Farsalinos (the famous Greek scientist and e-cig advocate) who showed the scientific data (December 2013) and discussed the results to the clerks. The bad part is that Europe seems lost for vapers. At the similar meeting in EU headquarters (March 2013) dr Farsalinos was able to speak for 3 minutes only. Everyone can imagine how much did they care for the truth…

    The war is not over yet! Whether we are e-cig fans or not we should all fight for the right to choose.

  7. “Second-hand vaping is completely harmless, and also results in such a small intake of nicotine that it is barely worth mentioning. Second-hand smoking, on the other hand, yielded the same results as all previous studies on second-hand smoking.”

    I was once a victim of second-hand smoke… no I didn’t walk thru the smoke or sit too close to someone smoking… My parents and grand-parents smokes like haystacks, with windows and doors closed from the time I was an infant. At the age of 12, I ended up with one of my lungs looking like that of a smoker. The doctors told my family they HAD to stop smoking around me.

    My husband, who has never smoked, would not come 5 ft close to me while i smoked, but while I vape, he he has absolutely no issue being near me or breathing the vapor in the air.

  8. I used to be a casual smoker, not addicted, but loved the taste and feel of tobacco as i smoked every once in a while. I grew up around every family member in my home smoking, every friend, etc, and developed an allergy for it. I found myself smoking mostly when around smoke, because if i was going to get ill from the smoke, why not enjoy the real thing instead of just the second hand that only makes me sick?? E-cigs changed my life. I don’t feel the need to smoke anymore, because the people I am around switched to vaping instead of cigarettes. I love to try what flavors they have mixed up, but I feel so much better and healthier now vaping is around. I hate how government tries to regulate everythiny we do for our own good, especially at these times when it becomes apparent that it is not because it is in our best interest or because they care, but more because of the money they are given by the companies wanting these things pushed on us so they can get rich off of these government policies. Thank you for the article, the last few i had read about vaping were demonizing and so out of proportion, full of conjecture, and very little facts or reasearch, which i saw many people use in trying to convice my friends and I that vaping may as well be smoking.

  9. If anyone bothers to read the ‘FAME’ study, then you’ll notice that the study only covered ‘short term’ usage.
    (Quote from abstract) Conclusion: Regarding short-term usage, the studied e-cigarettes generate smaller changes in lung function but similar nicotinergic impact to tobacco cigarettes. Future research should target the health effects of long-term e-cigarette usage, including the effects of nicotine dosage.

  10. One thing the artical says is E-Cig juice contains safe amounts of propylene glycol which causes “a mild drying of the mucus membranes”. This fact, to me, may be a benifit as I have COPD. I am 58 and Marlboro Reds’ were my choice for most of my 42+ smoking years. I Changed to E-Cigs nearly 3 months ago and found them to be the only thing that has worked in my need to not smoke………GT Vapor rocks !

  11. If you honestly believe that the pill and tobacco industry will lie down and allow mom and pops to rule a $10 Billion market, then you haven’t studied history.

    The only reason we have mega corporations is because of buy-offs and regulation of the little guy out of it. “Oh you want to mix e-liquid? That’ll be a $20,000 permit and a whole list of requirements for your lab. And we do it to protect the consumer and child.” MY @$$!!!

    Exits are a free market unlike the rest of the US. Mom and pops are thriving, but let special interest regulate it and it’ll be down to 3 cartel companies, just like every single other regulated industry.

  12. Interesting article, but also semi pointless. The facts on PG and VG have been around for a while. I feel like it would have been better to tackle the components of flavoring. Everyone always says ‘we know what’s in our juice, then list pg vg nic and flavoring. The problem with this is that ‘flavoring’ is a compound comprised of several different ingredients, some of which are safe for INHALATION and others are not. It might just be me but, when I hear someone say they know for sure what all is in their store bought juice, it’s just a face palm. Listing pg, vg, nic, and flavoring is basically saying pg, vg, nic, and some shit we don’t fully know but it has a flavor.

    I only bring this up because this article was shared to me as ‘next time someone says you don’t know what’s in your ecig show them this’