E-liquids And Allergies

e-liquid costIf you are new to vaping and find that your e-cigarettes are hurting your throat, you may be wondering if you are sensitive to the ingredients in your choice of e-liquid. Although there may be a slim possibility of this, in fact allergies to vegetable glycerol and propylene glycol are very rare, with both ingredients having been approved by the FDA for years. Both PG and VG are commonly found in hygiene and food products that are widely commercially available and therefore, if you are having an unpleasant reaction since you starting vaping, the culprit is probably something else.

E-Liquid Ingredients

E-cigarettes have none of the harmful carcinogens, substances or tobacco that are found in standard cigarettes. Instead, e-cigarettes use a nicotine containing liquid solution called e-juice or e-liquid. There are 4 main ingredients in e-liquids:

  • Water
  • Nicotine
  • Flavoring
  • Propylene Glycol/Vegetable Glycerine Base

PG (Propylene Glycol) is a carrier or base for the flavor and nicotine in the e-liquid. PG is a popular food additive and is also found in some medications.

VG (Vegetable Glycerine) is a carrier or base for the nicotine and flavor in e-juices. This is a plant based substance which is often made from palm oil or coconut. It is also a popular food additive.

Food flavorings are added to e-juices to make them have a particular taste.

The nicotine content varies between e-liquids and brands. The amounts of nicotine on offer vary from 0 mg right up to 24 mg.

Am I Allergic To Vaping?

sore throat from vapingAlthough it is technically possible to be allergic to e-cigarettes, it is quite rare for a vaper to have an allergy to e-liquid ingredients. Only around 1 in a thousand people have a sensitivity to VG, and the side-effects can include shortness of breath, itching, nausea, diarrhea and dizziness. However, these symptoms are also sometimes linked to tobacco withdrawal and may not be a sign of a vegetable glycerin allergy at all. If you do find that you are experiencing symptoms due to a sensitivity to PG, you could try using a 100% VG e-liquid.  Around 1 in ten people have a slight reaction to PG, and this may result in a sore throat, a headache, nausea or sinus problems. Some people may experience swelling or hives, however as Propylene Glycol is found in so many consumer goods it is likely that you will have already experienced a sensitivity to this ingredient before trying an e-cigarette. E-liquids contain natural and artificial flavorings of the type found in food and drinks. Although it is rare to experience a reaction to these types of ingredients, if you already have food allergies you should avoid any flavors that you suspect may cause you problems until you can consult youir doctor about the ingredients it contains. There are other chemicals in standard e-liquids such as artificial sweeteners and additives which may cause an allergic reaction during vaping. It is therefore important to use USDA certified organic flavorings if you have any concerns as these have no added sweeteners, sugar, gluten or nuts in their make-up.


If you are experiencing a throat irritation when vaping, the most likely cause is poor inhalation technique. While tobacco cigarettes have ingredients in them to numb your throat allowing you to directly inhale into your lungs, e-liquids have no such chemicals and therefore a different inhalation method is necessary. You should hold the vapor inside your mouth for a second before you breathe it into your lungs. Another possible culprit could be the nicotine content in your e-liquid. Your nicotine level may be too high if you are experiencing throat discomfort, and nicotine overdose is characterized by symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, headaches and seizures in severe cases. One thing to try if you are having a bad reaction to vaping is drinking more water. VG and PG are both safe ingredients, however they can dry out the throat and mouth, so stay well hydrated to enjoy the best vaping experience. If you continue to experience unpleasant symptoms from vaping, you should consult your doctor to determine the cause of the problem and to make sure that you are choosing the right product to suit your needs.


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