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PG Allergy & Vaping Side Effects

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    pg allergies

    As you can imagine, in the same way that everyone reacts in different ways to things they inhale or ingest, everybody will react differently to the ingredients contained in e-liquids and the vapour that they produce. This means that, while most people can enjoy vaping regularly without experiencing any health problems, a few people find that they experience unwanted irritating or unpleasant symptoms once they have made the switch to e-cigs from regular tobacco cigarettes. In the majority of these cases, the main side effect is only a minor irritation in the throat, however some people do experience a much worse reaction. Here, we look at some of the side effects you may have if you have an allergy to your e-liquid and what you can do about it.

    E-Liquid Ingredients

    While we are aware that e-cigarettes do not contain the harmful ingredients like carcinogens and tar that are found in regular cigarettes and also contain no actual tobacco, some people are unsure of the ingredients contained in e-liquids. E-liquids are a liquid solution of nicotine made up of 4 primary ingredients: water, flavouring, nicotine and a base of vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol (or a mix of the two).

    • PG or propylene glycol is a carrier or base for flavours and nicotine. This is a common food additive which is found in lots of things we consume regularly as well as in medicines.
    • VG or vegetable glycerin is also a carrier or base for flavours and nicotine. This is a plant based substance which is often made from palm oil or coconut and is frequently found in foodstuffs as an additive.
    • Water
    • Flavouring – food flavourings are added to e-liquids to create a particular taste.
    • Nicotine – most e-liquid brands offer a variable content of nicotine in their products, with some containing 0 mg and others containing as much as 24 mg.

    Possible Vaping Side Effects

    vaping side effects

    Although the majority of people experience no side effects when vaping e-cigarettes, apart from those issues linked with the ongoing use of nicotine, there are some other people who do experience symptoms related to their vaping, although these are usually temporary in nature. Some of the most common include:

    • Dry mouth
    • Dry skin
    • Rash or burning feeling on the face
    • Itchiness
    • Dry or puffy eyes
    • Sensitivity to caffeine
    • Minor issues with nosebleeds

    The effect of having a dry mouth is one of the most common symptoms reported due to the nature of e-liquid itself. One of the primary ingredients in the majority of e-liquids is PG or propylene glycol. This is a substance which is also commonly used in a range of personal care and pharmaceutical products, and as it is hygroscopic, it attracts and holds water molecules that are in the surrounding environment i.e. the mouth. It is possible to rectify this side effect by simply drinking sips of water more frequently. If you experience dry skin when vaping, you can usually address the problem by applying a hypo-allergenic moisturiser until the body adjusts.

    The drying effect of e-liquids may also be the cause of nosebleeds in a small number of vapers, and while this is a problem which usually resolves itself over time, it may help to avoid exhaling the vapour through the nose in the first few weeks of vaping. Some people experience side effects because they are vaping too much, and their problems disappear if they cut down their e-cigarette usage.

    In other cases, side effects are not caused by the e-cigarette itself, but by the way the body now reacts to some other substance. For example, some people begin to develop a sensitivity to caffeine which may result in hot flashes or increased anxiety. This can be rectified by reducing caffeine intake by drinking weaker coffee or fewer cups over the course of a day.

    Some people experience reactions due to an allergy to some of the e-liquid ingredients such as the VG, PG, nicotine or flavourings. It is often possible to find relief by adjusting the levels of the components in the e-liquid. Most people who have experienced side effects from vaping find that if they continue to vape, over time the issues disappear without the need to take action. A few others discover that their problems get worse, however it is very rare to have to stop vaping because of the side effects experienced.

    PG Allergy – Can I Avoid It?

    If you have had an adverse or allergic reaction while vaping, it makes sense to try switching e-liquids first. This will help you to discover whether it is propylene glycol that you are sensitive to, or whether it is a different ingredient in the e-juice. You could either swap to an e-liquid with a lower ratio of PG or try eliminating PG altogether. The best way to determine whether propylene glycol is causing your symptoms is to try an e-liquid that is made up of 100% vegetable glycerin, however this can prove tricky as there are fewer e-liquids with a VG base than those with a PG base. Also, some 100% VG e-liquids still have a very small amount of PG which could cause symptoms to occur. Therefore, the best option if you are experiencing an allergic reaction is to always purchase your e-liquids from a well known and reliable vendor.

    If you have tried switching e-liquids but still experience a bad reaction, it is possible that you are vaping an e-juice that has too high a nicotine content, and therefore be overdosing. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor as overdosing on nicotine can be very serious.

    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Fast heartbeat
    • Dizziness
    • Sweating

    Sometimes, the symptoms you are experiencing may be from a particular flavouring. If you know that you have an allergy to a particular type of food, avoid e-liquids that contain that substance.

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      TOP Reasons To Switch To Vaping

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        There are many articles out there telling you all about how dangerous smoking tobacco can be thanks to the 7000 plus chemicals found in the smoke that is produced, however there are also numerous benefits to swapping to vaping e-cigarettes instead. Vape pens have been designed as an alternative to smoking regular cigarettes and there are a large number of reasons to make the switch. Here are some of the top advantages to vaping:


        ash free vapingVaping does not involve combustion as it works by heating up a solution and turning it into a vapour. This means that there is no ash produced so you can consign the smelly overflowing ash-tray to the trash. As there is less mess to clean up when vaping, you will also never again have to sweep up the layer of ash from your floor, meaning that your home is cleaner and tidier. 

        Fewer Chemicals

        Tobacco smoke is packed with hundreds of dangerous toxins including 70 known carcinogens. There are 600 chemicals in tobacco cigarettes (including tar, ammonia and carbon monoxide), and while e-cigs do contain nicotine as well as  diethylene glycol which may be toxic, they have far fewer levels of harmful chemicals than a regular cigarette.

        Lower Cost

        lower cost vapingOne cartridge gives you the same amount of nicotine as you would find in a pack of 20 standard cigarettes. As you can purchase five packs of cartridges for the same cost as two regular cigarette packs it is easy to see how much money you can save by making the switch.

        A World Of Choice

        There is a huge amount of choice and variety when it comes to choosing e-cigs, with new brands appearing all the time. When you switch to vaping, you are opening up a world of opportunities.

        Great Flavours

        gourmet e juicesWhile there are very limited flavours of regular tobacco, e-cigarettes are very easy to flavour meaning that you can enjoy your nicotine in combination with a host of delicious and unusual flavourings. Whether you would prefer fruity tastes, cocktail flavours or dessert-like treats, there are options to suit every preference and if you want something a bit more traditional, there are even some classic tobacco or menthol flavours.

        A Choice Of Strengths

        While it is impossible to change the strength of nicotine in your regular tobacco cigarette without switching brands, e-cigarettes come in variable nicotine contents so you can choose the strength that best suits you. If you like, you can start out with an 18 mg cartridge and then work downwards, ending up at 0 mg if you would prefer to manage without nicotine at all.

        The Same Sensation As Smoking

        E-cigarettes have been designed with the experience of smoking in mind, so vapers can replicate the sensation of smoking thanks to the realistic throat hit, cloud of vapour that is very similar to smoke and even, sometimes, a glowing tip whenever you inhale. Some vape pens even feature cigarette-like butts, while the sensation of holding something in your hand and regularly inhaling and exhaling will make you feel like you are smoking your usual cigarette.

        Evade The Smoking Ban

        Using vape pens is not smoking, it is vaping and as they only heat the e-liquid rather than combusting tobacco, they usually are not covered by the smoking ban so you can use them in many more places where regular smoking would be forbidden.

        Simple To Use

        Simple To Use e cigAlthough e-cigs use modern technology they are still easy to use. The majority are 2 piece models, requiring the user to simply screw the cartridge end to the battery and begin puffing immediately. Generally, the batteries are automatically activated, creating the vapour which is emitted from the mouthpiece during inhalation.

        No Risk Of Fire

        When you smoke a cigarette and fall asleep, you are flirting with disaster. Not only are you putting your property at risk of damage, but you could even be badly injured or worse. When you fall asleep holding a vape pen, there is no risk at all since there is no fire involved.

        No Smell

        no smell vapingRegular smoking causes an unpleasant smell which can be very off-putting. Even smokers often dislike the smell of smoke on their clothes and furniture. Only a faint smell is produced by an e-cigarette and that is only from the flavouring. Switching to vaping means that you and your home no longer smell like an ashtray. Also, your skin will no longer have an unpleasant yellowish tinge and your hair and skin will start to look younger and healthier.

        No Teeth Staining

        Smoking regular cigarettes means that your teeth become stained by the tar and other chemicals. As these are removed in e-cigarettes, you can enjoy having stain-free teeth as well as much fresher breath.

        Say Goodbye To Second Hand Smoke

        no second hand smokeWhen it comes to smoke, e-cigarettes are very efficient, pumping out nothing from the tip. Also, as they are safer than regular cigarettes, they are risk-free for those around you making the dangers of second hand smoke to your family and friends a thing of the past.

        No More Coughing

        Tobacco smoke causes irritation to the throat due to the high toxin content, and this can result in a smoker’s cough. As e-cigs do not have these toxins, you can say goodbye to your irritating cough.

        Better Health

        better health when vapingTobacco smoke contains no less than 70 known carcinogens whereas e-cigarettes only contain propylene glycol (a substance found in smoke machines), nicotine, and the same food flavourings that you could find in your local grocery store. While there are trace amounts of nitrosamines, which are carcinogens produced during the nicotine extraction procedure from tobacco, these are also found in similar quantities in FDA approved nicotine patches.

        Since you are exposed to 1400 times more carcinogens when smoking regular cigarettes, you are hugely cutting your chances of developing cancer when you switch to vaping. As well as cutting your risk of cancer, you will also find that within 24 hours of quitting tobacco you lower your risk of having a heart attack and will feel less anxious. Within just a few more months, your lung function, sense of taste and circulation will all go back to normal too.


        E-cigarettes are better for the environment as they do not emit air-polluting organic compounds in the same way as regular tobacco.  Also, as they produce no ash or cigarette butts, they do not cause all of the problems that regular cigarettes do when butts are washed off the streets into drains where they can then end up in lakes, rivers and streams.

        When this happens, the cellulose acetate filters leach 4000 chemicals into the water, harming and killing wildlife, and they can never be biodegraded. In contrast, most modern devices can now be recycled making them a much more environmentally sound option.


        Public Health England and The Royal College Of Physicians have both issued a report to prove that vaping is definitely considered to be 95% safer than smoking tobacco. Although there were some early reported issues about safety, these were from first generation e-cigs that are no longer in use or as a result of using an incorrect charger meaning that, when used correctly, modern vape pens are safe to use.

        Be Drug-Free

        drug freeAlthough there are some pharmaceutical methods that have been shown to help smokers to quit the habit, these involve taking drugs regularly. Many of these began as anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications and may have side effects such as nausea or negative interactions with alcohol. Vaping causes none of these problems and the only drug you will be taking will be nicotine, which you can reduce in strength over time.

        No More Social Stigma

        Smoking seems to come with a social stigma attached these days, especially among professionals. If you switch to vaping, you will no longer exhibit any of the familiar signs of smoking and people will also be interested in your experience with vaping. Vaping can help to start conversations whereas smoking is sure to kill them off.


        While you are probably vaping with the eventual goal of giving up smoking tobacco cigarettes completely, you may need to wean yourself away from cigarettes gradually. Dual use gives you time to set yourself up with the right equipment and try out different flavours of e-liquid before making the switch entirely to e-cigarettes.

        Other stop-smoking methods like the nicotine patch do not give you this option since they deliver a set amount of nicotine and this can be raised to dangerous levels if you smoke tobacco at the same time as wearing a patch. There is no risk of this with vaping as a hit from an vape pen produces the same amount of nicotine as you would get from an e-cigarette.


        reasons to switch to vapingAs you can see from the many reasons outlined above, the advantages of switching to vaping from tobacco cigarettes are clear. From improving your health to saving money, vaping has numerous benefits for the ex-smoker. Swapping to vape pens will prevent you and your home from smelling like an ashtray and you will no longer be subject to the social stigma surrounding the habit. As e-cigarettes are also safer for humans and for the environment too, it makes sense to give them a try if you are ready to quit smoking.

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