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Do you have a propylene glycol allergy or sensitivity?

Vaping has commonly been used as a tool for quitting smoking and has led to the healthier lifestyles of many ex-smokers. One problem some have encountered is in something known as PG sensitivity. This has led to vapers not being able to handle one of the main ingredients of vape liquid and therefore has limited their use. This can be dangerous if not identified or treated due to the PG sensitive vaper falling back into old smoking habits.





So what is Propylene glycol?

Vape juice is made up of three ingredients – vegetable glycerine, water vapour and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a chemical which is soluble in water and adds a level of viscosity to the vape juice. With most vape juices, you can choose the ratio between vegetable glycerine and propylene glycerine to find your perfect balance of vape flavour and cloud production. On top of this, PG is used as a food preservative and is generally known as a safe product to use in consumable products.

So what’s the problem?

Like with all foods, some people have different reactions to the chemicals within. Whether an allergy or an intolerance, there have been more and more cases of people claiming to find vaping uncomfortable or having it make them cough more than cigarettes did. Other symptoms have included nausea, headaches and sore and dry throats. The most common symptom of PG intolerance or allergy is the latter, vapour having direct contact with the mouth and throat before any other part of the body.

The question remains, what is the difference between an intolerance to PG and an allergy?


With allergies, your body’s immune system will perceive a certain chemical or ingredient of your food or consumable as a threat and will react accordingly. Therefore, your skin becomes irritated or your throat swells up; it’s your body reacting against what it perceives to be a malicious foreign agent. Antibodies will be specifically created to fight off this ingredient, leading to a variety of adverse effects on your body.


The problem with pin pointing an intolerance is that there is no clear definition of an intolerance. Whilst some involve bodies not being able to create the right enzyme to break down an ingredient, not all are enzyme deficient intolerances. When it comes to the wider world of intolerances, you will often find that there is no concrete reason that your body reacts in the way that it does to the ingredients.

There are still studies being undertaken into the reasons for these intolerances, but recently they’ve been split into two categories. One is a slight sensitivity which includes irritation to the throat as well as dryness. These symptoms usually relax after a while and usually give way after a few days or weeks and are experienced by around 1 in 10 vapers.

The unlucky 1 in 100 vapers will experience far more intense symptoms when vaping due to either the PG or the VG content. For them, these intense sore throats make vaping highly unpleasant and may very well put them off completely.

The solution

For many, the solution lies in changing to a higher VG level ejuice. With some reaching up to 80 percent, VG juices will minimise the symptoms of Propylene Glycol intolerance or allergies. Keeping a tab on it and assessing the problem are crucial if you think you are suffering from an allergy or sensitivity.


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