Vaping side effects from Propylene Glycol
If you’ve done much reading about vaping, then you’ve probably heard that some people have allergies to PG, or propylene glycol.
PG is one of the most common E-liquid bases. It’s so popular because PG doesn’t really have any effect on the flavour of the liquid, which allows for PG E-liquids to have clearly-defined tastes. This is different from liquids made with vegetable glycerine, which tend to have a ‘sweeter’ taste due to how the base itself tastes on its own.
But what does a PG allergy look like? How would it feel?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is propylene glycol?
Propylene glycol, also known as propane-1,2-diol, is a synthetic organic compound. It is colorless, viscous, and a liquid, and is primarily used in the production of polymers. It is used widely in the food processing industry, and is also used for a variety of other applications.
Can people really have an allergic reaction to it?
This is a question that a lot of people don’t completely understand. Yes, you can have an allergic reaction to PG – but some people mistake the symptoms of smoking cessation for a PG allergy… so sometimes, this base component gets a worse rap than it deserves.
The biggest problem is that PG allergies and the withdrawal symptoms of smoking cessation can look very similar. They can both cause symptoms like…
- Mouth ulcers
- Phlegm and congestion
- A mild skin eruption
You can usually figure out if a certain side effect is really due to propylene glycol by quitting vaping for a few days without resuming your cigarette habit. You can also try to isolate the problem by switching to VG e-liquids for a few days.
If you switch away from PG E-liquid and realize that your symptoms have disappeared, then you are probably suffering from a PG allergy.
But if you stop using PG and still have symptoms, then it’s a good bet that you’re actually suffering from the symptoms of smoking cessation – and you can stop worrying about being allergic to propylene glycol.
How bad can PG allergies get?
Most propylene glycol allergies are very mild. Sore throats, sinus problems, nausea, and headaches tend to be the most common side effects. In some extreme cases, you might experience a numbness of the tongue and/or face, and get a case of itchy hives that cover the top half of the body.
It is also said that PG allergies are more common in countries where the population doesn’t get as much exposure to the sunlight, as this results in a lower-than-normal balance of vitamin D in the body. It is also more common for those suffering from fungal infections or eczema to suffer from an allergic reaction to PG than for the average person.
What should you do if you end up having a reaction to propylene glycol?
If you end up suffering from an allergic reaction, do not panic! Just because you reacted this way to one base doesn’t mean that Vegetable Glycerin will have the same effect.
Try switching your vaping habit over to a 100% VG E-liquid. Keep in mind that Max VG liquids are actually a blend – so it is very important that you look for liquids that are truly PG free if you’ve experienced an allergy.
Not all E-liquid suppliers carry such options – so a bit of shopping around might be in order while you look for flavour options to replace your favourite propylene glycol liquids.
What if it’s something else?
Sometimes, people will have an allergic reaction to a different ingredient in an E-liquid, and accidentally blame propylene glycol when it actually isn’t the culprit. This can happen with flavourings – and can be quite confusing.
Try to keep track of which liquids tend to cause the negative effects – because it might take some detective work to figure out what the problem is if you end up realizing that it might not be PG that’s causing the issue.