E-Cigarette Ingredients

E-cigarettes such as Juul come with pods or cartridges of e-liquid made from nicotine, water, propylene glycol, vegetable Glycerin, and flavorings and base. However, with the multitude of brands on the market and no established FDA guidelines, it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact ingredients included in an e-liquid vape.

It’s hard to figure out what’s among the thousands of E-liquids, also known as vape juice or e-juice, that are sold as electronic cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must still examine ingredients and establish guidelines. Some numerous varieties and flavors have multiple components.

Although scientists don’t know the exact chemical composition of every electronic cigarette, they have found some harmful metals and chemicals in e-cigarettes, as per the American Lung Association. Certain chemical compounds are classified as carcinogens, which means they can cause cancer.

As per the FDA’s website, which was most recently refreshed in June of 2022, “These items use “e-liquid” that typically contains nicotine that is derived from tobacco along with flavorings, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin and other components. It is then heated up to form an aerosol, which users inhale.”

Basis ingredients like propylene glycol and vegetable Glycerin aren’t harmful when consumed orally. However, researchers need to determine their safety if vaporized and inhaled.

Experts agree that electronic cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes. However, they aren’t considered safe.

Chemicals used in electronic cigarettes include:

Acetaldehyde, as well as formaldehyde

These chemicals have been proven for their ability to trigger cancer.


A weed killer can cause irreparable lung damage to the lung.


chemical that is found in exhaust from cars. In the long run, exposure to this compound can lead to blood-related problems and even cancer of the blood-forming organs, like leukemia.


Toxic metals can increase the risk of breathing issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Emphysema. It’s also in traditional cigarettes.


The chemical ingredient that gives food items a buttery taste. Research suggests that inhaling it can cause lung diseases such as bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as “popcorn lung.”

Diethylene glycol

A clear, odorless liquid with a sweet taste is typically used in industrial applications like antifreeze. It’s used as a basis in electronic liquids. It’s toxic and connected to lung disease.

Tin, lead, nickel, and various other heavy metals

The toxicity of heavy metals can affect the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, and various organs.


A highly addictive chemical that can alter both breathing and the heart.

Propylene glycol

An odorless, clear liquid utilized as an antifreeze and food addiction. It’s used as a basis in E-liquids. It transforms into liquid when heated but could cause propylene oxide to form, a carcinogen that has been identified.

How Much Is Nicotine in a Vape?

Nicotine can be a highly addictive chemical that originates directly from tobacco. In the past, it was employed as an insecticide throughout the United States. It’s in a lot of cigarettes, even e-cigarettes.

After inhaling, it takes only 10-15 seconds to enter the brain. Once inside the brain, it stimulates these pleasure areas, giving users satisfaction and peace. Nicotine dependency can keep people vaping.

It is the amount of nicotine present in every e-cigarette differs by brand. Juul offered pods containing five percent nicotine when it first came out, as per Truth Initiative. This is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes in a pod.

E-cigarettes that are more powerful provide more nicotine to the brain.

Nicotine’s adverse effects are:

  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Headache
  • Heart rate increases
  • Muscles moving
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures
  • Stomach upset
  • Tremor

Chemical Reactions

Research has revealed more than 100 different compounds found in e-cigarette liquids. More combinations are produced when chemicals are heated before vaporization, resulting in a review conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

These chemicals could pose serious health hazards due to chemical reactions without heating them.

A study published by Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that these reactions between flavorings and propylene glycol, the ingredient utilized to create the vapor, could expose smokers to the dangers of tobacco cigarettes.


Heating e-liquids can raise the level of harmful chemicals present in aerosols.

“Even in the absence of heating and combustion, chemical reactions are occurring in e-cigarette liquids and the resulting compounds could be harmful to the user’s airways,” researcher Hanno Erythropel told the American Journal of Managed Care.

Another study from 2018 that was published in 2018, this time published in Scientific Reports, a journal Scientific Reports, found that the chemicals found in vape fluid may combine to form different kinds of formaldehyde, which is an organic chemical that has been linked with certain types of cancer among people who have frequent exposure.

Researchers discovered that under normal vaping conditions, gaseous formaldehyde is produced at levels higher than the ones considered safe by authorities such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Chemical Exposures Rise with Heating

If heated, the chemicals in vape juice may be more harmful. High-powered devices can raise toxic chemicals in vape juice by aerosolizing ingredients when heated to higher temperatures.

For instance, users can smoke more than 200 times the amount of formaldehyde and acetone by increasing voltages between 3.2 and 4.8. The levels of formaldehyde emitted by high-voltage e-cigarettes are almost equivalent to traditional cigarettes, as per The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Harmful Chemicals in Flavored Vape Juice

There are more than 7,000 different vape juice flavors available to electronic cigarette users, According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Certain flavors are to be safe in food products; however, they can be harmful if inhaled in aerosol form.

A study from 2015 conducted by Harvard University researchers found that the various flavors included in electronic cigarettes contain chemicals that could be harmful to users’ health over the long term.

The flavors that were included in the study were Classic, Menthol, Cherry Crush, Java Jolt, Pina Colada, Vanilla Bean, Bad Apple, Iced Berry, Banana, Pomegranate, Peach Pit, Watermelon, and Coca-Cola Coconut, Pineapple Punch, Carmel Popcorn, Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, and Tutti Frutti.

The results showed that at least one of three flavoring chemicals commonly used, diacetyl and 2,3 pentane dione, or acetoin found in 51 of the flavors tested.

Harvard University E-Cig Flavor Study Results

  • Diacetyl was detected in 39 of the 51 flavors that were tested.
  • 2,3-pentane dione is present In 23 out of the flavors.
  • Acetoin was seen in one of the flavors.
  • Diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione were found simultaneously in 21 of the flavors tested.
  • 2,3-pentane dione, as well as acetoin, were discovered at the same time in 22 different flavors.

Inaccurate Labeling

Research has also revealed that the labels of products are only sometimes correct. This makes it more difficult for consumers to discern what they’re consuming.

For instance, a study from 2016 published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing by Kelly Buettner-Schmidt with colleagues showed that labeling errors were often seen.

Researchers from the University of North Dakota researchers have collected 94 samples of e-liquid. The majority of them needed to be labeled by at most 10.

Seventeen percent contained more nicotine than the amount listed on the label. In addition, one sample had 220% more nicotine than indicated on the labels.

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