What’s inside vape juice?

WIRED breaks down electronic cigarettecigarette juice to discover what you breathe every time you puff.


A variety of “vape juice” flavors include the classic H20. A liquid reservoir and an element to heat it are the primary elements of electronic cigarettes. Wicking materials like cotton pull liquid towards a coil, and heat transforms it into droplets small enough to be inhaled.

Vegetable glycerin

You’ve likely consumed this sugar alcohol in your meals as a sweetener with low glycemic as a preservative, an enhancer of texture that increases the thickness of food items. (It’s also a component for moisturizers.)

Propylene glycol

An odorless, tasteless, colorless alcohol, which is commonly employed in the production of antifreeze. Although it’s deemed safe for use on the skin or consumption, alcohol is an ingredient active in numerous fog-machine juices that can be allergens and cause irritation of the airway and eye. It may also trigger headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness.


The names of e-cigarette flavors are incredible: Unicorn Milk, Krispy Krack Doughnut, Pony on Acid! Manufacturers typically don’t disclose ingredients because these are “trade secrets.” Some claim that their flavorings are safe and food-grade.


In its inhaled form, particulate nicotine is relatively safe unless you’re a pregnant or growing fetus who is a vaper. However, in liquid form, even small amounts inhaled or in contact with skin may cause seizures, vomiting, or even death. Use gloves when refilling.

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