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Pneumonia Schmumonia, Studies say the PG in Your Electronic Cigarette is More Helpful than Harmful

May 4, 2012

Do electronic cigarettes cause pneumonia? We hear that question a lot. And while the theory seems on the surface decently plausible (you inhale water vapor into your lungs, pneumonia is having water in your lungs), it’s not actually the case at all. Here’s a little bit we here at the Electric Cigarette Store learned about contracting pneumonia from e cigarettes…

Actually, the propylene glycol (PG as it is commonly known) found in most e liquid has been used since the 50’s as a disinfectant in hospitals and nursing homes, particularly for it’s effectiveness in killing both the virus and bacteria types of pneumonia. It has been certified completely safe by the EPA and the FDA, and is administered through ventilation units in restaurants, bars, and hospitals to this day as a breathable disinfectant.

We aren’t doctors here or anything, but I doubt this will (even with heavy usage) cause pneumonia.

There is, however, a tiny risk associated with vegetable glycerine (VG) e liquid, but even this is unproven and there is very little evidence available. While the FDA does deem VG “generally safe for consumption” (it is found in all kinds of household products, anywhere from food to shampoo), it is made out of natural plant oils, which can cause a rare type of pneumonia called Lipoid Pneumonia.

This type of pneumonia can be caused in some situations by the absorption or chronic aspiration of oils into the lungs. However, VG isn’t really an “oil” (it is water-soluble), but does contain it. We would advise against certain e liquid flavorings that can be oil based, as you might run into the same problem. 

VG can also harbor bacteria, which seems like the bigger, more immediate concern with using it. We recommend a VG/PG blend, which will kill any bacteria that could make you sick, while still giving you the comfort and thick puffs of vapor that VG creates.

Hopefully this cleared up a little of your concerns about getting pneumonia from an electronic cigarette. The most important thing to remember, as is with most things, is not to overindulge. Electronic cigarettes can be very useful and enjoyable, but like alcohol, ice cream, milk, fruits, and Cheetos, the key is to not over use them. Taking a few hits here and there while you’re trying to quit smoking is how e cigarettes are supposed to work as opposed to sucking on your vaporizer all day until your throat dries up.

Electronic cigarettes are a safe, clean way to quit smoking. If you have any questions or are interested in taking the first step to a cleaner, healthier (pneumonia free) lifestyle, check us out today!

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