Even as more scientific research is being published about the benefits of vaping to help people quit smoking, harmful myths are abound. In the media and popular culture, people whisper rumours that spread like wildfire and quickly become “facts”.
Here’s our guide to some of the most recent myths we’ve heard about vaping.
Myth: Vaping gives you ‘popcorn lung’
“Popcorn lung” is the name of a lung condition that is common in workers in popcorn factories. The workers get it from breathing in the fumes of an ingredient named ‘diacetyl’, which gives popcorn its buttery flavour.
Diacetyl has been used by some manufacturers to create buttery e-liquid flavours. However, it has been banned in the UK and no reputable manufacturer will use it (including us). Because NZ doesn’t have safety standards for e-liquids, you’ll need to check ingredients for any buttery-flavoured e-liquids if you want to avoid diacetyl. However, it’s worth noting that levels of diacetyl are found in ordinary cigarettes at a much higher concentration than any e-liquid that contains the ingredient. This myth is often used to tar all e-liquids, when really diacetyl is only used is a flavouring in a select few, and rarely so since the EU regulations were established.
Myth: Passive vaping is harmful to others (like second-hand smoke)
Research has shown that unlike second-hand smoke (which has all kinds of adverse health effects on those exposed to it) passive vaping causes no harm. This is because cigarettes require combustion to release smoke containing more than 7000 chemicals, while vaping produces clouds of vapor which disappear quickly and contain only a few chemicals at a rate of less than 1% of the levels found in cigarettes.
Myth: E-cigarettes explode and hurt people!
We see these claims in clickbait headlines all the time. These stories are touted as a reason vaping is a safety risk and should not be permitted. However, when you dig deeper into these stories, you discover that a) they’re often exaggerated or spun out from a single source to make the problem seem bigger than it is and b) they’re always caused by poor storage or use of the battery. If users don’t follow the safety guidelines for their device, it’s hardly fair to blame their incompetence on the whole vaping community.
Myth: E-liquids contain antifreeze
Ooooh, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this one, I’d be very rich indeed. Antifreeze contains Propylene Glycol (PG), which is also a key ingredient in e-liquids. However, the reason PG is added to antifreeze is to actually make it non-toxic. E-liquids don’t contain antifreeze – they just share a common ingredient. It’s like saying that drain cleaner is a common ingredient in IEDs, so you shouldn’t use drain cleaner in your home because it will make your pipes explode.
These are just a few of the common myths we hear about vaping and e-cigarettes. We’re always happy to help bust these myths and clear up the facts. What’s a vaping myth that you’ve heard recently?