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Propylene Glycol (PG) Allergy in Vaping

A look at PG allergy in vaping.

Propylene glycol (PG) is a very common ingredient used in many consumer products in the food, health care and other industries. It is classified as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food ingredient by the FDA.

PG is used in vape juice because of its flavour carrying properties, as well as the fact that it reduces the viscosity of the eliquid which makes wicking easier, reducing the likelihood of dry hits.

A very few, however, find that they have an allergic reaction to propylene glycol.


Symptoms of PG Allergy

Some of the symptoms of a Propylene Glycol allergy can be:

  • Skin problems, such as hives
  • Headaches and migraines
  • A sore throat
  • Sinus problems
  • Nausea


What do I do if I am allergic to PG?

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms of a PG allergy you need to eliminate or reduce the PG content of your vape juice to see if the symptoms disappear. This can be tricky, unfortunately, for a variety of reasons but do not despair, we have a solution for you.

First, let’s take a look at why it is very difficult to eliminate propylene glycol from vape juice in South Africa.


Why is it virtually impossible to find 100% Vegetable Glycerin (VG) Vape Juice in South Africa

Some may tell you that they will supply you with 100% VG e-liquid. This is highly unlikely to be true, and should be closely questioned.

There are very few vaping flavourings (the flavouring used in all e-liquids) worldwide available that is not carried in propylene glycol, though they can be found in small quantities in the larger markets like the US they are extremely scarce, the market for them is too small, even worldwide.

In South Africa the market is very small indeed, and makes it totally uneconomical for distributors to carry VG based flavourings. All flavourings available here, for the vaping market, is carried in PG.

Water-based food flavourings found in grocery stores are NOT suitable for vaping. Though these have been classified as GRAS, that classification by the FDA is for consumption, not inhalation. NEVER use oil based flavouring in vape juice, and though some will use alcohol based flavourings, we do not recommend it as it is also suspect for inhalation.

So all the vape juice commercially available in South Africa will contain some Propylene Glycol. What to do if you are allergic to PG?

We explain here how we solve the PG allergy problem for vapers in South Africa.  More about solving PG allergy

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