Great question!

At their most basic, our e-liquids contain PG, VG, nicotine and flavorings.

Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin, which make up the bases of the e-liquid, are responsible for the vapor and throat hit. They are from the chemical ‘glycerol’ family.

Now, it all gets a little confusing when you start to Google them, as the molecular structure of glycerol is a type of alcohol.

Alcohol: A class of organic compounds characterized by one or more hydroxyl (−OH) groups attached to a carbon atom of an alkyl group (hydrocarbon chain).

PG and VG maybe in the alcohol group, but this is not the same as the alcohol that you drink. Describing it as an alcohol describes the chemical structure, and glycerol is a trihydric alcohol.

For example:

Glycerol (also called glycerin) is a sweet syrupy substance with three alcohol hydroxyl groups. Its systematic name is propane-1,2,3-triol. Glycerol was first obtained as a by-product of soap manufacture, through the saponification (hydrolysis in base) of fats.”

Propylene Glycol, when used in e-liquid, or vape juice as it is often called,  is thinner than VG and is responsible for the throat hit and carries flavors very well. Outside of e-liquid it can be found in toothpaste, beauty and medical products.

Vegetable Glycerin, when used in e-liquid is thicker than PG, is great for vapor production and has a sweet taste. Outside of e-liquid it can be found as a sweetener, in beauty products and again toothpaste. Vegetable glycerin (used in TW e-liquid formulations) is a by-product of vegetable oil based bio-diesel production

Next question:

Are they sugars?

sugar

If you mean as in the white stuff you sprinkle over your cereal or put in your coffee… the answer is no.

But…

Vegetable Glycerin is used as a sweetener. Glycerin sweetens food products without the same effect on blood sugar levels as regular sugar. Glycerin is technically a carbohydrate, according to the FDA, and must be treated as such on-food labels. Glycerin contains 4 calories per gram, and is metabolized more slowly than regular sugar, hence having less of an effect on the blood sugar.

What about PG – is that a sugar?

The answer to this is no, not as in the white stuff, and according to posts on a diabetic forum, it should have a neutral effect on blood sugar.

OK – so that has the alcohols and sugars covered.

Next onto the nuts!

nuts

No, we do not use nuts, but we do use flavorings There are two categories of flavoring – nature identical versus natural. Natural flavors come from a plant or animal. Nature identical are made in the lab.

If we use any of the top 8 allergens, it would be highlighted on the ingredients - as is required by the FDA in their guidance on allergens

What are the top 8 allergens?

  • Milk 
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Crustacean Shellfish
  • Tree Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat 
  • Soya

These eight account for 90% of all food allergies in the USA

Always check the labels if you have any allergies – and if you are not sure – phone up and ask either the vendor, or if you can, the manufacturer.

Flavorings in e-liquid are similar to the flavorings found in foods, so if you know a flavoring is problematic for you, obviously avoid it.

If you can, get to know the chemical name for possible allergens – a few examples are:
Amyl acetate: This compound can be distilled from bananas in order to provide banana-like flavor in baked goods.
• Citral: Also known as geranial, citral is extracted from lemongrass, lemon, orange and pimento. It is used in citrus-flavored beverages and sweets.

One person mentioned they had an allergy to custard and citrus e-liquid on a vaping forum. As such they avoid all creamy, custardy and citrus flavors. This person reacts if he vapes any of them with, “just an itchy tongue, palate, sinuses if I exhale through my nose, and my tongue feeling "scalded" for a couple of days afterwards. I luckily react fast enough that I do not inhale that vapor.”

Here’s another interesting point – if you have a reaction to tobacco flavors, and/or you can’t vape the chocolate ones – it could be the cocoa flavoring – that apparently is enough of an allergen for it to be used in research by BAT (British American Tobacco) for their e-liquids!