Two major problems when it comes to vapes: The non regulation of the ingredients and percentages of nicotine in vape juice also know as e-liquid and the long term effects of smoking vape liquids are unknown.
Most companies such as Juul advertise that their e-liquid contains nicotine, glycerol and propylene glycol, benzoic acid, and flavorants. This is probably true but there is no law or regulations by the FDA to prevent them from putting any other chemical in the liquid with out the user really knowing. Also, when it comes to e-liquid from companies that are not so big as juul and homemade liquids one could buy at a vape store. There is an even bigger chance of not knowing what we are smoking into our lungs. Many other chemicals have been found in studies such as tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), aldehydes, metals, volatile organic compounds, phenolic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco alkaloids. (Cheng 2014) Some of these chemicals are found in cigarettes and can cause cancer. Also many studies have found problems in the mislabeling of nicotine concentrations and inconsistent amount of nicotine per pod in the e-liquid which can have a greater consequences because the smoker will be less informed in what they are inhaling.
Proylene glycol and glycerol are two substances used in theater and aviation emergency training. These are upper airway irritants that proylene glycol causes the mucous airway to dry and glycerin is used to allow other inhalants in the vapor to be absored better by the lungs. No short term use have shown any problems but long term studies still need to be done for any toxic and detrimental effects.
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance which we saw earlier with its effects on the nACh receptors in the body and brain. Nicotine exposure from the e-liquid is highly variable due to the mislabeling and high concentrations of nicotine in the liquids.(Priscilla Callahan-Lyon 2014) Nicotine is poisonous and can be absorbed through the skin. There have been a high number of deaths in kids and infants from touching spilled e-liquid.(Priscilla Callahan-Lyon 2014) This can also be problematic when the juice leaks from the vape on to the users lips and can cause a spike in nicotine concentration in the blood stream of the user.
Longterm effects are very much unknown because vapes came onto the market in 2007. Its been only a decade since individuals have been using vapes. This causes us to have little to no idea on the long term potential problems we can have hitting the vape. Short term issues have been found such as mouth and throat irritation and dry cough, decrease in fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and increase in respiratory impedance and respiratory flow resistance similar to cigarette use. (Callahan-Lyon, P. 2014)
Different products have different consistencies in inhalation which causes more problems when the e-liquid is inconsistent in concentrations of nicotine and functionality of the vaporization of the liquids. We still have not found serious health effects due to vaping but findings have been very controversial due to the limited data and lack of standardizing testing methods. There are so many different devices available and so many different types of liquids which makes it harder for researchers to find such standardizing and concrete data about vaping. (Michael S Orr 2014)