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Nicotine Or None?

It is often asked whether nicotine free vaping is bad for you. This is a reasonable question as nicotine can be the main thing that vaping has in common with smoking and is associated with the bad qualities of traditional tobacco cigarettes.

If nicotine is bad then are nicotine free e-liquids better for vapers than e-liquids containing nicotine?

This question is both simple and complicated to answer as there are a lot of factors that make vaping better for you than smoking.

Vaping has been proven to help people quit smoking, almost doubling the chances of quitting for good when compared to people who try to quit without using e-liquids. Nicotine is what makes cigarettes addictive and if you are trying to quit smoking then nicotine free e-liquids are less helpful as they don’t replace the chemical craving.

But if you’ve already quit smoking then nicotine free e-liquids have been proven to carry almost no significant health risk. The ingredients are all safe, regulated and most have been used in food production for years. Research has shown that the vaping process also has almost no health risks. There are only minor risks if you are asthmatic or one of the few people with an allergy to Propylene Glycol (PG). And if you are allergic to Propylene Glycol there are many Propylene Glycol free e-liquids available.

Vaping and e-liquids

All the research into the health effects of vaping and using vaping to help quit smoking show that vaping is significantly safer than smoking. Vaping carries almost no health risks and new studies have only supported this fact.

To decide whether nicotine free vaping is bad for you we need to look at how vaping works as well as the ingredients used in e-liquids. We should also consider the health effects of smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes and how vaping is used to help quit smoking.

It is worth remembering that in the short time that vaping has been around there have been a number of scientific studies into both the process and ingredients. This research has shown that vaping poses almost no health risk and is significantly safer than smoking.

The most common ingredients in e-liquids are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) which form the base of most juices. These bases make up around 95% of every e-liquid with the remaining made up of the flavourings and nicotine. With nicotine free vaping the only ingredients are the base of PG/VG and the flavourings.

These flavouring are strictly controlled and regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK. The flavouring ingredients are used in food production and have been proven safe to consume. However these flavourings were designed to be eaten and not inhaled so the long term effects of vaping them are not yet fully understood as vaping has only been popular for the last decade or so.

Compared To Smoking

Smoking tobacco produces thousands of harmful chemicals which can cause health problems. These chemicals include hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, arsenic, ammonia, carbon monoxide, benzene and many more connected to cancer, heart disease and lung disease.

The smoke produced by smoking tobacco also forms tar, a sticky combination of chemicals that coats the lungs. This tar contains many of the cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarette smoke and over time leads to lung damage that can cause diseases like emphysema and bronchitis.

Vaping E-liquids doesn’t create new chemicals, instead, it vaporizes the ingredients already in the juice which do not have the same health risks as those found in traditional tobacco cigarettes. These harmless ingredients are mostly Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin with Acetaldehyde, Nitrosamines and the remaining chemicals making up the flavouring.

Quitting Smoking

It is estimated that around seven million people each year are killed as a result of smoking. Vaping has been shown to almost double the chances of quitting smoking, proving that vaping helps people give up the much more harmful traditional tobacco cigarettes. And research by Public Health England shows that vaping is not a gateway into smoking. So, with or without nicotine, vaping is much better for you.

Nicotine is what makes smoking addictive but it has very few health risks aside from addiction. The biggest reason why nicotine is a problem is that it makes it difficult for people who want to quit the harmful health risks associated with traditional tobacco cigarettes. Nicotine free vaping is not addictive like using e-liquids containing nicotine but it makes it more difficult to quit smoking as these e-liquids don’t replace the nicotine craving associated with cigarettes.

For many Vapers, using e-liquids with nicotine is an important part of what makes vaping so appealing. Vaping like this has been proven to help smokers quit smoking by switching from cigarettes to e-liquids with nicotine to satisfy their cravings.

Over time, Vapers can reduce the amount of nicotine in their e-liquids and even give up nicotine entirely. But arguably e-liquids containing nicotine are better for you if you want to use vaping to help quit smoking.


One of the ingredients used in e-liquids is Propylene Glycol (PG) which can cause minor allergic reactions in some rare cases. PG is commonly used in a wide variety of food products and is considered safe despite these rare cases of minor allergic reactions. If you experience rashes or mild swelling of the throat while using an e-liquid with PG stop and switch to juices with VG instead.


Research shows us that vaping is far safer than smoking. Vaping has no significant health risks and nicotine free vaping has the same level of safety but without the risk of addiction from nicotine. But if you’re using vaping to help quit smoking then nicotine free e-liquids might not be the best choice to begin with as they don’t help replace the chemical craving in the same way.

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