(Almost) IMPOSSIBLE to find safe products for DIY vapers???

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Super Member
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Apr 10, 2012
Gainesville, Ga
Duane, I don't mind your search to find the safe-est way to explore this "hobby" of ours. I am by far not an expert, I dabble here and there. There are short term studies on the chemicals given from vaping vs cigs, but no long term studies because this industry is so new. People who DIY are no different than the hundreds of vendors out there. We use the same sort of chemicals, usually similar flavor brands. Vendors differ just by buying in bulk, and they mix their well tried and true formulas more often. I won't add food coloring in my juice, but I did use up the last bit of lorann raspberry that had coloring. It is already vaped and its done, no more coloring. I'm not going to go crazy because some manufacture put green dye in my mint chocolate chip klondikes, I'll still eat them. But I choose not to add food coloring to my juices hat I intend to inhale.


Super Member
ECF Veteran
Nov 16, 2012
Interesting thread. I DIY my fluid so I know what the ingredients are. I tried to get more information about the flavoring once I realized they are food safe, but virtually no information about inhaling. Since I enjoy the various flavors so much, but don't want to risk my lungs further, only inhale my 100%(with water added) VG nic fluid. For enjoyment I have other tanks with my favorite flavors. Since I chewed the nic gum to escape smoking my body is accustomed to getting nicotine orally. Bottom line is you'll have to find that comfort zone that is right for you and adjust as information becomes available. No matter how safe a product/activity may be, there will always be people who die from it. So far I haven't heard anything about someone dying from vaping. Just my :2c: :)


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Oct 3, 2012
funny... i was actually talking to a friend about this the other day... my thoughts were simple... hey, in 5/10/15 years we could all end up with "vape lung/cancer of the thumb nail/ear lobe bronchitis/tickle-me-elmo-syndrome/chronic itchy eye syndrome/etc" (or whatever other funky name they come up with) from vaping... BUT... it could also work out the other way... who knows... there could be something in what we vape that prevents cancers... who knows...

what i do know is that there are people that have been vaping for YEARS and feel better, look better, certainly smell better, and single-handedly got more people to quit smoking than any patch or gum or hypnotic tapes blah blah blah... u get me

point is... if i'm going to go out because of vaping... then i did it with my eyes open... i did it with logic that 4-5 ingredients that are GRAS has to be better than 4000 that are a known fact they WILL kill you at some point... and i did it for the high chance that WE ARE RIGHT...
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My point on this is ... You didn't know what was in your analog, but you still smoked ? All of the sudden people start to care what they are smoking ... or vaping ...

I know this isn't "safe". But from my personal exeperience : I stopped coughing in the morning. I can smell again, My taste is alot better, I lost 5kg (gained 5 at first, but lost 10 afterwards) while not changing anything. My lung capacity grew alot, since I can walk up 7-8 floors without being without any breath. So for me this must be healthier then what I was doing.

I do agree on the things that do not need to be in like coloring, should not be added.
And good post above :)


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Nov 3, 2012
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
My point on this is ... You didn't know what was in your analog, but you still smoked ? All of the sudden people start to care what they are smoking ... or vaping ...

I agree with you completely, but that's exactly the point. Once a person decides that tobacco is just too foolishly dangerous to continue smoking, but still can't beat the nicotine addiction, we do tend to suddenly care more about what alternatives we choose.

My biggest problem now is that I'm getting to enjoy vaping more than I ever enjoyed smoking...and I LOVED smoking. HA!


Super Member
ECF Veteran
Oct 29, 2012
New Zealand (Middle Earth, lol)
I dont DIY, but I thought about this for awhile.

What I decided was - because the dose makes the poison, the safest flavourings would be those that have many different chemicals in low concentrations, rather than a few or single chemicals in higher concentrations (Excepting things with high toxicity of course)....

So basically what I am doing is picking flavours with multiple ingredients, and mixing a bunch of compatible flavours together. Another option would be to regularly change your flavour.

Just a rough way of hedging your bets, avoiding single compound flavourings, and getting a variety.

Organic flavours tend to have more chemicals, but they also tend to be bioactive. Synthetic tends to rely on single compounds, or a small number of compounds, also sometimes bioactive. Hard to guess even what all the metabolites are, or if they are truely safe.

Even in food, nobody eats 1000 banana flavoured lollies a day. And if they did, who knows what would happen.

I mean generally speaking, GRAS is a guess. MSDS is usually over cautious, and also often somewhat guessy. Toxicology studies where they are done are very useful, indeed, and metabolites, but also its dose dependant.

PG has a very low level of a one tiny amount of a toxic metabolite, but no exposure study has ever revealed anything but irritation, or sensitivites/allergies (possibly because of this one very low level of one toxic metabolite). It can be harsh on the throat with the nic too.

Conversely VG is viscous, and seems to sit in the lungs heavily for many. But its also a natural body compound and can even be metabolised directly in the lungs. Which is why for people with various sensitivies, they have to balance the two ends, and find their own mix that works.

Same goes with flavours. Part of it is how you feel when you vape them. A n=1 subjective experiment.

Part of it is coming up with a mix, where your not taking in too much of one compound....

I mean, one would easily guess that these "gras" chemicals arent as bad as tobacco, but people havent consumed them in vast huge quantity before. Nor have they been well studied. Still think its most likely to be much safer than tobacco, but why be blaize about it?

Safest way to hedge the bet is instead of eating 1000 banana sweets a day, eat 10 bananas, 10 blackberry, 10 toffee. See what I mean?

Thats just how I am currently thinking about it, ATM basically mixing about four compatible flavours into my vape, each with a variety of components, and no stand out single chemicals. And after awhile ill change them around a bit. Hedging my bets.

For DIY, that would make life complicated, cause youd be adding a tiny bit of a load of different stuff, but you could really really ensure theres not much of any one compound, with certainty and that all the compounds are _relatively_ trustworthy based on rough guesswork.

There once was a day, when u didnt know if the berry on the vine would kill you, or be tasty food. People just got hungry and gamed it, by eating the tiniest amount and seeing what happened.

If lots of people ate it, after being cautious, and didnt die, or get sick, it became food. Ultimately we still live in that same world, full of unknowns and daily risks, but we rely on authorities to tell us that things are safe, when only seriously involved scientific study, that usually isnt done, or done correctly, can truely tell us that (and to understand the studies properly ud need a scientific background).

I think its best to assume with everything, including food, beverages etc, that we dont really know for sure, the full metabolic effects and metabolites etc.

Not to be _paranoid_ but have a _little_ reasonable caution, like our anscestors and the berry, rather than be like modern folks:

Gobbling down anything that gets some kind of guesstimate government tick, and frowning on anything that gets the same guesstimate cross mark.

We should remember the romans and lead piping, and the modern day addition of alzheimers causing aluminium to drinking water for no other purpose than to make it "sparkle". These authorities are often none too smart. They boo-hoo things that arent that dangerous, and okay things that can be dodgy as. Theres alot of unknowns still.

You just gotta be a bit like the caveman and the berry. Risk is part of life. Manage it using reasonable caution and thought.
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Ultra Member
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Aug 24, 2012
I agree with you completely, but that's exactly the point. Once a person decides that tobacco is just too foolishly dangerous to continue smoking, but still can't beat the nicotine addiction, we do tend to suddenly care more about what alternatives we choose.

My biggest problem now is that I'm getting to enjoy vaping more than I ever enjoyed smoking...and I LOVED smoking. HA!

But at the same time, removing a serious and proven health risk from your daily habits does not mean that you have to become paranoid about any and all health risk. Quitting smoking doesn't mean that I am going to quit eating red meat or even bacon. Both of which are pretty bad health wise supposedly. Also, cheese and ice cream. Not going to give those up. Grilling out. Not giving that up. Smoked fish and meat. Not giving that up.

So, in my opinion, stressing out about this beyond being generally careful is not worth it. Again, there have been studies of the vapor and the results look very, very good vs. smoking.

But, by all means, if you can quit smoking without vaping, that is going to be better.


ECF Guru
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Jul 12, 2012
USA midwest
I know I can count on a handful of people to assure me that there really are no good answers and that we're the willing guinea pigs of a young movement, but please...any specifics and assistance with choosing something I can use and still sleep knowing I'm not ignorantly killing myself anyway (just in a slightly tastier fashion) would be great and quite appreciated![/B]

I echo what ecofinder said. COV has notes that some fo their juices have diacytal, and organic doesn't mean it's better (I already have a post on the forum about that this week.)

If you want to vape as clean as possible, I would get some ECOpure flavorless nic juice from Intelligcig. You probably can't get cleaner than that. Nic is extracted in a laboratory. If you want flavor, get the Rich blend in 100%vg. I'm probably headed in that direction myself.

There are a few people on ECF who are so allergenic that they can't use ANY flavored juice at all, and I got this information from one of them. :)

I see vaping as Harm Reduction. It's something I did to get off cigarettes, and when I feel I have no risk of returning to cigs, I'll be giving up vaping, too. In the meantime, i have been assured by 3 of my doctors that vaping is indeed, SAFER than what I was doing before.

oxygen thief

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Jun 26, 2012
I googled 'are food flavoring's dangerous' yesterday. Yes they are and have thousands of chemicals in them too. Some synthetic are safer than 'natural. A Japanese woman won some prestigious award from Harvard for making vanillin out of cow sh-it. I'll see if I can find the story. Natural And Artificial Flavor - Business Insider

I think they will be found unsafe for vaping but I'm not losing any sleep over it.


Senior Member
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Aug 27, 2012
West Boylston, MA
It seems that most responses have either been to criticize you for asking or support you in your fact collection. Very little has been said about certain ingredients and people's experience or knowledge. This may be due to the fact that this is a new frontier and to those who show you support, I offer mine. I am not an alarmist but, like you, choose to be informed, for whatever reason. I know that nothing is 100% safe but I want to know how and why. I then take that knowledge and choose what I would like to do knowing it. I will not be bullied into complacency by those who would rather be ignorant. That died in me when I CHOSE to stop smoking. Unfortunately, I have no experience with DIY other than the research I've done in preparation to begin (hence finding this thread) I'd like to put in my two cents and add that if people simply added the facts and let others choose to act based on the facts then we could ALL learn efficiently. So the question isn't-"whats safe ?" The question is- "what are the facts?" Thanks for asking DN, you seem to be intelligent and well spoken. I will say that nicotene caused me to have heartburn until I lowered my liquids to 18 mg. I have heard that vg, if heated to a higher temp than usual (ie: dry hit/insufficient liquid supply), can produce acreolin(also produced from overheating cooking oil)which is not recommended to inhale in large amounts. VG is a sugar alcohol that some are allergic to and can create more than bearable discomfort in digestive processses. Sodium chloride, I've read, can lower the respiratory system's ability to fight off bacteria if inhaled. Some use it for salty flavors. One of the ingredients in some eliquid is sucralose which is sucrose that has been altered through a chemical bond process. PG can be a major irritant to some due to allergies which alot of us know. PG will also dehydrate you so drink plenty of liquids when you vape it. Ive also read that its good practice to avoid inhaling gums but it was a one time read and I couldn't relocate the source. Those are my findings- do with them what you will and Good Luck and Good Health:toast:


Super Member
ECF Veteran
Nov 29, 2012
Southern Arizona, USA
What a great question/statement. I started vaping & quit smoking the stinkies 10 months ago. While not from a DYI standpoint I have always been very pickie about my juice (ingredients, source, inspection, certifications). When I made my first stop at a new local vaper lounge/store I grilled them & asked to see the bulk labels. They are proud of what they do & kindly obliged me. I get your concerns. Lately I have been begun to investigate lessening risks even more. Options available have changed/improved, vendors have changed, ingredients are getting better...it's growing all the time. All I can do is research, decide and "do the best that I can with the knowledge that i have today."

This is a really good thread & I enjoyed reading all the replies & the input from everyone!
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