April 1, 2020  Last Update: November 12, 2019, 4:01 pm

Is Liquid Tobacco Deadly? or just Scary?

E-cigarettes and “vaping” are popular, with the market for e-juice, e-cigarettes, and vaping supplies growing rapidly. But with increased use, we have reports of  danger associated with liquid tobacco and nicotine. Is vaping addictive?

Liquid tobacco, the juice used in e-cigarettes, is highly-concentrated when compared to the nicotine in regular cigarettes. It can be dangerous if handled improperly. According to various discussions in the press and on the Internet, one bottle of e-juice containing nicotine, if ingested or exposed to skin, might contain enough toxins to cause seizures, vomiting or even kill.

But as some vaping advocates point out, most e-juice is not “liquid tobacco” or “liquid nicotine”. The liquid purchased for vaping via e-cigarettes may not contain any tobacco at all, or only tobacco for flavoring. The inclusion of nicotine is entirely optional. Many people report switching from cigarettes to e-juice intentionally as a way to ween themselves off of a smoking addiction, reducing the nicotine levels voluntarily until they are enjoying zero nicotine e-juice liquids.

With increased popularity of vaping, we should expect more and more people placing these vials of e-juice on their coffee tables and countertops, perhaps within reach of infants and small children. That means more exposure, and a need for more awareness of just what is in the liquid in the vial.

The New York Times reported last week that the number of nicotine-related calls to poison control centers increased 300 percent between 2012 and 2013, especially among children. That’s pretty sensational and scary, especially for something considered a “novelty” just a few short years ago.

But are these concerns just sensational reporting? Is it possible that the increase in nicotine poisoning cases is simply because more people are using e-cigarettes? We see large, scary phrases like a “300 percent increase” in the media, but the actual number behind that increase was only 1,351 nicotine posing cases nationwide. In a country of 314 million people, that doesn’t seem like all that much. With a rapidly growing adoption of e-cigarettes, is this number reflective of true danger, or perhaps just scary for the tobacco industry which is losing sales to e-cigarettes?

Is the concentrated liquid tobacco in e-cigarettes dangerous?

According to a report by the Current-Argus, e-cigarettes are growing in popularity so fast they may start outselling regular cigarettes within just 10 years. Some commenters are suggesting that these “liquid tobacco” danger reports are propaganda promoted and encouraged by the tobacco lobby, which sees e-cigarettes as a threat exactly because they do not include much tobacco, or nicotine, and because they are helping people quit cigarette smoking.

Updated:After some online discussions, we decided to update the post to be more explicit about the hint of potential propaganda by Big Tobacco, and to further highlight the fact that a good deal of the e-juice consumed is not “liquid tobacco” and may be very low nicotine.


  • ref: Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes
  • ref: E-cigs to surpass traditional smokes within 10 years, experts say
  • Is Vaping Addictive?




  1. Nice article. I am of the group that would label the growing, often easily disputable propaganda against e-cigs/vaping as hype that is part of a bigger agenda. And what is sadly being missed in all the political posturing over this is the fact that e-cigs, in either their current form or if needed a later “improved version”, could possibly be the single most important development in the fight against tobacco’s deadly stranglehold on the human race we’ve ever seen. I’ve seen so many articles, usually used in a political context to demonized “vaping”, yet not one of the opponents will acknowledge what the root purpose is…to make tobacco obsolete. In it’s current form, the electronic cigarette was developed by a scientist in direct response to his father having died of lung cancer. This is not some crazy anarchist fad. And a very deadly outcome that is being fought for by those in charge is to remove ecigs from the market while leaving much deadlier tobacco there to continue it’s wrath. Of course, they make billions annually on tobacco taxes and lobbying “gifts” as well as control it’s very existence, so it’s no wonder they want to remove a competing product from the marketplace.

    As to stories like the “nicotine scare”….people have MUCH worse products in their home that have no concerns or regulations on them. And of note, where was all this hoopla when patches, gums, and lozenges came into being? As with any products that we need to be concerned with, common sense is all that is needed along with a BIG helping of responsible parenting.

    Maybe with all the hype out of the way, we can go on to beating the addiction to tobacco in our lifetime.

  2. One additional note on the subject of e-juice or vaping liquid or whatever anyone wants to call it.

    The actual process of a e-cig involves a juice-soaked wick placed through a small wire coil. The battery heats the coil which in turn vaporizes the liquid contained in the wick. There is no combustion or burning of any product whatsoever. The “smoke” produced from an e-cig or personal vaporizer is not smoke, it is steam. The “juice” is made up of products normally found in many foods and medicines and have long been recognized by the FDA as generally safe for consumption. As such, this whole process is closer to cooking than it is to the “smoking” of anything. Standing by the stove when cooking food and inhaling the air around you is just as “bad” for you. If you are cooking one of the many plant products beside tobacco that contain nicotine, it may be no different at all.

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