Standards on vape juice vary widely - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Standards on vape juice vary widely

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JACKSON CO. -- The Vaping industry has become increasingly popular as a "safer" alternative to cigarettes, but there are no state or federal regulations to keep those claims in check.

Concerns started growing after a New York toddler died from drinking the liquid, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says liquid nicotine poisoning keeps growing across the country.

Vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are two ingredients considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration and make up 85 percent of the recipe Josh Brown uses to manufacture juice sold at his Vape shop.

"It is obviously better than lighting up a traditional cigarette, but we just don't know to what extent," said Logan Primary Pharmacist Ben Calcaterra.

He explains even though most of the ingredients seem safe the chemicals change when heated, leaving the question about the juices affect on our health.

"Five years from now we could find out they are perfectly safe and legitimate, but we just can't put our stamp of approval because we just don't have enough data," added Calcaterra.

Putting on lab suits and having a sterile environment may help but not every e-juice maker has to suit up.

"The problem is there are tons of juice companies out there who are manufacturing them in a less than desirable environment and there is no way to identify that from a bottle," said Brown.

Despite the lack of regulations, Brown says some safety precautions should seem like common sense for shops selling the liquid.

"Everything we use comes with a childproof lid, whether that means you have to press down a little harder or pull up something like that, but we use those on all of our bottles and really encourage the rest of the industry to do so too," added Brown.

He says having federal rules on labeling and production could help the industry.

"It will help me feel better because I will know I'm not the only one gong through all this trouble and that everyone else will have the cleanliness standard that we do," explained Brown.

Calcaterra says few studies have tackled the issue of second-hand smoke from vaporizers, which some public places allow over cigarettes.

He also strongly encourages pregnant women to steer clear from any form of nicotine.

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