In 2018, I set up a survey to see what other people thought about e-cigarettes using vape juice containing ear poison (ototoxic) propylene glycol (PG). It’s not an “allergy” or “sensitivity”. Ototoxic chemicals damage the hearing and/or balance system.
Tinnitus is when people hear sounds in their ears or head when there is no outside sound source, e.g. ringing, buzzing, squealing.
Hyperacusis is when regular everyday sounds are heard painfully loud.
Hearing Health Risks of Vaping:
Don’t expect any clinical trials studying humans vaping with ototoxic vape juice containing PG. We know PG is ototoxic. That rules out human trials. Especially with so many reports of people with hearing health problems after using PG vape juice.
These are what my survey results showed by the end of 2018:
IF YOU’VE USED PG VAPE JUICE, DID IT CAUSE OR CAUSE WORSE TINNITUS, HYPERACUSIS, OR HEARING LOSS?
YES = 91%
NO = 9%
My opinion? I won’t use vape juice containing PG after it permanently damaged my hearing health. I only use organic vape juice now. Other options include cannibidiol or CBD only vape juice, but check ingredients for PG.
After a lot of hunting, I found Moonshine Brew in Vancouver that makes organic vape juice and ships in Canada and to USA, Eurozone and Australia. Read the fine print on PG to VG (vegetable glycerin) ratio in different juice flavours. The max VG could still have a tiny bit of PG so take that into consideration before using.
I think PG (and other toxic chemicals) should be banned from vape juice to protect everyone’s hearing health.
At the very least, packaging should have hearing health risk warning labels.
And insurance companies could charge vapers the same rate as smokers if using vape juice with nicotine and/or PG.
In the U.S., the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) is warning consumers about the health risk of e-cigarette vape juice and exploding e-cigarette batteries.
Meanwhile Health Canada ignores the hearing health risk of vape juice made with PG. A 2019 Calgary campaign calls for more rigid regulations on vaping and e-cigarettes. The risk of permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or hyperacusis isn’t mentioned.
I hope audiologists, medical professionals, and all the people campaigning for stronger e-cigarette regulations start to raise awareness about the serious but preventable hearing health risk. The last thing we need is more children, teens, young adults, and adults with permanent hearing health damage.
DO YOU THINK PG SHOULD BE BANNED FROM VAPE JUICE?
YES = 92%
NO = 8%
I’d love to see government regulation prevention so e-cigarette hearing health damage never happens to anyone at any age.
For all the latest hearing health science and coping tools, check out Jan’s latest book. Click the cover at left to learn more.
Jan L. MayesMSc, Aud(C), RAud
Author, audiologist, educator, quiet activist, playing with words.