With vape shops around the country selling e-liquid, it can be a very comfortable experience for consumers to pop into one and buy a bottle. It’s an everyday occurrence for millions of vapers and why not? Your vape store has USA made ejuice so it must be good, right? Wrong. Well, USA made e-juice is usually a good sign but certainly not always.


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With recent news about vape shops selling e-cig liquid with the wrong nicotine level on the label, you are going to have to be more cautious and make sure you know what you are getting in your e-liquid. Just being USA made is simply scratching the surface of the research that you need to do as a consumer given the lack of regulation in the industry.

vape shops mislabel nicotine strength

With finalized FDA e-cig regulations not in place yet, the perennial question in the background is what can you trust to ingest. The latest concern has to do with liquid nicotine levels, as the level of it that you put into your body is obviously a very important part of the process of making the switch away from traditional tobacco cigarettes.

That is why this recent report of mislabeled bottles of e-liquid in various vape shops sets off alarm bells.

E-Liquid Safety Concerns

Those alarm bells first go off within the local communities where a find like this happens, way before it does for e-cig brands or the industry as a whole. An organization will take it upon itself to investigate a matter of public safety and often the results raise alarms that reverberate throughout. In this case, the alarm was sounded by Kathy Garrett, a tobacco control advocate in Utah, who found reason for e-liquid safety concerns.

Garrett serves as the tobacco prevention and cessation manager for the Salt Lake County Health Department and she has some very strong views on e-liquid. “You really have to treat it as a drug because it is fatal to a small child” she says. In her attempt to bring up the seriousness of liquid nicotine, she proclaimed, “e-liquid is a serious poisoning threat to children” and “If they drink enough of it, it can be fatal to small children.”

Kathy Garrett is a tobacco control advocate in Utah

Okay, before we get to the good points she makes, let’s be straight about what Garrett is saying and where she goes too far. Certainly liquid nicotine is definitely a substance that needs to be closely looked after and e-liquid needs to be treated as medicine, meaning locked up and away from small children, but saying it needs to be treated as a drug because it can be fatal if ingested, means you also need to treat bleach as a drug. Not to mention many other household cleaners.

There is a common sense factor here. You shouldn’t leave cleaners, bleaches , alcohol, Ibuprofen or any of these out for kids to get a hold of, but we aren’t calling them all drugs now are we? The double standards imposed by e-cigarette critics are obvious to us but we understand that there are still issues of concern. This isn’t to say Garrett doesn’t have a point when she says she is in favor of e-cig regulations. So are we and with good reason. “Both specialty stores and vape shops are inconsistent with their labeling,” according to Garrett, and that is as scary thought for vapers.

Nobody wants to be putting the wrong level of liquid nicotine in their body because either “underdoing” it or overdoing it will not set smokers on the path they need to be on. Choosing the right nicotine level for each individual based on specific needs is an absolute must.

what are the safety risks for e liquid

Choosing a nicotine level that is too high puts smokers at risk of making their nicotine addiction worse. It goes without saying that there could be danger involved, and that’s where some of the smaller vape shops who brew their own batches of e-liquid become iffy. If we are to take the results of the recent field study performed by the Salt Lake County Health Department as a microcosm of vape shops and their standards, the picture is worrying.

That study found that a full 61% of e-liquid cartridges and bottles were mislabeled by at least 10% for how much liquid nicotine they actually contained. “These findings support the need for local policy that requires licensing for the manufacturing of e-liquid, and also we’d like to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes to ensure safety standards that include accurate labeling and ingredients with nicotine levels” said Garrett.

This is not a good situation. The nicotine level in a cigarette is a known factor. Depending on how many cigarettes you smoke per day, the amount of nicotine in the bloodstream will vary. In order to have a chance to successfully replace that nicotine in a smoker’s system you need to know how much nicotine is in your ecig eliquid.

61% of e-liquids bought at vape shops contained an actual nicotine content that was at least 10% different that what was indicated on the label.

That 10% can make a big difference. This is alarming to those of us involved in the industry because we know the potential for e-cigarettes to save lives but with either shady or incompetent manufacturers in the marketplace, the entire future of e-cigs and unfortunate smokers could be put at risk. With numbers like those, it is no wonder that authorities are desperate to see e-cig regulations enacted.

irresponsible e cigarette companies put customers at risk

The thing is, responsible players in the industry want to see that too. It just depends on how far these regulations go. If they allow room for growth of the “little guy” and don’t simply play favor to big tobacco and their e-cig brands, we are all for it. Who wouldn’t want accurate labeling on e-liquid after all? The fear is that the FDA will simply create a closed industry that only the bankrolled brands can compete in.

In the meantime, vape shops aren’t making the industry look very good with these types of reports. This isn’t to say you can’t get reliable e-liquid from a local vendor that you know and trust, but sometimes these guys don’t even know what they are selling.

Where To Buy E-Liquid

Many vaping stores sell reliable, high quality e-liquid like Halo Premium e-juice. You can find leading brands on the shelves of vape shops.

The problem is the boutique brands or e-juices that are blended by well intentioned but unqualified people who are mixing and bottling the ingredients in a non-laboratory setting.

It happens, there are a lot of e-liquid vendors out their blending the stuff in their garage or basement.

what is the best e liquid in 2014

Many vapor cigarette stores may also source their e-juice from independent e-cigarette laboratories like Apollo E-cigs e-juice lab. vape shops can be assured that Apollo’s professional chemists are using lab standards that meet the most stringent criteria in the country. It is important to stress that you can find great, safe and quality e-liquid on the shelves of vape shops but you have to beware of the in-house brands and blends as well as the e-liquid brands that are not professionally blended.

We stick to the convenience of online shopping, where some of the best e-liquid brands that we have tried are easy to get and come from very reliable e-cig brands.

Wherever you decide to purchase from, just make sure you know what you are getting. When you compare the benefits of buying e-liquid online vs buying a specialty brand from a shop, not only does buying online save you money it also buys you surety that the label on the bottle matches what’s inside. Until e-cig regulations kick in, and because there is still a Wild West mentality among some, you would be wise to stay away from anything that seems questionable.

Happy Vaping!