With a lot of debate and gossip about the ingredients and additives in e cigs, many curious new users want to know whether what’s in vape juice can be as harmful as the chemicals in tobacco. However, it’s difficult to compare the two without first examining how toxic the byproducts of smoking are. Primarily, the substance that can remain in a smoker’s lung years afterward is tar.

According to The National Cancer Institute, the majority of the cancer-causing or harmful chemicals derived from smoking occur in tar. A byproduct of smoking unique to tobacco use, tar is a thick, gooey resin of partially burned material.

This toxic remnant can accumulate in a smoker’s lungs. Tar is a primary cause of smoking related lung diseases and is known to contain noxious chemicals:

Benzene is a chemical byproduct produced by smoking tobacco and an frequent additive in gasoline which gives it its octane rating


Benzene is used to increase octane level and reduce engine knocking in gasoline. It may sound good for an engine, but not for the human body.

Acrylamide is a byproduct of smoking tobacco and a harmful chemical found often in pesticides meant to kill living things


Acrylamide is a known carcinogen that causes tumors and increases the risks of skin cancer. It’s like a chemical parasite looking for a host and enters through tar deposits.

Acylonitrile is a chemical byproduct of smoking tobacco and found in glue which makes you wonder where it goes once its in your lungs


This organic material is toxic even in low doses. Acylonitrile produces hydrogen cyanide (like the poison) when burned. Central nervous system and liver damage results from exposure to human skin.

Reflexively, e-juice contains no tar. Nor has it been proven to contain any ingredients known to be carcinogenic. With the exception of some additives to what’s in vape juice of the past including diacetyl, manufacturers are careful to keep their products as clean as possible knowing one misstep would cause a nation of vapers to turn their backs on them.

Additionally, vaping does not burn material, it transfers liquid into a fine mist, that’s it. Recent research is looking into the possibility that heating propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin have their own hidden consequences. However, no conclusive evidence has been presented that suggests vaping contains harmful ingredients in any way comparable to the poisons in tobacco smoke.