There has been a heated debate in recent years over the presumed health benefits of vaping, but decades-old research indicates that vaporized propylene glycol can actually be good for you. Propylene glycol is a common ingredient of e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes and vaping technology.
In the 1940s, a scientist by the name of Dr. Theodore Puck conducted several studies that are only now coming to light. In one of these studies, Puck and his team determined that vaporized propylene glycol kills such potentially deadly airborne bacteria as pneumococci, streptococci, and staphylococci.
These three bacteria are known causes of several serious medical disorders which include pneumonia, strep throat, cellulitis, meningitis, impetigo, and even food poisoning, just to name a few. And even though this research has been around for nearly 70 years, public health organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still routinely demonize vaping to the American public.
Secret health benefits of propylene glycol
Dr. Puck was such a highly-regarded and forward-thinking research scientist that when he died at the age of 89 in 2005, the New York Times published a very eloquent article highlighting his many scientific achievements. His research on vaporized propylene glycol can still be reviewed online via the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes Health (NLB-NIH).
“Data are presented showing the minimum glycol concentration necessary for effective bactericidal action on various microorganisms. Pneumococci were killed by amounts of propylene glycol as low as 1 gm. in 20 million cc. of air. Concentrations of 1 to 5 million to 1 to 10 million were required to produce the same degree of killing of streptococci and staphylococci. The observations here reported add further support to the previously proposed conception of the mechanism of the lethal action of propylene glycol vapor, namely, that a bactericidal concentration of the glycol accumulates in the bacterial droplet as a result of contact with and absorption of glycol molecules from the surrounding atmosphere.”
“Pneumococci were killed by amounts of propylene glycol as low as 1 gm. in 20 million cc. of air. Concentrations of 1 to 5 million to 1 to 10 million were required to produce the same degree of killing of streptococci and staphylococci.”
While a single study by Dr. Theodore Puck is not sufficient evidence to prove how beneficial vaping can be to a smoker’s health in the long term, it is a very good start. So, the next time that someone nearby complains of secondhand vapor being potentially toxic, vapers around the world can simply quote the study by Dr. Puck. According to Puck, the secondhand vaporized propylene glycol found in nearly all e-liquids kills many forms of airborne bacteria – both for the vapers and for those around them.