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Brent Stafford takes us behind the scenes with an exclusive look inside one of Canada's top e-Juice manufactures (Courtesy of RegulatorWatch.com)

Vaping has been elected by thousands of smokers worldwide to quit smoking, and the success of the method, according to users, is highly dependent on the quality of the vaping products they go for delivering their nicotine. The development of technologies around vaping devices is obvious and brings to the market more advances devices. Thermal regulation, regulated airflow, power control… all contribute to increase the feeling of vaping.

The e-liquid’s quality is an important contributor to the success of the e-cigarette with a broad variety of flavours that brings diversity to an every-day use. Compared to tobacco smoke that contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of them carrying a strong carcinogenic potential, e-cigarette vapor’s quality depends on only 4 ingredients:

  • Vegetal glycerine (VG)
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • Flavorings
  • Nicotine

The e-liquid’s quality is also at the heart of the controversy

The public health officials voices are concerned over ingredients, manufacturing and quality controls

Dr Perry Kendall is a Provincial Health officer in British Columbia. He expresses his fear in the absence of any regulatory framework that oversees the quality and the quantity. Health Canada doesn’t licence any of those products, so it is a wide open market were Asian products do not show replicable test results in laboratory, that deeply questions the quality of the vapor that comes out.

Public health concerns over the quality of e-liquids is shared by many vapers and is the driving force behind the burgeoning domestic e-juice business that has created, in only a few years, a multi-million-dollar-a-year industry.

The story of a self-regulated industry

The manufacturers also complain about the lack of standard for e-liquids and aim at optimizing the quality of their products. Premium Labs, one of the major manufacturers of e-liquids in British Columbia, doesn’t want to wait until a regulatory framework is established in the country to address the vital question of the quality of their products. They opted for a half-a-million-dollar investment in high-tech laboratory equipment including an ISO 7 clean room, a totally controlled environment where the ambient air is filtered to avoid cross-contamination.

Canadian manufacturer sets the bar at a very high level

The manufacturer’s goal, here, is to be cited as a reference that may inspire governmental agencies when they decide to address the issue of the standardization. 

Brett Nolan, the operation manager, explains how the main line was built to minimize operator-induced errors. Automates are used to fill e-liquid bottles to the right concentration of nicotine and the batch of e-liquid is tested to ensure traceability of the e-liquid.

Employees like Johanna Linke, quality control manager,make sure that the client obtains what he asks. She is in charge of the nicotine levels and also responsible for the analytical procedures and the respect of protocols. Matt Fielder, lab technician, points out the high level of cleanliness obtain through the set up.

In Europe too, a major effort is devoted to the quality of e-juices but not only

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has recently elected Prof Riccardo Polosa head of the workgroup on standards for e-cigarette emissions in order to achieve an important work toward the implementation of the EU TPD. From the scientific side, a protocol devoted to the study of e-cigarette emissions of nicotine has also been recently proposed.

The AFNOR, a French standardization bureau, collaborated with clinicians and scientists to increase the safety around vaping. This addresses of course the question of the e-liquids but also the readability of the labels, the security of the caps and the anti-leak systems.

From the manufacturer’s side, it is also noticeable that self-motivated producers, like the French Vincent Cuisset from Vincent dans les Vapes (“Woozy Vincent”), also invest of their expertise to guarantee a high level e-liquid quality.


Acknowledgment: Brent Stafford (regulatorwatch.com)