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Disproving the ‘antifreeze’ lie - 7 everyday foods that contain propylene glycol

For smokers considering a switch to vaping, filtering through all the lies and disinformation online can be an infuriating experience.  From false stories of e-liquid vapor being laced with formaldehyde to conspiracy theories that nicotine-based vapes cause a mysterious lung disorder called EVALI, newbie vapers are understandably mistrustful of so-called research studies.

In fact, The Journal of the American Heart Association was forced just last week to officially retract previously published research due to editors’ concerns “that the study conclusion is unreliable.”  When originally published back in 2019, the Stanton Glantz co-authored paper incited nationwide panic by wrongly claiming that vaping increases the risks of heart attacks.  The City of San Francisco even cited the Glantz research as a substantial basis for its citywide vaping ban legislation last year.

Related Article:  Medical journal retracts ‘vaping causes heart attacks’ for being ‘unreliable’

One of the more outlandish fake news stories that seems to rear its ugly head over and over again on social media is the “vaping is like drinking antifreeze” nonsense.  It started when some anti-vaping activists discovered that propylene glycol is a shared ingredient of both e-liquids and anti-freeze.

But, guess what? The manufacturers of Hidden Valley salad dressings have been battling this same conspiracy theory for years. Yes, many of the company’s products also contain propylene glycol.  So do many Entenmann’s baked goods and several brands of ice creams.

What is propylene glycol?

Propylene glycol is a very popular food additive.  It’s a mostly odorless substance that food manufacturers often use as an artificial sweetener.  It is FDA-approved as safe for human consumption.  In fact, antifreeze manufacturers specifically choose propylene glycol as an ingredient because it is non-toxic and safer for children and pets who might accidentally consume their products.  Here is a short list of very common food products found on grocery store shelves that also contain propylene glycol.

      • Salad Dressings: It’s not just Hidden Valley that uses propylene glycol as an ingredient in their products.  Many Kraft salad dressings – like the company’s Greek vinaigrette - do as well.
      • Greek Feta Cheeses: Some manufacturers of Greek feta cheeses list propylene glycol alginate clearly on the label. Kraft Greek feta cheeses is a prime example.
      • Cake mixes: Betty Crocker yellow cake and chocolate cake mixes manufactured by Duncan Hines contain small amounts of crystalized propylene glycol.
      • Packaged frostings: Most flavors of cake and cookie ready-made frostings contain propylene glycol as a thickening agent.
      • Flavored teas: For fans of Dunkin Donuts flavored teas, check the label.  Propylene glycol is clearly listed.
      • Ice cream: Eddy’s Peppermint and other flavors of this brand of ice cream contain this artificial sweetener along with many Coldstone Creamery flavors and almost all Blue Bunny ice creams.
      • Entenmann’s: Who doesn’t like a delicious Entenmann’s lemon coconut cake?  Who can pass by one of their chocolate fudge cakes without at least being tempted to dive right in?  Almost anything Entenmann’s makes contains propylene glycol – including those tasty Little Bites brownies. 

Newbie vapers can rest assured.  Vaping is not the same thing as drinking anti-freeze.  This is a myth cooked up by a Big Tobacco industry that wants to keep smokers hooked.  So, vape on and go smoke-free.  Your long-term health may depend on it.

Related Article:   Reasons to vape: 67% of smokers die from smoking-related illness, says study

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