Science shows vaping propylene glycol kills pneumococci, streptococcus bacteria

As the cold and flu season approaches, many vapers are surprised to learn that they have a decided health advantage compared to the vaping haters of the world.  Science has proven that the ingredient of propylene glycol found in e-liquids essentially eviscerates several forms of airborne bacteria when vaporized, including pneumococci, streptococcus, and staphylococci.

Each of these bacteria are easily spread from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, and even breathing within close proximity to the uninfected.   The pneumococci bacteria, also known as pneumococcus, is one of the more potentially debilitating.

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Research indicates that these three specific bacteria are often major contributors to such devastating illnesses as pneumonia, bloodstream infections (bacteremia), and numerous forms of ear and sinus disorders.   Pneumococci are also further linked to meningitis, a potentially deadly infection of the brain and spinal cord.

Meanwhile, staphylococci bacteria are often associated with food poisoning, and staphylococci are sometimes linked to strep throat and impetigo, among other medical conditions. Some of the initial warning signs of a pneumococci, streptococcus, or staphylococci infection include the following.

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus and/or chest congestion
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Irritability
  • Aching muscles
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Stiff neck
  • Difficulty sleeping

Luckily, scientific research dating back as far as the 1940s indicates that vaporized propylene glycol acts as a natural antibacterial agent.  One of the very first studies published on this topic is still widely referenced by modern day scientists as a basis for more advanced research. 

Dr. Theodore Puck discovers secret health benefits of vaporized propylene glycol

Dr. Theodore Puck was one of the world’s most highly regarded scientists of the early twentieth century.  When he passed away in 2005, the New York Times even published a feature story highlighting his many scientific accomplishments.  However, before Dr. Puck discovered the secret health benefits of vaporized propylene glycol, he began life as an inquisitive lad in England with a rather strange curiosity about London’s Black Plaque of the 1340s.

His fascination with the deadly era only grew as he entered adulthood and well into his professional career.  Puck soon discovered that the notorious pandemic was ultimately curtailed only after the local townsfolk began burning nearly everything in sight, from bed sheets to clothing and even their own homes and stables.

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As the London landscape was soon overtaken by a thick, plume of ashy smoke, individual diagnoses of the bubonic plaque began to dwindle instantaneously.  Dr. Puck hypothesized that something in the vaporized smoke must have aided in the killing of the bacteria causing the Black Plaque outbreak.

So, he began experimenting with possible chemicals and substances.  After several years, he discovered that vaporized propylene glycol kills many forms of airborne bacteria.

“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.”

Dr. Puck’s research is published in a report entitled The Bactericidal action of propylene glycol vapor on microorganisms suspended in air which is still readily available via the NLB-NIH website.  This paper is only one of many which would soon follow.  The Puck research has also contributed to future discoveries, including the determination that the second-hand vapor of electronic cigarettes is far less toxic than the smoke of combustible tobacco products.  In 2017, the California Department of Public Health (DPH) even made an official announcement that “‘secondhand vaping’ does not appear to pose any significant health risks.”


(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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