Are Vape Devices Safe?


I am going to take a break from my usual sort of posts and write about something else for a moment. As many of my readers already know I smoke molasses flavored tobacco in moderation using a Narghile pipe. It is quite common among old school Reformed men (and sometimes women too) to smoke tobacco. Smoke is something that God created for us to rejoice our hearts (Proverbs 27:9) through our olfactory senses by using aromatic compounds. These aromatic properties also has health benefits to the body. Just take a read through any book on Aromatherapy for a quick grasp of the healing properties of many different compounds.

orientalism incense

Now some will like to say that the English translation of Proverbs 27:9 says perfume and not incense. I of course am using the translation given out of Keil and Delitzsch Commentary “Oil and Incense rejoiceth the heart”. The Hebrew word there is “qĕtoreth” and it means “incense, smoke, odour of (burning) sacrifice, sweet smoke of sacrifice, incense”. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says “(1) incense, Exod. 30:1, seq,; Lev. 4:7; 10:1”

The same word is used in Exo 25:6, Exo 31:8, Exo 31:11, Exo 35:15, Exo 37:25, Exo 40:5, Exo 40:27, and 50 other passages that is speaking of incense and the incense offering to the Lord.

Incense is a type of smoking using herbs and/or resins. Whether one uses incense in a bowl in the room or whether one uses the incense in a bowl with a stem to the mouth you are still breathing in the smoke. This is a gift of God that should be used and be grateful for. We should use it to rejoice our hearts (within moderation of course).


But there is a new device out now that has gotten a lot of media attention. They are called Vape devices. They are small hand-held electronic device that vaporizes an oil compound that contains Nicotine. Are they safe or are they filled with added chemicals thereby making them as dangerous as cigarette sticks (something that will never touch my lips)? This is what I would like to discuss today.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there and many people want to see these new devices banned. Of course in my Reformed Covenanter view unless something is truly a violation of the law of God the government has no authority to ban anything. The Magistrates function is limited to the revealed will of God concerning them and their function. So the obvious answer for me is no they should not be banned. Can they be abused? Absolutely! But so can about everything else in life. As the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther said, “Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?” Of course the question was rhetorical  Neither wine, women nor tobacco are to be abolished.

But should a Christian partake of Vape devices? Are they safe enough for us to consume by breathing through our olfactory glands? Nothing is truly safe. On this side of glory we are still part of the curse that was placed on us and our posterity and on the entire Earth. Everything and I do mean everything is working against us. BBQ grills releases more toxins and carcinogens that we breath in then a tobacco product. But still we should be careful on what we put in our bodies especially when they are chemicals that man has created or added to anything.

From what I have been able to research the safety of Vape oils is of course dependent on where the Vape oils are from. Research has shown that Vape oils imported from China do contain a lot of chemicals that can be deemed unsafe. In my opinion one should avoid Vape oils that are imported from China.

But not all Vape oils are created equal. When it comes to Vape oils that are put together here in America, the ingredients are very simple, Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Nicotine and food grade flavoring.

The main ingredients (Propylene Glycol and/or Vegetable Glycerin) have been around a long time and are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA (By saying this I am not saying we should always trust the FDA, I disagree with them ALOT and to think they are always right is rather naive). It’s the same Propylene Glycol used in fog machines and repeatedly inhaled by stage hands and performers. Nicotine has been extensively studied; it’s not even classified as a carcinogen. That leaves the food grade flavorings. All of the ingredients are separately already approved and deemed safe, we are not speaking about some unknown chemicals here. In fact the base liquid Propylene Glycol is used in asthma inhalers.

In comparison to other things we breath in everyday, Vape devices are pretty safe. For example Diesel fumes are a known carcinogen. Most school buses run on diesel!

What about Second-hand Vapor? Are we all at risk? It should be pointed out that there is no combustion going on. The smoke is mere water vapors. But here is study that should ease the minds of some who are concerned about second-hand-vapor.

Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality.

If you would like to know more, a good place to start for those with limited knowledge and a healthy curiosity is here:

Our culture been so turned off on sweet smelling fragrances! In many ways we have become wimpy with our noses. Whether it is sweet savory incense such as Myrrh or even sweet smelling tobacco such as shisha infused with molasses. But even wearing pure oils people are turned off such as Nag Champa. Centuries prior we would have had mosaics and calligraphic art dimly glowing through halls cloudy with incense and sweet aroma. Clothing that deeply smelled of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.

Ultimately, there will always be naysayers no matter how much evidence is brought forth. 100% of the population can never be convinced of anything; there will always be hypochondriacs, people who suffer from psychosomatic symptoms, control freaks, etc. But for myself I have done enough study on the issue to say that I do not have a problem to moderately partake of Vape devices and I look forward to using them more in the future.


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