E-liquids, that is, the fluids used to create the vapour and provide the nicotine (when nicotine is being used) in electronic cigarettes, has become big news in recent years. It has been shown to help smokers overcome their nicotine addictions far more effectively than conventional nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum, patches, lozenges or inhalators, and it is also growing in popularity as a fashion trend – making smoking regular cigarettes seem less cool. With celebrities like Johnny Depp, Lindsay Lohan, Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio all having been pictured using e-cigarette devices, it is clear that the tide is turning on smokers and e-cigs are the new cool – especially for the younger Muslim community.
However, when you want to start ‘vaping’ – as puffing on e-cigs is now known – you do need to make sure that there are no components in the e-liquid you are using that contradict your lifestyle. For Islamic people who follow the halal tradition, it is therefore vital to make sure the e-liquids you vape are not against what your faith and lifestyle prescribe.
What Is Halal?
In simple terms, the word ‘halal’ just means ‘legal’ or ‘lawful’. What it therefore refers to is things that are permitted openly by Islamic Sharia law. The most frequent time people outside of Islamic communities hear the word ‘halal’, however, is in reference to food. Food that is halal, is, as you might expect, food that complies with Sharia law when it comes to being fit for the consumption of the followers of Islam.
Only certain meats may be eaten as halal, and these do differ from those that can be considered kosher by the Jewish faith (though many people confuse the requirements of the two). Halal eaters cannot eat pork, but are also forbidden from eating any other carnivorous animals (including birds of prey). The rules do not only cover food that is eaten in an obvious way, such as meats, but also food and products that are derived from animals.
As well as the types of food permitted, there is also an even more essential element to eating halal, and that is that the animals killed for meat have been slaughtered in a way that fits the halal rituals. Animals must be slaughtered by a Muslim with the right prayers to be considered halal, and must not be stunned (as they often are in other ways of slaughtering meat for food), because in this situation they may die before the ritual is complete. For a halal Muslim, the animals that can be used for food or other products must have been treated in this way, otherwise the use of them is considered ‘haram’ (illegal – essentially the opposite of halal).
Halal and E-Cig Juices
With the juices used in electronic cigarettes, you have a wealth of choices in terms of flavour and content, as you can see here. The recipes used for these juices vary, but there are two base components used alongside the flavour essences and the nicotine (where used). These are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Both components are deemed to be safe and healthy to use in vaping, and are also components in plenty of every day foods. However, propylene glycol, generally known as PG, may sometimes be derived from animal products. If you are a halal eater, therefore, it is in your personal interests to avoid the PG based e-liquids and opt for VG alternatives – these are made entirely from vegetable extracts and are therefore fine in keeping with Sharia eating law.
More About VG E-Cig Juices
While there are plenty of e-liquids out there that use VG as an ingredient, many of these still contain some PG as this is used to carry the flavour components. This is not a bad thing if you are not worried about animal products being used in the things you buy, however for halal users, as well as vegans, vegetarians or people on a kosher diet, it is not acceptable. You should therefore only look for e-liquids that have 100% VG content. You can also find that a lot of these 100% VG e-juices also are made from organic products, giving you a higher level of quality (particularly when it comes to flavour), and are GMO free. All in all, this makes them a wonderful choice if you want to start vaping but need to pick something that suits your halal requirements!
Using e-cigs has benefitted many smokers since their invention, and if you would like to make the switch from tobacco to vaping there is no reason not to try it. Simply choose e-liquids for your chosen device that are 100% organic, non GMO VG based, and you can rest assured that you are using a safe, halal product whenever you decide you want to vape!