Propylene Glycol - Virginia Tobaccos

Log in

SmokingPipes.com Updates

Watch for Updates Twice a Week

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

2ixPipes

Lurker
Sep 15, 2022
4
15
Hello all,

I'm relatively new to pipe smoking (~1 year into it), and I've recently learned about propylene glycol being used in the majority of tobaccos produced. I'm not particular interested in debating whether it's harmless or not, I've grown weary of trusting experts at the FDA and other agencies in these matters, anyway, that's another discussion.

My question is PG used even in straight virginia type tobaccos (i.e. not aromatics, English, etc.). For example some tobaccos I've enjoyed recently are: Peter Stokkebye Luxury Navy, Orlik's Golden Slice, Sutliff 507C, Peterson Irish Flake, Solani Virginia Flake, etc. These tend to dry out relatively fast once you rub them out. I was wondering if I shouldn't be concerned with PG used in these types of tobacco, versus the more common aromatic ones?

Would love to know for peace of mind, if so maybe start looking into PG free flakes.

Thanks in advance!
 

judcole

Lifer
Sep 14, 2011
7,244
34,697
Detroit
My understanding is that PG is used in most of the "lower-end" tobaccos - especially aros - which make up the vast majority of what is sold - blends like Borkum Riff, Captain Black, and so on. I would bet that the blends you mentioned in the original post have very little or none.
 

Dublin Old Man

Might Stick Around
Aug 22, 2020
55
128
Dublin, Ohio
was wondering if I shouldn't be concerned with PG
What kind of concern? Health, smoking quality, other?

I think that most pipe tobacco has some PG in it. Some brands use too much in my opinion. When there is excessive PG, I find that the tobacco will not dry, is difficult to light, does not stay lit, produces excess moisture in the pipe, and causes tongue bite.

I do not buy brands that contain excess PG. I could name a few that some would consider top brands. Some are high quality tobacco but they ruin it with the PG. You will find out with experience.
 
Aug 20, 2022
43
116
My understanding is that PG is used in most of the "lower-end" tobaccos - especially aros - which make up the vast majority of what is sold - blends like Borkum Riff, Captain Black, and so on. I would bet that the blends you mentioned in the original post have very little or none.
I've read GL Pease saying the opposite. Component tobaccos shipped to high-end blenders can already be treated with PG. Then they may have more applied by the blender. Yes, the drugstore aromatics are known for overdoing the PG, but there's not much in the way of truly 100% untreated pipe tobaccos.
 

woodsroad

Lifer
Oct 10, 2013
12,037
17,309
SE PA USA
I've read GL Pease saying the opposite. Component tobaccos shipped to high-end blenders can already be treated with PG. Then they may have more applied by the blender. Yes, the drugstore aromatics are known for overdoing the PG, but there's not much in the way of truly 100% untreated pipe tobaccos.
D&R tobaccos, while under the ownership of Mark Ryan, did not contain PG. I believe that Semois does not contain any PG.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,001
46,203
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
My question is PG used even in straight virginia type tobaccos
It's used everywhere, to different degrees. You won't know whether what you buy has some PG content, unless it's substantial, and if you're looking for PG free flakes, you won't get a straight answer there either.

If you're really concerned about potential health issues, don't smoke.
 

cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,249
57,287
66
Sarasota Florida
The only issue I ever had with PG was when I was messing around with some Boswell aromatics. I enjoyed most of the flavors, but the stuff dried my mouth something fierce. I tried Biotene but it didn't work. This was the summer of 2012 and I have never had another instance where my mouth was dried out by any blend.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ofafeather

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,968
Humansville Missouri
I wish I could find when propylene glycol was first marketed and sold on a large scale commercial basis. My guess is after WW2.

My understanding is that when applied to tobacco it acts as a humectant. Before it was available I’ll bet the tobacco manufacturers used something else, like molasses.

The makers wouldn’t use it unless they had to.

It’s not free.

 

Swiss Army Knife

Can't Leave
Jul 12, 2021
420
1,250
North Carolina
I was wondering if I shouldn't be concerned with PG
Not unless you just want something to worry about or fixate on for no real reason. Out of everything coming through that shank some atomized PG is the least of your worries.

This is obviously all anecdotal but then again you're asking a bunch of randos on a Pipes forum not doctors so get your grains of salt ready: I smoked a pack of Reds almost daily for several years before I got swept up into the vape scene, the real one not the little dinky teenie bopper cartridge sticks. All vape liquid is comprised of PG and VG, I sucked that stuff up nearly every waking hour for close to 8 years. I not only felt better after switching away from the Reds but I didn't have a single health issue mouth or lung in that entire time. Neither did anyone else I knew that vaped just as much as I did. I quit because my old workhorse of a vape started to finally fall apart on me and I just didn't care enough to familiarize myself with all the new crap that was out.

For all intents and purposes PG is flavorless and probably one of the safest things to put in your mouth/lungs that's mixed into blends. You can dislike goopy mixtures but trying to avoid it entirely is a fool's errand.