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Vaping vs. Smoking with kidney disease?

Hello! I am hoping for a little clarity on this topic.

My father is 70. He has been smoking reds since he was a teen. He used to smoke unfiltered pall malls! He has been through a lot. My mom had cancer from 1998 to 2009 when we lost her. He is still heartbroken. She begged him to quit smoking. She used to smoke, but quit when she was diagnosed. He quit, but slowly started back up, hiding it, not smoking in the house. But she had to know from smelling him.

Eight months after she passed away, he had a massive heart attack. He had 98% blockage on one side, 100% on the other. He had surgery, stents put in, a pacemaker and recovered really well. He stayed here to recouperate. At some point after recovering, he started smoking again! Of course this upset me, but as a smoker, I understand that no one can make you quit.

Two years later, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He had his bladder and prostate removed and a neo bladder made. He took a very long time to recover. Towards the end of his recovery, we discovered that he had started smoking again!!! Ugh! My siblings all told him how upset they were, but he continued. I stayed out of it because I was still smoking, though I hated that he was.

In May 2015 he had a stroke. He was rushed into surgery, had arteries in his neck worked on. He did recover well, some small things are still a problem, but all in all, he was lucky. While in the hospital, they discovered that his kidneys are starting to fail. And while his numbers have been holding steady, mostly, he has had a few scary moments where he missed doses of medication and it affected his memory and strength. But, since then, he hasn’t missed one single pill! (I set up his pills for him since he has trouble understanding the doses and times as well as using his hands to get tiny pills into the right day and time in the pill organizer since the stroke. So I know when he missed ones and when he didn’t). I had to explain to him many times that one missed dose of any of his pills could cause his kidneys to fail, and he is going to be on dialysis for the rest of his life. I explained to him that this is not an if he needs dialysis, it’s a when he needs dialysis, according to the doctors. It took a serious loss of memory due to low kidney function to get him to finally get more serious about not missing doses. He has trouble seeing the white pills on the white pill container bottom. I told him he has to carefully check that he gets them all. I tried to get him a new pill organizer with a different color bottom, but he got serious finally.

I told him that he has been so lucky to pull through everything he has, and with his heart doing well, and he has been cancer free for several years, another stroke is a worry, but right now, his kidneys are the biggest issue. I told him that I know it is hard to quit smoking. But, in this case it is only going to lead him to that dialysis machine faster.

I just ordered him a very simple, easy to use eleaf all in one style vape setup. It said it is the most simple one on the market. Which is important for him, simple is best. I ordered the #1 ranked red tobacco flavored juice available. I also made him several varieties of tobacco e juice that I think he will like. They are steeping now.

However, I have second guessed this decision. Yes, in every way vaping is a safer option. Nicotine is not helping him. I don’t know if he will even give vaping a real try.

But, I have read comments from vapers online that said they get kidney stones easily and that vaping PG is really tough on the kidneys, particularly. That their kidneys felt worse than when they smoked. There were only 2 accounts I could find and no actual facts. I made most of the juice max VG just in case. But, I don’t know if I am leading him into a path that is more destructive to his kidneys, but healthier for the rest of him.

Does anyone know any information about this? Any facts, opinions, experiences? Does vaping PG wear on kidneys more than cigarettes?

He doesn’t do anything when he doesn’t feel right, except in extreme emergencies. Before his heart attack, he hadn’t been to a doctor in 40 years!! He had probably 2 minor heart attacks in the days before the massive one, but he thought, or just said, he had the flu! He had my sister find him a doctor to go to on day 3 of heart attacks. Thankfully they did a routine ekg first, and realized what was going on and had him life flighted to a hospital. He also had leaking fistulas from his neo bladder for 2 years before he addressed it with a doctor, only because I found out and made him. He is only 108 pounds, and cant gain weight. He only weighed 130 before all of this. And he is just completely oblivious to anything going on in his body. Or, maybe not oblivious but happier to ignore it. I fear that if vaping does cause kidney pain, he won’t speak up and before I know it, he is going to be much worse.

He is not going to quit smoking, but he may consider vaping if I show him the facts about smoking and kidney failure. I made the juice at 6mg of nic, lower than he is used to, but I hope that with him not understanding the terms and stuff, that he will not notice. The reason is, I believe it’s more of the habit and craving. He never smokes a whole cigarette. I don’t know why. I honestly think he feels like crap when he smokes, but just needs those few puffs. Which makes vaping perfect! I have had him try my vape before, but never a tobacco flavor. But he didn’t mind it. Didn’t love it because it wasn’t tobacco tasting.

Should I give him the vape??


I don’t know any facts or correlation between between PG and kidney pain, but I would like to offer up an alternative to the PG worry.
Try reading the thread about NETs. Instead of using PG for the base you could replace it with VG and increase the steep time.
It would also have the added benefit of a more true tobacco taste. Most of the reds tobacco is the Virginia blend.
I really hope that it works out for your father. I can relate to having a really stubborn family member, who will do anything to avoid a doctor.


I don’t know about this particular subject either, Jenny, but have you read about @Maureeenie 's methode?


Thank you for pointing this out!! Definitely something I will happily do if Dad takes to vape. I already mixed a bunch of different max VG tobacco flavors for him to try, so he will see there are lots of options to try. I didn’t receive the order in the mail yet, so I have time for it to steep. There is PG is in the one juice I bought. I think that I will explain to him that there are different processes to making juice because some people have sensitivities to different components. And if he feels like it is causing pain in his “abdominal” area or lungs, then he has a sensitivity to it and I will make him more a different way. I don’t want to bring up the issue of the possible kidney issues because it is too good of an excuse for him to smoke instead. Even though the entire internet only produced 2 instances of kidney issues from pg, I still want to be sure that I cover every base possible on this. I think most people in his situation would have quit smoking by now, and I doubt I will find more information. But It will be obvious if he notices a difference between how he feels from the max VG vs. the one that contains PG and VG. I just need to stay on top of it with him. He won’t bring it up, but, I will consistantly ask if there is a difference. On another note with him, He is currently smoking Winston Red 100’s, I can’t imagine a harsher hit on the lungs than that!!! And why he gets 100’s when he doesn’t ever finish an entire cigarette is beyond me. Even worse, he is throwing money down the drain, because he squashes it out, he doesn’t save the very large unsmoked portion. Creature of habit, I believe is the case.


Thank you! I just read up on NETs, and I would absolutely consider doing this for him as well if it will get him to stop smoking!!

Stubborn family members, you love them so much but want to just shake them and ask “what part don’t you understand?” Lol!


Sounds like a good approach! :thumbsup: I guess a lot of us went through that “I’m my own boss; I’ll do what I like”-phase when we knew we should’ve quit already. Some kind of childish spite perhaps. Well, I know I did at least lol. And maybe he feels it’s still his prerogative and finds a feeling of freedom in that. I’m sure you’ll win him over, Jenny, and he’s blessed to have a daughter like you to care for him. Best of luck!


Thank you so much! This one post got me worried, but, reading all of the comments make me worry a little less. I can’t find anything online as the initial poster claims and didn’t share…

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Oh, and my Dad hates to be told what to do! He says we treat him like a child sometimes because we are concerned and get upset at things he does. So, I need to approach this very gently. I am going to print out info on smoking and kidney disease. I am going to explain all of the research I have found. I am going to ask, not tell him to consider it. And I hope it works!!!


Like with everyone else I can not deal in fact either however, I think most of us can agree that PG is drying to the body and you must keep your body hydrated. With a body that is not kept hydrated I could see problems with kidney stones. Once again this is only speculation but you got to admit, sounds like a real possibility. It’s always a really good idea to keep hydrated when you vape, this much we all know…


Reading those posts in your link, I’ll say that @ringling made a very good point :+1: Make sure he understands the importance of being hydrated.


Did you catch this paragraph from this person complaining of vaping making his kidneys worst, and I QUOTE…

“And to everyone else, yes, I know I need to quit smoking. I am trying. Electronic cigarettes aren’t right for me. VG gives me a headache. I did like the PG and was using 70% or better PG but on day 2 the kidney pain started. A day or so after I quit vaping the pain went back to a dull ache.”

This person was vaping 70% or higher PG. Sounds like they wanted illness from vaping…


Oh, and I forgot to mention that NONE of my Dad’s doctors have been told he smokes! He changes clothes before he goes, chews gum, sprays on cologne!!! So, asking them if vaping is better for him would give away his secret, and he would be PISSED! He doesn’t want them to lecture him!! Ugh, this will be hard!!!

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Vaping would be a better alternative than smoking.



Thank you so much for this! Extremely helpful!!!

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I would be highly wary of keyboard doctors or anyone claiming something like this. The entire post you linked sounds like a troll and many good points were brought up by other members there to refute what was claimed. The only risk that seems even remotely credible or plausible is the dehydration issue. Vaping can be dehydrating so make sure your dad is getting plenty of fluid.

There’s PG in cigarettes, lots of foods, and many commercial products. I’m not a doctor or a qualified scientist who has done tons of studies, but I would hazard a guess to say the PG that is consumed from other sources will outweigh the PG exposure from vaping, especially if vaping high VG juice.

The only other concern is the one you mentioned—some people are allergic/intolerant to PG and your dad may be one of them.

Good luck! I hope he is able to quit smoking, however he manages to do it.


Thank you so much for your input!! I know there are no scientific absolutes in this area. I wish I could talk to his doctor. I know there is PG in cigarettes, so he is already inhaling it. Like I said, on the entire internet, there are only a few claims of this, only in forums, nothing comfirmed by doctors, no links provided, dehydration was probably an issue. My Dad has never had Kidney stones. But he does have kidney disease. All the signs point to him being ok if he vapes and stays hydrated, keep the PG low to be safe. But if he doesn’t listen, as usual, and doesn’t hydrate, and is having pain, and as usual, doesn’t say anything, then I will feel like a complete jackass if he gets worse really fast. I want to get his numbers from his doctor so I can track his creatine levels once I give it to him. Thank you again!!


Yeah just make sure he is hydrated and with vaping we wouldn’t even need to make any effort when going to the doctor.
-> changing cloth etc. Great that you are trying to help him btw. I think like with most people, he must feel that it is his idea to start vaping. Maybe you should take him to a local vape store (or online retailer site), leave him alone and pick him up in 10min. Like this it will feel like he made the choice and everything will be easier.


That is an excellent point. He will want to feel like it’s his decision. Thank you!

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In stead of PG you can try Propanediol 1,3, or PDO. I am looking for a affordable source right now myself. I’m wanting to give it a try and see if it’s better for the dehydration. If you do and find a good source, let me know please…

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Ok, good to know, Thank you! I haven’t heard of these before!

But, I think I am going to try the distilled water and vodka method that was mentioned above as an option for him. It’s one less chemical, I will feel better knowing that it is safer. If he likes vaping, I probably will completely cut the regular PG from my mixing and make my own juice that way too, to cut down on dehydration, after I use up my PG in my own mixes.