VaporHQ is a Certified Member of the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA)
VaporHQ is a Certified Manufacturer Member of AEMSA, the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association, the primary Manufacturers' trade association completely dedicated to creating responsible and sustainable standards for the safe manufacturing of 'e-liquids' used in electronic cigarettes. VaporHQ adheres to AEMSA's stringent requirements for manufacturing our e-liquids.
In fulfilling its commitment to creating the safest and highest quality e-liquids, Vapor HQ has successfully completed its certification as a member of the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA).
What Is AEMSA?
AEMSA is an all-volunteer organization formed by American manufacturers of e-liquids to advocate for responsible and sustainable practices in the safe manufacturing of e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes.
The primary goal of AEMSA is to create, implement and uphold the highest manufacturing standards with professionalism, accuracy and safety.
AEMSA members strictly adhere to these core beliefs:
- We have a responsibility to verify the accuracy of any nicotine content in the products we distribute.
- We have a responsibility to ensure the quality and safety of all ingredients in our e-liquids.
- We have a responsibility to prepare our products in a clean, sanitary and safe environment.
- We have a responsibility to ensure our products are packaged and delivered in a safe manner.
- We have a responsibility to provide a level of transparency into the monitoring and verification process.
Why AEMSA Is Crucial To The E-Liquid Industry
According to the latest figures, there are around 5 million people in the US and UK who are currently using electronic cigarettes. Although its growing popularity seemed to have reached a plateau in 2015, vaping is still a multi-billion-dollar industry that continues to thrive without any form of government regulation.
Electronic cigarettes and e-liquids are currently NOT under any federal authority. Manufacturers are not required to follow a specific set of requirements and cheap, poorly made products from overseas continue to flood the market. The Food and Drug Administration has drawn up several proposals but there has been no final word on how vapor products will be regulated.
In the absence of clear-cut legislation, self-regulation now plays a crucial role. The explosive growth and popularity of e-liquids has made regulation both inevitable and necessary. After all, electronic cigarette vapor is inhaled and exhaled – putting both active and passive users at risk.
While local jurisdictions are free to create and implement their own vaping policies, this can be dangerous especially with lack of knowledge and experience. There have been knee-jerk reactions that are simply based on unwarranted fear or ignorance, with lawmakers cracking down on vaping without sufficient information on how ecigs work and what e-liquids actually contain. The attempt to ban vaping may be well-intended but such actions could prevent smokers from gaining access to a true tobacco harm reduction alternative that may save millions of lives.
The founding members of AEMSA decided to create an organization to facilitate, develop and self-regulate standards designed to protect consumers. AEMSA advocates the responsible and professional approach to the manufacturing process and hopes to contribute to, and assist with, the actual regulatory formation of reasonable, effective and sustainable regulations for the manufacture and distribution of American made e-liquids.
AEMSA supports informative testing to effectively and accurately analyze potential health implications of new ingredients used in e-liquids.
AEMSA encourages American e-liquid manufacturers to participate and collaborate in improving the quality of e-liquids while meeting and maintaining all AEMSA standards.
AEMSA has a rigorous application and review process. Members are required to make their facilities available to both scheduled and unscheduled inspections.
AEMSA E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards
The current e-liquid manufacturing standards of AEMSA are comprehensive and rigorous, covering five categories and 29 sections.
Verifying The Accuracy Of Nicotine Content
Article 1 covers nicotine content where e-liquids will be checked for accuracy, tolerance level, and maximum volume percentage.
- All manufactures must confirm the accuracy of nicotine content upon delivery from supplier
- All nicotine must be titrated/verified for content accuracy after dilution to working level
- All equipment used in measuring nicotine from working level to final product must be either NIST or ASTM compliant (calibrated)
- All products produced will be within the tolerance level of +/-10% nicotine content in final product
- The maximum allowable nicotine content in final flavored product will be no greater than 36 mg/ml
Ensure The Quality Of All Ingredients
Article 2 ensures the purity and safety of all ingredients including nicotine, diluent bases, flavorings, water, and additives.
All nicotine used in manufacturing must meet the following guidelines set by the AEMSA as its Nicotine Quality Standard:
- Nicotine purity must be greater than or equal to 99%
- Total combined of all other possible contaminants must be less than or equal to 1.0%
- Per existence of any solvent must not exceed 0.06%
- Per existence of nicotine oxide must not exceed 1%
- Per existence of nicotine-N-oxides must not exceed 1%
- Cumulative heavy metals content must not exceed 10ppm
- Cumulative arsenic content must not exceed 1ppm
All manufacturers must purchase and comply with at least one of the following:
- USP Certified nicotine (with evidentiary documentation from a certified lab)
- Free-base nicotine from suppliers who can provide source evidentiary documentation from a certified lab confirming (batched) nicotine conforms to the AEMSA Nicotine Quality Standard
- Purchase from nicotine suppliers who can provide evidentiary documentation from a certified lab confirming the incoming (batched) free-base nicotine conforms to the AEMSA Nicotine Quality Standard
Base liquid diluent ingredients such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, glycerol, or any other e-liquid bases (either regularly or exclusively) will be at a minimum level of USP (US Pharmacopoeia) grade certified.
Flavorings (including menthol) used will be at a minimum of food grade and/or Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) standard.
Flavorings containing artificial food coloring will identify food coloring information to include coloring number in advertising and product descriptions.
Finished products containing diketones will identify in advertising and product descriptions.
Annual testing for diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl (2,3 -- Pentanedione) is required on finished products. Finished product must not be sold or advertised with AEMSA seal if annual testing has not been performed.
Water used (if any) will be either deionized or distilled.
Alcohol and additional additives (if any) will be used in the purest form commercially available, safe for human consumption, and minimum of US food grade standards.
The following will NOT be added or used in the creation of e-liquids:
- WTA (whole tobacco alkaloids)
- Medicinal - or prescription medicinal
- Illegal or controlled substances
- Vitamins or dietary supplements (other than for preservative purposes)
- Artificial food coloring
Clean, Sanitary and Safe Preparation
Article 3 promotes the clean, sanitary and safe preparation of e-liquids, with strict standards set for nicotine handling, storage and clean-up, as well as employee conduct and work area maintenance.
All lab/mixing employees are required to be fully familiar with all AEMSA standards
AEMSA members are required to create and maintain written lab/mixing protocol to be made accessible to all lab/mixing employees
All persons allowed in the processing area must comply with applicable protection/ safety and standards
All products will be created and/or bottled in a dedicated manufacturing space reserved exclusively for e-liquid
No eating, drinking, vaping and/or smoking in the lab/mixing area at any time
No animals shall be permitted in the mixing room at any time for any reason
- Manufacturing processes will meet food preparation standards, including non-porous sanitized preparation work surface
- All surfaces in lab/mixing area (floors, counters, etc.) shall be cleaned with anti-bacterial agents at least once each day and after any spill of any mixing ingredient or any possible-contaminants
- Equipment will be cleaned by FDA-approved chemical sanitation or autoclave
- All supplies and material will be disposed of in a manner that is appropriate to component disposal
- There shall be no open fans, dusty boxes and/or other potential sources of airborne contaminants etc. in dedicated space
- All bottles and materials must be unpacked outside of the dedicated lab/mixing space
Hand washing and sanitation
- Do not wash hands in sinks used for cleaning mixing utensils, and/or other e-liquid materials
- Hands must be washed for a minimum 20 seconds with commercial (food handler's grade) antibacterial hand washing agent and warm water
- Hands must be washed each and every time employees enter the mixing room
- Hands must be washed after bathroom use, coughing, sneezing, eating and/or drinking, and any other activities which potentially expose hands to any form of potential contaminants
- Hands must be washed during mixing as often as necessary to remove any mixing products on hands
- Hands must be washed before proceeding to a subsequent mixing session to prevent any cross contamination from one batch to the next
- Each AEMSA member must establish written hair and beard standards
- All open wounds or abrasion will be properly covered
- Employees must report any illness/abrasions/lesions to person in charge before entering the process
- Employees must report to person in charge if exposed to any contagion or infection - viral or bacterial - from anywhere (including their homes, other work environments, other domiciles, etc.) before entering lab/mixing area
- Such exposure/conditions excludes said individual from entering mixing room for a period of three (3) asymptomatic days and/or cleared with medical documentation (equivalent to commercial food handling)
- Report to business any persistent discharge from eyes, nose, and/or mouth. Any employee exhibiting such symptoms shall not enter the mixing room until such symptoms cease.
Employers MUST provide their employees with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards including - but not limited to - the following mandatory personal protective equipment:
- Eye protection
- Lab coat or apron
- Fully covered footwear
- All manufacturing spaces must have easily accessible first aid kit and emergency eye wash kit
Safe Packaging and Delivery
Article 4 ensures the safe packaging and delivery of e-liquids including the use of child-proof caps, tamper-proof packaging, smear-resistant labeling, safety and health warnings, age verification, and traceability elements such as lot numbers, batch ID or production date.
- Child proof caps are required for all consumer level e-liquid products (zero nicotine products do not require child proof caps)
- All products require tamper evident packaging once leaving vendor chain of custody
- Smear-resistant labeling is required on all e-liquid products
- Must pass "30 second submerged" test for all required elements
- Nicotine content must be clearly displayed on label
- Safety and health warning must be clearly displayed on label
- Label should display "Contains Nicotine"
- Label should display "Keep away from Children and Pets"
- Label should display nicotine traceability elements (i.e. Batch ID or nicotine batch ID or production date)
- All shipped liquid must be bagged or wrapped to provide waterproof barrier between packaging and product for spill protection
- All vendors must use active age verification for all sales (retail and/or online)
- AMESA members will not knowingly sell products to any persons under the legal smoking age
Transparency Of Monitoring and Verification
Article 5 requires members to be transparent and provide documented information such as written evidence of compliance, photographic and video evidence, unfettered access to facilities for inspection, and public company records.
Members must provide the AEMSA applications and compliance committees with the following information:
- Documented evidence of compliance
- Photographic and video evidence of compliance
- Unfettered access to facilities for inspection (scheduled and/or unscheduled)
- Process and records
- Current status of compliance - by facility
- Contact information (name, DBA, email, phone, location of production facilities)
Members must make the following information available to consumers:
- AEMSA membership status
- Substantive version of AEMSA standards
- Tracking nicotine test results as far back as the source nicotine (supplier information may be redacted to protect intellectual property and trade secrets)
- Answers to consumer questions on ingredients of products (these may include allergy sensitivities, other specific medical conditions, etc.)
If an AEMSA member sells e-liquid that is manufactured in a facility that is non-AEMSA compliant, it must clearly identify/differentiate products that are AEMSA compliant from those that are not.
AEMSA Is Not Just For Suppliers
In order to pursue its goal of improving e-liquid standards, AEMSA embraces input from the vaping community. Consumer advocates and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are welcome to participate in the organization and serve on committee level or even on the Board of Directors. AEMSA believes that those with professional backgrounds and industry expertise can greatly contribute to its overall mission of promoting tobacco harm reduction.
Becoming an AEMSA Certified Tested Member
AEMSA accreditation is a huge boost to a manufacturer's credibility. But because the application process can be a daunting task, not all independent vendors are willing and able to go that route.
VaporHQ is one of the few companies to successfully apply for full AEMSA membership – which speaks volumes about the company's dedication to providing its customers with the best e-liquids.
VaporHQ e-liquids feature:
- The highest quality USA-made base substrates
- The best and purest liquid nicotine available
- USP-certified nicotine and substrates
- Kosher-certified substrates
- PET Bottles
- Glass Bottles
- Substrates and nicotine that are sent to independent testing facilities to ensure quality
Your safety matters to us. After all, you switched from smoking to vaping because you wanted something other than cigarettes. To make sure that you are inhaling the purest vapor possible, order your e-liquids exclusively from an AEMSA member like Vapor HQ.