The Ultimate Guide to E-Liquids

The Ultimate Guide to E-Liquids

Melissa Greenlaw

Any vaper would be lost without their e-liquid, after all, it's one of the main parts of vaping! Despite all vapers using these products, there can still be some confusion as to what exactly e-liquid is and the varieties that they come in, so we've created this helpful guide with everything you need to know!

What is e-liquid?

E-liquids are the liquids that are used in e-cigarette devices in order to deliver a nicotine dose to the vaper. They are also known by other names, such as e-juice and vape juice.

They consist of flavourings, vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG) and (depending on the e-liquid you purchase), nicotine. These are all typically food-grade substances suitable for consumption, apart from the nicotine which will usually be pharmaceutical grade. All good e-liquid manufacturers will have a list of ingredients on their bottles for reference. 

E-liquids are used in vape tanks, which contain a coil that is heated to create a water-based vapour that can be inhaled. This is the main difference between smoking and vaping, as smoking burns tobacco in order to generate a nicotine dose for the user.

What is PG?

Propylene glycol (or PG), is an organic ingredient that we have been using for years. You may not know this, but PG is used in lots of everyday products from medications to shampoo and even toothpaste, and it is safe for human consumption.

In simple terms, PG is used in all e-liquid to carry the flavour. PG on its own can be very harsh, as it absorbs water which means that it can have a dehydrating effect. Some vape juices will carry a low percentage of PG (usually around 30%) but in other products such as nicotine salts, this will usually be around 50%, whilst the V4 VAPOUR 10ml e-liquids have 60% PG.

What is VG?

Vegetable glycerin (or VG) is another important ingredient. It's a very thick substance that is extracted from plants. Similar to PG, VG is used in food production, medications, cosmetics and more. VG has many uses as a sweetener due to its naturally sweet taste, as well as a preservative so it's used in many different types of foods. 

Most e-liquids sold today will use VG as the main ingredient. This is because VG can create large clouds of vapour that a lot of vapers enjoy. VG is also very smooth compared to PG, so it won't give you a harsh throat hit. 

The majority of shortfills available today will have around 70% of VG to help create those large clouds of vapour that you see out and about. This will then be paired with 30% of PG to help carry the flavour, as VG does not carry flavour in e-liquids as well. 

Does all e-liquid contain nicotine?

Prior to the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) in May 2016, e-liquids were only available premixed with nicotine to the desired strength. However, that is now a thing of the past!

The liquid you buy will determine whether or not it contains nicotine. Part of the TPD restrictions states that any e-liquid containing nicotine cannot be more than 10mls, which is why products such as nicotine salts are only available in this size due to their nicotine content.

To avoid having to carry around lots of 10ml bottles, and to offer customers a choice of larger bottles of liquid, many companies in the vaping industry created shortfills. Shortfills are bottles of 0mg e-liquid, with space to add nicotine if needed. For example, a 100ml shortfill will have 100ml of 0mg liquid in a 120ml bottle, with space to add two 10ml 18mg nicotine shots to create a total 120ml of 3mg strength.

The only downside to this is that most shortfills are high VG, meaning that they're not great for new vapers as they can only be used in more advanced sub-ohm kits. They also only have a small amount of space for nicotine shots, so you can't make them high-strength. 

Nicotine Strengths:

Choosing which nicotine strength to vape doesn't have to be difficult. The best way to work this out is to determine how much you previously smoked. For example, if you're a heavy smoker you'll want to go for a stronger nicotine strength (around 12mg - 18mg), compared to if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day (3mg - 6mg).

Now you know what strength you need, it's time to choose what juice you have. Here's a quick breakdown of the e-liquids available from 888 Vapour and their strengths.

V4 10mls (40VG/60PG):

  • 0mg
  • 3mg
  • 6mg
  • 12mg
  • 18mg

Shortfills (40VG/60PG and above):

  • 0mg - with free nicotine shots or salt nicotine shots to create 1.5mg-3mg e-liquid

Nicotine Salts (50VG/50PG):

  • 5mg
  • 10mg
  • 20mg

No matter what nicotine strength you need, we have plenty of options available.

What are nicotine salts?

Nicotine salts are still fairly new to the market, but they've become incredibly popular! In simple terms, nicotine salt creates a completely different experience for users compared to freebase nicotine - the nicotine that has been widely used in TPD 10mls and nicotine shots. 

Salt nicotine is made from the same nicotine found in the tobacco plant, but requires a different manufacturing process to freebase nicotine. The original nicotine is mixed with an acid to lower the pH level, creating a smoother throat hit. This means that users can vape nicotine salts at higher strengths without experiencing an uncomfortable harsh throat hit. Most manufacturers use either benzoic or salicylic acid in their nicotine salts.

The biggest pro of using nicotine salts whilst vaping is how smooth they are. Many will tell you that vaping a 20mg strength nicotine salt feels the same as vaping 3mg freebase nicotine.

Secondly, nicotine salt is absorbed into the bloodstream a lot quicker, so users can experience a satisfying nicotine hit faster. The satisfaction users feel from using nicotine salts is why they have become known as the best e-liquids to use when you're quitting smoking, as they stamp out cravings a lot better than normal liquids and are available in higher strengths.

Despite the great advantages of vaping nicotine salts, they aren't for everyone. The high nicotine strength can be too overwhelming for a lot of vapers, especially those who are used to vaping around 3mg-6mg freebase e-liquids.

How should I store my e-liquids?

E-liquids should be stored in a cool, dark place out of the reach of children and pets. You should also be able to see a best before date on the bottle, which is usually around 2 years after the manufacturing date.

You may find that keeping your e-liquids for a while can make them change colour or taste better, this is called steeping. Steeping your e-liquids brings out the best flavour and improves your overall vaping experience. Don't worry if it changes colour, it will still be completely safe to vape!

Are e-liquids dangerous?

E-liquids can be harmful if swallowed or irritating if they come into contact with the skin. It's best to take extra care with e-liquids can contain higher strengths of nicotine such as nicotine salts and 18mg e-liquids, as nicotine can be toxic if it is swallowed.

It's also important to note that reputable e-liquid manufacturers will always have their products tested to make sure that they are safe to use. For example, all the liquids sold at 888 Vapour have MSDS's (manufacturer safety data sheets) so we know exactly what is in them to ensure that they are safe for our customers. These sheets and tests are important, as they make sure that there are no hidden nasties in the products that you buy, so if you're ever in doubt about anything, it's always best to ask!

A guide to e-liquids:

So, that's everything you need to know about e-liquids, including ingredients, nicotine strengths and how to store them! Now you're ready to take a look around our site at all the e-liquids we have to offer! 

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with our customer service team who will be more than happy to help.

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