As vaping is becoming increasingly popular in the U.K with over 2.6 million users, we thought we’d put together a comprehensive guide to e-cigarettes.
What is E-Liquid?
E-Liquid is the substance an electronic cigarette uses to create vapour. The heating element (coil) in the e-cigarette vapourises the liquid and creates an inhalable vapour. The main purpose of this is to deliver nicotine without any burning, smoke, or the harmful chemicals usually associated with a cigarette.
The two main ingredients in your e-liquid are Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). E-liquid also usually contains nicotine and some sort of flavouring. There are varied levels of PG, VG and nicotine available for your e-liquids, depending on the vendor or manufacturer you purchase the liquid from.
What mixes of PG/VG are there?
The most common PG/VG mixes are usually 60/40 PG/VG, 50/50 PG/VG, 30/70 PG/VG, 20/80 PF/VG and 100 VG. You can usually find this information on the bottle.
What strengths of Nicotine are there?
E-liquid can contain various levels of nicotine, often measured at 3mg, 6mg, 8mg, 12mg, 18mg, and 24mg. You can receive this information as a percentage, in which case, it will be displayed as 0.3%, 0.6%, 0.8%, 1.2%, 1.8%, or 2.4%.
What is Vegetable Glycerin (VG)?
Vegetable glycerin is an organic compound usually extracted from plants such as coconut. It is widely used throughout the catering, medical and pharmaceutical industries for various purposes.
The food industry uses VG mainly as a sweetener, but also as a preservative and thickening agent. The medical and pharmaceutical industries use it for cough syrups, toothpastes and various skin care products. Cosmetics companies commonly use VG in moisturisers to help the skin retain its natural moisture.
What does Vegetable Glycerin do?
VG affects the amount of vapour your electronic cigarette produces. An e-liquid boasting a higher percentage of VG will produce more vapour than one with a higher percentage of PG. However, vapour production can also be influenced by other contributing factors such as the airflow and resistance of your coil.
Is Vegetable Glycerine Toxic?
As you’ve probably guessed by now, it is likely you’ve eaten, ingested or used many products that contain vegetable glycerin on a daily basis without even realising. But don’t worry, VG isn’t toxic.
What is Propylene Glycol (PG)?
Propylene glycol is an odourless, colourless liquid that can be mixed with water. It has a variety of uses and applications, and you probably come across it everyday without realising at all.
It is commonly used in smoke machines in nightclubs, air conditioning units and inhalers.
What does Propylene Glycol do?
Propylene glycol also affects the sensation on your throat while vaping. This sensation is usually referred to as the “throat hit”. Generally speaking, the higher the PG content of the liquid the stronger the throat hit will be. The level of nicotine also affects this sensation.
This is effective for heavy smokers who want something that will give them the throat hit they are accustomed to from their usual cigarettes.
Is Propylene Glycol Toxic?
One of the common myths about the propylene glycol is that it is a toxic used in anti-freeze. This is because propylene glycol is commonly mistook for ethylene glycol
Ethylene glycol is toxic and is unsparingly used to create anti-freeze. PG is “generally recognised as safe” by the US Food & Drug Administration board, as it shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or of being genotoxic.
PG is sometimes used in anti-freeze because is it a non-toxic alternative to ethylene glycol. Just because something is used in anti-freeze doesn’t make it toxic – one of the main anti-freeze ingredients is water!
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a nitrogen-containing chemical known as an alkaloid. Nicotine can be found in several types of plants, including the tobacco plant.
Nicotine is also produced synthetically and is used for e-liquid. Nicotiana tabacum, the type of nicotine found in tobacco plants, comes from the nightshade family of plants. Red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes are other exports of the nightshade family.
Is Nicotine Toxic?
In large doses, nicotine is poisonous. However, in smaller doses, the effect is similar to caffeine. It increases alertness and can also cause an increased heart rate and blood pressure. Several studies have shown no adverse effects of long-term nicotine use, although there have not yet been conclusive studies with a human subject.
It is, of course, addictive, but you can control the levels to gradually reducing your nicotine intake. This is one of the major advantages of electronic cigarettes.
What is the Right Percentage of Nicotine for me?
The strength of nicotine you use is determined by your needs. We sell 20+ flavours of e-liquid nicotine where the strength can vary from 24mg down to 0mg, so we’ll be able to match whatever your requirements.
Here is a guide that can calculate the nicotine strength for you.
- 8mg/0.8% (low) – up to 5-10 cigarettes a day
- 12mg/1.2% (medium) – up to 10-15 cigarettes a day
- 18mg/1.8% (high) – up to 20-25 cigarettes a day
- 24mg/2.4% (very high) – up to 30+ cigarettes a day
Using a product with unfamiliar nicotine content can lead to a nicotine overdose that can cause nausea, headaches, vivid dreams and other side effects. Alternatively, using a nicotine strength that’s too low can leave you still craving cigarettes.
Battery Safety Guide
Best Batteries For Mods and Vaping Safety
What are the best batteries for mods? And what is the right battery to use in your mod? These are the most important questions to answer before vaping on a new device. All personal vaporizers utilize high discharge lithium batteries. These batteries are by far the most crucial part of your device. When dealt with properly, they are quite safe but if mishandled, they can be unexpectedly dangerous (especially in a mechanical mod). Below, you will find everything you need to select the best battery for mods and tips to ensure it remains in pristine condition for the duration of its life.
Does Size Matter?
Yes, most mods will only fit the intended size battery and it is strongly recommended to use only the size specified for your device. In some cases, multiple small batteries can be stacked to fit in a device. Battery stacking should be avoided as this increases the voltage and can cause the batteries or the device to fail.
Does the Brand Matter?
Absolutely. Using an authentic battery from a reputable brand will ensure your device can be operated safely and as intended within its designed specifications. To ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, we recommend the following brands: Sony, Efest, Samsung, and Orbtronic. Other strong brands include MXJO, EH, MNKE, Panasonic, LG, and AW. Using low quality batteries risk damaging your device and causing injury. A little extra money spent on quality products can save money long-term and ensure your device remains fully functional.
Best Batteries For Mods
There are several lithium batteries on the market today but few are suitable for safe vaping. Typically, the three main types are ICR (LiCoO2 or LiCd), IMR (LiMn), and Hybrid. It has been established IMR batteries are chemically safer than ICR’s. As a result, ICR’s are commonly sold with protective circuits. IMR batteries often lack protective circuits and will heighten amperage discharge rates whereas ICRs are more suited to low resistance builds or mechanical devices.
Despite often rated highly for higher storage capacity (mAh), ICRs are often unable to safely deliver the amperage needed for high power, low resistance, or mechanical devices. Hybrid devices often utilize a “safer” chemistry than mundane IMR batteries and maintain the increased storage capacity of an IMR.
For safety’s sake, we recommend using either an IMR or Hybrid battery unless your device specifically instructs you to use a specific battery type (i.e. Provari requires use of a protected ICR or you will void your warranty).
Battery Ratings – They Are Not All Created Equally
Lithium batteries are measured and graded by voltage, amperage and storage capacity. For vaping purposes, all batteries should be 3.7v. This rating is the nominal or average voltage – meaning the battery is considered fully charged at 4.2v and considered dead at 3.2v.
Then there’s the amperage rating. More specifically, the amperage rating determines the maximum continuous discharge rate of the battery. This can be calculated in a few ways but is usually done by a number followed by either an “A” or a “C” (i.e. 15C or 30A). The storage capacity is measured by milliamp hours that are indicated by the number and “mAh” (i.e.2100mAh). Simply put, the higher the mAh, the longer your battery should last. It is absolutely crucial that you do not exceed the battery limits. If you do, it is likely your battery will fail and could cause a fire, explosion, or other damage to your device. So pick the best batteries for mods to avoid these dangerous failures.
Understanding Airflow on Tanks and RDAs
Airflow is an important component of your tank, otherwise known as a Re-buildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA), and understanding your airflow controls can improve your vaping experience. On your tank or atomiser, you will notice an adjustable ring or twisting blades. These horizontal rings control your airflow.
When your airflow vents are closed, the draw of your device will seem tighter and more condensed – much like taking a drag from the filter of a tobacco cigarette. This is caused by the restriction of airflow to the coil. The coil produces vapour by heating the e-liquid to the temperature needed to evaporate the liquid from the cotton or silica wick. This serves two functions: Reducing the amount of vapour production and improving the flavour of your preferred liquid. Likewise, with your airflow set to fully open, you will be drawing more air into your coil. This will increase the amount of vapour produced and cause a slight dip in the flavour.
Most devices have numerous airflow settings to provide options in between fully open and fully closed. These are often created by different size boreholes in the adjustment ring which allows a selection of settings for the user. These can be changed to suit your preferred style and strength. It is important to understand that having a decreased airflow to your coil can shorten its lifespan and cause a quicker decline than if it’s left open. It is a good idea to experiment with different settings of airflow when you purchase your tank or RDA and find a setting that suits you.
If you have any questions or queries regarding airflow and how it can be of benefit to you, please ask our staff and they will be happy to help.
So you’ve began to build your own coils, and you are fully enjoying the drip life. It is very important you maintain your coils. When you re-wick, remove your dirty cotton and dry-burn your coils until they flame slightly to burn excess cotton and juice residue. Next, you should carefully dunk your coils in cold water, (or drip on using a pipette) then blow any excess water off the coil and burn them until cherry red. If they are still a little dirty, repeat this process. Make sure you do not hit the fire button whilst dipping in water as this can short the battery, and make sure not to dip the full dripper in water.
Disposable Tank Coils
So, your coil has begun to taste burnt and isn’t powering as well as it used to. When changing your coil, drop a minuscule amount of juice on it to ensure it’s saturated and you don’t burn your coil on the first drag. Everyone hates the taste of burnt cotton. To elevate your vaping experience, make sure your coil is saturated, close the air holes and draw without pressing the fire button. This circulates the juice into the cotton without it burning. Then begin vaping at a low wattage to ease your coil in and then gradually increase to your desired level.
Overview of Ohms Law and Vape Safety
Mechanical mods, high wattage regulated mods, Re-buildable Dripping Atomizers and Rebuild-able Tank Atomizers are becoming extremely popular. Most experienced vapers quickly realise the money saved by rebuilding and making simple RDA’s/RBA’s and RTA’s a part of their daily life. It’s no surprise – for the cost of a pack of coils you could buy a year supply of kanthal wire and organic cotton – the building blocks of most vape coils on the market. Additionally, self-build coils in RDA’s tend to produce a lot more vapour and superb flavour.
You want to be safe! Before building your first coil, it is highly recommended you buy an ohms meter. This device will tell you the resistance of the coils on your atomizer. But first, what exactly is “safety” when it comes to mods and e-cigs? Easy, the batteries used today for most mechanical and box mods are either 18650 or 26650 series batteries. These batteries vary in amps – amps are batteries’ ability to discharge stored energy (current). When a battery is pushed above its limits, the battery can omit hot chemicals or could even explode. So it’s very important you’re well researched to be safe and vape effectively. You should always inspect the resistance of your coil and calculate the amps using either the volts for mechanical mods (4.2 for most 18650 and 26650 batteries), or the watts you will set your box mod to. Sub-Ohm’ing is easy and can be done safely.
For vapers, there are also a number of ohms law and resistance calculating apps and websites. The most popular, www.steam-engine.org, provides a helpful understanding of ohm, resistance and battery safety.