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