How to Choose an E-Liquid

by Theo Wilson

By Theo Wilson
Published 06-01-2023

How to Choose An E Liquid: A Beginners Guide

How to Choose An Eliquid: A Beginners Guide

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The VG PG Ratio Explained
  • The VG PG Ratiofor Different E Liquid Types
  • High VG E Liquid
  • High PG E Liquid
  • Does E Liquid Expire?
  • What is the Right Nicotine Strength?
  • How to Choose E Liquid Flavours
  • How to Choose E Liquid to Match your Vape Kit
  • How to Choose an E Liquid: Our Verdict
  • Quit Smoking E Liquid at myCigara

Finding the right e liquid is one of the most important steps on your personal vaping journey. After all, without e liquid there wouldn’t be any vaping —at least not as we know it. And while the advent of prefilled pods and disposables has taken some of the legwork out for some customers, many people still find that the journey is more important than the destination; i.e., vaping is more satisfying when you have a full understanding of all the elements, and feel like you’ve made a conscious decision about how to best enjoy your vape.

This blog is to help you with precisely this aspect of the overall vaping experience: how to choose an e liquid that is right for you —your needs and wants. This is not intended to be a full and in-depth e liquid guide generally, but is to help beginners and those new to vaping to find a vape juice that suits them.

To that end, this blog will address some of the key factors in how to choose an e liquid; predominantly, we will explain what you need to know about the VG PG ratio, look at nicotine strength suggestions, and offer some advice on how to think about e liquid flavours.

The VG PG Ratio Explained

The VG PG Ratio Explained

The VG PG ratio is a term that is familiar to most vape users, but it can sometimes be a tad mystifying if you’re a total beginner. Thankfully, the VG PG ratio is very simple to keep track of.

Our full blog, What is an E Liquid?, covers eliquid ingredients in greater depth, but we’ll provide an essential recap here. VG and PG are acronyms for vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol. These are two safe, odourless, flavourless, food-grade carrier liquids which serve as the main ingredients in vape juice—alongside nicotine and flavouring.

VG is much more viscous than PG. This has an effect on how it can be vaped, and what kind of vape kit setup works best with it. The key point to this viscosity, though, is that it allows for much more intense, thick vapour production —what vape fans mean when they refer to “clouds.”

PG, on the other hand, is thinner and lighter than VG. This results in a less intense vaping experience, with lighter, less dense vapour production. What it loses in clouds it makes up for in throat feel; high-PG e liquid is great for delivering a full-bodied, satisfying throat hit.

What this means is that high-PG e liquid has traditionally been the vape juice of choice for new vapers. If you’ve just transitioned to vaping from smoking, chances are you will want something that feels similar to a cigarette. By opting for a high-PG e liquid, you’ll get more of that satisfying throat hit whilst avoiding being overwhelmed by massive clouds.

To sum up:

● VG = Vegetable Glycerine

● PG = Propylene Glycol

● These are the two main ingredients in e liquid besides nicotine and flavouring

● High VG e liquid is thicker and more intense, delivering big clouds —this makes it more of a choice for advanced vape users

● High PG e liquid is lighter, it delivers a subtle amount of clouds but has a satisfying, full bodied throat hit —making it good for users still accustomed to smoking.

The last aspect of the VG PG ratio we’ll examine is how it appears in different types of e liquid.

The VG PG Ratio for Different E Liquid Types

The VG PG Ratio for Different E Liquid Types

As we’ve mentioned, e liquids with a low VG PG ratiotend to be the smoothest starting point for those just starting out with vaping. With that in mind, we think it’s worth giving beginners a general idea of which e liquid falls into which category of either high VG or high PG. 

High VG E Liquid

High VG E Liquid

High VG e liquid doesn’t tend to be great for first-time vapers, for the reasons we’ve outlined above. There’s really only one type of vape juice that is classified as high-VG, and that’s shortfill e liquid.This is a type of vape juice that is designed specifically for advanced vape kits and advanced users, that gives an intense experience, full of clouds.

In theory, anything with a VG:PG ratio higher than 50:50 would count as high-VG, but these are some of the most common ratios we tend to sell:

● 70:30 VG:PG
● 78:22 VG:PG
● 80:20 VG:PG

We’ve included this information mostly for reference or content, as we don’t recommend first-time vapers start out with high-VG e liquid.If you’re interested in how to move from high-PG to high-VG, you can have a look at our blog on transitioning from MTL to DTL vaping.

High PG E Liquid

High PG E Liquid

When it comes to high-PG e liquid, you’ve got a few more options to choose between. Specifically, there are three main categories to note:

Starter Liquid: As the name suggests, this is a good choice for those starting out with vaping for the first time. Starter liquid is simply a catch-all term for high-PG e liquid, with 70:30 being the most common VG PG ratio.

50/50 E Liquid: Again, the clue is in the name; 50/50 e liquid has aVG PG ratio of 50:50, delivering a balanced experience for beginner to intermediate vape fans.

Nic Salts: Nic salts are distinct from other e liquid types, which all use synthetic nicotine. Nic salts are instead made using nicotine salts, which are derived naturally from tobacco leaf, which means they deliver a more immediate, noticeable nicotine kick, akin to cigarettes. Nic salts don’t vary much in terms of VG PG ratio, predominantly being sold as 50:50.

Technically, all three of these categories can be considered as the same, broader starter liquid category. Which is to say all three are a good choice when you’re first starting out and making the switch to vaping!

They all have a relatively smooth throat hit, create moderate to low amounts of vapour, and have a balanced, not overpowering flavour profile. Which specific type of e liquid works best for you depends on which qualities you favour most.

●70/30 e liquid: The highest-PG variety, a foolproof starter option
●50/50 e liquid:A balanced option, slightly less smooth than 70/30 but with stronger flavour and vapour
●Nic salts:Similar to 50:50, but with a slightly bolder throat hit. Good for delivering a stronger, fast-acting nicotine kick.

Does E Liquid Expire?

A final question whilst we’re on the topic of e liquid properties, often asked by beginners, is “does e liquid expire?” The answer in theory is yes, but the answer in practice is no. A bottle of e liquid, once opened and its seal broken, will stay good for around one year. So while it will eventually expire, typically you would finish your bottle long before that becomes an issue.

Now that you’ve got a handle on the VG PG ratio, let’s have a look at how to choose an e liquid when it comes to nicotine strength.

What is the Right Nicotine Strength?

What is the Right Nicotine Strength?

When it comes to how to choose an e liquid, nicotine strength is understandably a big factor. Luckily, most e liquid aimed at beginner to intermediate vape users comes in set nicotine strength options; after all, vaping as an overall system is designed to allow users to gradually taper off as their nicotine habit decreases.

Some of the most typical nicotine strength options available are:

● 3 mg
● 6 mg
● 10 mg
● 12 mg
● 18 mg
● 20 mg

The way we tend to calculate the ideal nicotine strength for a given user is to simply look at their smoking habit. How heavily you smoked (or used to smoke!) will determine what nicotine strength you should start off with. We’ve gone into more depth with our nicotine strength calculator, but we’ll recap the key figures here.

● Heavy smoker:≥10 cigarettes a day: high nicotine: ≥ 18mg
● Medium smoker:≤10 cigarettes a day: medium nicotine: ≥ 10mg
● Light smoker:1-2 cigarettes a day: low nicotine: ≤ 6mg
● Occasional/social smoker: cigarettes ≤2 a week: very low nicotine: ≤ 3mg

Of course, these figures are a general rule of thumb, not a “one size fits all” solution. However, they will give you a good enough idea to get you started with the transition from smoking to vaping. What’s more, you don’t need to stick rigidly to any single strength; assuming you have two similar VG PG ratio e liquids, you can mix and match strengths to find an in-between that’s just right for you.

The final aspect to consider now is also the tastiest; e liquid flavours!

How to Choose E Liquid Flavours

How to Choose E Liquid Flavours

When it comes to how to choose e liquid flavours, you probably won’t be surprised to find that it’s as simple as a matter of taste.

Typically, anyone coming into vaping is a smoker (hopefully a soon-to-be ex-smoker!) which means you may want to start out with a classic Tobacco flavour to help ease the transition. Others may also want to step away from Tobacco and move more toward Menthol profiles for a fresher sensation. Similarly, we’re seeing more and more first-time vapers start straight off with fruity or sweet flavours —which some may find helps them break the associative habit with smoking.

Why not have a browse of our full selection of e liquid flavours? There’s no right or wrong answer, it just depends where your fancy takes you —part of the joy of vaping instead of smoking is a far wider world of flavours to sample.

Lastly, we’ll look at a topic that’s adjacent to choosing an e liquid: finding the right e liquid for your vape kit.

How to Choose E Liquid to Match your Vape Kit

How to Choose E Liquid to Match your Vape Kit

In most cases, many people who are new to vaping tend to first purchase a new vape kit, and then find an e liquid that matches it. This makes sense; a vape kit is a bigger investment than a single bottle of e liquid, and —ideally —your vape kit will be a trusty partner for years to come.

Luckily, there’s a lot of general cross compatibility when it comes to starter e liquid and starter vape kits. One of the things that factors into e liquid compatibility is the kit’s vape coil. We won’t go into too much detail on that now, but a general rule of thumb is that vape coils with a resistance of around 1Ω or higher are a good match for higher-PG e liquid. Below are the three main types of beginner-friendly vape kits, and their e liquid matches.

Vape starter kits: As the name suggests, these are beginner-friendly vape kits, designed for those just starting out. You can use pretty much any high-PG e liquid you like with them, but they’re especially good with 70/30 and 50/50 e liquid.

Pen style vape kits: Pen-style kits are really just a subset of starter kits, but they have a reassuring pen-style design which is especially useful for new users accustomed to the feel and style of a cigarette. Pen-style starter kits often have resistances in the 1.5Ω range, making them ideal for use with 70/30 starter liquid.

Pod vape kits: Pod vape kits are one of the most versatile categories of vape kits on the market. Often, they include multiple coils to allow users to try different vaping styles with different liquids. As such, they can be used with any starter e liquid, but we often tend to particularly recommend using nic salts for a super-satisfying vape hit.

As you’ll have noticed, there’s a lot of freedom in which e liquid works with which kits, assuming you stay in the starter category. As long as you adhere to the general rule of 50PG or higher with coils of 1Ω or higher, you should always be able to enjoy a smooth and satisfactory vaping experience.

How to Choose an E Liquid: Our Verdict

How to Choose an E Liquid: Our Verdict

Now that we have gone through the main aspects of how to choose an e liquid, you should feel pretty comfortable starting to make your first picks as you move away from smoking and into vaping.

Just remember to lean toward high-PG e liquid for a smoother transition, keep an eye on the right nicotine strength to match your old smoking habit, and when it comes to flavours: why not see where your fancy takes you?

We pride ourselves on offering a huge range of starter liquids to suit all palates. Our very own Cigara Originals range is a series of smooth 70/30 e liquid, designed specifically with vaping beginners in mind. If your interest is piqued by a bolder 50/50 e liquid blend, have a browse of the selections from Dinner Lady and Vampire Vape, two of our most popular and long-standing partner brands.

Quit Smoking E Liquid at myCigara

At myCigara, we exist to make the UK smoke-free. We believe that vaping is one of the best options available to anyone looking to quit smoking for good, and that’s why we strive to deliver some of the web’s leading vaping blogs; through good product education, it’s possible to ensure that everyone has the chance at the best possible vaping experience.

Beyond the info you’ll find in our leading vape blog content, you can also get in touch with us directly with any questions. If you prefer a little facetime, why not hit up your nearest myCigara vape shop—our expert store staff are ready and waiting to help you make the right first steps on your own personal vaping journey.

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