How to Choose an E Liquid

by Theo Wilson

How to Choose An E Liquid: 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 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

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 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

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?

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

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

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

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.

Check Out Our Other Guides

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How to Choose an E Liquid

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A Guide to RDTL Vaping

Oct 17, 2022 Jemma Wolfe

What’s the difference between MTL and DTL vaping?

If you’re a beginner, you might see these terms as just another roadblock on your way to quitting smoking for good. In fact, they are an essential part of your vape journey. Without gaining an understanding of these different terms and how to enact them yourself, you will be unable to unlock the world of possibilities that new box mods, sub ohm devices, and pod kits have to offer.

The terms MTL and DTL represent a small section of the ever-expanding vocabulary that has been created by vapers to describe the different styles of vaping. The vast majority of people stick with one style, with the minority switching between the two.

There’s no need to feel intimidated by these terms. Once you’ve learned how to DTL and MTL vape yourself, the process will become as easy as breathing. Simply read through this article to discover the different vaping styles and choose the one that is right for you.  

What is mouth to lung vaping?

MTL stands for mouth to lung, which is also sometimes abbreviated to M2L. Beginners favour this style of vaping because it replicates the ‘throat hits’ that occur when smoking a traditional cigarette. As the name suggests, a throat hit is created when the nicotine concentrate in your cigarette or e liquid hits the back of your throat. You can create a stronger throat hit by using high PG blends, e liquids with a higher nicotine concentration, and by decreasing the airflow on your device. MTL vapers favour an intense flavour experience over creating clouds.

When performing a MTL vape, the individual will inhale, hold the vapour in their mouth, and then draw the vapour into their lungs. Most people find that enacting a mouth to lung vape is the most natural way to inhale their vapour.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the technique, you need to consider how long you want to hold the vapour in your mouth. This depends on your personal preferences regarding throat hits. The longer you hold the vapour, the more intense the flavour experience and the throat hit.

It is also important to consider how dense you want the resulting clouds to be. Hold your vapour for a shorter amount of time to create less vapour and have a more unobtrusive vape.

What vape hardware do I need for mouth to lung vaping?

You won’t have to look far to find an MTL compatible kit. This style of vaping dominates the market for beginner and pod kit enthusiasts alike. We recommend browsing through our collection of starter kits and pod kits to find the best mouth to lung vape kit for you.

Our customers love pod kits because they are both affordable and compact. Despite their compressed exteriors, they are packed full of technological advancements, and have the added benefit of hassle-free click-in magnetic systems. We stock both open pod and closed pod systems.

Although direct to lung kits dominate the advanced vape device market, mod enthusiasts will be happy to know that there are some options available to them. Vape mods typically have variable wattage functions that can reach highs of 80W. However, if you want an MTL draw then you should set the output to no more than 15W. You should also be cautious about adjustable airflow features, and make sure to reduce the airflow where possible.

What e liquid should I use for mouth to lung vaping?

High PG e liquids are perfect for MTL vaping. PG, which stands for propylene glycol, is an essential part of your MTL experience because it carries flavour better than its counterpart, VG. Mouth to lung vapers prefer flavour over vapour because they want to create an intense taste sensation when they hold the vapour in their mouth.

It is common to find high VG e liquids that have an 80VG/20PG composition, but the same cannot be said of high PG e liquids. We stock 50PG/50VG and 40PG/60VG compositions in our online vape shop. Browse through our selection of Dinner Lady 50/50 e liquids for an unforgettable mouth to lung experience.

What is direct to lung vaping?

DTL vaping has several names. It refers to direct to lung, straight to lung, and D2L vaping. This style can be difficult to accomplish for people who have just transitioning from smoking to vaping because they are more accustomed to an MTL style.

Straight to lung vaping happens when a vaper takes a slow, long drag on their device. They then inhale the vapour directly into their lung, not pausing to hold the vapour in their mouth as they would do if they were enacting an MTL vape.

Beginner vapers who want to try the DTL vaping style should be warned that their first attempt might result in a coughing fit. Because they have just transitioned to vaping, their lungs are still coated in tar from cigarettes. A direct to lung hit can be somewhat of a shock to their system.

Once vapers have grown accustomed to the DTL style, they are able to inhale for between five and ten seconds. For an optimal vape experience, we recommend attempting to inhale for nearer to ten seconds. Exhaling quickly increases vapour production and creates dense, immense clouds.

What vape hardware do I need for direct to lung vaping?

Most pod devices and starter kits do not accommodate DTL vaping. People who want to attempt a direct to lung vaping style should opt for a variable wattage kit or a box mod. Sub ohm kits are ideal for DTL vapers because they often come complete with the hardware needed for a successful hit.

Unlike MTL kits, the ideal DTL kit should have a wide 810 drip tip. This allows you to inhale as hard as you can to create the power needed to suck the vapour straight into your lungs. Direct to lung enthusiasts should also opt for sub ohm coils because they contain low resistance and are compatible with the high wattage output that is needed to draw on your device for longer.

An adjustable airflow option is vital for DTL vapes. Luckily, most sub ohm kits come complete with this feature. A wider airflow is essential for inhaling more vapour into your lungs and creating bigger clouds.  

What e liquid should I use for direct to lung vaping?

Whereas MTL vapers should opt for high PG e liquids, DTL vapers should buy high VG vape juice. VG stands for vegetable glycerin, which is known for providing a smoother throat hit. This is essential when you are inhaling a great deal of vapour, as the resulting throat hit can be overwhelming.

There is much more variety when it comes to high VG compositions in comparison to high PG blends. There is a range of compositions with as much as 60, 70, 80, and even as much as 90% VG. It is important to note that VG is considerably thicker than PG. Because of this, it is not compatible with very sub ohm tank on the market. To check whether your tank is suitable, have a look at the size of the wicking holes in the coil itself. If they are on the smaller side, it will be difficult to pull viscous high VG e liquid through the holes when you inhale. If you are ever in doubt, make sure to research your tank before filling it with high VG concentrates.

It’s also important to consider the amount of nicotine you want as a DTL vaper. We recommend low levels of nicotine for people who prefer a direct to lung vape. Any higher than 6mg nicotine strength will create a harsh throat hit that most beginner vapers will find overwhelming.

Mouth to lung or direct to lung coils?

It is important to choose the right coils for your personal vaping style. MTL coils are a lot smaller than DTL coils. The smaller the diameter of the coils, the less air that can be pulled through the coil, which makes for a tighter draw.

In contrast, sub ohm coils have a wider diameter to allow for more holes in the coils and therefore more air. DTL coils need to allow more air to pass through the coils in order to accommodate a longer inhale.

Are cigarettes mouth to lung or direct to lung?

People who want to kick the habit for good often opt for a mouth to lung vaping style, because it replicates the ‘throat hit’ that occurs when smoking a normal cigarette. This is also why new vapers might struggle to integrate a direct to lung vaping style into their lives. Most people are not accustomed to ‘bypassing’ their mouth whilst smoking.

Can I smoke direct to lung on a sub ohm tank?

When learning about MTL and DTL vaping, it can be difficult to find the right kit for you. In fact, most sub ohm tanks are designed with direct to lung vaping in mind. You’ll get the most satisfying vape experience out of advanced kits. These kits have variable wattage features, which are crucial for DTL vapers because their kit requires a strong power output in order to accommodate the long draw time.

Are JUULs mouth to lung?

Beginners love the JUUL starter kit because it provides an intense mouth to lung experience that recreates the feeling of smoking a traditional cigarette. This device comes complete with a tight airflow, which is essential for creating a satisfying MTL draw.

The JUUL has a slimline design which is perfect for vapers who want a lightweight and discrete device. It has the added benefit of a JUUL app, which monitors usage, allows you to secure your device, and even has the ability to find your JUUL in case you misplace it. We recommend this kit for vapers who want all of the benefits that come with modern technology.

Mouth to lung devices at myCigara

Here at myCigara, we understand the importance of helping beginners make the first step in their vape journey. We stock a wide selection of mouth to lung devices from industry-leading brands. When you buy MTL devices from our online vape shop, you can rest assured that you are buying products that have stood the test of time. With everything from the Aspire PockeX and the Smok Nord Pod kit, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud in our MTL range. 

Direct to lung devices at myCigara

If you’re unsure about which devices boast direct to lung capabilities, look no further than our selection of sub ohm kits. Because these kits typically come with bigger coils and variable wattage capabilities, they have all the hardware required for long draws. We recommend the Geekvape Aegis Boost Pod System, and the Voopoo Drag 3 Kit because they are all firm fan-favourites.