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E-Liquid Ingredients - What's In Your E-Liquid?

There are four ingredients in e-liquid, two diluents: propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG), nicotine and flavouring. If the e-liquid is zero nicotine, then there are only three ingredients. A far cry from the 4000+ chemicals in traditional cigarettes.

The ingredients in e-liquid can be at different ratios and each different formulation alters the vaping experience slightly. With elements changing such as throat hit, nicotine strength, clouds of vapour and the thickness of your e-liquid.

You might have been vaping for a while or brand new to the world of e-liquid, either way you are possibly wondering what is actually in your e-liquid. What do the ingredients do and how do different ratios of each affect your vaping experience.

UK Made E-liquid

PG in e-liquid

Propylene glycol is one of two diluents in e-liquid. It is a clear, viscous fluid that is odourless but has a slight sweetness. It is there to dilute the e-liquid and make it available easier to run through your vape tank and vape coil.

PG isn’t only used in e-liquid, it is also utilised by the food and beauty industry in products such as liquid sweeteners, whipped dairy products and face creams.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

In your vaping experience PG is responsible for:

Throat hit & Carrying flavouring

E-liquids that have a higher PG content will have a more pronounced throat hit and more flavour.

VG in e-liquid

Vegetable glycerine is a thick, clear fluid that is odourless, with a slight sweet taste. This is the second of the diluents contained within e-liquid and adds a thicker consistency to the juice.

VG isn’t only used in e-liquid, it is used by the food industry in things such as frozen yoghurt as well as in a wide range of beauty products.

Vegetable Glycerine (VG)

In your vaping experience VG is responsible for:

Clouds of vapour & Thickness

E-liquids with a higher VG content are much thicker, have less flavour but produce bigger clouds of vapour.

Nicotine Shots

Nicotine in e-liquid

Nicotine is the addictive part of cigarettes. This is the chemical your body craves when you quit smoking. This is added to e-liquid to stop the cravings you experience as you quit smoking.

It comes in a raw form and is diluted down to be able to be used in e-liquids. There are limits to the maximum strength that can be offered in the UK, here at Totally Wicked we start at zero nicotine and go right up to 1.8%.

The higher the nicotine strength, the more nicotine you are getting with each puff you take on your e-cig.

Nic Salts

What are nic salts?

The standard nicotine in e-liquid is known as freebase nicotine. This is the most common form and unless stated otherwise is what will be used in your e-liquid.

Nic salts is still nicotine, but in a different form. This means that it is taken up by your body differently and some people find that it keeps them satisfied for longer. What nicotine salts don’t have is any discernible throat hit. It is an extremely smooth vaping experience.

This is great for any smokers who want to vape but feel like they might cough when making the switch. But for someone who needs that physical feedback of a good throat hit, nic salts won’t be for them.

How do e-liquid ingredients change your vape?

Now we know what the ingredients are, we can look at how different ratios of these might alter your vaping experience.

If you had an e-liquid that was a 1.6% nic salt, with a high VG content, like one of our Symphonic range, then you have: a thicker e-liquid, with little throat hit, but still a higher nicotine strength. You will get thicker clouds of vapour and quite a lot of nicotine but with no throat hit.

If you have an equivalent nicotine strength, 1.6%, but with a higher PG content: this will be a much thinner e-liquid, with a large throat hit. Your clouds of vapour won’t be as thick, but the kick at the back of your throat will be very pronounced and it will have more flavour.

You also have to consider the type of kit you are using. If you have an e-cig starter kit, it will have higher resistance vape coils, which are smaller overall, so a thick e-liquid is not great in these kits as they can cause your vape coils to burn prematurely as they don’t wick as well.

On the flip side if you have a really sub-ohm kit, the vape coils are much bigger, so a high PG e-liquid is likely to run straight through those coils and the throat hit you get from the PG would be too much in a very sub-ohm vape coil.

All of these little nuances are a lot to take in, but in real life terms its great. Because you can guarantee with so much choice and so many ways to tweak your vaping experience, there will always be a perfect e-liquid for you out there.

If you are ever stuck and don’t know what ratio of ingredients to go for, stick to a 50/50 PG/VG ratio and a nicotine strength that you know works for you.


Flavouring in e-liquid

The last ingredient to look at is the most fun, flavourings.

There are hundreds of e-liquid flavour combinations available, everything from tobacco and menthol to drinks and desserts. They are carried in PG, which means the flavourings are a mix of flavour and PG. This helps the entire e-liquid solution combine together properly.

In terms of ratio, flavourings can make up anywhere from 15% to 30% of the e-liquid recipe. But remember, more flavouring doesn’t mean a better tasting e-liquid. In fact too much can be overpowering and these aren’t pleasant being vaped all day.

E-liquid flavourings are one of the main draws for smokers sticking to vaping after they have made the switch. Even if you get bored of one flavour there are hundreds of others to choose from.

E-liquid Flavourings
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