The base ingredients for E-liquid are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). E-liquids are generally 70% PG / 30% VG or 50% PG / 50% VG, this affects the viscosity of the liquid. Ingredients are then added to create specific tastes, often similar to flavourings used in cooking. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are the cause of the vapour produced by E-cigarettes, as they draw in moisture when heated. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are both non-toxic, food-grade substances, used in food manufacturing.
E-liquid is the fuel used in E-cigarettes. It usually contains nicotine and flavouring, and produces the vapour we exhale when using an E-cigarette. However, not all E-liquid contains nicotine, as there are a wide variety of flavours available, and some people simply enjoy tasting them. E-liquids are available in a variety of nicotine strengths, usually ranging from 6mg (extra light) to 24mg (high).
The thickness of vegetable glycerine means it produces more vapour, however it also gives a weaker ‘throat hit’. It is also sweeter than propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is much thinner, so produces less vapour, but it gives a better ‘throat hit’. Therefore a mix of the two provides the smoothest vape, and is recommended. So you can control the way you experience your E-cigarette by purchasing liquids with the right PG/VG ratio for your needs.
You may notice ‘toxic’ or ‘poison’ labels on your E-liquid, these are actually referring to the nicotine in the liquid. Pure nicotine is a poison, however it is quite difficult to get nicotine poisoning, especially at the levels it is present in E-liquids, so this is no reason to consider vaping unsafe.
However, there is more and more research being undertaken every day to discover the effects of E-cigarettes on the body. There are mixed opinions on whether vaping negatively affects our health, but it is generally agreed that it is much better for you than smoking.