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E-Liquid: PG & VG & Nicotine Stength

E-Liquid: PG & VG & Nicotine Stength

What type of e-liquid should you use with your e-cigarette?

So you've got your new e-cigarette and you're wondering type of e-liquid you should use with it!

First we'll explain the main things you need to know about e-liquid, and then we'll explain how that relates to your e-cigarette.

There are two main things you need to know about any e-liquid you'll be using:

  1. The PG/VG mix (or ratio): There are two main base liquids that make up your e-liquid. PG (or Propylene Glycol) is a thinner liquid which tends to be a better flavour carrier and produces less vapour and more of a 'throat hit' (the heat or harshness at the back of your throat similar to a real cigarette). VG (Vegetable Glycerin) is a thicker liquid which produces more vapour and tends to be smoother on the throat. The more VG you have in your liquid, the smoother it will be and the more vapour it will produce. The more PG in your liquid, the harsher it will be and the less vapour it will produce. Often labels only state the largest component liquid such as '60% VG': this means the remaining 40% is the other type of liquid (in this case PG).
  2. The nicotine content: Most often stated in mg (milligrams) which is the content per ml (milliliter). This is sometimes stated as a %, so 18mg would be 1.8% nicotine. You can see that 18mg = 0.018g = 1.8% of 1g. Generally speaking 3mg is a low nicotine content, whereas 18mg is a high nicotine content.

How does this relate to my e-cigarette?

Glad you asked! As a general rule, the more powerful your e-cigarette is the more VG and less nicotine you want in your liquid. The reason is that the power from your e-cigarette is transferred to the liquid through the coil in order to vaporize it. As PG is a harsher liquid, the more power you run through it the more vapour it will produce and so the more you'll get with every inhalation: this can make your hits very harsh and so isn't recommended! The reason for wanting less nicotine with a higher powered device is similar; not only will this be harsher if you have a high nicotine content but you'll be getting lots more nicotine too. Think about it, if you normally have a 12mg liquid in a low powered device and put it in one that produces twice the amount of vapour, then you're vaporizing twice the amount of liquid and essentially doubling your nicotine dose. Your 12mg liquid has basically just become a 24mg liquid and you'll be getting way more nicotine than you're used to!

If you increase the power of your device, then decrease the nicotine in your liquid and increase its VG content. The power your device will use is related to the resistance (ohmage/Ω) of your coil. The lower the resistance, the more power you will use. Generally, the cut-off point for deciding what type of liquid you want is 1.0Ω, anything less than 1.0Ω (sub-ohm vaping) requires less nicotine and more VG. Below are some good rules of thumb for what type of liquid to choose:

  • If your coil is less than 1.0Ω, then your VG content should be equal to or greater than 50% and your nicotine content no more than 6mg.
  • If you coil is greater than 1.0Ω, then your PG content should be equal to or greater than 50% with a max nicotine content of 20mg.

Particularly when it comes to sub-ohm vaping, the further you get away from 1.0Ω, the stricter you want to be with these rules. If you have a 0.15Ω coil that runs at 200W you are going to be producing a lot of vapour! So a 6mg 50/50 liquid (VG/PG) would definitely not be suitable. The more powerful the device, the more VG and less nicotine you want. If you go anywhere above 100W, we'd recommend a maximum of 3mg nicotine and a minimum of 80% VG in your liquid otherwise you'll be getting too much nicotine and it'll be really harsh!

You have more leeway when you're operating above 1.0Ω, however, as VG is a thicker liquid it takes more energy to vaporize. If you put a high VG liquid on your 1.5Ω coil it might not have enough energy to vaporize it properly and so you'll get less vapour than with a higher PG liquid! Not only this, but because it can't effectively clear your coil it'll likely lead to your coil becoming gunked up, reducing its lifespan too.

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