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PG vs VG What are they and how to use them

E-liquids explained - New to vaping? We simplify the jargon and explain exactly what goes into e-liquid

If you’re a vaping newbie, getting started can seem a little overwhelming. Understanding e-liquids and making sure you’re choosing the right ratio could be the difference between having an enjoyable first experience, or a very short-lived foray into vaping.

Most e-liquids combine propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), odourless liquids which are mixed with flavour additives and often a liquid nicotine. PG and VG make up the majority of the liquid, and the ratio will affect the flavour, vapour production and mouth/ throat sensation of your vape.

What’s propylene glycol?

A common food additive (it is often found in tea, toothpaste, cake mix etc) PG is probably the most popular base liquid for e-juice. A clear unscented liquid which is thin and runny in consistency, the watery texture helps to keep the e-liquid well blended and the flavour consistent throughout the bottle.

Pros

  • Easier clean up of your e-cigarette, the thinner liquid doesn’t clog up the coil or cling to the inside of the tank
  • Being odorless, it won’t interfere with the flavour selection in your e-liquid
  • Offers a closer sensation to cigarettes in terms of the throat hit

Cons

  • The runnier consistency can make it messy to handle
  • It’ll drip faster into the wick and atomizer of your vape due to it’s watery texture, meaning you might burn through it quicker than you anticipated
  • There have been reports of throat irritation or allergic reaction when using a higher ratio of PG to VG in your e-juice

What’s vegetable glycerin?

Also an additive commonly found in food, VG has a lower viscosity than PG, and where PG is odourless, VG has a noticeably sweet taste. The thicker liquid creates the distinctive cloudy plumes of vapor which is often associated with vaping, however a higher ratio of VG in your e-juice will reduce the throat sensation some people look for when moving away from cigarettes to vaping.

Pros

  • Better tolerated than PG in terms of throat irritation or allergic reaction
  • The lower viscosity (thicker consistency) of the VG produces thick, billowy plumes of vapor which many vapers are looking for

Cons

  • The thicker consistency has a tendency to stick to the sides of the tank, making cleaning your e-cig a bit of a chore
  • Mouth/ throat sensation is lacking

Choosing your ratio

Experimentation is key, and each vaper will have their own preference when it comes to ratio depending on what they want out of their vaping experience. Here are some of the key things newbie vapers might want when moving to e-cigarettes;

I want… a strong mouth/ throat hit

If you’re turning to vaping to wean yourself off the cigarettes, then this is probably something you want from your vaping experience. A higher ratio of PG in your e-juice is the way to achieve this, and means you’re less likely to revert to the cancer sticks if you can get that strong throat kick from your vape.

…. big clouds of vapour

The thicker consistency of a higher VG ratio produces the more luscious, billowy clouds many newbies turn to vaping for. Google cloudchasing contests for some inspiration!

… a more discreet vape

While you’ll always get some vapor production from an e-cig, a higher PG ratio in your e-juice makes for a much more discreet cloud, great for stealth vaping and generally not wanting to draw attention to your habit.

… a sweeter, smoother experience

Choose a higher VG ratio. Great for easing into vaping if you’re not looking to replicate the tobacco experience and just want to enjoy some fun flavours without the throat sensation.

If you’re not sure what you want, a good starting ratio is always 50:50, and you can adjust accordingly depending on your experience. Pre-mixed or ‘ready to vape’ liquids take the hassle out of getting started, and once you’re more experienced it may be time to have some fun experimenting with mixing your own e-juice!

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