Skip to content


If you've ever found yourself standing in front of a massive e-liquid selection, feeling overwhelmed by the choices and wondering where to start, you're not alone. With a countless options ranging from different types and nicotine strengths to VG/PG ratios, it's easy to get lost. But don't worry! We are here to help you out as we explore the key ingredients, understand the different types and nicotine strengths, and explain different VG/PG ratios.

What Is an E-liquid?

E-liquid, also known as vape juice or vape liquid, is the fluid used in electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. It is responsible for creating flavourful vapour when heated. E-liquids typically consist of three main ingredients - propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), flavourings, and sometimes nicotine (which is optional).

When an e-liquid is heated, either through a coil or atomiser, it vaporises and turns into a vapour that is then inhaled by the user. This vapour provides a similar sensation to smoking without the harmful toxins associated with burning tobacco.

They come in a wide range of flavours and nicotine strengths, allowing users to customise their vaping experience according to their preferences.

Key Ingredience of E-liquid

You may have thought that they are full of chemicals, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Let's take a closer look at the ingredients that are present in the vape juice.

  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • This ingredient is commonly used not only in e-liquids but also in many foods that we consume on a daily basis, where it serves as a preservative. In e-liquids, it is a key ingredient that helps to carry the flavour and nicotine to deliver the throat hit, which replicates the sensation of traditional smoking.

  • Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
  • Vegetable glycerin is often used as a food sweetener and thickener, and it is derived from plant oils. But not only that, when used in electronic cigarettes, it's the substance that makes the e-liquids thicker and helps to produce dense vapour clouds.

  • Flavourings
  • This ingredient is pretty self-explanatory. It's what makes the vape juice taste like your favourite fruit, sweets, or anything that you can think of.

  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine is a substance derived from tobacco plants. It is an addictive ingredient and can be poisonous in large doses. It is not a necessary ingredient of an e-liquid, and many vapers actually prefer using nicotine-free liquids. However, in small doses, it can be a great way to give up the habit of smoking cigarettes when transitioning to vaping.

    Understanding VG/PG Ratios

    The VG/PG ratio refers to the proportion of vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) present in the vape juice. VG is a thicker liquid known for its ability to produce dense clouds of vapour. It also contributes to a smooth and slightly sweet taste. PG, on the other hand, is thinner and provides a stronger throat hit. It is responsible for carrying the nicotine and flavourings in the e-liquid.

    But what is the best ratio? Well, it actually depends on your personal preferences or the type of vape device you use. That's not very helpful, is it? But don't worry. We are going to try our best to explain various scenarios so you can make your own decision and find what suits your vaping style and preferences.

    • Vapour Production: If you are a cloud chaser and prioritise huge clouds (common for sub-ohm vaping), you may opt for higher VG ratios, such as 70VG/30PG or 80VG/20PG. However, before purchasing liquids with this ratio, make sure your device can handle it because if not, it can easily become clogged, as the VG is a thick substance.
    • Flavour Intensity: Are you a fan of vibrant flavours that tickle your tongue every time you take a puff? Then you should go for a vape juice with a higher PG ratio. You can try a 50/50 ratio for a perfect balance between flavour and vapour, but the higher the concentration of PG, the better the flavour and throat hit.
    • Throat Hit: Many people who are transitioning from traditional cigarettes prefer a stronger throat hit as it simulates the sensation of smoking. If you are one of them, you should opt for a higher PG concentration that will give you the desired experience.
    • Smoothness: On the other hand, if you prefer a smoother experience and less throat hit, a higher VG concentration will be better.
    • Nicotine Delivery: For faster nicotine absorption, you should also choose a higher PG ratio. A common ratio for this purpose is 60PG/40VG, which provides a good balance between throat hit and vapour production.

    Now, when it comes to your device and what is the most suitable VG/PG ratio, you need to take into consideration the coil resistance and wattage range.

    • For lower-powered devices, like vape pens, pod systems, and starter kits, a higher PG ratio, such as 50PG/50VG or 60PG/40VG, or even 80PG/20VG (typical for vape pens), is generally recommended. These ratios work well with smaller coils and lower wattages, providing optimal performance and efficient wicking. Anything lower than 50/50 may be too thick for these devices, which can result in more frequent coil changes or clogging problems.
    • For higher-powered devices, like sub-ohm mods or rebuildable atomisers (RDA/RTA), a higher VG ratio will be much more suitable. A ratio of 70VG/30PG or 80VG/20PG is great for preventing dry hits and producing thick clouds. However, it’s important to note that the coil resistance and the wattage output will impact how compatible the liquid is. The higher the coil resistance, the less power it requires, and vice versa.
    • The coils you use also matter. Lower resistance coils need more power and higher temperatures, which require a thicker liquid with a higher VG ratio. On the other hand, higher resistance coils require less power and lower temperatures, which means you should choose a thinner liquid with a higher PG ratio.

    As we said before, choosing the right VG/PG ratio is a matter of personal preference, desired vaping experience, and the capabilities of the vaping device. You can always experiment with different ratios until you find the perfect balance of vapour production, flavour intensity, and throat hit.

    Nicotine Strengths

    When selecting e-liquids that contain nicotine, it's important to understand the measurements on the bottle as they indicate the concentration of nicotine in the e-liquid. These measurements typically relate to the number of milligrams (mg) of nicotine present per millilitre (ml) of e-liquid. The lower the number, the lower the amount of nicotine. Here are the different types of nicotine strengths commonly available:

    • Nicotine-free 0mg: If you see a bottle with this label, it means that there is no nicotine present in the vape juice. These can be used as they are, or they can also be used to dilute a vape juice with a stronger concentration.
    • 3mg Nicotine: This is the lowest amount of nicotine that can be found in e-liquids. It is ideal for vapers who are looking to experience a mild nicotine sensation but is often preferred by those who have recently transitioned from smoking and are gradually reducing their nicotine intake.
    • 6mg Nicotine: This nicotine strength is also classified as low. It is suitable for vapers who prefer a mild nicotine hit or those gradually stepping down from higher nicotine strengths. If you are transitioning from smoking, it is similar to low-strength cigarettes.
    • 12mg Nicotine: This is considered a medium strength and provides a moderate nicotine hit. It can be a good starting point for an average smoker who wants to switch over to vaping as it provides a similar nicotine fix to a normal cigarette.
    • 18mg-20mg Nicotine: Heavy smokers transitioning to vaping, or vapers who want a strong nicotine hit, may choose this option. It can be found in many disposable vapes, as well as in nicotine salts.

    Types of E-Liquids and Their Nicotine Bases

    But that is still not all! There are also different types of e-liquids; each of them is designed to cater to different preferences and vaping styles.

    Freebase Nicotine E-Liquid

    This is the traditional form of nicotine used in most e-liquids. It is the purest form of nicotine, created by extracting it from tobacco leaves and then combining it with a base solution. They provide a strong throat hit and are suitable for individuals who prefer a more pronounced nicotine experience.

    They can be a great choice for those who want to quit smoking but still want to experience a similar sensation to cigarettes, but without the harmful chemicals.

    50/50 E-Liquids

    These e-liquids are a mixture of 50% PG (propylene glycol) and 50% VG (vegetable glycerin). They are compatible with most types of devices and offer a good balance between vapour production and flavour intensity. 50/50 e-liquids are designed to simulate mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping but can be used for both direct-to-lung (DTL) and MTL inhalation.

    Nicotine Salts (Nic Salts)

    Nic salts use a different form of nicotine that is naturally found in the tobacco leaf. They often contain higher nicotine concentrations but still provide a smooth vaping experience despite their high nicotine levels. Nic salt e-liquids are a particularly good option for individuals who are transitioning from smoking or those who crave a more efficient nicotine delivery. They work well with MTL devices, offering a quick and satisfying nicotine hit.  

    Shortfill E-Liquids

    Shortfills are larger bottles that are not filled to the top and contain nicotine-free e-liquid. The space that is left in the bottle is reserved for a nicotine shot. So, what is a nicotine shot? It is a small bottle of concentrated nicotine that can be added to the shortfill e-liquid to achieve the desired nicotine strength. This allows vapers to customise their nicotine levels according to their preferences.

    Shortfill e-liquids are popular among vapers who prefer larger quantities of e-liquid, enjoy DIY mixing, or want more control over their nicotine intake.

    If you want to learn more about the difference between freebase nicotine and nic salt, take a look at our other post where we compare Nic Salt vs Freebase Vape Juices.

    Ask the Expert! Sam – Your Trusted Vape Connoisseur

    Introducing our resident professional vape expert, Sam – a seasoned connoisseur and owner of Rhythm N Vape with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for all things vaping. Sam is here to be your go-to guide, answering your questions, offering tailored advice, and sharing insider tips to elevate your vaping experience.

    Are E-liquids Safe?

    E-liquids, when used as directed, are generally considered safe. However, it's crucial to purchase them from reputable sources and follow proper handling and storage guidelines.

    Can I Mix 2 or more E-liquids Together?

    Of course! You can mix different e-liquids to experiment with various flavours and nicotine strengths. However, we would recommend mixing compatible flavour profiles and being careful about the amount of nicotine. It's recommended to experiment in small batches to find the desired blend. Also, avoid mixing e-liquids with different base ratios (VG/PG) as it may affect performance.

    Can E-liquids Expire?

    Yes, e-liquids can expire. Generally, they have a shelf life of 1-2 years. It's advisable to check the expiration date on the bottle and discard any expired e-liquids, as they may degrade in quality and taste.

    How to Properly Store E-liquids?

    It is best to store your e-liquids in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or other heat sources. Proper storage helps maintain the quality and flavour of the e-liquid.

    How Long Does a Bottle of E-liquid Last? 

    The lifespan of an e-liquid bottle varies based on factors like the frequency of use, device wattage, and personal vaping habits. Generally, a 30ml bottle can last about 1-2 weeks for moderate vapers.

    How Can I Reach Out to Sam for Personalised Vaping Advice?

    Feel free to submit your questions to 

    I hope that helps and if you have any more questions I would be happy to answer them! Get in touch today! Sam. 

    Back to Glossary!