If you’re new to vaping, you are most likely questioning the parts and pieces that create the vaping experience, as you should! And when it comes to the stuff referred to as e-juice, you may get conflicting information.
The experienced vaper may tell you that it is simply “water” and that would be incorrect. The anti-vaper, i.e. the tobacco industry, will tell you that nobody knows what e-juice is exactly, and that too would be incorrect.
So, while you now know that it is more than just water, we’re going to educate you on the mystery of e-juice, such as how it is made or what is in it. For future reference, you’ll find the ingredients listed on every bottle’s label from reputable, responsible, trustworthy e-juice makers.
VG: Vegetable Glycerine
The modern atomizer takes a liquid that designed with as much as 80% VG (vegetable glycerine). Glycerine is processed from several kinds of fat and is a natural substance. The glycerine that e-liquid is made from comes from vegetable oils. Even though it is processed from oils, it is not an oil itself, but it is an alcohol that is safe for inhaling. VG is a colorless, non-toxic liquid with no odor and tastes sweet.
It is a thick and sticky substance that cannot be used in older atomizers or small clearomisers. A high level of VG will produce a dense vapour, but a mild throat hit.
There are many products consumed by us that contain VG, such as sweeteners and other foods for moisture. VG is also used in some medications. To date, results of studies have not found any link to health issues.
PG: Propylene glycol
What isn’t VG in your e-liquid is most likely PG, with some e-liquids containing more PG over VG, making it less sticky, which makes them work well in older atomizers and clearomisers. PG is also alcohol, almost odorless, and a dim sweet taste. You won’t find this in foods, medicines, or anything else.
PG is found in antifreeze which is why a common misconception that e-juice is made from antifreeze. The PG anti-freeze level in e-juice isn’t harmful to animals or children.
PG has been linked to a few minor health issues since studies began the 1940s. It is generally safe to inhale or swallow. There are some people that are sensitive to and may feel ill if they vape a it, though, so if liquid with a high PG content makes you feel unwell, switch to one with more VG.
PG doesn’t produce as much visible vapor as VG, perfect for those that want to be discreet vape while cloud chasers aren’t fond of it. PG comes in better flavors and has a stronger throat hit.
The Nicotine Level
Most e-liquids contain nicotine which makes it perfect for substitution for smoking because it satisfies the nicotine craving smokers have. It is the nicotine that makes for the throat hit as well.
Nicotine gets bad publicity when in fact it is a safe drug. The harmful part of traditional cigarettes is the smoke not nicotine. Nicotine is only toxic when consumed in high doses, but you can’t be poisoned by it while vaping.
You can find more info on the ingredients of e-liquids here: https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm456610.htm