It is a fact that even those who have been using electronic cigarettes are not fully knowledgeable about the anatomy of these cigarette alternatives. Some of them are not even aware what e-liquids are.
E-liquid is the fluid contained in e-cigarettes; it is that element that is “vaped”. E-liquids are typically a mixture of Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and nicotine. Manufacturers offer flavouring with the unit when purchased and you can purchase it separately as well. It comes in various strengths, allowing users to pick the one that is most suitable for their tastes and preferences.
PG, or Propylene Glycol, is the standard base used in e-liquids. It is the ingredient that is largely responsible for the “throat hit”. The higher the PG content, the greater the throat hit will be. PG also acts to enhance any flavouring added to the e-liquid itself. Often, PG is the e-liquid used in pre-filled cartridges, which are the normal concentrations of 80% PG and 20% VG.
Many users hesitate from getting anywhere near a primarily PG-filled cartridge since PG has the tendency to cause dry mouth and sore throat. It’s dehydrating effect can be quite harsh and difficult for some user’s tolerance levels. For that, there is another option, the VG.
VG, or Vegetable Glycerine, is a less harsh alternative to PG. There is not as much of a throat hit compared to PG, but it does produce a greater amount of vapour since it also tends to make use of more e-liquid. As for the flavour, it tends to be on the sweeter side. It is usually preferred in tanks more than in cartridges primarily because of its denser and thicker consistency. The standard VG tank contains 80% VG and 20% PG.
When we talk about flavours and strengths, users will not have any shortage of choices, since they come in many varieties. In fact, the flavours and strengths can even be mixed in order to get the exact flavours or strengths you are looking for. It is also possible to mix PG and VG versions, depending on your preferences.
Personally, I have tried mixing Apple and Vanilla flavours together. The result is a highly satisfying Apple Crumble flavour. I also found 24mg to be too strong and 12mg to be too weak. In order to hit the right spot, I mixed the two together and came up with 18mg, which is just the right strength I was looking for.
Choosing The Strength of E-liquids
Just as many vapers are still not fully aware on how to choose the right type of e-cigarettes for them, there are just as many users who are still in the dark on how to choose the e-liquid strength that is suitable for them.
There is one rule of thumb that one can follow, especially for those who are still relatively new to using e-liquids or e-cigarettes as a whole: choose the e-liquid with a milligram strength that is close to the actual strength of the regular tobacco cigarettes that you are used to.
In choosing e-liquid strength, there are a number of factors that must be considered. It is important to hit the right spot, otherwise, you may end up with a too weak one that is not at all satisfying, or a too strong one that may be too much for you to handle.
New users are suggested to start off slow. Perhaps starting out with e-liquids that have 16mg nicotine, which is the level that is closest to that of a traditional tobacco cigarette’s nicotine content. There is an advantage to starting things off slow, or sticking to what you are used to in the beginning: there would be no drastic changes, and your system will not suffer for it. Gradually, vapers can increase the strength as they get the hang of it.
Those who are wondering what the other strength or nicotine levels are can refer to the chart below for some guidance.
The quality of the nicotine used in the e-cigarette also factors into the equation. In fact, a high strength would be useless if the nicotine is of low quality. You may not get the “throat hit” that you are looking for. “Throat hit” is basically the effect of the nicotine on the performance of the e-cigarette. If the nicotine is high quality, expect a great throat hit.
We also mentioned about making gradual changes. Do not jump too high or too low when changing your nicotine levels. Take it, at least, one step up or down. From 16mg level, it would not be a good idea to immediately move on to the 24mg level. That is the “drastic” change we are talking about.
Reducing the Nicotine Strength of E-liquids
The nicotine strength of e-liquids may also be reduced. How can this be done? Again, remember that one word: gradual.
Reduce the nicotine strength at a gradual pace. Do not immediately drop down many levels; this could be a shock to your system and you will have a hard time adjusting, much less enjoying the actual vaping experience.
What about those who are switching to e-cigarettes in order to quit smoking or purge nicotine from their system? Is there still hope for them?
Yes, there is. There are now a number of e-cigarettes that come in nicotine-free options. That means they do not contain any nicotine, allowing users to enjoy the smoking experience without worrying about having nicotine invade their systems.