A Layman's Guide to E-Liquid

 

What's in e-liquid?

E-liquid contains a combination of some of these four components: Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG), nicotine (or none if requested), and flavor concentrates. Flavor concentrates contain a mixture of components, as you will read below.

Propylene glycol(PG) ( C3H8O2) is a sweet tasting compound that is found in many food, beverage, and medical products and is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) for human consumption. It is a diol, or double alcohol, and mixes with water. PG typically provides the "throat hit" sensation of inhaled vapor. As stated elsewhere, "throat hit" is often important for former smokers who would like, as much as possible, to simulate the experience and feeling of smoking. A higher PG content in e-liquid will lend itself to a stronger sensation in the throat.

Vegetable glycerine(VG) (C3H8O3) is a sweet tasting, water soluble polyol (sugar alcohol) that is often used to sweeten and preserve foods. VG is typically responsible for the visible vapor produced during vaporization of the liquid. A higher VG content lends itself to increasingly dense and voluminous levels of visible vapor--at times, to surprising and almost humorous levels. Visible vapor is almost always a necessity for a satisfying experience.

Nicotine (if any is added) in the form of a concentrate extracted from tobacco leaf into a carrier base of PG and/or VG. Customers may choose no nicotine, or from a milligram per millileter (mg/mL) range of 3mg/mL, 6mg/mL, 12mg/mL, 18mg/mL, or 26mg/mL.

Flavor concentrates used in e-liquid are created with consumable goods in mind: food, coffee, tea, and many others. Flavor concentrates contain a combination of one or more of the following ingredients: PG, VG, ethyl alcohol, citric acid, and distilled water. Tobacco flavorings at VapeRite are made using a strenuous extraction process. We provide you with a natural tobacco flavor free of the harmful additives found in cigarettes. In order to help you get to know your e-liquids better, we have split our flavors into two categories: “Natural”, and “Regular”. Below, you will find explanatory notes helpful in making the distinction between the different varieities of e-liquids.

What is in Natural and Regular Vape E-liquid?
Natural Flavorings: Natural flavorings which may or may not contain ethyl alcohol and are based in PG and/or VG.
Regular Flavorings: Artificial flavorings, sometimes in conjuction with natural flavorings, which may or may not contain ethyl alcohol and are based in PG and/or VG.

Though you will find this information duplicated in the New to Vaping/Frequently Asked Questions section, we strongly recommend reading through this section, as it will provide a great deal of useful information on several topics pertinent to vaping.

What is a mix type?

A mix type is a ratio of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glyrcerin (VG) present in the e-liquid. Most juice vendors offer the same general mix types for their e-liquids: 50/50 PG/VG, 70/30 PG/VG, Max PG, or Max VG/No Added PG. A higher ratio of PG will create more "throat hit" and less visible vapor; a higher VG ratio will produce more visible vapor and less "throat hit". A select few vapers may experience negative reactions to PG, which may include coughing or headaches; Max VG/No Added PG is recommended for these vapers. In addition to PG, nicotine conentration in an e-liquid will have an effect on the "throat hit" produced by the vapor. Below, we have included a brief guide for selecting nicotine strength.

 

How do I choose nicotine strength?

Nicotine strength is based on preference, ranging from 0-26mg/mL. The concentration is expressed in the form "milligrams per millilter" (mg/mL). For those of you switching from traditional tobacco cigarettes to vaping, choosing your nicotine strength may seem daunting. Fear not! Once you start vaping, you will quickly learn what level is too little or too much. Below is a brief guideline to assist you in making a decision.

Don’t assume that since we offer a higher nicotine strength, you must choose 26mg/mL when converting to vaping. Most former smokers stay within the range of 12-18mg/mL, with a smaller section of users who prefer a higher concentration. You'll likely be vaping much more than you were smoking when you start out: either out of necessity, compulsion, or excitement. This is normal. We suggest beginning with a liquid no higher than 18mg/mL, as with higher concentrations of nicotine, you run the risk of experiencing negative effects, such as: lightheadedness, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, feeling overheated, thirstiness, headaches, or any combination of these.

If you smoke a pack or less cigarettes per day, 12-18mg/mL is typically the best range of nicotine strength for you to begin with. Remember, you can always increase/decrease if you feel you need more or less nicotine.

If you just want to vape casually or when drinking, we suggest aiming for 6mg/mL or less.

DIY e-liquid? I can mix my own e-liquid?

It may take a lot of time and experimentation for people to find their ideal mix types, so many vapers decide to take matters into their own hands and create their own e-liquids. Do-it-yourself (DIY) mixing has become very popular in the vaping community, since the vaper can have complete control and knowledge of what goes into their e-liquids. Typically, the materials needed to get started with DIY mixing would be an array of plastic or glass pouring bottles, droppers, a supply of PG and/or VG, nicotine extract (in a carrier base of PG, VG, or a mix of the two), and flavor concentrates. It is also critical to have the necessary safety materials on hand, such as chemical resistant gloves and safety goggles.

I see that some flavors are listed as "diacetyl free"... What is diacetyl and why is this important?

When vaping was new, the buttery, custard-type flavors had minute amounts of diacetyl. We always clearly marked which flavors were potentially sources of trace amouunts of diacetyl, but we're happy to report that all our flavors are now diacetyl free.

The following information is sourced from the International Food Information Council (IFIC).
"What is diacetyl and where is it found?
Diacetyl and related compounds produce the buttery odor and flavor of many foods. It occurs as a natural byproduct of fermentation and is found in several dairy products like butter, cheese and milk as well as in bread, coffee, brandy, and rum. It also is manufactured as a component of artificial butter flavoring that is used in butter-flavored microwave popcorn, candy, baked goods and cake mixes. Are there other flavors like diacetyl? Yes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines replacement flavors or flavoring agents as “substances added to impart or help impart a taste or aroma in food.”
There are also flavor enhancers, which are “substances added to supplement, enhance, or modify the original taste and/or aroma of a food, without imparting a characteristic taste or aroma of its own.” Flavors and flavor enhancers are considered part of the larger group of food additives which the FDA regulates. This includes determining their safe use in food. Are there any significant health risks in consuming foods containing diacetyl? No. The FDA currently classifies diacetyl as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) for human consumption."

Due to concerns raised in the greater vaping community, we made the decision to isolate and remove flavoring components in our liquids that contain the compound “diacetyl”. We either replaced flavoring components with equivalents that do not contain diacetyl, or in the cases where we no such suitable replacement could be found, we discontinued their use altogether. While we still maintain that the trace amounts of diacetyl present in various flavor concentrates are likely too low to impact users’ health, we’d rather be safe and provide products free of this compound. To this end, we have contacted our flavor concentrate manufacturing suppliers demanding thorough data on the contents of their products and, upon review of the material and making appropriate changes to our recipes, can assure you that the products we use do not contain diacetyl. This being said, a select few of our flavoring components contain minute trace amounts of acetoin and/or acetyl propionyl. These are confined to those flavorings with a custardy, creamy, or nutty flavor profile. 

Our intention in this explanation is so that, while the vaping industry is held up to the light of scrutiny, we have been transparent with you and are making every effort to provide safe products with the information available to us. This transparency allows you, the consumer, to make a more informed decision in the flavors you choose to vape. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us so we can help with anything you might need.