Fluid facts: what rookie vapers ought to know about e-liquid
Electronic cigarettes – or e-cigs, as they’re usually referred to – may produce a very similar, but far, far less harmful sensation to smoking, but they’re really very different entities to conventional cigarettes. Primarily, unlike cigarettes, e-cigs rely on e-liquid – or e-fluid – a chemical concoction that the device heats up so it might be turned into vapour, which in turn can be inhaled. For this reason then, it’s a good idea for those curious enough to give an e-cig a go to get a decent idea of what e-liquids are and what they contain. Firstly, the two major constituent parts of e-liquid are its atomising base and its flavouring.
So, between 80 percent and 90 percent of the formula that makes up e-liquid is formed of its diluent base. Usually, this a combination (to varying ratios) of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG); both are commonly used too as food additives, which is probably from where you may have heard of them before. PG is officially ‘generally recognised as safe’ according to the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA); indeed, it’s used a great deal in asthma inhalers. The advantage of a strong measure of PG in an e-liquid’s base is that it’s more than likely to result in a solid throat hit and stronger flavour; when mixed with VG (which tends to be a thicker chemical in fluid form), it often produces pleasingly deep vapour clouds.
It’s true that, via the e-liquid you fill them with and then heat up to create vapour so you can ‘vape’, some e-cigs attempt to imitate the taste of conventional ciggies. However, everything evolves, so while there are e-juices that recreate the tastes of the likes of regular tobacco, Virginia tobacco, Turkish tobacco, Cuban cigars and menthol tobacco, for the most part vapers tend to enjoy more all the wonderfully creative and terrific tasting flavours that are available at e liquid UK stores like No.1 EJuice. We’re talking here everything from chocolate to coffee, desserts to specific beverages, and fruits and spices to candy and soda,
Finally, of course, it ought to be pointed out that the majority of e-liquids on the market contain nicotine, the chemical that, although relatively harmless, is addictive and so its presence in tobacco ensures smokers keep coming back for more; for that necessary ‘hit’.
Indeed, many smokers aiming to quit conventional cigs move over to vaping in order to do so and the vast majority of them try to reduce the nicotine content of their e-liquids during their time vaping; thus, reducing their need for a hit and the danger of returning to toxic, carcinogenic tobacco-packed cigarettes. To that end then, e-liquids featuring nicotine can be purchased in various concentrations:
- Low-strength nicotine solutions tend to deliver a similar hit to that of ultra-light cigarettes (6-10mg/ml of e-liquid)
- Medium-strength solutions deliver a hit similar to that of light cigarettes (10-14mg/ml of e-liquid)
- High-strength solutions deliver a hit similar to that of regular cigarettes (16-18 mg/ml of e-liquid)
- Extra-high-strength solutions deliver a hit similar to that of unfiltered cigarettes (24-36 mg/ml of e-liquid).
Also, when it comes to nicotine content, note that the genuine amount of the chemical in any version of e-juice you purchase ought to be printed on the bottle or packaging it comes in; but often milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml) is shortened to ‘mg’.
Plus, it’s worth pointing out that – especially if you’re a regular smoker who’s wanting to give vaping a go and, thus, will begin with e-fluid of a relatively high nicotine level (before perhaps reducing your nicotine intake as you proceed with vaping) – excessively large doses of the chemical aren’t just dangerous but potentially lethal. In which case, it’s best not to stray over 40mg/ml in terms of nicotine content.