How Do I Pick the Right E-Juice?
If you’re new to vaping, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the huge selection of e juice. There are thousands of e juice suppliers – from DIY home brewers, to local mom-and-pop shops, all the way up to multi-national e-liquid companies. Using the wrong e juice is the number one reason why vapers resort back to regular cigarettes. That’s why it’s really important to take your time trying different flavors to find the e juice flavor best suited for you. Which option is right for you and how do you choose the right e juice for your setup? Here are some of the most important factors to consider.
Consider Only Reputable E-Juice Companies. Most e juice is made up of the same four ingredients – propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine and flavoring – but are they all created equal? Although you can risk it with cheaply produced Chinese imports or substandard DIY home varieties, we strongly suggest that you look for a high quality, American-made e-liquid with only USP-grade PG/VG and laboratory-grade nicotine like we have here at Vape Escapes. We have the advantage of being local brick and mortar stores with a sense of community, but with the benefits of providing gourmet e juice from a reputable Pink Spot Vapors lab that is a global leader in the industry.
Importers and DIYers can also use USP-grade ingredients, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that their products are up-to-par. Clean facilities, laboratory procedures and good manufacturing practices are all important aspects in producing consistent, safe, high-quality e-liquid. Would you prefer to have your e-juice mixed in a lab by a trained mixologist, or by an unqualified enthusiast in their basement or garage? Look for reputable American-made suppliers that follow strict protocols! All Vape Escapes e juice contain US Pharmaceutical Grade Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and US Pharmaceutical Grade Propylene Glycol (PG). Upon request, it may also include USP Grade Nicotine, which is USA made, meets EU6.0 standards and is 99.86% pure. Nicotine is an addictive substance, therefore you MUST be 18 years of age or older to vape. Our flavorings are food grade and DO NOT contain any artificial sweeteners that could contain Diacetyl. Even though we have some cocktail inspired flavors, none of our e-liquids contain Alcohol.
What’s the difference between PG & VG? All e-juice consists of a propylene glycol (PG) and / or vegetable glycerin (VG) base containing the nicotine and added flavoring. Next, you’ll need to decide which PG/VG combination will create the perfect and most satisfying vape for you. PG and VG have slightly different qualities so it’s important to understand how they’ll affect your experience. You’ll find e-liquids with various PG/VG ratios, so here’s what makes each of these base ingredients unique:
PG is the most commonly used base ingredient – it’s is used in thousands of consumer products, is FDA-approved and widely considered safe. PG is very thin and tasteless and is known for producing an excellent throat hit – that burning sensation in the back of your throat when you take a pull – similar to a real cigarette. Because it doesn’t have any taste, it doesn’t affect the e juice flavoring and people often associate it with more flavorful and accurate-tasting vapes. In addition, its thinner quality means that it’s more easily absorbed by the polyfill inside e-cigarette atomizers. The low density also means that it won’t build up on the heating element or wicks as fast as VG-rich e juice.
On the downside, propylene glycol doesn’t produce quite as much vapor as vegetable glycerin. And a small percentage of people have mild allergic reactions to PG, such as rash or upset stomach, so these people are generally forced to choose VG as an alternative.
High PG Overview
- Strong throat hit
- Crisp and accurate flavors
- Less gunk / build up
- Lower vapor production
- May cause allergic reactions
Like PG, vegetable glycerin (or vegetable glycerol) is FDA approved and widely considered safe, but rather than being chemically produced in a lab it’s 100% natural – derived from vegetable / plant oils. Because of its thicker nature, VG tends to produce thicker and more satisfying clouds of vapor than PG-based e-liquids. Its thicker quality also means that it will build up more quickly on your vaping devices, requiring more frequent cleaning and maintenance.
Unlike PG which is odorless and tasteless, VG has a slightly sweet aftertaste that may or may not impact the overall flavor. Although it’s usually overpowered by the other ingredients, it may slightly alter the intended taste of your e juice, so it’s not quite as accurate as PG.
High VG Overview
- Excellent vapor production
- Option for those with PG allergies
- Quicker build up / more cleaning
- Softer throat hit
- Less accurate flavor
Which VG/PG ratio is best for you? You’ll find e-juice in a variety of VG/PG ratios – Our standard Vape Escapes e juice is a 60VG/40PG blend with our High VG line at 90/10. However, we can special order any ratio you choose. We cannot, however, create 100% VG e juice, as our flavorings and nicotine are PG based. If you prefer more flavor and a stronger throat hit, then higher PG e-liquid will probably suit you well, but if you prefer more vapor and less throat hit, then VG may be a better fit. The only way you’ll know which PG/VG ratio is right for you is to do some experimentation. If you’re unsure, we suggest you start out with a decent mix of both (60/40 VG/PG) – this way you’ll get the best of both worlds. By making small adjustments, eventually you’ll find perfect VG/PG mix for you.
You must also consider the flavor. Although we stock 60+ flavors here at Vape Escapes, there are literally hundreds of e juice flavors you can special order from us, find online or in other vape stores. Just like determining the right PG/VG mix, you’ll need to do some experimentation to figure out which flavors are the most appealing. Just because you really enjoy coffee, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy vaping coffee flavors. We strongly suggest that you come in and try out different varieties for free to determine which ones are the most desirable to you. We offer both zero and 12mg nicotine selections for free sampling in both of our stores. If you are trying new flavors, we encourage you to try a sample pack of 3 different selections in 12ml bottles and you’ll save 15%. Eventually you’ll form some preferences (sweet, menthol, fruity, etc.) that will help you in the decision making process. Once you find a few options you like, you can stick with them or look for similar varieties that could also be appealing.
In regards to nicotine, you can often determine how much you need by evaluating the cigarettes you smoked prior to vaping. Heavy smokers who smoke full-flavored cigarettes often need 24mg to create a satisfying experience with electronic cigarettes. Not only does more nicotine satisfy stronger cravings, but it also generates a deeper and more satisfying throat hit, more closely replicating the feel a full-flavored cigarette. Moderate smokers with milder cravings should consider 12mg or 18mg, and light smokers usually prefer 6mg of nicotine or even zero. We can customize any nicotine level that is just right for you with our special orders. One of the beautiful things about electronic cigarettes is your ability to lower your nicotine consumption over time, so you can slowly reduce your nicotine level as you move forward with vaping.
The experimentation never ends… It’s up to you to determine the right e juice to satisfy your tastes. Although you may get lucky on your first try, experimentation with different flavors and PG/VG mixes and nicotine levels may be necessary to create the ideal experience. Keep in mind that there are many different options and your preferences are likely to change over time, so the experimentation process never ends for many vapers. We are constantly bringing you new flavors at Vape Escapes too. VARIETY… it’s just one of many things that make e-cigarettes and vaping great!
Thanks to Jeremy Panizzoli for his insightful wisdom and contributions to this article.