Nicotine e-liquid is a mixture of around 4 different ingredients. You’ll find that it contains water, PG (propylene glycol), Nicotine, VG (vegetable glycerine) and flavouring. You will find that some liquids come with additional ingredients but the main thing to go off are these main substances. The amount of nicotine will depend on the strength of the nicotine you want in your liquid. Let’s start off with a quick example. Let’s say that your liquid comes with around 10% nicotine. Of course, somewhere around 10% of your e-liquid will be flavouring as well but this can depend on how strong you like your vape. These factors combined will tell you how much VG and PG is in your liquid.
What is VG?
VG stands for vegetable glycerin and this is a carbohydrate that comes from plant based oils. VG can also be found in various consumer products, such as cosmetics! VG is normally clear and colourless. It doesn’t smell of anything but it does have a very sweet taste and a high level of viscosity. If you want to know how VG affects your e-juice then you’ll find that VG produces a lot more vapour when compared to PG. The main reason for this is because it is much thicker and it blends better with the flavour that you use. If you are allergic to PG, you will also find that VG is a high quality alternative.
A lot of people ask if VG and flavour combine together to make e-juice, but this is not the case. If you just take some VG and you mix it with some flavour, or drop some into a cartridge, there won’t be any vapour at all. Another question that a lot of people ask is whether or not VG is safe to use. VG has been checked and monitored to the same standards as the USP food grade. It is completely organic and it is naturally sweet. That doesn’t mean that it is made in the same way that sugar is however, because it is metabolized in a completely different way. It won’t raise your level of blood sugar and it isn’t associated with tooth decay either, so you can already start to see how the two are very different.
You should also note that VG can be used in toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and plenty of other household items as well. The main reason for this is because it is soluble in both water and alcohol, so it is very easy to blend. The fact that it is so versatile makes it invaluable to a number of things and it can even smooth your skin as well so you know that it is great for a huge number of reasons.
What is PG?
PG is an abbreviation of propylene glycol and it is a well known organic compound. It is completely colourless and it isn’t fully odourless either. It has a very slight odour and a very faint, but very sweet taste. It is miscible with water and it is hygroscopic as well. When you add PG to e-juice, it provides the base you need to dilute the nicotine liquid. A lot of people wonder if PG mixed together with flavour makes e-juice but the truth is that they don’t at all. After all, you can’t just drop your PG into your cartridge, because there would be no vapour at all. The use of PG has been thoroughly researched and it has been used for over 50 years now. Studies have shown that PG has a very low level of toxicity and if you have long term contact with the substance then you will find that it is not irritating to the skin at all. It is possible to be allergic to PG however and this is something that you need to be aware of.
So What’s The Difference Between PG, VG and PG/VG Mix?
VG as an e-liquid is very thick and sweet. VG can also produce huge clouds of vapour at any one time and it is great if you have a sweet tooth that you want to satisfy. PG however is much thinner, it produces more of a hit to your throat as opposed to your tongue and you want something that can mimic the feel of smoking for you then this is certainly it. PG also has a much higher rate of sensitivity, so if you find that some vapours are just too harsh for you then you may want to avoid PG in general. On top of this, PG can give you a bigger hit to the throat and this gives you more flavour as well. This gives you more vapour in general and it is much stickier as well. Not a lot of people do not show allergy symptoms when they use VG but people can show symptoms when they use PG. For example, you may experience a phlegm build-up in their nose and throat and the more PG you use, the more these side effects will be amplified. If you choose 60% and 40% VG and PG however then you will find that this gives you much more flavour and this is the main reason why people choose to combine the two of them. If you find that one combination just isn’t working for you then try and go for 70% and 30% until you find one that is more suited to your needs.
Which One Is Safer?
PG and VG are both used in foods and you can consume them both on a day to day basis. They are both deemed to be very safe but in some cases, people have experienced minor reactions to PG and the main one that you need to look out for is a skin rash. This isn’t a huge deal and there are plenty of skin creams out there that can help you to deal with this. So what’s better? It’s all down to your personal preference. Some may prefer 100% PG and others may prefer 100% VG, but if you are struggling to decide between the two then you may want to go for one that combines the two together so you can be sure to find one that is appropriate.
The UK medicine board have approved a huge brand of e-cigarettes and they are going to be marketed so they can help people to stop smoking. This decision means that tobacco could actually be given out on the NHS. The Public Health division has stated that this could actually help to stop people smoking but there are various experts from the British Medical Association that state that the benefits have not yet been fully determined. They have also stated that a lot of doctors wouldn’t be willing to hand out these e-cigarettes to patients unless this has been cleared up. With 1 in every 5 adults smoking in the UK, it would make sense for those who want to stop smoking, to be able to get an aid that is on the NHS. The NHS have also stated that the amount of people who do want to quit smoking has been increased as well as the amount of people who smoke e-cigs. In April 2015, 2 out of 3 people who do use e-cigarettes used the NHS as well to try and stop smoking and a lot of them were very successful in this as well. In fact, there has been plenty of studies that show that e-cigs are the most effective aid when it comes to stopping smoking so there are many people who believe that this could seriously benefit plenty of people.
Dr Tim Ballard on the other hand, who is with the Royal College has said that it wouldn’t make sense for the NHS to be asked to pay for the way that people choose to live. He has stated that he knows how much this could benefit people, but at the end of the day, this could be taking valuable NHS resources and when you combine this with doctor’s reluctances to hand out these devices, you can already see how this could be a problem. At the moment there are some guidelines that haven’t been written yet and this could affect how doctors make the decisions as to whether or not someone should be given a device. With some e-cigs, there is a powered atomiser as well, and there would need to be some rules that state who gets what type of e-cig and why.
So how do e-cigs work?
A hot coil inside the atomiser heats the liquid that contains the nicotine. The mixture then becomes vapour and then it is inhaled. A lot of e-cigs also come with an LED light but this is purely a cosmetic feature that is designed to simulate the traditional glow of a cigarette. Of course, some e-cigs contain different chemicals and there are different strengths of nicotine available as well and this can make things even more difficult when it comes to supply and demand. Deborah Arnott who is a part of the ASH has stated that e-cigs are much safer when someone needs nicotine when you compare them to standard cigarettes. That doesn’t mean that they are completely safe however, and if you do not smoke then you should avoid them at all times. Of course, it is very good news that there is an e-cig that has actually got a license to be dispensed and we all know that they can help a person to stop smoking. The cost of them would also be far more affordable when you compare it to the disease that is caused by smoking so this is certainly an interesting concept when you think about how much money it could save every single year.
The e-cigarette community is lashing out at an article after it misrepresented a vapour study.
Sarah Knapton, of the Telegraph, published an article, ‘E-cigarettes are no safer than smoking tobacco, scientists warn’, on December 29, 2015, that is receiving criticism from the e-cigarette community.
Adam Jacobs states on his blog, The Stats Guy, “There are such crushing levels of stupid in this article it’s hard to know where to start.” Knapton highlighted a press release published on EurekAlert! then lacked the journalistic integrity to support her article with her own research.
The original study can be found on oraloncology.com, ‘Electronic cigarettes induces DNA strand breaks and cell death independently of nicotine in cell liner’. The researchers pulled vapor extract from nicotine and nicotine free e-cigarettes from two major brands and subjected the concentration to human cells for 48 hours to 8 weeks and observed damage in the cells and damage in the DNA strands.
Knapton ignored critical aspects of the press release. The study did not compare the damage caused by e-cigarette vapor to cells damage caused by traditional nicotine cigarettes. The study used a dose of vapor that was equivalent of an individual chain smoking for hours at a time for the length of the study. Dr. Jessica Wang-Rodriquez, a lead researcher on the study, said, “in this particular study, it was similar to someone smoking continuously for hours on end, so it’s a higher amount than would normally be delivered.”
Other articles published by Kasmira Gander and Tim Radford, of the Independent and Guardian respectively, also grabbed at the key words “‘no better’ than smoking regular cigarettes”. There was no such comparison in the study.
The influence of these articles is adding to a growing assumption by the public that vapour is as harmful as cigarettes.
Public Health England even raised concerns about public perception by stating “that increasing numbers of people think e-cigarettes are equally or more harmful than smoking.” When actually “the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking” and “nearly half the population (44.8%) don’t realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking”
While Wang-Rodriquez admitted that more research is needed, she also stated that she wasn’t sure what actually caused the damage in the cells. It could have been the ingredients in the vapour recipes or nor was she sure if the damage was merely the nicotine reacting to the “immortal cells” that had been altered for the study.
Knapton and her journalistic irresponsibility have ignored the facts but what has angered the vaping community, is that she is greatly adding to the misperceptions about e-cigarettes. The research is inconclusive. Jumping to conclusions about a study that says a nearly unreasonably high dose of vapor damaged an altered ‘immortal cell’ doesn’t support proven facts.
Know Your Smoking Habits
Knowing what you smoke, and how you smoke, is a great way to get a baseline assessment of your needs as a vaper. Do you need higher nic and throat hit, or are you a sometimes smoker looking to escape nicotine altogether? If you are smoking a pack or more per day, you will want to be sure that you are getting the nicotine level that you need to avoid cravings, the throat hit that you require to mimic the feeling of smoking, and enough battery life and eliquid to power you through the long day. Do you smoke lights? Then you can go with a lower nicotine level. Smoke occasionally or only socially? You may be able to choose a smaller battery such as a cigalike and get ejuice with little to no nicotine. There are a wide variety of options available to people who want to pick up vaping, so you will be able to find the perfect starter kit that fits your needs exactly.
Starter Kit Basics
To vape is to breathe the aerosol of a nicotine vapour liquid using an electronic cigarette. The easiest way to start to vape is to pick up a starter kit. A reputable vape shop will be able to guide you in choosing a starter kit. An electronic cigarette consists of the battery or mod as the power source, the heating element, which consists of the tank, coil, and wick, and accessories such as the charger. An ecigarette starter kit will include all these elements, and will come complete with battery and tank, coil head, and charger. Sometimes even a bottle of eliquid will be included. Before you vape, you should know how to turn on your battery, how to charge the battery, how to fill the tank, and how to change the coil. While many kits come with instruction manuals, the best way to learn is to have an experienced vaper show you, or to watch informative Youtube videos, since each type of kit is a little bit different. Almost all of the kits have a similar means of operation. The battery will generally have a fire button that is pressed to take a drag. The tank will contain the eliquid which saturates the wick that is threaded through the coil. The battery supplies heat to the coil, and vapourises the e-liquid, which you breathe in through the drip tip of the tank.
How to Choose A Vapour Liquid
You will choose a vapor liquid based on how often you intend to vape, how much you were smoking before, and what type of equipment you are using. More efficient kits, such as sub ohm starter kits, will use less nicotine and higher VG ratio. Eliquid is made from the same basic ingredients, no matter what brand you choose. The main ingredients are vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavorings, and nicotine. If you feel like you need more nicotine to satisfy your cravings, choose a higher nic level for your juice. Flavour is totally up to the consumer’s preference, and although many ex-smokers like to start with tobacco flavours, most find that they enjoy the multitude of gourmet vapour liquids flavour profiles currently available.
Maintaining Your Equipment
Cleaning the tank, keeping it free from disrepair, and switching out the coils are important to lengthening the lifespan of your electronic cigarette. One of the perks of the electronic cigarette is that it costs less than smoking over time if you take care of it. Make sure you care for the battery as you would any small electronic, and that you learn how to clean the tank and change the heating coil every week or two.
When you have mastered the basics of electronic cigarettes, you may want to learn more about building coils, sub ohm vaping, and Ohm’s law as it relates to battery safety. You may be attracted to mods with temperature control and higher wattages. It is recommended that at first one start with a simple kit and an open mind, as success with vaping comes quickly with some patience, education, and experimentation.