What is e-liquid?

iMix Category Tile

What is e-liquid?

E-liquid is the 21st century’s most exceptional alternative to smoking. E-liquid is responsible for both the flavor of the vapor and the vapor itself. Vapor is the key term and the crux of the vaping industry as a whole. Instead of smoking tobacco and the thousands of carcinogens found in cigarettes, e-liquid is vaporized and releases no carcinogens. The beauty of e-liquid is that the substance itself offers total transparency concerning its contents. Where a smoker is unlikely to know even one percent of what they are ingesting, a vaper is easily able to cite their e-liquids exact contents.

Below is a list of the ingredients of e-liquid and a few of the most asked questions regarding its usage.

PG – Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol is the second essential ingredient in e-liquid. While often credited for providing a sweeter, richer flavor, its primary role is to thin the e-liquid that it is mixed into. This is because VG is often too viscous to wick into the cotton of most atomizers efficiently. Adding PG alongside VG ensures better flavor as well as extended coil life.

VG – Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable Glycerin is the core ingredient of all e-liquid. It is a viscous oil that converts into a rich, full vapor when adequately exposed to heat.


Flavoring (quite predictably) is the element of e-liquid responsible for diversifying the e-liquid market by creating countless unique flavor profiles. This ingredient CANNOT be vaporized by itself as it will ruin the atomizer.


Most e-liquids contain nicotine as well, although you can always get e-liquid without nicotine. There are two types of nicotine used in e-liquid:

Free Base Nicotine

Free Base nicotine is the most popular form of nicotine used in vaporizers. It is usually mixed into more viscous ratios of PG/VG and typically comes in milligram strengths of 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg or 18mg. Free Base nicotine e-liquids are usually recommended for larger devices that utilize sub-ohm tanks.

Salt Nicotine

Salt Nicotine is a smoother alternative to Free Base Nicotine and finds usage almost exclusively in pod systems. Salt Nic e-liquid is popular for its ability to contain a higher ratio of nicotine (typically 20mg-50mg) than its Free Base counterpart. This makes Salt Nicotine the optimal choice for smaller devices such as pod systems that seek to capitalize on low to moderate vapor production alongside sustainable nicotine absorption.


How To Store e-Liquid

E-liquid is a remarkably resilient substance. Its primary weaknesses are heat and pressure. Storing e-liquid at room temperature is recommended to avoid the thinning that heat and pressure can cause.

Which PG/VG ratio is best for me?

30/70 – 20/80 is the gold standard for sub-ohm tanks and rebuildable devices. Pod systems typically recommend Salt Nicotine which is usually mixed in 50/50-40/60 ratios.

How to choose a nicotine level?

Choosing an optimal nicotine level is entirely determined by both the user’s preference and their device’s recommendation. If a pod system is a vaporizer, 20-50mg is recommended. If a larger device is being used, 0-12mg is recommended. Finding the preferred nicotine level within those margins usually comes down to the comfort level and preference of the user.


The Consequences

Most of what is known about (legal) vaping suggests that it helps to save lives. In a randomized controlled trial, the UK’s National Health Service discovered that vapers were twice as likely to successfully quit smoking as those pursuing traditional nicotine-replacement therapy.

It is important to note that there are roughly 41 million adults across the world who vape, with over 10 million vapers living in the United States. A ban on legally-manufactured flavored vape products not only fails to address the underlying causes of the lung illness epidemic, but it also creates serious problems for those who rely on vaping to quit smoking tobacco.

Moving Forward

This recent epidemic has clouded the very simple facts of the matter:

  • Illegal THC cartridges are patently unsafe
  • E-cigarettes are still a safer alternative to smoking tobacco
  • At the end of the day, most illegal vape products are sold from illicit dealers NOT at vape shops like The Vapor Lab

Check back on this page for updates on how to stay better informed about your rights and the vital decisions you make as a legal vape product user.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.