5 Step Guide on How to Choose the Right E-Liquid 2022
Choosing the right e-liquid to vape has never been easier. It has never been more confusing as well. Vape juice selection has gone from a few to choose from in the early 2000s to thousands available now. How do you choose the best e-liquid for your vape? Our guide explains 5 simple steps - Understanding the ingredients, choosing the correct nicotine level, knowing your vaping device, choosing the best e-liquid flavour, and understanding why you vape - all helps you choose the right vape juice.
Shopping for a new e-liquid to try can be a daunting task, whether you check out your local vape shop or most probably browse online. Gone are the days of simply asking what nicotine levels the vape juice comes in. Now we get to deal with e-liquid terms like PG vs VG, nic salts, free base, nic shots, etc. Don’t worry if you are confused.
This complexity comes with the massive growth that vaping has seen over the last decade. Inherently it is a good thing - as e-liquids have progressed and have actually become safer. The options available are signs that the vaping industry has moved on from a single targeted demographic. They now understand that people vape for many different reasons and that a variety of vape juices are needed to meet the new demands.
1 Understanding the Ingredients in Your E-liquid of Choice
Vape juice choice has improved drastically over time and that’s a great thing. The simple formula of past e-liquids has drastically changed. Although the choices in vape juices has increased - so has the variation in e-liquid ingredients. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right e-liquid.
PG vs VG
Propylene Glycol vs Vegetable Glycerine. You will see these in almost every reputable vape juice ingredient list. Both are a colourless and odourless alcohol used in vape juice. Most e-liquids contain both and show a ratio of 50/50 or 70/30 on the bottle - with PG listed first.
PG is common and found in not only vape juice, but also used in pharmaceuticals like asthma inhalers and cosmetics. It is easily vaporised, think fog machines, and keeps things moist and carries flavours well.
VG is also an alcohol but is much more viscous than PG. Pharmaceutical it is used in cough syrup, ointments, and creams because it is much stickier and is a preservative¹.
Both are safe to consume. Simplifying it down. PG tends to give a stronger throat hit as VG tends to be smoother. Ex smokers tend to enjoy the PG heavy e-liquids at first, as it reminds them of the genuine smoking experience. Heavily VG ratioed vape juices are typically used by cloud chasers and more recreational vapers as they produce a smoother throat hit and more vapour.
We will simplify here, but freebase e-liquid is based off of the extraction process used by Phillip Morris back in the 1960s. The freebase extraction process reduces nicotine salts, found in tobacco products, into their base or purest form. The salts are stripped away by using an alkaline which raises the pH levels to create its freebase state². The higher pH levels are what causes the harshness that some vapers try to avoid.
Nicotine Salts are the new trend in vape juices. Nic salt e-liquids don’t break down the salt, like in a freebase vape juice, but use the chemical in its organic state. This provides a much smoother throat hit. Nic salts are absorbed by the body at a balanced rate but have higher concentrations of nicotine. The smoother yet higher concentration per draw makes nic salt e-liquids ideal for low wattage vapes like pod vapes or vape pens.
2 Choosing Your Nicotine Levels
The PodVapes Team has always advocated vaping as a safe way to quit smoking. Here is a chart to help smokers understand what e-liquid nicotine levels they might need.
- 2+ packs a day, you will likely need 24mg of nicotine.
- 1-2 packs a day, you will likely need 18mg of nicotine.
- Half - 1 pack a day, you will likely need 12mg of nicotine.
- Half pack or less a day, you will likely need 6mg of nicotine.
- Just a few a day, you will likely need 3mg of nicotine.
The ultimate goal is to wean oneself off of nicotine completely. Reducing the amount of nicotine is one of the major advantages vaping has over smoking.
3 Understand Your Vaping Device
People vape for different reasons and there are vapes out there now for everyone. As more and more serious studies show vaping helps smokers quit smoking - vape pens and pod vapes have seen massive increase in sales.
Mods or open system vapes are the way to go for most recreational vapers. These sell off the understanding that you can customize your vape in almost every way. The adjustments and personalization can be fun but definitely go way beyond what the average person looking to quit smoking will ever need. Vapers using an open mod system to vape gravitate towards freebase and heavily VG ratioed e-liquids.
Closed vape systems, such as pod vapes, are the safest, most effective, easiest, and least expensive way to vape. The minimalist pod vapes prioritize a smooth realistic vaping experience over creating massive vape clouds. The right vape juices to use here would be e-liquids that can burn at lower wattages like nic salts. PG heavy e-liquids also work best as flavour and smoothness trump vapour amount.
4 Choosing Your E-liquid Flavours
E-liquid flavours are personal. Choosing the right vape juice flavour is an adventure that should be enjoyed. Understanding the ingredients of your favourite e-liquid, what nicotine level is best for you, and what vape juice works best for your vaping device should all help you choose the right e-liquid.
5 Understanding Why you Vape Helps You Choose the Right Vape Juice
In summary, narrowing down your choices of thousands of e-liquids down to a few dozen can be done by answering a simple question. Why do I vape?
For those who have never smoked traditional combustible cigarettes, vaping can be seen as recreational and exciting. Go towards an open box mod system that allows you the flexibility to customize your vape device. Choosing the right e-liquid here should push you towards freebase VG heavy vape juices.
Those looking to vape to help quit smoking tend to look at vaping not as entertainment, but as a step to help reduce nicotine intake. The goal is to wean off of nicotine completely. Closed system pod vapes are favoured by those vaping to quit smoking. Pod vapes are simple yet sophisticated vape devices created with few frills. Their goal has always been to help smokers quit smoking - and to provide a vaping experience that eases the transition away from smoking.
Choosing the right vape juices for a closed pod vape system points towards nic salts. PG ratioed vape juices are ideal as they emphasize smooth nicotine absorption and flavour over vapour amounts.
Though daunting at first, choosing the right e-liquid should be easier and clearer following these few simple steps. Make sure to choose a vape juice that compliments you and why you are vaping. Your vape experience could hinge on whether or not you choose the right e-liquid. Choosing the right vape juice for your e-cigarette allows for a much safer and enjoyable vaping adventure.