An electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette, e-cig, or vape, is an electrical device that simulates the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled vapour bearing the physical sensation, appearance, and often the flavour (with or without nicotine content) of inhaled tobacco smoke, without its odour or, ostensibly, its health risks. The device uses heat to vaporize a propylene glycol- or glycerin-based liquid solution into an aerosol mist, similar to the way a nebulizer or humidifier vaporizes solutions for inhalation.
The vapour produced in an electronic cigarette uses a nicotine base liquid which is known as E-Liquid. This liquid is heated by the atomizer to deliver the sensation, taste, and feel of smoking. You can have the best e-cigarette in the world, but your vaping experience will not be enjoyable without quality e-liquid. E-liquid can vary in flavour, consistency, throat hit, and nicotine concentration.
The flavour in the e-liquid varies from where it comes from, what components were used to make the liquid, and what flavourings were added. Naturally derived nicotine manufactured from organic plant sources usually taste better and are safer to use than synthetic nicotine. Natural flavourings from flavour concentrates are usually added to the liquid to give its distinctive flavours. These flavours are usually the same flavouring used to flavour food and candies.
E-Liquid is usually made up of mostly a propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) base. Most e-liquids are made of entirely propylene glycol and are usually more preferred; some are made in a combination of the two depending on the consistency desired. Some people may be allergic to propylene glycol, so a vegetable glycerin base is better suited to their preference. These e-liquid bases, flavourings, and sometimes a small amount of distilled alcohol or water are added all contribute to the flavour and throat hit of the e-liquid.
Throat hit is the sensation felt in the back of the throat when the vapour is inhaled. In the early days of vaping, people felt vaping an e-cigarette were like inhaling air instead of the smoking sensation they enjoy compared to real cigarettes. Increased throat hit makes using an e-cigarette feel and taste more like real smoking. The liquid base, concentration of nicotine, and voltage of the e-cig affects the liquid’s throat hit.
E-liquid is diluted with pure PG or VG to a safe concentration of 18mg – 24mg per ml of liquid. A typical full flavoured analog cigarette contains about 18mg of nicotine. The nicotine concentration desired varies among people, but a normal typical range for most smokers is around 18mg. As the concentration of nicotine increases, the throat hit is substantially increased. 0mg e-liquid usually feel more like inhaling warm flavoured air, whereas 24mg may be more suitable for experienced or extreme vapers. Every nicotine concentration is unique for each person based on their tolerance level, years they have been smoking, and what type of tobacco they have smoked. Typically, it is recommend that new vapers begin with 18mg to determine tolerance for a few weeks, then slowly decrease or increase the strength depending on how they feel. It is recommended that the concentration of the liquid is lowered about 4mg every 3-4 weeks with the goal to ultimately reach 0mg; slowly easing the body off nicotine dependence.
Most of these components in e-liquid are well known and are used in many food products such and household products. Currently only pharmaceutical grade (USP) or food grade PG and VG are safe to use. E-Liquid contains nicotine and should only be used and handled by adults 18+. Please be aware that nicotine is a known poison and stimulant. E-liquid should never be handled by anyone underage and should only be used by people who are smokers and have a tolerance for nicotine. In small concentrations such as 24mg and below, e-liquid is safe to handle. Should any amount get on your skin, wash and clean with soap and water.