This is a question that all beginner vapers are inevitably led to ask themselves: how to choose the right liquid for their electronic cigarette? Find our answers to best guide your choice!
I – All about e-liquid
- The composition of the e-liquid
What is an electronic cigarette liquid made of? Four solutions mainly constitute e-liquids :
- Propylene glycol (PG): conductive base of aromas, the rate of PG plays an emulsifying role and allows a good rescission of the flavours present in your electronic cigarette liquid. PG also provides a good grip on the throat, depending on the nicotine level associated with it.
- Vegetable glycerin (VG): colourless, viscous, transparent, sweet, odourless and non-toxic, vegetable glycerin also makes up e-cigarette liquids. The VG allows you to produce a more abundant vapour.
- Nicotine: if you can choose an e-liquid without nicotine, it can however enter into the composition of your final product. To know the nicotine concentration to give to your e-liquid, it is necessary to take into account several criteria defined below.
- Flavours: sweet, minty, or even similar to the tobacco taste of classic cigarettes, the flavours you choose can be natural or artificial depending on your choice.
- How to choose the PG/VG rates?
The levels of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin will balance according to your needs and expectations. Indeed, if you want a nice return of flavours and a pronounced hit, without substantial vapour, then you will have to choose a liquid with a PG rate much higher than the VG rate. Conversely, if you want to make clouds of vapour, limiting the grip in the throat and reducing the nicotine level, you will have to opt for a VG level higher than that of PG.
II- Selection criteria
If the vast majority of vapers turn to electronic cigarettes, it is often to turn away from classic cigarettes and tobacco. If the e-cigarette is therefore used as a smoking cessation product, you might as well move towards e-liquids adapted to the needs of the smoker. If the cravings are not satisfied, he may feel the urge to return to his old and harmful loves of tobacco and the classic cigarette. This is the particularity of an electronic cigarette and this is precisely one of the main reasons why the vaper will remain faithful to it over time: the importance of the choice of liquid is therefore essential. Do you want to embark on the adventure but don’t know what to choose from among the multitude of products offered on the vape market? Several criteria must be taken into consideration to best guide your choice:
- What level of nicotine will you need in your e-liquid?
- Which flavour (s) would you prefer?
- What will be the composition (GV/PV rate) of your electronic cigarette liquid?
1- The nicotine dosage and the ideal hit
If you decided to switch to the side of the vape, it was certainly to break with the classic cigarette and the harmful effects by which it is accompanied. To succeed in your weaning, you will therefore have to find complete satisfaction in the electronic cigarette, and more particularly the e-liquid, which you choose.
Indeed, the nicotine present in your e-liquid not only allows smokers to satisfy a real need and to fill a potential lack in the face of tobacco withdrawal, but it also allows you to obtain a particular sensation called “hit”. The hit, what is it? It is quite simply the sensation that the movement of contraction at the level of the throat causes during the passage of the vapour, comparable to the sensations provided by tobacco with a classic cigarette.
Do you like what is called “the hook” in the throat? Certainly! But to obtain the ideal hit, it is necessary to adapt the nicotine level according, in particular, to your equipment (see the explanation below).
The importance of a good nicotine dosage:
Your past smoking habits and your needs will determine the level of nicotine that would be best to add to your e-liquid. Nicotine concentration is expressed in milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml). The nicotine concentration is therefore decisive for the experience to be as suitable as possible. Indeed, if:
- The nicotine concentration is too low: the vaper will not find his account and the needs will not be properly met.
- The nicotine concentration is too high: quite annoying consequences can occur from an overdose of nicotine, such as the onset of headaches and sometimes even nausea. Moreover, the “hit” felt will itself become unpleasant and may cause a cough with each puff.
These are the reasons why, before you embark on the purchase of an e-liquid, you will have to determine precisely your needs beforehand.
Which nicotine concentration for which profile?
- A nicotine dosage of between 16 and 18 mg/ml corresponds to “heavy smokers”, who consume more than 20 cigarettes per day and are looking for a pronounced hit on the throat.
- A nicotine dosage between 11 and 12 mg/ml is suitable for “average” smokers, who consume 10 to 20 cigarettes each day.
- A dosage of nicotine in 6 mg/ml is aimed more at very moderate smokers, whose cigarette consumption does not exceed 10 cigarettes per day, and who will prefer flavours with a pronounced hit on the throat.
- A nicotine dosage of 3 mg/ml is aimed at so-called “occasional” smokers, whose cigarette consumption does not go beyond 5 per day. This dosage is aimed at new vapers who want a small nicotine intake while enjoying the intensity of the flavours in the mouth.
- A nicotine dosage of 0 mg/ml: for vapers looking for tasty vapour, without nicotine concentration.
Potency and nicotine level:
However, it should be noted that these data are established on average, without taking into account all the elements inherent in the consumption of electronic cigarettes. Indeed, the correspondence between the nicotine concentration in a conventional cigarette and the nicotine level in an e-cigarette may differ according to certain criteria such as, in particular, the power of your electronic cigarette.
Indeed, a neophyte vaper accompanied by an electronic cigarette with less or moderate power, that is to say, less than 20 watts, can more easily rely on the correspondences mentioned above. On the other hand, a vaper choosing more advanced equipment, with an electronic cigarette with a higher power (more than 30 watts), will certainly have to readjust his nicotine concentration somewhat, to avoid a too pronounced hit becoming almost unpleasant.
To better understand, you should know that the higher the power of your electronic cigarette, the more the vapour will be consistent. Who says more vapour, says… much higher nicotine concentration because it is released in greater quantity. This is why you have to balance according to the equipment you equip yourself with.
The consumption of e-liquid vs the number of cigarettes:
For a smoker in search of weaning, it is important to get an idea of the quantity of e-liquid that it will be necessary to consume to meet the need for nicotine than conventional cigarettes have provided so far. However, if it is not possible to define exactly the exact equivalence between the number of cigarettes smoked during the day to satisfy your nicotine requirement and the amount of e-liquid necessary, online calculators can give you an estimate of the ideal consumption. To obtain this result, you will need to enter:
- The number of cigarettes usually smoked each day.
- The rate of nicotine per cigarette.
- The nicotine level in the e-liquid you plan to choose.
2- The type of flavour sought
There are currently five main categories of different flavours. There are e-liquids:
- Menthol: very popular, mint e-liquids are part of the “must-have” in terms of vaping. Fresh and pleasant, the menthol flavours are reminiscent of the menthol cigarettes found in tobacconists.
- Fruity: Peach, kiwi, strawberry, pineapple… All tastes are in nature and, above all, in your e-liquids! Treat yourself to change and you will be sure not to get bored. You can even afford to mix the flavours. It’s all about calculation and balance!
- Classic (i.e. with a “tobacco” taste): this is the flavour that is most recommended for beginner vapers wishing to wean themselves off real tobacco. Indeed, an e-liquid with a “classic tobacco” taste allows neophytes to slowly and simply get used to the new vaping experience in which they indulge.
- Gourmands: recently arrived on the vape market, the so-called “gourmet” tastes offer original flavours, to say the least, to vapers looking for novelties and, sometimes, exoticism! From cakes of all kinds to the most popular sweets, ensure the pleasure of a tasty vapour every day.
- Related to drinks: Coca-Cola, bourbon, mojito… Do not deny yourself anything!
Can we allow mixtures?
This is one of the questions that come up most often: can we afford to mix e-liquids? The answer is yes!
And this is for two reasons :
- To offer you a new taste in the mouth, a personalized flavour. Nothing prevents you from mixing a strawberry taste with a minty flavour, for example!
- To adjust a nicotine concentration: have you treated yourself to an e-liquid with a nicotine level of 12 mg/ml and you find it too strong, in the end? On the other hand, you have a second e-liquid at 6 mg/ml, but it turns out to be too light for your taste? No need to throw away your e-liquids, just rebalance them correctly. To do this, you can therefore mix the two, in equal doses and volumes, to obtain a rebalancing concentration of 9 mg/ml!
E-liquids should be handled with care. Whether you make your DIY e-liquids, or opt for a pre-made electronic cigarette e-liquid, you need to protect yourself from direct contact, in some cases.
- If your e-liquid does not contain nicotine: don’t panic, you don’t risk much. The PG/VG levels contained in the e-liquid are safe for your skin since they are already used in everyday products such as cosmetics in particular.
- If your e-liquid is nicotine: be careful. Nicotine can be somewhat harmful to the skin, although its risk is limited thanks to the concentration of PG/VG with which it is mixed. If your skin has been in contact with the product, simply take the time to rinse with clear water!