E-Liquid, what it is and what it’s made from: E-liquid, otherwise known as e-juice (or just juice) is the fluid that is atomized to create the vapor that one inhales while enjoying an e-cig. Both e-liquid and e-juice are the same thing. There is a common misconception that they are oil-based, and sometimes, you may hear someone refer to the “oil in their e-pen”… This has led to all sorts of rumors and misinformation regarding the “side-effects of oil in your lungs”.
Almost all e-liquids are composed, primarily, of Vegetable Glycerin(VG) and Propylene Glycol(PG). This is generally referred to as VG/PG by seasoned vapers. I say almost only because recently there has been a rise in 100% VG juices that have come to market, but we will get to that in a moment. Other ingredients present in e-liquid are flavors, either natural or artificial, and sweetener. In the past, some e-liquid manufacturers used food coloring to achieve a pleasant look, but this is generally frowned upon by vapers today. The PG is mainly used as a carrier for the flavorings, but PG is also responsible for much of the “throat hit” many ex-smokers find necessary to satiate their craving for a cigarette. VG is provides a natural sweetness to the liquid, and is responsible for much of the density of the cloud production while vaping.
In the past, most e-liquids were either 50/50 VG/PG or even 40/60. Today, while 50/50 still the norm, many e-juice manufacturers have switched their formulas to 60/40, 70/30, or Max VG(not the same thing as 100% VG. Usually in the 80/20-90/10 VG/PG range.). There are many reasons for the shift in popularity of e-liquids towards higher and higher concentrations of Vegetable Glycerin. First and foremost, a small percentage of vapers started to find out that they had mild to moderate allergies to PG. These allergies tend to express themselves in symptoms such as sore throat and chest tightness. These types of allergies generally don’t occur in higher VG juices. Also, as the community has gravitated toward low nicotine, high power, subOhm tanks and drippers for cloud production and tricks, Max VG and 100% VG liquids allowed for smoother draws and much denser clouds.
The final ingredient in e-liquid is nicotine. The amount of nicotine that you choose to start with is completely dependent on the type of device/setup that you choose and the amount of cigarettes that you are accustomed to smoking per day. Back in the early days of vaping, when most people were using eGos and CE4s with high-PG liquids, it was normal to see nicotine concentrations as high as 24mg being used by new vapers. Now-a-days, most e-liquid manufacturers make their juices available in 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, and 12mg concentrations. Nicotine is also a major contributing factor to “throat hit”, and too much nicotine can definitely make your hit feel harsh. When trying to decide what nicotine concentration to start with, consider your gear. If you are using a subOhm RDA or Tank System, you may not want to venture higher than 6mg. If you are a MTL vaper, you may want to consider using a 12mg liquid to start out. Using too much nicotine can cause upset stomach and headache, so if you start to experience these sorts of side-effects, you may want to dial back the concentration a bit. Regardless of the amount of nicotine that you decide to use, remember to drink lots of water. Vaping can be dehydrating, and proper hydration is key to a healthy lifestyle!
When you begin vaping, you may feel a little uncomfortable. You may face “vapor cough”, which is because your mouth salivates more with traditional cigarettes. You will have to drink lots of water during this period and it won’t last too long. You may also begin to have more “productive coughs”. This means that you will begin to cough up the tar and mucus that you have been building up while smoking combustibles. This can take several weeks, but the feeling of breathing better will last a lifetime. You might also notice that foods taste better, as your sense of smell and taste return!
If you’re still wondering whether vaping can indeed help you to quit the combustibles, then have a look at what the experts say. The American Heart Association has heartily supported E-Cigarettes and APVs as a substitute for smoking. According to the AHA, "E-cigarettes either do not contain, or have lower levels of, several tobacco-derived harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared with cigarettes and smokeless tobacco." It goes on to state that E-Cigarettes "present an opportunity for harm reduction if smokers use them as substitutes for cigarettes."
The FDA too is in support of the switch to E-Cigarettes. “If we could get all of those people (who smoke) to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health,” Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products, government's chief tobacco regulator, said to Congress at a Committee Hearing (Progress and Challenges: The State of Tobacco Use and Regulation in the U.S., May 2014)
Vaping has absolutely helped many people quit conventional cigarettes; and now it’s your turn to succeed. There has never been a better time to give vaping a try. Make the right choice, kick the cigarettes, and Be Smoke Free!