Ratios of vapes is one of those things that can be a bit intimidating to look at – there’s a lot of terminology and a lot of advice and guidance, but we’re here to try an make things simpler.
In very simple terms, eliquid is made up of 4 things: a propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VC) base, nicotine in a variety of concentrations, water and flavourings of the decided eliquid flavour.
Two of these are self-explanatory (the water and the flavourings), but the other two ingredients are where the confusion can come into play. The nicotine is relatively simple – nicotine in eliquid is available in several strengths and which one you need will depend largely on the amount of cigarettes you smoke beforehand.
There are plenty of guides to this but as a rule of thumb the strongest concentration of nicotine in eliquid is suitable for the chainsmokers and those who got through 1-2 packs per day.
The main confusion comes between PG and VG ratios as these will affect the taste and experience of the eliquid you choose to vape. Both are perfectly safe for consumption and often one brand favours one method of production, but there are many differences between the two.
Broadly speaking, PG is thinner which makes it have less of a footprint on your vape as it won’t coat the heating element with gunk that thicker bases may do. PG also gives a harsh ‘throat hit’, which makes it more akin to a real cigarette with how it makes the vape feel. Throat hit is a term that is used to describe this mouthfeel of vapes.
VG is a much thicker base which, whilst it may have a harder impact on that vaporiser element than PG, means it produces much more vapour which can lead to a more intense flavour experience. A downside is that VG is sweet naturally, whereas PG is tasteless, so unless you are vaping sweet flavours it may have an impact on the taste of the eliquid.