Each e-liquid label is labeled VG/PG. For new vapers, this is usually a puzzle. As a beginner, the 50:50 e-liquid ratio, as in the Tangy Purple relx is a good start; however, it is important to note that understanding these terms can significantly improve the vaping experience. What does VG/PG mean and how to properly choose a liquid for your needs?
VG & PG – what does it mean?
PG and VG are odorless liquids that, when mixed with flavor and nicotine, form an e-liquid. Chemically, both belong to the group of alcohols. When heated, they turn into steam, so they can be inhaled.
Both VG and PG are not oils, so they cannot cause the health complications they are often accused of, such as lipid pneumonia. They have a different texture and slightly different taste. They are found in most currently produced liquids, premixes, longfills and base liquids. Some e-cigarettes only work with liquids with specific VG/PG ratios.
Propylene glycol (PG)
PG stands for Propylene Glycol, an odorless and colorless liquid that is less viscous than VG. In e-liquids, it is responsible for the “throat hit” feeling and the effective transfer of the flavor of the aroma.
Propylene glycol is widely used in the food industry (e.g as a preservative and emulsifier), chemical industry (e.g in toothpaste) and in medicine (in oral preparations and creams). It is considered a harmless or low-harmful compound. Propylene glycol allergies are very rare and can cause dry mouth and throat when vaped. Usually, new users are advised to drink more water, and the effect does not last more than a few days.
Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
VG stands for vegetable glycerin, a chemical compound from the group of sugarols obtained from vegetable fats. It is more viscous than PG, which is why it is responsible for adding density to e-liquids. It has a sweet aftertaste. It gives a much milder throat hit , which makes liquids with its high content rather recommended for sub-ohm vaporizers.
Glycerin is used in the food industry (as a sugar substitute) and in the medical industry (in creams and capsules). Like propylene glycol, it is considered a harmless or low health compound. Allergies to glycerin are even less common than allergies to PG. However, they manifest themselves similarly, i.e mainly dryness in the mouth and throat.
The density of glycerin means that liquids with its high content affect the faster wear of the heating units. Liquids with a high glycerin content are not recommended for older e-cigarettes with small heaters or most pods. However, they will be perfect for users of sub-ohm vaporizers.
What VG/PG ratio should I use?
There is no universal answer to this question. However, it is worth asking yourself two questions, the answers to which will help you choose the right proportions of glycerin and glycol.
Strong throat hit or mild throat scratch?
If you miss the hit in your throat that comes with smoking regular cigarettes, choose fluids that are high in PG. If, on the other hand, you like the feeling of “sticky” in the mouth and a milder scratching in the throat, reach for liquids with a predominance of VG.
Small or huge cloud?
If you want to vape discreetly and enjoy a cloud similar in volume to the smoke produced after a puff on a cigarette, look for liquids with a large amount of PG. However, if you are a cloud chasers or just like a big cloud, choose fluids with a predominance of VG.
Understanding the basics of VG and PG is straightforward, as they each function differently and come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Many vapers opt for liquids with varying VG and PG ratios based on their devices and preferences.
To address issues like liquid leakage from the atomizer, increasing the glycerin content of the liquid can be helpful. Conversely, if you encounter rapid heating unit wear, raising the glycol content may resolve the problem. For those starting their e-cigarette journey, a 50:50 ratio is often a good choice.
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