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E-liquids composition

The main ingredients in almost all of the e-liquids available on the market today are Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), flavorings and of course, nicotine. Most of the e-liquids available will be PG based, while VG is generally an alternative for people with allergies to Propylene Glycol (PG). The strength is determined by how much nicotine is present in the e-liquid solution. When switching to vaping from a desire to quit smoking, it is recommended to try an e-liquid with a nicotine level that matches that of the cigarettes you used to smoke and then to further experiment in lowering the nicotine strength level.


Breakdown of the main ingredients:

PG - Propylene Glycol

  • Clear, odorless and hydroscopic liquid. Chemical formula - C3H8O2.
  • Non toxic for humans.
  • Biodegradable.
  • Produced on a large scale for production of polymers but also used in food processing.
  • Its origin when used in e-liquids should be of high grade: 99.5% (Propylene Glycol USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade).
  • It resembles the sensation of a “throat hit” we experienced as smokers.
  • Compliments flavors in e-liquids.
  • Small vapor production compared to VG.
  • Low viscosity.
  • A small percentage of the population might be allergic to it.
  • Boiling point: 188.2 °C (370.8 °F; 461.3 K).

VG - Vegetable Glycerin (Glycerol):

  • Clear, odorless liquid that is sweet tasting and non toxic. Chemical formula - C3H8O3.
  • Non toxic for humans.
  • Biodegradable.
  • It is widely used in the food industry as a sweetener and in pharmaceutical formulations.
  • Its origin when used in e-liquids should be of high grade: 99,5% (Vegetable Glycerin USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade)
  • It has a “velvety” sensation to the throat.
  • Big vapor production compared to PG.
  • It mutes the flavors compared to PG.
  • High viscosity.
  • A small percentage of the population might be allergic to it.
  • Boiling point: 290 °C (554 °F; 563 K).

Nicotine (Optional)

Nicotine is one of the four main elements inside our e-liquid, along with PG, VG and flavorings. Below you will find an explanatory guide about the liquid nicotine used in e-liquids.



What is nicotine?


Nicotine is an alkaloid extracted from the tobacco plant Nicotianatabacum.It can be synthesized but this is an expensive process so it is not commonly used. It is also found in small amounts in plants such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants. Nicotine works both as a relaxant and a stimulant, with people reporting effects such as mood elevation, alertness and calmness. It is physically and psychologically addictive, and many vapers who started out as smokers use e-liquids with varying levels of nicotine strength. Commercial e-liquid can be obtained without nicotine but it is usually sold with a big range of nicotine strengths.

The most common are:

  • 3mg (low)
  • 6mg (low +)
  • 9mg (medium)
  • 12mg (medium +)
  • 18mg (high)


These values project the amount of nicotine per ml of e-liquid. Some vendors represent this as a percent per solution. For example 1.2% instead of 12mg/ml. The amount of nicotine is the same, just displayed differently.


Is nicotine dangerous?


There is a common perception that nicotine is a lethal poison and should be treated with gloves. There is some truth to this, but evidence suggests that the risks are overstated, particularly when dealing with nicotine in e-liquids. For over a century, textbooks and scientific publications listed the lethal dose for adults at 30-60 mg. The origin of this claim is disputed, and a 2013 study ( amended the fatal limit to 500-1000mg (but is inadvisable for anyone but trained professionals or scientists to handle nicotine at such concentrated strengths). These levels are far, far beyond the amount of nicotine contained in the average bottle of e-liquid.

There can be undesirable effects of consuming too much nicotine, though

Dizziness and nausea are common symptoms of a mild nicotine overdose. But as with consuming too much caffeine and alcohol, the answer is to stop your intake, and reduce the nicotine strength in your e-liquid next time. But the onset of those nicotine effects are so obvious, it is difficult to go beyond the minor inconvenience stage when vaping. We should highlight the importance of keeping your vaping equipment out of reach from children and pets. Be careful with your e-liquid, but don’t panic if you spill a drop of e-liquid on your skin or get occasional droplets in your mouth from vaping. The level of nicotine present in commercial e-liquids shouldn’t poison you or damage your skin, simply wash it off or spit it out if you are concerned.



What nicotine strength level should I start vaping with?


A common question but there is no clear answer as it varies from person to person. However here are some suggestions for you:

  • Throat hit – High strength nicotine e-liquid tends to have powerful “throat hit” sensation, something that many heavy ex-smokers crave for. We can achieve a higher “throat hit” sensation by using higher PG ratio in our e-liquid and lowering the nicotine strength a bit. Optimizing a preferred ratio of PG/VG and nicotine will ultimately be a personal journey.
  • Nicotine addiction – If you are/were a heavy smoker, then it might be tempting to go for a high strength nicotine e-liquid. However, vaping is a substantially different sensation from smoking and this might not be necessary. Experiment with various strengths and find what is optimum for you.
  • Level of usage – If you vape sparingly throughout the day high nicotine might work for you. Many people prefer to vape in a more casual manner, taking a draw more often and for longer. This style s geared more towards low nicotine levels, and many seasoned vapers use e-liquid with low, or even zero nicotine. In summary, beginners should lean towards low nicotine to medium nicotine e-liquids even if they classify themselves as heavy smokers. That allows you to take more puffs without the undesirable effects of nicotine overdose.



Food grade concentrated flavoring


Due to the development of the e-liquid industry there are infinite number of flavor options for a new vaper. However not all flavorings can be used to produce quality e-liquids. Nobacco uses high quality food grade flavorings suitable for vaping for the production of our e-liquid ranges. Flavoring is most of the time diluted in PG and gives a distinct taste to the final result. With the right combination it can mimic the taste of a real cigarette and also resemble a drink, fruit, sweet taste and even a combination of all the previous.Extra info: Some of the flavorings can cause a color change in our e-liquid over time as the flavor develops and intensifies (also known as steeping).



Water For Injection (WFI)


For the final production of commercial e-liquids Water For Injection is used in a small percentage (10% max) mostly for controlling the final viscosity of the e-liquid. This is quite handy especially if our e-liquid has a high VG ratio which is very viscous thus by using WFI we can achieve a better viscosity getting a better wick feeding performance from our atomizer tank.