If you’re a vaper, have you ever stood there, vaping away, watching the clouds of vapour disappear into the air and wonder what’s actually in your e-cigarette? We all know what’s in cigarettes, but do you know what’s in your vape juice?

Knowing the ingredients that make up your e-liquid is more important than you may think and is an important step for any vaper. As some e-liquids are better suited for different types of devices, knowing what you’re inhaling can make the difference between a good vaping experience and a bad one.

So what’s in your favourite juice?

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable Glycerin, also known as VG, is one of the two key base ingredients that is found in e-liquids. It is a thick, syrup-like liquid and has a subtle, sweet taste to it. VG is used in many food products, but when heated up in your e-cigarette, it produces the clouds of vapour that you exhale.

Properties of VG

  • Viscous
  • Creates large clouds of vapour
  • Sweet taste

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol, also known as PG, is the other base liquid found in e-juice. Like Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol is also commonly used in the food industry as a preservative as well as the medical industry being used in inhalers. Propylene Glycol has a thinner consistency than VG and is the ingredient responsible for carrying the flavour in e-juice, which is why e-juice with a higher PG content will often be more flavourful. As well as this, PG is also the ingredient that helps to produce more of a throat hit.

Properties of PG

  • Flavouring is carried by PG
  • Provides the throat hit
  • Thin consistency


Nicotine is a naturally occuring substance that is found in tobacco plants, as well as many fruits and vegetables too. It is also an addictive substance, and is the ingredient that ends up getting many smokers hooked. There is often a misconception that tobacco is an addictive substance, however this is not entirely correct.

An important thing about this particular ingredient when it comes to e-liquids is that unlike the others, this one is very much optional. E-liquids such as shortfills contain 0mg of nicotine and can be vaped completely on their own.

There is, of course, the option to add nicotine, whilst other e-liquids are already mixed with varying degrees of nicotine strengths. Many vapers will opt for vape juices with nicotine in them as it can help ease that transition from smoking to vaping, and the different strengths allow them to then slowly decrease their consumption if they want to.

There are also different types of nicotine that are found in e-liquids – nicotine salt and freebase. These two types of nicotine offer different vaping experiences, and it’s important to know the difference.

Nicotine Salt (nic salt)

Nic salts are a newer formulation of nicotine that has really dominated the vaping scene in recent times. The main thing that differentiates nic salts from freebase nicotine is the lack of throat hit even at high nicotine strengths, providing a smooth and satisfying vape. Nic salt e-liquids are also absorbed into the bloodstream faster in up to 6 seconds.

It’s because of this that nic salts have become so popular and the main e-liquid that is used in disposable vapes which have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent times. Nic salts cater to all vapers due to them providing a fast nicotine buzz and a smooth vape.

50/50 Freebase nicotine 

You will often see e-juice that contains freebase nicotine called 50/50 e-liquid. This name refers to the equal amount of VG and PG that is used to make up this type of e-liquid, with the nicotine content being the main ingredient that differentiates it.

Freebase nicotine is nicotine in its purest form as a process called freebasing transforms the nicotine from its salt formulation to its purest form. This results in a more potent e-liquid without having to increase the volume of any of the actual ingredients or increasing the nicotine strength.


For many vapers and ex-smokers, this ingredient is the main attraction. Flavouring in vape juice is what excites users most, offering an enormous range of different flavours to try from fruit, soda, desserts, tobacco and more.

Different PG/VG ratios

Now we know what goes into our vape liquids, it’s time to learn about ratios and how they change our juice. Understanding the different ratios of these ingredients is important as it will later the throat hit, consistency, cloud-production and flavour of the e-juice.

High PG e-liquids have a PG ratio of 60% or more, and are often preferred by a very particular type of vape. Known for producing a strong throat hit, vaping with this type of juice is not for everyone. 50/50 e-liquids are often a good compromise between throat hit and flavour,

Vaping with high VG vape liquids will provide a very different experience to high PG or 50/50 e-liquid. These e-liquids are called shortfills, and they typically have a VG content of 70% or more. Shortfills typically come in 50ml and 100ml bottles but can even be found in 200ml bottles and this is because all shortfills are nicotine-free, so there is no limit to the amount of e-liquid that can be put in the bottle.

E-liquids with a high VG content are excellent for vapour production, producing large clouds of vapour when exhaled. Because they have very little PG ratio in them, the throat hit is very low so it is great for those who are more concerned with cloud-chasing than strong hits of nicotine. Flavour-wise, they still produce a decent level of flavour.

What’s the best PG VG ratio for my vape device?

Now we know a bit more about what’s in our vape juice, it’s important to make sure we’re using the right type of e-liquid for our vape device. E-liquids come in different PG and VG ratios, making some better for direct-to-lung vaping and some better for mouth-to-lung vaping. It’s important to ensure the right e-liquid is used as it can create a very unpleasant vaping experience if the wrong type of vape liquid is used.

When using a sub-ohm device, high VG e-liquids are best to use with them. This is because sub-ohm e-cigarettes are high-powered devices and are designed to vaporise thicker e-liquids at higher temperatures. High VG e-juice is a lot thicker, and so it requires a more powerful device in order to vaporise it.

50/50 e-liquids and high PG e-liquids are best suited for low-powered devices such as pod kits and vape pens. This is because vape juice with a higher PG content is a lot thinner and so it does not require as much power to vaporise it.

What next?

Now you’re clued up on the different types of vape juice, the ingredients and how different nicotine impacts the way you vape, it’s time to try your own e-liquid. For all your e-liquid needs, check out Legion of Vapers today and explore their fantastic range of vapes and e-liquids today.