Hopefully after the last post you are comfortable choosing the right vaping device for your specific needs. But how do you choose the right e-juice? There is a vast array of brands, flavors, strengths, qualities- HOW DOES ANYONE CHOOSE?! Fear not Dear Reader, with a little explanation all of those numbers and ratios will make sense.
Lets start with determining the quality of a vape juice, and the difference between “Premium” and the rest. First you must understand the chemical make up for e-liquids. All e-liquids are made of the same 4 ingredients; Vegetable Glycol (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG), flavoring, and nicotine. With VG and PG making up the fast majority of the juice. If these two chemicals sound scary, I assure you they are not, VG is also used as an additive for asthma inhalers in similar levels. PG has a bit of mixed concern about its use and levels in e-juice. This is because a number of people find that e-juices mixed with high levels of PG cause headaches, nausea, and other minor health-problems. Most “Premium” e-juice is mixed with far less PG, though normally contains some, they express this in percentages on the label, such as “80% VG/20%PG”, or “99% VG”. Some specialty brands offer 100% VG e-juice, so there is hope if you have very bad reactions, even to the lower ratios of PG. Most regular (non-premium) e-juices contain 50%/50% blends, or 60%VG/40%PG. So you may ask yourself, if we can have 100%VG e-juice then why do we use PG in our e-juice at all? Quite simply PG is better at absorbing the flavorings used in e-juice, and some people notice a strange taste associated with vaping high VG ratio e-juice. So if PG doesn’t bother you and you are looking for cleaner flavors a higher ratio of PG to VG might be your thing. My personal recommendation is to use the premium e-juice, especially when you are starting out, because it is no fun to have to run out to buy ANOTHER new bottle of e-juice because the first one gave you a headache. The “Premium” label does come with a premium price tag, due to VG also costing more and the need to use stronger flavorings. After trying a few brands and PG/VG ratios of e-juice you will find one that is comfortable for both your body and your wallet.
Now the part every nicotine-junky is waiting for, how do you chose a nicotine strength that is right for you? This is a little subjective; since a lot goes into how much nicotine you are ultimately getting off a puff of vape. Your vape device could be delivering different nicotine levels of the same exact juice that another device is vaping. Some vape-enthusiasts practically breathe through their vape devices, while others have a few puffs here and there. If you are using a tank atomizer you are probably getting less nicotine than if you are using a RBA. On top of all that e-juice with very high nicotine levels can cause a dry scratchy feeling in the back of the vaper’s throat, which is unpleasant. After a while your throat does get used to it, and the dry-scratchies go away, but it does effect your overall enjoyment in that crucial beginning phase of your transition from cigarettes to vape. Some specialty vape shops will let you try a few different samples of e-juice flavors and levels in the shop, I recommend asking since it can really help you narrow down your options to what works best for you. As far as nicotine levels in e-juice go, they are labeled on the bottle in mg per ml, for example “8mg/ml” or just “8mg”; both denote the same nicotine level. I’ve seen nicotine levels as high as 36mg/ml, which is ridicules don’t do that, most e-juice lines run 12mg/ml or 18mg/ml as their highest levels. And trust me Dear Reader, 18mg/ml is more than enough nicotine for even the heaviest smoker. Nicotine levels in e-juice go all the way down to 0mg/ml, for those that want to quit or never got addicted in the first place. You can also find e-juice with nicotine levels everywhere in between. If you wanted to wean off nicotine by going down 1mg/ml a month for a year, you absolutely could, and it’s a hardly noticeable drop. But in the sake of getting you guys into your correct nicotine “Ball park” I have a simple breakdown;
18-12mg/ml- This is a HIGH range of nicotine for if you are a heavy smoker, who goes through one or more packs a day. If you smoke more than a pack a day you may find yourself vaping a lot in the beginning but it will taper out. This level is fairly comfortable to vape, but you may notice a dry scratchy feeling in the back of your throat at first.
12-8mg/ml- This is a high to moderate range of nicotine for someone who smokes half to a whole pack of cigarettes a day.
8-3mg/ml- this is for the light smokers who have just a few cigarettes a day. Alternatively 3mg/ml is the most common choice for those who want to use a RDA as opposed to a tank. Since you vape more e-juice volume per puff with an RDA, you will be getting more nicotine per hit compared to a tank atomizer.
0mg/ml for those who are quitting nicotine but still want the pleasure of vape, or those who never where addicted to nicotine. There is no benefit to smoking an e-juice with nicotine if you are not addicted. Nicotine actually has a taste and dilutes the flavor of your juice. So 0mg/ml strength e-juices have the best flavor!
Like I mentioned above, there are other factors that go into the selection of your starting nicotine level. If you think you will be puffing on your vape from the minute you wake up till you fall asleep at night, you might want to consider starting with a lower level than if you are just having five or six puffs on your lunch break or every few hours. Also if you are using a RDA I would recommend starting with 3mg/ml strength e-juice even if according to the chart above it says to start at a much higher level.
There is a wealth of reviews on various brands and flavors of nicotine, and the important thing to remember is everyone has their own tastes. Most “tobacco” flavored e-juice is sub-par in my opinion, so I go for the exciting food flavors. I recommend buying a few bottles of premium juice in your desired strength each from a different brand in different flavors. Fruit flavors are common, and mix together well if you are feeling like you need to switch things up a bit. But you may be surprised to find they have flavors ranging from breakfast cereals, to strawberry nesquik, to every baked good imaginable. Most vape shops have a well-versed staff that should be able to point you in the direction of some great e-juice varieties.
I would love to hear what brands and flavors are your favorites to vape with. Please shoot me a message or leave a comment and it may get featured in a review. I will be sharing my current-favorite line of e-juice in my next post so hurry back!