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Beginners Guide To E-Liquid

So you have just bought your first e-cigarette, and now you're looking for the best e-liquid for your vape kit, where do you start? There are so many e-liquid options on the market – it's a little overwhelming! Below is a starter guide to e-liquids which cover some of the most commonly asked questions:

What is an e-liquid?

E-liquid (also known as vape juice or e-juice) is made up of three (sometimes four) ingredients: VG (Vegetable Glycerin), PG (Propylene Glycol), flavouring and if required, nicotine. E-liquid is inserted into the tank of an e-cigarette. When the e-liquid is heated, it forms a vapour which is inhaled and exhaled. Each ingredient forms an integral part of what makes up e-liquid. PG is an odourless, colourless liquid which has a thin consistency and carries the flavours in e-juice. It also gives you that "throat hit" feeling, which is likened to the sensation of smoking. VG is a heavy, sweet liquid that provides vapour production and is smoother when inhaled. It's a derivative of vegetable oil and recognised as a safe substance. E-liquid flavours vary immensely. A vast range of flavour combinations and strengths are waiting to be discovered, from mojito to cola, fruit to minty flavours. The final additive to e-juice is nicotine, an addictive ingredient found in cigarettes. You can get e-liquid without nicotine if you're in it purely for the joy of vaping. Generally, people transitioning from smoking to vaping prefer to have some nicotine in their e-liquid. The nicotine strength on the bottle will show just how much nicotine you get in one millilitre of liquid.

Which Nicotine Strength Should I Use?

It's vital to get the nicotine strength correct when you're using your vape to help you quit. You'll need to get enough nicotine to satisfy your cravings yet not overdo it and find the effects too strong.

• For a light smoker or someone who has less than ten cigarettes a day, we recommend a strength of 6 mg. This is still considered a low nicotine dose and would suit people who enjoy vaping but still want a pleasant buzz.

• For a moderate smoker who is used to smoking a pack a day, a 12mg e-liquid would be the right place to start. It would help you move from standard tobacco products.

• If you're a heavy smoker, you should go for the maximum strength of 18mg or even 20mg. This is recommended for serious users who need a high dose of nicotine to satisfy their habit.

• Social smokers should start with low nicotine flavours like 3mg as this is a great place to begin if you are trying to quit smoking. There are 0mg varieties of juice if you enjoy the flavour but no longer require nicotine.

Choosing an e-liquid flavour

Choosing an e-liquid taste is personal, and you certainly need to experiment. There are flavours to suit everyone. Our e-liquid range includes everything from Applicious to Strawberry Kiwi flavours – Hangsen Coffee and Choc Mint to Pink Lemonade and Cherry Cola. Former smokers who switch to e-cigs are often surprised at the enormous selection of flavours. Maybe you know what you're looking for, or perhaps you're looking for something more exciting? Once you're more confident, you can come up with your own formula and blend a couple of juices to create your own combinations. The possibilities are endless!

What is a PG/VG Ratio and which do I need?

Two terms you'll often notice about e-juice are VG (Vegetable Glycerin) and PG (Propylene Glycol). Newcomers can have difficulty understanding how these two ingredients can improve your vaping experience. Here you can read everything you need to know about VG and PG.

• VG and PG are the odourless liquids that are combined with flavours and nicotine to create e-liquid.

• They produce vapour when heated, which allows them to be inhaled.

• These two fluids have a different consistency to each other and a somewhat different taste.

• They have distinctive throat and mouth sensations when vaped.

• Most modern e-liquid uses a mixture of the two fluids, though the ratio can vary enormously.

• Different vaping setups can only work with a certain level of PG and VG. The PG maintains the flavour, and the VG is what generates clouds. If you're after an experience similar to smoking, you'll want something like a 50:50 mix with a more powerful throat impact, less vapour and more intense flavour. If you want to make clouds big enough to block out the sun and you're not too fussy about the taste, you need to use a higher VG based e-liquid. Since VG is thicker and therefore harder to vaporise, you're going to need a more powerful vape.

How do I choose a kit for the ratio I need?

A pod or vape pen is recommended for beginners. If you're just starting and getting a feel for it all, these are simple to use. You'll also want a more straightforward kit if you're looking for a higher nicotine kick. After some practice, should you want a milder throat hit and prefer big vapour clouds, a sub-ohm kit with a higher VG e-liquid should do it. VG is thicker than PG, and you will need a more powerful vape to get the clouds you're looking for.

Can e-liquid go off?

Once you've opened a bottle of e-liquid, air can get into it and may start to degrade. This process is slow, so unless you're keeping your juice for a long time, it will still be suitable for vaping. The colour can darken slightly, and the flavour may become a little sweeter. To keep it in tip-top condition, just store it somewhere away from heat and light. If you're worried about your e-liquid expiry dates, check out the telltale signs below:

• Separation: has the liquid separated? If so, give it a shake, if it doesn't mix, then it's too late.

• Smell: Does it smell sour? If so, it's spoiled.

• Any noticeable change of colour may occur if it's reached or past its expiry date.

• Any variation in the liquid's thickness or density indicates that it has expired.