How to Choose the Right E-Liquids for Vaping

Rohan Mathew

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More consumers than ever are ditching conventional cigarettes and taking up vaping. There are plenty of good reasons to make the switch, including everything from improved lung health to increased control over the vaping experience. For most consumers, one of the biggest benefits is that there are lots of different types of e-liquids, or vape juices, available, which means they always have plenty of options. Read on to find out what to look for before buying new products.

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Flavor First

The most important thing to think about when checking out the e-liquids available online is flavor. No matter how strong a vape cartridge is, if the flavor is off, most consumers won’t want to use it. Those just making the switch from conventional cigarettes are often overwhelmed by the options available, but they should view choosing new e-liquids as an exciting opportunity instead of a hassle.

Try starting with a vape juice designed to mimic the flavor of a favorite brand of cigarettes. Just about every manufacturer has at least one tobacco blend, and starting out with this kind of e-liquid can make the transition to vaping seem more natural.

Over time, most vape enthusiasts get more adventurous about their flavors. There are plenty of flavors available to suit every person’s tastes. Try food flavors, fruit flavors, menthol flavored vape juice or mixed blends that appeal to other established tastes to avoid picking duds, and only start branching out into less-enticing flavors when the original choices get boring.

Buy the Right Nicotine Strength

Choosing a flavor is hard, but picking the right nicotine strength is a relatively straightforward process. Most vape liquids come in four strengths: high, medium, low, and nicotine-free. Serious smokers who pretty much chain-smoke regular cigarettes will be most satisfied with e-liquids that have 18mg of nicotine or more.

Average smokers, who consume around half a pack of traditional cigarettes a day, should start with lower doses of between 9mg and 16mg. Light smokers who just smoke occasionally should look for e-liquids with 6mg or less. Those who just want the vaping experience without risking developing an addiction to nicotine should have no problem finding nicotine-free flavors.

What’s great about vaping is that it allows tobacco users to cut back on their nicotine consumption without having to give up the habit completely. Even heavy smokers can start out with high-strength e-liquids then work their way down slowly at whatever pace they are comfortable with. Once they get down to using e-liquids with zero nicotine, there’s really no reason to quit the habit completely since vaping, unlike smoking, doesn’t increase consumers’ chances of developing lung cancer, COPD, and other serious and potentially fatal diseases.

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PG to VG Ratio

E-liquid solutions can have three types of bases: propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerol (VG), or a blend of the two. Choosing which of these bases to use is a matter of personal preference. PG-based e-liquids produce more flavor but less vapor, while VG vape juices produce huge clouds of vapor but less flavor. Some users also report that they have a slightly sweet taste.

Ultimately, most consumers wind up going for a blend that offers the best of both worlds. Try a 40:60 ratio for plenty of flavor and impressive clouds of vapor that will feel just like the real thing.

It’s important to note here that some consumers are allergic to PG. Symptoms of a PG allergy include itchiness, hives, or difficulty breathing after using a PG-based or blended e-liquid. Most consumers are already aware of this issue if they use skincare products or eat foods treated with propylene glycol, so just know that vape juices with PG bases can elicit the same allergic reactions.

Choosing a Brand

Don’t just settle for heading to a vape shop and picking out a product from the first brand that offers e-liquids with the right flavors, nicotine profiles, and PG to VG ratios. Always buy from a reputable brand, even if it means purchasing products online and waiting until they arrive instead of heading to the store. Part of the reason e-liquids have gotten a bad rap in recent years is that many affected consumers were using black market vape cartridges that contained dangerous ingredients.

The past few years’ outbreaks of vaping-related lung injuries primarily affected consumers using black market THC cartridges. However, it wasn’t the THC that was the problem just like the nicotine and other ingredients in legal vape products aren’t a problem. Disreputable manufacturers were including vitamin E acetate in their mixtures, which lead to many serious injuries and even a few deaths. Trusted vendors will never sell e-liquids that contain vitamin E acetate or other potentially dangerous substances.

Read the Descriptions and Customer Comments

Even among well-respected brands, consumers should expect slightly different flavor profiles from similarly named products. The best way to get a feel for what to expect before buying e-liquids online is to read the products’ descriptions carefully and, if possible, read through customer comments. Getting an idea of what other consumers’ experiences with a particular brand, flavor, nicotine strength, or PG: VG ratio were like allows buyers to make informed choices.

Most vendors will offer basic information about each of the flavors on their websites. Some online retailers also sell what are known as “tester packs.” These packs contain many different flavors and nicotine strengths in small quantities to give consumers the opportunity to try each of them out. They’re usually sold in five or ten packs.

The Bottom Line

For experienced vape enthusiasts, choosing new e-liquids is exciting, but those just now making the switch from traditional cigarettes or picking up a vape pen with no experience whatsoever often find the sheer variety of products overwhelming. Narrow down the options by taking the advice above. Don’t be afraid to try sample packs, and know that just because one flavor doesn’t quite feel right, that’s no reason to go back to tobacco cigarettes or quit vaping. Finding the right e-liquid flavors always requires some trial and error, but it will pay off in the long run with a better vaping experience.