An e-Liquid is the most common name for the liquid that is used in conjunction with e-Cigarettes. All e-Cigarettes use e-Liquids to create the vapour which is inhaled by the user. The vapour is produced by the e-Cigarette heating the liquid. Other names used to describe e-liquid are e-juice, vape liquid; (derived from Vapour) and Smoke Juice.
Before you start using e-cigarettes and e-liquids, it’s important to understand what they contain.
All e-liquids contain hydroscopic components. In laymen’s terms, this means they absorb water from the air. These components are also referred to as liquid bases, and there are two common varieties in use today, both of which are also conventional food additives. The names of the bases are Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG), and you will most often see them referred to by their initials.
The other main ingredients used in e-Liquids are flavourings and Nicotine, and these are dissolved into the bases to create the finished liquid. When using an e-cigarette, it is the base fluids that produce the smoke or vapour that is visible to the naked eye.
In terms of flavours, the options available are almost endless with tobacco and menthol being popular due to their similarity with regular smoking. However, many other flavours exist inspired by fruits, drinks, sweets and foodstuffs. The quality of the flavouring used, where is it derived from and how it is applied to the base components are all essential aspects of creating great tasting e-liquids.
E Liquids containing Nicotine are available in many different concentrations generally expressed with a number followed by ‘mg’. Usually, the higher the Nicotine level, the stronger the throat hit the user experiences.
There are no set classifications as to what concentration of nicotine constitutes low, medium or high levels, however as a general rule of thumb low nicotine ranges from 3mg to 9mg, medium from 10mg to 14mg and high is anything above 15mg. For more information on the effects of Nicotine on the human body take a look at our post How Harmful is Nicotine to the Human Body
The E-Liquid Manufacturing Process
So, as e-liquids only contain the four components mentioned above the manufacturing process must be a doddle, Right?
While it is true that there are producers of e-liquids out there who do follow a very simple approach to production, the liquids they make should be avoided as they take shortcuts on ingredients quality and manufacturing.
A correctly produced high-quality e-liquid will contain pharmaceutical grade Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and Nicotine. It will also use food grade and established flavourings which will have been appropriately checked to ensure no components are harmful when inhaled.
It is also crucial that not only are the ingredients of the right quality but so are the manufacturing procedures used. E-Liquids should be made in sterile conditions to strict quality control procedures by qualified professionals. Importantly every batch of vape produced should be thoroughly analysed after it has been produced.