So, you’re a newbie and you want to get started vaping but you don’t know how. So let’s take a look at a few different questions that I am most common amongst those new to the world of E cigarettes.
PG versus VG
There are basically two different fluids you can use to dilute full strength nicotine juice. These are PG (propylene glycol) as well as VG (vegetable glycerin). One of the most common questions asked is “which one should I use, and which is safer to inhale?”.
Both VG and PG are used in a variety of foods that you consume on a daily basis, and are deemed quite safe. However, in some small cases, people have experienced allergic reactions to propylene glycol, the most common is skin rash. I personally get slight skin reactions to PG myself, where certain parts of my forearm developed slight patches of dry skin. However this is not a big deal and there is nothing a little bit of skin moisturizer cannot solve. As I am writing this article, it is the middle of winter and the air is pretty dry, so there might even be a chance that it is more the climate than the PG affecting my skin.
So which is better, VG or PG? The answer is “neither” – you will need both in most cases, to get the best of both worlds. Some prefer vaping VG-only and some 100% PG-only liquids, but I honestly think a combination works best. Here is the reason why…
Advantages of PG
PG liquid tends to give you a better throat hit and a lot more flavor. VG on the other hand, allows your atomizer to produce a lot more vapor. Now, VG is a thicker and more sticky fluid, and although most people do not show signs of allergy with VG, there are minority groups who complain about having phlegm buildup in their throats. The more VG juice you use, the less of a throat hit you’re going to get – that’s the general idea.
As mentioned before, this can be overcome with a higher nicotine strength juice as well as a higher voltage e-cigarette or a low resistance atomizer.
Most people really get into vaping and mixing their own E juices tend to use a mix of both PG and VG in particular ratios, such as 70% PG/30% VG. This is the optimum ratio for most each uses as it provides a nice throw hit, good flavor as well as tons of vapor production. I personally preferred the 80/20 mix. I find that going with 30% VG reduces the flavor of my e-juices considerably. But don’t forget, you can also offset this with a low resistance atomizer (or “atty”) to increase the amount of flavor. More on this in a later article…
Buying Pre-made E-Juices
Lots of places sell juices these days and more and more juice retailers are sprouting up every couple of months or so. This is good for us ex-smokers because that means we have more varieties of e-juice to choose from. More competition in the market equals cheaper e-liquids for us consumers.
Although of the renown retailers of e-liquid are based in the USA, and China, there are also some very good companies in Canada as well as the UK (“Liberty Flights”).
Expect to pay about USD $15 for a bottle of 30 ml pre-made juice, and add a little on top of that for shipping costs. A lot of these sellers will ship internationally depending on which country you reside in. Some have given up on international shipping due to the customs issues in various countries where the sale of electronic cigarettes are banned.
The easiest way to find out is to probably check the FAQ or “shipping” sections of the company’s website – they will tell you if they only ship locally. I will try to compile a list of the best e-liquid retailers over the next few weeks so you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself.
A small percentage of vapers are allergic to certain types of e-juice, and I am, unfortunately one of those statistics. I’ve covered it in detail in one of my posts about allergies and diarrhea, so read up on it if you haven’t already. Some people are allergic or sensitive to VG, where they end up coughing a lot, and others to too much PG (sore throat). I am actually not sensitive to either but I do get stomach cramps with really sweet liquids. It’s mostly to do with the artificial sweeteners that are part of the ingredient base in these liquids. The only way for you to know if you will have a similar reaction, is to try it yourself. I recommend the Halo e-liquids (click this link to read up on my review) personally as I’ve never had any issues with any of their juices – they also taste fantastic!
Mixing Your Own
Once you get the hang of things, you’ll probably want to start experimenting and having fun with mixing your own flavors as well as nicotine levels. What flavors and nicotine combinations you use will depend on your personal tastes, so there isn’t really a recipe for this.
When I first got started with vaping, I was just like every other newbie around. I just didn’t care for e-liquid flavors and just wanted a plain old tobacco juice that tasted like the real thing. Myself and thousands of others before me thought the same way. Although there are quite a few folks out there who just do not dig the fancy juices, the majority of vapers do. Why? Because it makes things interesting and you get variety! Who wants to be eating the same flavor of ice-cream 365 days in a row, right?
To get started with this, what you will want to do is to buy some unflavored nicotine juice from an online retailer (preferably 100 mg), along with some flavor doublers and mix them to create your personal favorite e-liquid.
Unflavored Nicotine & E-Cig Bans
Just a quick note about this. Some countries like Australia and Japan have banned the sale of nicotine juice within the country, while other countries like Singapore and Thailand have banned the sale of e-cigarettes altogether.
In Australia for instance, all e-juice retailers only sell zero level nicotine juices. You can buy zero nicotine flavored juices, as well as e-cig devices or PV’s (personal vaporizers) as we call them, but you won’t be able to get your hands on any nicotine within the country. So you will have to import your juices in from overseas.
Speaking from personal experience and talking to people in the vaping community, electronic cigarettes do help you quit smoking analogue cigarettes – very easily in fact. Some people like myself just enjoy smoking a lot so we don’t want to actually stop smoking, we just want to keep up the habit without the having any side-effects to our health.
If you’re thinking of using e-cigs as a nicotine replacement therapy, then start with a nicotine juice strength to suit your needs, then lower the milligrams as times goes on to ween yourself off it altogether.