The Complete E Cigarette Liquid Primer

e-cig and flavor bottles

Usually, with an electronic liquid cigarette you have a heating element to create the vapor, a mouthpiece to inhale the vapor, and a cartridge that contains the e cigarette liquid. The e cig liquids are what define what you get from the e liquid cigarette.


The essential e cigarette liquid ingredients are the nicotine for very obvious reasons (although some actually contain zero nicotine), an agent that creates the vapor, and the flavoring that makes the electronic cigarette liquid distinct from all the rest.

There are basically two types of agents. The most common is Propylene Glycol (PG), and this is what you’ll find in the vast majority of e-liquids. Then there is also a Vegetable Glycerin alternative, to accommodate the needs of those who are sensitive or allergic to PG.

PG-based liquids are usually sweeter to the taste then VG liquids, but they produce comparatively less vapor. Sometimes the liquid may use a mixture of the two, and VG may be added to a PG liquid to make it more soluble and to boost the consistency.

Nicotine Strengths

Many people use electronic cigarettes as a healthier substitute for tobacco cigarettes, and some use it to help in the smoke cessation efforts. It’s possible to find a nicotine level that’s as strong as 4.8% nicotine, but lately anything that’s higher than 2.6% nicotine is becoming more uncommon. At the other end of the scale are the e-liquids which contain zero nicotine.

Sometimes the nicotine level is stated in milligrams per milliliter, but that’s easy enough to translate to approximate percentage. Just divide the milligrams per milliliter strength by ten and you get the percentage. So an e liquid with 22-mg nicotine strength has about 2.2% nicotine.

The strength of nicotine you choose is a personal choice, but many experienced liquid e cigarette users say that 1.2% nicotine strength will suffice as an adequate substitute for a smoker with a pack-a-day habit. Of course, others need a stronger level of nicotine strength to satisfy their addiction to nicotine. One popular option is to get a bottle with a 24mg or more nicotine, and a bottle of low strength or zero nicotine bottle to dilute the liquid if it proves too strong.

Choosing a Flavor

When you’re buying an e-liquid, you may want to start small, so you’re not stuck with an e-liquid that you can’t use or don’t like. You can read various e cig liquid reviews and see which flavors are popular, but what’s the best e cig liquid for one may be an atrocious choice for another.

These liquids come in wide variety of flavors. Some try to provide the approximate taste of real cigarettes, while others offer candy or fruit flavors. Popular options include chocolate and vanilla along with mint, but the taste of the chocolate flavor may be different depending on the brand you get.

The flavor you get should be something you find pleasant. You may want to try the smallest sizes first when you’re hunting for a flavor and brand you want. And be ready to get something that tastes really different from what you get from real cigarettes. Without combustion, the taste of vapor is different no matter how much the e liquid brand advertising insists that it tastes like the real thing.

Proper Use and Maintenance

The e liquid is there for you to inhale vapor. You’re not supposed to swallow the liquid itself, and when you get it on your tongue it is decidedly not a pleasant experience. It’s going to be bitter, and it can sting a bit too.

The problem here is that you may inadvertently get some of the liquid in your mouth nonetheless. That’s usually caused by a leak from the cartridge or the e-cigarette chamber, which then seeps into the mouthpiece.

There are some ways to prevent this from happening. One simple countermeasure is to keep the e cigarette level at all times. When the device is held at an angle, the liquid can flow into the mouthpiece.

You should also check the rubber seal of the e cigarette that keeps the liquid from going up the device and into the mouthpiece. The coil or atomizer head should also be screwed on firmly, and it should be in good condition. Sometimes the coil may be damaged during the delivery to your place, or it may be nearing the end of its life expectancy.

And of course, you should avoid over-filling your e cigarette. Use an absorbent paper to get rid of the excess liquid and clean the device according to the instructions.

Another important concern is proper storage. You need to keep them away from children and pets, and it may be a very good idea to keep them from your teens too.

You also need to keep it out of direct sunlight. Most manufacturers use colored glass bottles to keep the sunlight out, and a closed cabinet can make sure that sunlight can’t affect the contents.

Take note of the expiration date, and check the manufacture date too. It is better you assume that the expiration date is 2 years from the manufacture date, even if it indicates that the liquid will last for a longer period of time.

Dripping and Dipping

Some electronic cigarette users advocate the use of dripping or dipping. You can add a few drops of the e liquid directly to the atomizer, which is suitable when the atomizer is inside a recess in its housing. An exposed coil can be dipped into a container of e liquid instead. By doing it this way, you can change flavors at any time more easily.

But this method will require some practice on your part, and it’s not recommended for beginners. If you use too little e cigarette liquid, you end up with a dry atomizer and that’s a very good way of destroying it. But if you use too much, you end up flooding the atomizer too.


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