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What Should You Avoid In An e liquid?


22 September 2021

Words by webvitality

If you are the owner of a vaping device, you are probably aware of the various e-liquids. Vape juice, e-liquid, e-juice, are all the names that are used for the liquid which is vaped. Today, there is a massive selection of vape juices out there. But what should you be looking for when you choose an e-juice?

What is in vape juice?

Vape juice is the chemical liquid which is put in your device, but what exactly is in it? And how does it work? Simply put, the device you use for vaping has a tiny heater in it. The liquid tank that holds the e-juice, allows some of the liquid to hit the heater, known as the coil,  when you inhale. This process of heating the liquid creates the vape which you inhale. Depending on your device, the liquid is heated between 90-200 degrees. 

The vape juice itself contains a variety of ingredients including nicotine, Propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG), and food grade flavouring. 

  • Nicotine- People assume that the nicotine in vaping is dangerous, which isn’t true. However, it is very addictive. When you smoke or vape a nicotine product, your brain releases dopamine, a powerful chemical which is responsible for addiction. Not all vaping products contain nicotine, and if they do, you can choose the strength of the nicotine. This is why vaping is a popular solution to quitting smoking as you can’t adjust the nicotine levels in your favourite cigarettes. 
  • Propylene glycol- This is a thin liquid which is essentially boiled off as you inhale. It is in this liquid that the flavours and nicotine are mixed to create the vape clouds. As it is a thin liquid, it doesn’t cause a big big up on the coil of your device. It is completely tasteless and odourless and will not impact the taste of your flavour. Unfortunately, because it is a thin liquid, you won’t make big clouds when you vape.
  • Vegetable Glycerine- This is a vegetable based liquid which is also used to mix the nicotine and flavour of your vape. It is a much thicker liquid than propylene glycol and is responsible for the big clouds of vape that some people make. The issue with this is the heaviness of the liquid can create a lot of gunk on the coil and it needs to be heated a lot more before you can get the desired effect.
  • Flavourings- the flavours found in vaping liquids are what make it the most fun for most people. The ability to taste a different flavour, other than tobacco, is a big draw. Many of the different flavours are food grade and used in other products which people eat. When you read the label of your e-juice, they might be listed as their chemical name, and if you are unsure of what the chemical is, a quick Google search will normally tell you what the common name of the flavour is.

What to look out for?

Overall, vaping is a better alternative to smoking. However there are certain things that you should look out for when it comes to choosing an e-liquid. Diketones cover a group of chemicals which go by the names diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, and acetoin. These chemicals are actually used in popcorn and other foods to give them that buttery flavour. The issue with them is that they aren’t designed to be inhaled and can cause a condition known as “popcorn lung”. Out of all the chemicals, diacetyl is the worst, and the other two are currently being considered in terms of safety. 

Around the world, the regulations around e-juices are constantly changing but there are some pretty standard regulations that companies follow. For example, in the UK the current strength for nicotine in a vape juice is 20% and should not be sold in a cartridge any bigger than 10ml. E-liquids in the UK are regulated so there is a certain set of standards that creators are required to adhere to. If you are offered an unregulated product, such as the ones which were doing the pounds in America in 2019, it is best to avoid them. Unregulated e-juices may have unknown and dangerous chemicals which could make you seriously ill or can cause death.


As far as the vaping world is concerned, safety is key. Regulatory bodies and government standards are being adhered to to ensure you get the best possible vaping experience. Always buy your e-juice from a reputable supplier.

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