PG? VG? Nicotine percentage? What’s the difference?


Apologies if this is old news to you, but for those starting out, here’s what it means:.



PG is propylene glycol, VG is vegetable glycerin. They are interchangeable for the most part and make up the bulk of your e-liquid. VG is gloopy like syrup. PG is a little more viscous than water. There is suggestion that PG is a better carrier of flavour, though your mileage may vary. VG has a naturally sweet taste and produces a thicker vapour on the exhale. You can test this by vaping pure VG, same with PG. It can also be harder for your atomiser to wick VG due to the viscosity, though it thins considerably when heated in your tank as you use it.

Some people report a sensitivity to PG, some report a sensitivity to VG, and to that end, there isn’t really a ‘better’ liquid. For reference, if you’ve ever been in a smokey club with a fog machine, those machine are usually full of PG (click for link). If that gave you a tight chest, maybe higher PG would be better for you.

PG also contributes to ‘throat hit’ – that kick at the back of your throat. Throat hit with high VG juice will be less pronounced, 0mg high VG e-liquid may not have any.

Nicotine Percentage?

Do you remember the light head after your first cigarette? Or the scratchy sensation at the back of your throat using a nicotine inhalator? That’s too much nicotine. A lot of new vapers (myself included) started at the highest nicotine level available. Most work down to a lower percentage as the equipment used to vape gets better and more efficient at delivering nicotine.

The battery you use puts out a certain voltage and vapourizes your eliquid at a certain temperature. Some devices will deliver nicotine to you more efficiently than others through higher voltages and good design. Here’s a few examples:


Ego battery:

Small battery, small maximum output. Not a bad battery. With a standard CE4 clearomiser or equivalent, 18-24mg e-liquid may be acceptable to you, especially if you’re making the move from cigarettes


Small discreet variable voltage device. Variable voltage/wattage devices allow you to adjust the power, meaning you can get a harder draw with more vapour as you increase the wattage, or less if you want less from your juice. 18mg nicotine juice will most likely be uncomfortable. You might find the 18mg e-liquid on this device seems stronger than you remember from the eGo battery

Power VV devices:

Not very discrete, maybe not for your first dip into the world of vaping. It is possible to enjoy 18mg juice on one of these (I hear), provided you can reduce the voltage low enough, but at this stage it may be a struggle. Averagely, 3-6mg seems to be the preferred nicotine level on this kind of device:



Basically, more power / well designed equipment usually requires less nicotine, and the tanks used with more powerful devices tend to prefer higher VG ratios in the juice, but whatever you decide on, as long as it keeps you off the smokes, it’s the right one.

Good luck!