A Comprehensive Guide to E-Liquid

There used to not be very much choice when it came to e-liquid for vaping. Now, there are so many choices, it can be overwhelming to know what will offer the best experience for you. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, but understanding all the differences will help you make the best choice.


What is e-liquid?

The fluid that fuels the e-cigarette or vape pen is referred to as e-liquid. It delivers the nicotine and flavor to you. It also is what creates the vapor that you exhale that gives you the full vaping experience. While some e-liquid choices do not have nicotine in them, they are also available in a variety of strengths. 

E-liquid strength

Picking the right e-liquid strength is important. Some people prefer to have e-liquid with no nicotine at all and just flavoring. The e-liquid also comes in a variety of different strengths of nicotine. 

Finding the right nicotine strength and e-liquid ratio is especially important if you are using vaping to switch from smoking. A lot of people make the mistake of picking an e-liquid that is not strong enough which makes the switch unsuccessful. If you are a heavier smoker (15+ cigarettes a day), then you should get the strongest e-liquid you can find. The highest strength is usually 18mg in a 10ml bottle. 

If you smoke less than that or use light/mild cigarettes, then you could choose 12mg. If you start off lower and discover you don’t like vaping, you should try getting a stronger e-liquid before giving up on it. It is usually better to start with a higher nicotine level with the understanding that a lot of vapers drop strength gradually over time. 

Strong throat hit

throat hit eliquid

Regular cigarettes usually give a harsh sensation on the back of the throat that some people miss when they make the switch. Finding an e-liquid with a strong throat hit will help replicate this feeling. 

The key to knowing if it will deliver a strong throat hit is to look at the e-liquid ratio. You want an e-liquid with more propylene glycol, so you need to pay special attention to the VG:PG ratio. A ratio of 50:50 will usually provide a strong enough throat hit for most smokers, but a stronger version of 40:60 is also available. 

Smooth throat hit

Other smokers prefer a smooth throat hit. The key to softening the throat hit is to use nicotine salts. The salts in tobacco leaves are also referred to as a freebase e-liquid, and they provide a smoother throat hit. It will also deliver the nicotine faster which makes it more satisfying. 

Nicotine salts are popular for new vapers and work best for smokers who smoked lighter cigarettes. These are not ideal for people who prefer a stronger throat hit. You can also have a smooth throat hit by using a higher VG e-liquid, but that requires more advanced equipment. 

MTL vaping

MTL stands for mouth-to-lung because that is how you inhale on that kind of device. It works the same way as a regular cigarette. You draw the vapor in your mouth and then inhale again to take it down to your lungs. They can sometimes be referred to as plus-ohm devices. These devices are usually smaller and have lower settings and produce less vapor. 

Sub-ohm vaping

Sub-ohm means that the resistance of the coil is below 1 ohm. Sub-ohm vaping is also called direct-to-lung vaping. Using this kind of device is much different than using an MTL device. Instead of doing a double inhale, it is one deep breath through your mouth and directly to your lungs. It is like breathing through a big straw. Sub-ohm devices are used to create large vapor clouds.

Getting Started

Understanding all these differences will help you make a successful transition to vaping. The kind of experience you are looking for will play a big role when it comes to the kind of equipment you purchase and what kind of e-liquid will work the best with that equipment. 

Figuring out the kind of experience you are looking for will help you make the best decisions about the e-liquid that is best for you. Once you know what kind of experience you want, you can make the smaller decisions like the flavor of e-liquid that you want to choose. 


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