Today’s vapers have many choices, from device type and settings to e-liquids with different nicotine strengths and flavours. Knowing where to start can be tricky if you’re an adult nicotine consumer new to vaping.
You might wonder what an e-liquid is, what the ‘e’ stands for and what ingredients it contains. You can find the answers to your questions and more in our beginner’s guide to e-liquids.
What is an e-liquid, and how does it work?
The ‘e’ in e-liquid is for ‘electronic’; the product transforms from a thick liquid into vapour when heated by a vape device. E-liquids can come in small bottles, ready-to-use cartridges (ePods) and pre-loaded into disposable vapes.
Not all e-liquids are the same, although most share a few ingredients in common:
- Nicotine. The psychoactive substance in vapes and cigarettes.
- Propylene glycol (PG). This is a food-grade ingredient that helps carry nicotine.
- Vegetable glycerin (VG). This is a thick, plant-based substance that holds nicotine.
- Flavourings. E-liquids get their flavour from these food-grade ingredients.
So, now we know what’s in e-liquids, how do they work?
Most vapes have three main parts: a battery to supply power, a tank or cartridge containing e-liquid, and a coil, the heating element that transforms e-liquid into vapour. When you activate your vape, the battery provides heat to create flavoured vapour inside the device, which you inhale through the mouthpiece.
Are e-liquids legal in Ireland?
Yes, e-liquids are legal in Ireland, adult nicotine consumers can buy e-liquids from tobacconists, vape shops and supermarkets.
Ireland’s Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill includes restrictions on selling and advertising nicotine-inhaling products, like e-cigarettes.
If you plan to travel outside of Ireland with vapes or e-liquids, check the laws in your destination country before arriving. Some governments ban e-liquids, while others limit how much you can bring.
What does the PG/VG ratio mean?
The PG/VG ratio states how much propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) are in an e-liquid. The PG/VG ratio can differ from one product to another and dictates the thickness of the liquid and the vapour produced.
Both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are food-grade products that carry the nicotine in e-liquids. They have slightly different consistencies and functions; PG can be a better flavour carrier, while VG is thicker and creates more vapour.
What e-liquid strength should you choose?
E-liquids can differ in nicotine strength. The amount of nicotine in an e-liquid is measured in milligrams (mg). It’s always stated clearly on the packaging.
Choosing low or high-strength e-liquid means tailoring your vape to your experience and expectations. You can learn more about some of the most common nicotine strengths below.
Some e-liquids and disposable vapes are nicotine-free, suited to people who want to keep up with vaping habits without nicotine.
3mg is a low nicotine strength e-liquid (usually the lowest you can get) for light or social smokers.
6mg is another relatively low strength of nicotine for an e-liquid.
10mg e-liquid is medium strength suitable for most average smokers.
12mg is a higher-medium strength nicotine that can suit adult nicotine consumers who smoke between 10 and 20 cigarettes daily.
18mg is a higher-strength nicotine best suited to heavy smokers or those used to smoking high-nicotine cigarettes.
20mg is the highest legal e-liquid nicotine strength in the UK and Ireland.
Learn more about nicotine strengths and how to choose the most suitable option in our nicotine strength guide.
How to choose your Vuse e-liquid flavour
As well as having different PG/VG ratios and nicotine strengths, e-liquids come in various flavours to suit different tastes. Which flavour is best for you depends on your preferences. Vuse e-liquids are available in three flavour categories – mint, fruit and tobacco – with multiple options in each category, so you can find your favourite.
Vuse e-liquid flavours come in different and sometimes limited nicotine strengths. If unsure, start by choosing your preferred nicotine strength and then choose a flavour based on our options.
How to look after your e-liquid
Maintaining your e-liquid means getting the most out of your vape device. You can do a few things to ensure your e-liquid refills stay fresh and work as they should.
Firstly, don’t let your e-liquid run too low. Vaping on an empty cartridge can damage your device and produce an unpleasant taste – always replace your ePod when the e-liquid runs low.
Next, always keep your device and ePod clean. Debris and condensation can build up over time, impacting how your vape works. Wipe your vape with a soft, dry cloth if it isn't clean.
Finally, store your vape and e-liquid refills away from moisture, direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, which can impact the quality of your e-liquid. Store your device upright and protected.
Learn more about ePods in our ePod user guide.
Nicotine salts vs e-liquids
When exploring e-liquids, you might encounter nicotine salts or ‘nic’ salts. These work similarly to freebase e-liquids – both are added to vape devices and heated to create inhalable vapour. Nic salts have an additional ingredient that returns nicotine to salt form, as found in tobacco plant leaves.
Vaping with Vuse
Ready to choose your e-liquid? You can explore our e-liquid range online for a nicotine strength and flavour that suits your preferences.