The life blood of every electronic cigarette is in its e-liquid. This is liquid contained in the cartridge that is heated by the atomizer to create vapours that simulate smoke akin to cigarettes.
Not only does this produce mist, it also contains nicotine or flavouring that is inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. You get your nicotine hit more efficiently, minus the waste. The nicotine gets warmed up by the atomizer only when you inhale. Compare that with regular cigarettes, not to mention the dangers of second hand smoke. Without this liquid, the vapour cig ceases to deliver the feel that you’re still smoking something.
The e-liquid you have in your e-cigarette contains a basic blend of base, flavourings, and nicotine content. The right kind of mix results in a pleasurable throat hit. This is the sensation you feel at the back of your throat similar to when you take a drag from a real tobacco cigarette.
Standard issue e-juice comes pre-mixed in a cartridge that you just lock and load in the e-cig and you’re good to go. Experienced vapers opt for ones that allow them to mix and match the contents to suit their kind of throat hit.
Get the base right
Every e-liquid has a base is made up of either propylene glycol (known to vapers as PG) or vegetable glycerin (or the VG). Most e-juice in the market contains entirely of propylene glycol. This complements the e-juice by making the vapours taste sweeter. This substance is classified by the US Food and Drug Administration as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) when exposed to the skin but some people might get irritated when this is inhaled. To replace it, the more hypoallergenic vegetable glycerin is used. The latter produces thicker mists. Sometimes, distilled alcohol and water may be included to improve its consistency. Equal amounts of VG and PG is said to make for a satisfying throat hit.
The right kind of fix
Since electronic cigarettes are made with smokers in mind, their nicotine content is a major selling point. This is diluted to the chosen base in concentrations measured in milligrams per millilitre. In pre-filled cartridges, the range is usually from 18 milligrams to 24 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre of liquid base. However there are some that can supply as high as 48 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre. Everybody has their own threshold of how much nicotine they can handle. A non-nicotine e-juice might feel like taking a drag of warm flavoured mist while extreme vapers get their kicks from nicotine that measures 24 milligrams per millilitre and up. For smokers that consume a pack a day, 12 milligrams of nicotine will suffice. For those who want to quit smoking, the amount of nicotine should be decreased to four milligrams every month until their body eases off its dependence on nicotine.
What’s your flava?
While not necessarily an important component of the e-liquid, flavour additives improve the aesthetic appeal of vaping. These are added to the juice to give it a distinctive taste that distinguishes it from other vapours. Most e-juice flavours are derived from food additives used to lace candies and sweets. Different manufacturers mean different kinds of menthol flavour. Choose one that tastes most pleasant to you. A word of caution: no matter how enticing the flavour it pays to read the label and stay clear of ones that contain acetoin or diacetyl. These might react to other substances and cause harm. Buy small sizes for sampling until you find the one that suits your taste.
Final say on the juice
No matter how good the flavour of a quality e-liquid, it will never have that smoky taste of a real cigarette because there is no burning involved. Expert vapers will still get their kicks from dipping the heating coil of the atomizer to the e-juice or they could drip about three drops of it directly on the coil. In this technique, the mist produce is worth consuming a stick of regular cigarette. A more extreme version of it is known as tail piping. This involves a dangerous practice of dragging directly at the end of the atomizer instead of using a mouthpiece.