The most important key points for choosing the mixing ratio:
- particularly good taste and aroma development - choose PG / higher PG content
- sensitive / allergic to PG - VG / select higher VG content
- Dense and voluminous vapor development - choose VG / higher VG proportion
- Select better "throat hit" / Flash - PG / higher PG share
- Sweet / fruity flavors - choose VG / higher VG proportion
- Softer flavors - choose PG / higher PG content
- Better afterflow / faster drawing in of the liquid, for a lower “dry puff” risk - choose PG / higher PG content, except for modern sub-ohm tanks
- Stealth vaping - here it is important that little or no steam is produced - choose PG / higher PG content
- Typical mixing ratios: 70/30, 30/70, 50/50 (PG / VG)
The 10 most common e-cigarette problems
Many paragraphs dealt with the problems that vaping novices in particular can often encounter in the context of the e-cigarette. There are complaints about irritated airways, coughing, dry mouth or other side effects that are perceived as annoying. Often, changing the pulling technique from lung pull to cheek pull or reducing the nicotine content in the liquid helps.
But with e-liquids in particular, there is another important factor that is all too often neglected - the proportion of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG = Vegetable Glycerin) in the liquid. Sub Ohm steamers should at least know the influence of this mixing ratio on the steam development. But PG and VG each have other advantages and, above all, crucial differences that affect your vaping experience. So it is above all a question of taste and style which of the fabrics or which mixing ratio a vaper chooses.
PG & VG - definition of terms & properties
Almost all liquids contain both substances, because both have different important properties and are the main components of the liquid to be evaporated as a so-called base, in addition to nicotine, aromas and distilled water. The decisive factor in everyday life is the mixing ratio. But there are also liquids that only contain one of the two substances, i.e. PG or VG liquids. To better understand the properties and differences, let's take a closer look at the individual fabrics.
PG - Carrier & Solvent Propylene Glycol
PG stands for propylene glycol (also 1,2 propanediol) is colorless and odorless and, above all, very thin. Its thinness is the main difference to the VG, which affects its use for e-cigarette liquids. A higher level of fluidity avoids any replenishment problems that can arise with some electronic cigarettes. In connection with PG liquids or liquids with a high PG content, many vapers also report a better "throat hit" (Flash) and a higher taste intensity of the aroma used. Thus, a specific target group emerges for whom a high propylene glycol content is often particularly important: for those switching who do not want to forego the feeling of nicotine flash when they stop smoking with an e-cigarette. A high share of PG can therefore increase the chances of a successful changeover and exit.
There are individual cases in which there is an allergy to PG and allergic reactions in the mouth and throat area. However, this is the absolute exception. Newcomers and users who switch from one to the other sometimes complain of a coughing sensation and a "scratchy feeling" in the throat when vaping and then often suspect an allergy as the cause. Most of the time, however, it is simply because liquids, unlike conventional tobacco cigarettes, are not mixed with any additives (or, for example, when tobacco is burned) that numb the respiratory tract in order to avoid a cough. So you can cough while vaping. However, this will pass and in very few cases is due to an actual allergy. Quite the opposite: many e-cigarette studies show that after a short period of time there is a significant improvement in the airways of those who switch. Because those who use liquids and e-cigarettes do without burning tobacco and the corresponding by-products / combustion residues such as tar, which are produced when the tobacco is heated and which are proven to be primarily responsible for the harmful effects on health.
PG advantages, features and differences:
- thinner than vegetable glycerine (VG)
- higher taste intensity / transports aromas better
- better flash
- Especially recommended for those switching and newcomers
- approved as a food additive E 1520 (e.g. found in chewing gum and toothpaste, as well as in skin creams - primarily as a humectant)
- PG is used as a carrier and solvent for enzymes, dyes, antioxidants and emulsifier
- it evaporates very easily, which makes it suitable not only for liquids, but also e.g. also suitable for smoke machines. So it ensures better, but not denser, vapor development
- Liquids with a high PG content are often used for so-called stealth vaping, as it produces less dense clouds of vapor
Conclusion: PG as a component of a liquid is mainly responsible for the taste intensity, the “kick” / “hit” / “flash” and the vapor development (not the density). In addition, the more PG a liquid contains, the thinner it is, which can prevent any problems with replenishment.
VG - Vegetable Glycerin is more viscous
The vegetable glycerine is also colorless and odorless, but has a slightly sweeter taste than propylene glycol. The VG share is therefore often higher, especially for aromatic liquids in fruity and sweet flavors. In addition, glycerine ensures particularly dense steam, which is why sub-ohm vapers often use VG liquids or liquids with a high glycerine content, but at least with a 50/50 mixing ratio. VG is also much thicker and more viscous than PG, which is why it is used just as diverse as PG - far beyond e-liquids. It is also often used as a solvent or preservative. As a solvent, it is mainly used in the food industry to dissolve colors and flavors.
But VG's thick liquid has some disadvantages, especially when it comes to using it as an e-liquid. Reflow problems can arise as it takes longer to soak into the wick and finally to reach the heating coil. If you now pull on the e-cigarette, whereby the liquid in the wick drips continuously onto the heating coil and is thus evaporated and accordingly has to flow out of the tank and soak again, it can lead to a so-called “dry puff” (also called “dry burn”) ), so come to the dry train, if the viscous VG-Liquid has not yet flown and drawn into the wick. And that tastes terrible. The higher the PG content in a liquid, the lower the risk of such a dry draw. Glycerin's own sweet taste also has a disadvantage: it swallows more gentle aromas and therefore cannot be used for all liquids.
VG advantages, properties and differences:
- ensures a more stable and fuller vapor development - ideal for sub ohm vapers
- has a sweet taste of its own, which is particularly suitable for fruity and sweet liquid aromas
- much more viscous than PG, which is why there can be overflow problems and so-called "dry puff / burn" - BUT: in modern sub-ohm tanks this no longer plays a role, as the heating coil works much more effectively. Because sub ohm liquids often have a higher percentage of VG
- high water storage capacity
- is used as a solvent and preservative in the Used in the food industry
The PG / VG mixing ratio
On the bottles or outer packaging of liquids, shots and bases, the mixing ratio of the two components PG and VG is indicated with, for example, PG (20%) / VG (80%). In more rare cases, liquids can also contain smaller amounts of distilled water, which can then e.g. can be shown with information such as 60/20/20. The specification 50/50 therefore corresponds to a balanced PG / VG mixing ratio. Now that we have examined the properties of the two substances, most of them should already be clear about which mixing ratio they will choose for their new liquid. In addition to the biggest differences such as the vapor development and the thick or thin liquid, it is above all a question of taste which mixing ratio you choose. It is important that the quality of the substances used corresponds to the USP standard, i.e. the pure form as it is also used for pharmaceutical products or as a food additive or preservative.
VG for denser vapor development with sub ohm vaping
This is the main advantage of a high VG content in liquids: denser and more stable vapor development. Thus, VG plays a role especially for sub ohm vapors. With modern models - despite the high glycerine content and the associated thickness - you no longer have to fear the dry puff. Special sub ohm models also seduce with special sub ohm tanks with more powerful heating coils, which prevent the bad tasting dry puffs on the e-cigarette. These occur when you pull on the electronic cigarette faster than liquid could flow out of the tank and soak into the wick. Liquids with a low VG content develop only very weak vapor, which is why newcomers and newcomers in particular prefer liquids with at least 50% VG content in order to produce a satisfactory amount of vapor without producing the typically dense sub-ohm cloud. A moderate amount of VG also avoids the typical disadvantages of VG, such as counting liquid (“dry puff” risk) and sweetish taste, without having to forego the advantages of full steam development.
High proportion of PG against "dry-puff"
As already mentioned, PG liquids or liquids with a high PG content (usually 70/30) are thinner and therefore have fewer problems with replenishment than the viscous VG liquids. These occur when you pull on the vaporizer before enough liquid from the tank has been able to act in the wick. In this way, the heating coil is pulled and heated without the liquid evaporating, which leads to the so-called "dry puff", a dry pull on the steam. And it tastes anything but good - regardless of which aroma you use as the liquid.
Liquid flavors with PG taste more intense
VG liquids have an intense, sweet taste of their own. That is why they are often used for appropriate flavors with fruits or the like. used. But the sweetness has the disadvantage that it swallows weaker aromas and gives each aroma its own note. PG liquids are much more neutral and therefore transport aromas better. That is why they are also popular in the food industry. The difference may be small and mostly only recognizable in a direct comparison, but one and the same aroma tastes different, depending on the PG / VG proportion. So this is primarily a matter of taste.
PG for better flash / throat hit
Those who are changing will want that typical scratchy throat, like after a drag on a conventional cigarette. This is also what many new vapers lack most after quitting smoking. But it doesn't have to be. Because if the so-called flash or "throat hit" does not occur, this is also due to the mixing ratio of the liquid. A high percentage of PG ensures a throat hit that is reminiscent of the typical kick of smoking. Thus, a PG liquid is ideal for the transition from ex-smokers to the healthier alternative.
VG for less itchy throat
Unlike many converters, some vapers want exactly the opposite of the throat hit - they want a pleasant feeling in the throat and throat. So if you think that PG irritates the airways too much, you should opt for a higher proportion of VG in the liquid. Often it is mainly long-term vapers who opt for a higher VG mix in the medium term, because the typical scratchy throat that smokers initially miss becomes less and less interesting over time.