If you're preparing to buy your first e-cigarette, it's likely that you've put most of your thought into which vaping device you're going to buy. It is actually the e-liquid, though, that has the most profound effect on your vaping experience because the nicotine e-liquid determines what your e-cigarette will feel and also taste like. It's understandable if you aren't sure which e-liquid to buy first; the variety that's available is almost endless. This e-liquid buyer's guide will help you make an informed decision and to ensure your first experience with vaping is satisfying.
Introduction: What Is E-liquid?
E-liquid is the substance that your e-cigarette uses to create vapour. When you inhale the vapour, you taste the flavour of the e-liquid. If the e-liquid contains nicotine, you absorb the nicotine through your mouth, throat and lungs. You'll need to buy e-liquid periodically as long as you own your e-cigarette. E-liquid is one of the consumable elements of vaping.
What Are the Ingredients in E-liquid?
Most e-liquid contains only four things:
- Propylene glycol
- Vegetable glycerin
- Natural and artificial flavours
E-liquid makers obtain flavouring concentrates and blend them to create unique flavour profiles. The flavouring concentrates are the same as those used in foods.
E-liquid nicotine also comes in different types, free base nicotine and nicotine salt which has become a more recent type of e-liquid to vape as it is smoother to inhale and is more similar to the sensation of smoking.
Does an E-cigarette Taste Like a Real Cigarette?
When you buy your first e-cigarette starter kit, it's likely that you'll try a tobacco- or menthol-flavoured e-liquid and try to replicate the experience that you have when smoking.
Although an e-cigarette can mimic the sensation and hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking, it is not an exact replacement for the flavour of a tobacco cigarette. A tobacco cigarette, after all, achieves its flavour through the combustion of tobacco. An e-cigarette contains no tobacco and doesn't burn. That being said, you'll quickly forget the dissimilarity in flavour when you feel the hit of the nicotine and see the plumes of vapour leaving your mouth.
Although some people continue to use tobacco or menthol e-liquids as long as they vape, many people ultimately find that they prefer different flavour profiles. Most people who switch completely to vaping for some time ultimately realise that tobacco cigarettes actually taste and smell horrible. At that point, those people lose the desire to recapture the flavour of smoking.
Read More: Do Electronic Cigarettes Have a Taste?
What Does E-liquid Vapour Smell Like?
Most people cannot discern a lingering odour from e-liquid vapour as they can with tobacco smoke. Unlike smoke, e-liquid vapour doesn't leave a foul odour in your home, in your car, in your hair or on your clothing. Others will be able to smell the vapour immediately after you exhale it. Since e-liquid vapour smells exactly as it tastes, it has a sweet scent that isn't likely to bother your spouse or friends who don't smoke.
Where Does Liberty Flights Source Its E-liquid?
Liberty Flights produces its e-liquid in the United Kingdom. We source all of our ingredients within the UK and manufacture our e-liquid blends in a clean room facility. Our e-liquids meet safety standards that few other e-liquid makers can match -- and we conduct rigorous testing of our products to prove our adherence to those standards.
Read More: Welcome to Liberty Flights
Choosing the Right E-liquid Brand
If you buy an e-cigarette starter kit from Liberty Flights, it'll include a bottle or pod of our fantastic XO e-liquid. We are very proud of what we've accomplished with the XO e-liquid line, and we think you'll agree that it's one of the best e-liquid lines available anywhere. With your Liberty Flights e-cigarette, though, you're free to use any e-liquid you like. Every e-liquid line has a unique range of flavour profiles, so try several and learn what your favourites are!
Choosing the Right Flavour
One of the greatest aspects of vaping is the fact that it gives you the freedom to explore the many hundreds of creative flavour blends that are available. Cigarette makers can use different tobacco leaves or processing methods to change the way their products taste. Ultimately, though, a cigarette can never taste like anything but burning tobacco. An e-liquid can taste like almost anything.
Here is just a small sampling of the different e-liquid flavours that exist:
- Tobacco flavours such as cigarette tobacco, cigar tobacco and pipe tobacco
- Menthol flavours such as peppermint, spearmint and mentholated tobacco
- Fruit flavours such as strawberry, apple and blueberry
- Sweet flavours such as bubblegum, toffee and cotton candy
- Dessert flavours such as birthday cake, custard and your sweetened breakfast cereal
- Spice flavours such as clove and cinnamon
- Beverage flavours such as soft drinks, coffee and tea
E-liquid makers compete with one another to develop the most creative flavour blends. Although you'll likely start with a tobacco or menthol e-liquid, we encourage you to explore the wide variety of other flavours available and find out what you prefer. A tobacco cigarette could never taste like apple crumble with vanilla ice-cream, blueberry cheesecake or vanilla custard. If you switch fully to e-cigarettes, you will ultimately prefer them over tobacco cigarettes.
Choosing the Right Nicotine Strength
Liberty Flights XO e-liquid and DOT PRO pods ranges in nicotine strength from 0.0% to 1.8% (20mg in the DOT PRO pods) in most flavours and our most popular Tobacco and Menthol flavours are also available in 2.4% and 3.6% in Tobacco only.
Are you a daily smoker? Do you plan to discontinue using tobacco products when your e-cigarette starter kit arrives? Start with the 1.8% nicotine strength or if you are buying our pod system, the DOT PRO then it comes in 20mg which is the recommended starting strength for a regular smoker.
We suggest starting with a higher nicotine strength because it's easy to use your e-cigarette less often if you think you're consuming too much nicotine. If the nicotine strength of your e-liquid is too low, though, you'll have trouble getting the satisfaction that you need when discontinuing smoking.
Are you a social smoker? Do you smoke "ultra light" cigarettes? Do you plan to wean yourself off of tobacco cigarettes slowly after receiving your e-cigarette? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, your nicotine needs are likely lower. You can begin with an e-liquid that has a lower nicotine strength.
Read More: Which E-Liquid Nicotine Level Should I Buy?
What Are PG and VG?
An e-liquid contains mostly propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin. PG and VG create most of the vapour that you inhale and exhale. They're necessary for diluting e-liquid to the proper nicotine strength and for allowing the flavours to mix thoroughly.
Many e-liquid makers use ratios to express how much PG and VG their e-liquids contain. If an e-liquid contains more VG, it'll taste sweet, have a full mouthfeel and create large vapour clouds. If an e-liquid contains more PG, it'll have more clearly defined flavour notes and a more pronounced throat hit -- but it'll create smaller vapour clouds. Most e-liquid makers use both PG and VG to give their e-liquids the best possible overall performance.
Read More: What Are PG and VG?
What Is Throat Hit?
If you look forward to the feeling in the back of your throat when you smoke a cigarette, you need an e-liquid with a strong throat hit. The throat hit is a mild irritation that occurs mostly due to the nicotine in an e-liquid. Many people equate throat hit with satisfaction. You may find, though, that your preference changes over time. After vaping exclusively for some time, many people decide that they'd rather have a smoother vaping experience. Buying an e-liquid with a lower nicotine strength will reduce the throat hit that you experience when vaping.
Read More: What Is Throat Hit?
How Much E-liquid Should I Buy?
To find out how much total nicotine an e-liquid contains, move the decimal point in its nicotine percentage one place to the right. An e-liquid with a strength of 1.8% contains 18 mg of nicotine per ml -- or 180 mg of nicotine in a 10 ml bottle.
How much nicotine does your preferred cigarette brand contain? A Winfield Blue cigarette, for example, contains 0.86 mg of nicotine. For you, a 10 ml bottle of e-liquid at the 1.8% nicotine strength contains about as much total nicotine as a carton of cigarettes. If you smoke a carton of cigarettes per week, you'll need at least 12 bottles of e-liquid to have a three-month supply.
Read more: How Much E-liquid Should I Buy?
What Are Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl?
Diacetyl and acetyl propionyl are natural compounds called diketones. They're used as flavouring agents in foods to simulate buttery or creamy flavours. Diacetyl, in particular, has caused some concern among e-cigarette users because the inhalation of massive quantities of diacetyl has caused irreversible lung damage to some workers in microwave popcorn factories.
No e-cigarette user is known to have contracted a lung disease as a result of vaping. Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that the inhalation of diacetyl or acetyl propionyl is a legitimate health concern. At Liberty Flights, we take the health of our customers seriously. We test our e-liquids to confirm that they contain no detectable diacetyl or acetyl propionyl.
Want to learn more about e-cigarettes? Read our E- cigarette Beginner's Guide.
Live in Australia and want to know more about buying e-liquid nicotine, read more info here.