The growing trend towards e cigarettes as a substitute and alternative to traditional cigarettes has seen the market expand, with an ever increasing array of devices and liquids for purchase. With so much choice and little awareness of what’s inside the product, you may be wondering what the difference really is between those that contain PG or VE.
PG, or propylene glycol, is a thin, colourless liquid that is nearly odourless and comes from Propylene Oxide. It is used as a preservative within food production and also in medications as well as tobacco based products.
VG, or vegetable glycerin, in contrast is thicker and has a subtly sweet undertone to the taste. It imparts a smoother hit to the throat upon smoking compared to PG, while also providing a greater amount of vapour from an e cigarette. It originates from vegetables and is also used as a sweetener within food production and in cosmetic manufacturing.
All e liquids will contain flavourings, nicotine, water, and either PG or VG, or even a mixture of the two. These contents are released when heated by the battery, and it is this which results in the vapour that is to be inhaled. The difference in the amount of vapour, smoothness of the hit on your throat and rate at which you experience it all vary in part depending on whether VG or PG are used.
While there are just those four key ingredients found within any e liquid, there is a lot of debate regarding their toxicity. So just how safe are these e liquid mixtures? VG and PG are both considered to be safe, though it is worth noting that either can cause an allergic reaction due to individual tolerance and sensitivity. Should you note any throat or skin irritation, you should discontinue use immediately.
Which should you choose? There may be a benefit to using VG because of its higher viscosity and thus more notable vapour production. It is also smoother on the throat and may leave a slightly sweet residual taste afterwards, which may be of preference for some smokers. In contrast, PG has its own benefits, particularly in its lower density as this reduces build-up within the e cigarette and could help prolong the its working performance, thereby reducing the amount of maintenance you need to do to keep your e cigarette clean and working optimally. It is also absorbed quicker and can produce a faster vaping experience compared to VG.
Many brands are beginning to mix the two in order to get the best of both worlds. This can mean a more intense flavour and thicker vapour, with a choice level of throat hit possible by varying the strength of the combination.
Whether you should opt for PG or VG, or a combination of the two, will be of personal preference. You can learn from trial and error of testing the different forms of e liquids available which you find to provide the most pleasurable smoking experience in terms of strength, vapour density and smoothness.
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