The liquid used in the cartridges is referred to as e-liquid. It commonly has three major components:
All of the components except the nicotine would be considered safe for use in food products.
There are two types of agents that can be used to create vapor.
PG - Propylene Glycol is the most common.
VG - Vegetable Glycerin is used, usually, by people with allergies or sensitivity to PG.
The vast majority of e-liquid you will find will be PG based; if you are new to vaping keep your order small the first time to insure you are not stuck with a big batch of liquid that you do not like or cannot use. Propylene Glycol generally produces sweeter juices, and less vapor. Vegetable Glycerin produces more vapor, and tends to be less sweet. Sometimes you will find both types mixed together, because vegetable glycerin is thicker than propylene glycol, and often times it is mixed with PG to be more soluble, or… VG is mixed into the PG to give it more consistency.
Now most eliquid companies mix both PG and VG together to retain the advantages of the 2 ingredients. PG deliver you better flavor taste, stronger throat hit, and VG produce more vapors. The typical ratio of the PG and VG is 50/50, 60/40 and 70/30.
E-liquids are also available in different strength levels of nicotine ranging from zero nicotine up to levels as high as approximately 4.8% nicotine, though anything higher than 2.6% is getting increasingly more difficult to find. The nicotine level is expressed in milligrams per milliliter but can be converted to an approximate percentage by placing a decimal between the digits. 24mg strength would be roughly 2.4% nicotine.
What strength of liquid will I need as a beginner?
The strength of nicotine you will use is a widely variable thing depending on many factors. Many people would say a pack a day smoker does not need any more than 1.2% nicotine in their e-liquid but probably just as many would say they need higher strength. You should do follow up research on e-liquids if you plan to engage in vaping for a while. There are many different ways you can handle getting liquids so the more time investment you make, the less money you will spend. All that being said, our recommendation is that new users buy a bottle of 24mg-36mg and a bottle of zero nicotine of the same flavor. This way, if you decide 24mg or 36mg is too much, you can dilute it down to whatever suits you.
Does it taste like a real (traditional tobacco) cigarette?
The liquid that tastes most like a real cigarette is... there is none. No liquid tastes like a real cigarette because there is no combustion. Imagine if you will, what tobacco would taste like if you made it into a tea. It is not a pleasant thought for most people. Instead, look over the flavors and choose a flavor you normally find pleasant. Keep in mind that different flavors will taste different from different suppliers so while you may not like vanilla from one company, you may like vanilla from another. Try small sizes for different liquids until you find something you like; then get larger bottles.
Is there a special way to store this liquid?
E-liquids should be stored in a cool, dry place that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Many suppliers use colored glass bottles to help reduce exposure to sunlight but it is not a bad idea to keep whatever you are not actively using stored in a closed box that eliminates any light exposure. Many e-liquids will have an expiration date and manufacture date on the bottle. It is assumed that most juices expire 2 years after date of manufacture. Be sure to keep e-liquid out of reach of children and pets.
What is “Dripping” and “Dipping”?
You do not have to use cartridges with most personal vaporizers. In most cases, you can wet the coil of the atomizer with e-liquid and vape it that way. If the coil of your atomizer is recessed inside it’s housing, you would drip 2 to 4 drops of liquid directly onto that coil. If the coil is exposed then you can actually dip the coil itself into some e-liquid and hold it there for a second. Doing this usually produces the rough equivalent of one cigarette worth of puffs.
Usually people who do this will still use a cartridge that has the filler material removed so they have a comfortable mouthpiece. Most atomizers come with an empty mouthpiece already on them. This mouthpiece will not have any stuffing and can be used in dripping. Others prefer no mouthpiece at all and instead will drag directly off the end of the atomizer. This is called “tail-piping”. One should keep in mind that the atomizer can get very hot and it can burn your lips and tongue; it can be dangerous without using a mouthpiece or empty cartridge.
Can this damage an automatic battery?
One should be aware that the automatic battery and atomizer have a continuous hole through the center so that the inhale may activate the pneumatic (pressure activated) switch on the battery… and dripping liquid onto the atomizer risks that liquid going into the hole in your battery. If you get liquid in the battery it can become stuck in the on or off position rendering it unusable.
This is a special “drip tip” that you can purchase to make dripping easier. You do not have to remove the tip, you can drip right through it.