tips for buying e-liquidSo you have your rechargeable electronic cigarette or vapor pen… now what? Although most vapor kits will give you everything you need to begin vaping, there is one accessory you may want to choose for yourself: the e-liquid. Also referred to as “e-juice” or “liquid nicotine,” this substance is responsible for creating the vapor you see when you use an e-cig. Unlike smoking a cigarette, however, you will have far more options with e-liquid when it comes to flavor, nicotine concentration, and other factors. Here are five features of e-liquid to consider before buying refills for your vapor cigarettes:
  1. Flavor: Flavor is, perhaps, the number one thing that most buyers look at first in their e-liquid. In addition to tobacco and menthol, other varieties are available in fun and even unconventional flavors. From chocolate, vanilla, and coffee to fruits like strawberry, watermelon, mango, cherry, and others, you are free to experiment with one flavor at a time or mix your own. E-liquid flavors are even available in specific flavors such as cotton candy and peaches and cream.
  2. Strength: Nicotine strength is another important factor in buying e-liquid, especially for those who have just switched from smoking to vaping. In general, the bolder the cigarettes you smoked (and the more of them you were used to), the higher the nicotine concentration you will likely prefer. If you’ve switched from full flavor cigarettes, you may want to choose 18-24 mg/ml for nicotine. Light cigarette smokers will likely enjoy 12-18 mg/ml, and ultra light cigarette smokers can generally get away with 6 mg/ml or less. Some e-liquids are available with no nicotine in them whatsoever, which is another great option for non-smokers or those who have kicked the habit.
  3. Throat Hit: The term “throat hit” refers to the feeling of smoke (with a cigarette) as it hits the back of your throat. This feeling can also be found when vaping, but it depends largely upon the type of e-liquid you choose. Nicotine concentration of anywhere from 8 to 16 mg/ml will deliver the optimal throat hit for most former smokers. Additives in e-liquid, such as grain alcohol, cinnamon, menthol, and capsaicin (the chemical that makes chili peppers taste hot) all help contribute to throat hit, as well. Carrier liquids are also important to look at when examining e-liquid’s ingredients. In general, e-liquids use propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin as a base to carry the flavor and produce vapor. E-liquid with more propylene glycol can often deliver a greater throat hit, while vegetable glycerin is capable of creating larger vapor clouds.
  4. Safety: As e-cigarettes become more popular, e-liquid brands are popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, not all of them are safe or regulated in terms of their manufacture. Make sure to do plenty of research before choosing an e-liquid. Ask the manufacturers where their e-liquid was produced -- in the U.S. or abroad. Additionally, check for childproofing on your e-liquid bottles, especially if you have children. All e-cigarettes, vaporizers, e-liquids and refill cartridges should be kept out of reach of children in order to prevent accidental poisoning.
  5. Value: Finally, take a look at the price of the e-liquid. Sometimes purchasing in larger quantities can help you save money over time. However, this may not give you the chance to try as many flavors as possible if they’re not all available in bulk. The good news is that some manufacturers offer smaller variety packs to give you the chance to experiment with flavor, and some even offer loyalty programs and subscription services for e-liquid, so you can try more while spending less.
What do you look for when you buy e-liquid? Tell us in the comments!