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How to pick the right e-liquid – the ultimate guide

If you’re new to vaping, we’ve got everything you need to know to find the e-liquid that’s right for you.

When standing at the counter of any vape store looking on at the seemingly innumerable forms and flavours of e-liquid on the shelves, switching from smoking to vaping can feel daunting. But there’s help at hand – we’re here to help you figure out kind of e-liquid will fit your needs. 

 Which flavour should I try first? 

When you first start vaping, you might be surprised by the sheer quantity of flavours available to you. A good rule of thumb here is to steer clear of the more esoteric flavours at first – roast chicken flavoured e-liquid might seem compelling to some types (and yes – it really exists), but it might not give you a fair representation of how good an e-liquid flavour can be, all things considered. When finding your feet, it’s better to buy several smaller bottles, rather than getting stuck with one large bottle that you end up disliking. With many e-liquid merchants offering discounts when you buy several small e-liquids at once – generally, 10ml is as small as you’ll find – these days you can try out a few flavours for pretty good value. Try a varied selection; while you might find traditional tobacco is up your street, fruity flavours or dessert-style flavours might surprise you. When you find one you like, it will help you to narrow down what kind of flavour profiles you enjoy in your e-liquid. 

Our Let There Be Clouds Range offers loads of delicious flavours, from traditional fresh and fruity bases to classic tobacco – or if you’re looking for something special we have a couple of unique flavours available such as Froot Oops and Vanilla Frappeand with our fantastic payday sale deal you can get 5 bottles for just £10/12!

Focus on Ingredients

Knowing how to spot signs of quality is crucial in finding a blend of flavours that works for you. The first thing to know is that your product is coming from a reputable merchant – look for signs that the product is regulated. As a rule, e-liquid contains the base ingredients propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) in varying ratios. Both PG and VG are non-toxic and are commonly found in food products. PG is often used carry flavour, as well as being an ingredient in food colouring. Higher PG ratio provides that “throat hit” – a sensation some users enjoy. VG is a thick and sweet vegetable-based product, adding density to the vapour. The e-liquid is then flavoured with natural or artificial ingredients which produce flavours like cherry, vanilla and so on. Avoid unregulated products which contain the illegal substance THC – these cartridges often contain vitamin E acetate which has been associated with lung injury. 

When it comes to e-liquids, there are almost as many myths as there are flavours to choose from. You might have heard that e-liquid contains diacetyl (a chemical used to add a buttery flavour) which can cause a condition known as ‘popcorn lung’. While diacetyl has been detected in e-liquid vapour in the past, it is no longer legal to use in European e-liquids since the introduction of the TPD legislation on 20th May 2016. It has also been widely reported that e-liquid vapour contains heavy metals which are harmful to the body – but most studies neglect to mention that these heavy metals are only present in the vapour produced by high-powered tank-style e-cigarettes, which most vapers do not use. Some studies that monitored levels of heavy metals are also argued to have measured levels while using equipment at abnormally high output temperatures therefore making the study results unreliable. Either way, to stay on the safe side, keeping to sensibly powered vapes from reputable brands is for the best. 

Which e-liquid nicotine strength is right for me? 

The answer here is different for everyone, but generally, it will be based on how many cigarettes you smoke per day. Nicotine content in e-liquids is usually expressed in mg/ml – that is to say, 1ml of 6mg strength e-liquid will contain 6mg of nicotine. While that may seem like a lot, one cigarette contains around 12mg of nicotine, and in both cases, only a fraction of that nicotine is absorbed by the body. If you’re a heavy smoker – a pack a day, for instance – you’ll want to start with a higher nicotine concentration – 18mg/ml is a good place to start. If you’re a light smoker, you might want to try a lower concentration (6mg/ml is often recommended for someone who smokes 1-5 cigarettes a day). As you continue on your vaping journey, you might find that you need less or more nicotine in your e-liquid – a bit of trial and error is to be expected here. 

You might also see nicotine content expressed in percentages, rather than mg/ml. It’s easy to convert between the two. If an e-liquid is listed as 0.6% nicotine, that means it’s 6mg/ml – to get the percentage, you simply take the mg/ml number and divide it by ten (or vice-versa). 

Nicotine salts vs regular nicotine – what’s the difference? 

You’ll often see some e-liquids advertised as containing nicotine salts, rather than just regular nicotine (known otherwise as freebase nicotine). To get a common misconception out of the way, nicotine salts do not contain table salt – they don’t make your e-liquid taste salty. Salt, in this case, refers to the chemical make-up of the nicotine. Both freebase nicotine and nicotine salts are safe to use – the main difference is that nicotine salts contain benzoic acid or citric acid, resulting in a smoother throat hit. If you’re finding vaping a little harsh, nicotine salts could be a good alternative to freebase nicotine. 

Stressed about changing from smoking to vaping? 

Why not consider trying an e-liquid that contains CBD? Many reputable sellers are now offering e-liquid which contains CBD, a chemical compound known to be effective at reducing anxiety and relieving insomnia, among other positive effects. If you’re feeling the itch to go back to regular cigarettes, CBD e-liquids could help you to take the edge off. 

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