PG vs VG: A Vaper’s Guide

A friend of mine tried multiple times to switch to vaping.

He’d picked up an eGo-style device with a basic clearomizer and some e-juice, but vaping irritated his throat so much he couldn’t keep going.

He assumed the nicotine level was the issue. However, reducing it makes vaping less satisfying for a just-switching smoker. Plus, it didn’t seem to solve the problem for him anyway.

Time and time again, he went back to smoking.

When I found out about it, I conducted a little test. I took over a bunch of juices, varying in both nicotine content and PG/VG ratio, and let him try each. I didn’t tell him which was which. It probably didn’t matter, but I was in science mode and blinding the test just seemed right.

The results were clear-cut.

Higher-nicotine liquids with more VG didn’t bother his throat, but lower-nicotine liquids with more PG did. It was the PG bothering him, not the nicotine. After that, he went from being unable to vape for very long to being ready to start replacing smoking with the safer alternative.

He hasn’t looked back.

Although nicotine does have a role to play too, if you’re in a situation like this, it could be that the PG/VG ratio you’re vaping is causing the issue. In other words, you don’t need to give up on vaping yet.

But why did it make a difference? Why do most e-juices still use primarily PG if some people find it too irritating to vape? What are PG and VG anyway, and what’s the difference between them?

Here’s a run-down of the basics of PG and VG and some tips for finding your ideal ratio.

5 Key Differences Between PG and VG for Vapers

Based on their chemistry and applications, there are a lot of similarities between PG and VG. But there are also several key differences. These become important when you’re considering how much of each you want in your e-juice.

Here are five key points to consider when you’re making your choice.

1 – PG Gives a Stronger Throat Hit

One of the most important things to consider is that PG gives a stronger, more cigarette-like “throat hit.” This might not sound pleasant, but it’s actually a good thing for many just-switching smokers. It makes the feeling of vaping more like the feeling of smoking, which can ease the transition for new users.

But it isn’t a good thing for everybody. VG based e-liquid has a much smoother feeling on the throat, so anybody finding PG too irritating should choose juices with a higher VG content. Many longer-term vapers move towards higher VG content as a smoking-like throat hit becomes less important a factor.

2 – VG Improves Vapor Production

While VG may be lacking the throat hit many smokers are looking for, the biggest benefit is that it produces denser, thicker vapour. This is the reason that “cloud chasers” – who are looking to maximise vapour production – choose higher-VG e-liquids.

For newer vapers, having a high VG content and huge vapour production isn’t as important, but you still have to strike a balance. With little or no VG, the vapour production will be weak and the e-liquid won’t do as good a job of replicating the sensory experience of smoking.

This is one of the reasons that many beginner-friendly e-juices use about 40 to 60 % VG in their mixes. With a blend like this, the vapour production is substantial, but you don’t produce unnecessarily thick clouds. It also helps you avoid some of the downsides of high-VG e-juices while still enjoying the benefits.



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