What Does PG and VG mean?

What Does PG and VG mean?

If you buy e liquid on a regular basis you will hear brands and manufacturers mention their VG/PG ratio. You may wonder what this is and how it affects your vape, so in this article we are going to break it all down into layman’s terms for you.

PG – aka Propylene Glycol

PG stands for Propylene Glycol, which is an organic compound used in food processing as the E-number E1520. Propylene Glycol is the thing that creates the 'throat hit' for your e cigarette and helps to carry through the flavourings. It’s the main ingredient in all e liquids and different brands use different percentages depending on how much of a punch they want their e liquid to produce. So vapers that enjoy a kick to their e cigarettes, with a stronger taste will prefer an e liquid with a higher PG ratio. 

Propylene Glycol is an approved pharmaceutical product and used in lots of products from inhalers to beauty products and orally digested pharmaceuticals. It’s classified by the FDA as ‘generally recognised as safe’ for use as a direct food additive. It has been thoroughly tested in lab conditions by a number of eminent scientists and been proven that ‘air containing these vapours in amounts up to the saturation point is completely harmless’. See the tests here

Summary of PG

PG provides the ‘throat hit’ of your e cigarette. It has a longer storage time due to its moisturising compound properties. It is thinner than VG so kinder to your atomiser. It carries the flavourings better so will tend to be more flavoursome than VG.

VG – aka Vegetable Glycerine

VG stands for Vegetable Glycerine and is a basic ingredient in all e liquids. It is a simple polyol (sugar alcohol) compound which is colourless, odourless and widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. VG alone won’t be able to produce an e liquid as it needs some PG for it to work. Even e liquids that state they are pure VG based will contain around 20% PG for it to be able to function as an e liquid. Vegetable Glycerine is a thicker substance than Propylene Glycol and will generate more vapour. Also Vegetable Glycerine contains its own distinct sweet flavour, so higher VG content will distort the overall flavour of the e liquid.

Because Vegetable Glycerine is essentially a vegetable product it is a ‘non-toxic’ substance and deemed safe to use. It is used in many food products and as a sugar substitute. It is used in e liquid to help create the clouds we all love so much, but without the PG it will have very little throat hit.

Summary of VG

VG provides the ‘cloud’ for your e cig. It is a thicker substance so the vapour production is higher than PG. It is completely non-toxic so health conscious vapers may prefer to limit their PG intake.

Which VG/PG Ratio is Best for Vaping?

There are many different rations by different manufacturers of e liquid. Typical ratios of PG/VG are usually 50/50, 60/40 or 70/30. It really depends on personal preference as to what PG/VG ration you prefer. If you like a great throat hit and a full flavour to your vape then you should go for a higher PG ratio. If you prefer cloud production then go for higher VG.

Here at Smokshop.com the consensus tends to be we prefer a 50/50 blend to our e liquids. But having said that we stock many 70/30 blends that are terrific. It really is down to personal taste, so we would suggest you try a few different ratios and find your perfect blend for yourself.

As always we welcome your feedback, so if you have any comments regarding PG/VG ratios then feel free to drop us a line in the box below.

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