E-Liquid 101

What is E-Liquid?

Electronic cigarette smokers can refill the cartridges of the non-disposable devices, saving even more money. You can find the liquid in bottled form and is sold under names like "nicotine solution", "e-liquid", and "e-juice".

The ingredients of the e-liquid vary from company to company, but the common threads are the propylene glycol (or glycerin) base, water, and flavoring.

These liquid bases are found in food additive and are commonly used in pharmaceutical formulations. The liquids are dissolved into a solution that turns the water component into vapor when it is heated. E-cig smokers have the choice to have nicotine or nicotine-free liquid. Those who are trying to quit smoking via the e-cig route choose to have nicotine in theirs to help ease the transition from traditional tobacco smoke. Some users feel that liquids with Whole Tobacco Alkaloids (WTA) give them a "true to life smoking" experience than other liquids that do not contain these alkaloids. The alkaloids are made in a process like the ones used to purify nicotine. The liquids containing nicotine come in varying concentrations to suit the e-smoker's needs.

Nicotine-free liquids are also readily available to consumers that have given up nicotine all together or for those that enjoy the satisfaction of smoking an e-cig for the flavor.

Some feel that the sensation combined with flavored liquid from smoking an e-cig is close to that of smoking a hookah. There are hundreds of flavored liquids, with many catered to consumers who prefer the taste of traditional cigarettes - like specific cigarette brands such as Marlboro and Camel - and tailored to specific flavors like tobacco and menthol. More varied flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and coffee are sold - all the way to the more "exotic" flavors like Red Bull, mojito, and cheesecake.

Making Your Own E-Liquid

Creating your own e-liquids is a more versatile way to enjoy and truly customize one's e-cig experience.

This can save you money overall, and enables you to control the strength, vapor volume and flavor you want. Basic e-liquids can be purchased from stores on-line. E-liquid is simply water, base, flavorings and a percentage of pure nicotine or other optional additives. Strengths range from 10mg/ml-30mg/ml. It's smart to buy in larger quantities, and higher strength nicotine - as per consumer preference, since those who prefer non-nicotine liquids can also add non-tobacco flavors. One can easily make their own e-liquid with the following materials to save money and to have a unique flavor all to their own:

E-liquid base

Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin or PG400. It must be FOOD GRADE standard for the Glycol and Glycerin. The base is what helps create the vapor and the same ingredients are used in smoke machines to produce fog.


Tap water has too many chemicals, making it unhealthy to put into your lungs. Use distilled/filtered water.


Same thing with the e-liquid base, you need to have FOOD GRADE, water soluble, and high-temperature resistant flavorings. Run-of-the-mill temperature resistant flavorings contain oil or sugars that aren't recommended for smoking in a personal vaporizer.

Optional extras

E-liquid nicotine, herbs, etc.

10%-20% of the e-liquid should be the flavor concentrate, which it dependent upon the e-liquid base, how much nicotine is in the liquid (if applicable) and the consumer's personal preference for flavor. It's easy to control the "recipe" with empty bottles and e-liquid droppers, providing the ultimate e-cig smoking experience.