Choosing The Right Vape Juice

A frequently asked question by new vapers is, “how do I choose the right e-liquid?”

With so many options out there it can be impossible to know which one is right for you. This article will hopefully clear up any confusion and allow you to make your decision. The first question to ensure you are choosing the right vape juice, is a simple one: 

What is Vape Juice?

Vape juice- commonly known as e-liquid-is the fluid used in vape kits and e-cigs. It is heated by the coil to produce a flavoured vapour for inhalation. Vape Juice is made up of three primary ingredients: vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), and flavourings. While many e-liquids do contain nicotine, there are plenty of options for those who prefer to vape nicotine free. 

All of these ingredients are vital factors in choosing the right vape juice.

What are vg and pg?

Vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are both food additives that are included in many consumable products. The different VG/PG ratios in an e-liquid will largely affect the vaping experience. As such, certain e-liquids are only suitable for certain devices. 

What is the difference between vg and pg?

Vegetable glycerin is a thicker liquid that carries less flavour, but more vapour. Vape juice with a higher concentration of VG tends to produce larger clouds with a smoother throat hit. On the other hand, e-liquid with a higher PG ratio is thinner. PG is more of a flavour carrier and in turn produces more of a throat hit. However, it does not produce as much vapour. Vape Juice with a higher propylene glycol content is more popular with those looking to quit smoking as it produces the accurate sensation of traditional tobacco smoking.

Types of Vape Juice

Nicotine Salt E-Liquid

Nicotine salt e-liquid is a naturally occurring form of nicotine found in tobacco leaves. Food grade chemicals, such as benzoic acid and salicylic acid, are then added to lower the pH level. This intensifies the flavour and means they are able to deliver more nicotine without the harsh throat hit that comes with using freebase.

Freebase Nicotine

Freebase nicotine is the purest form of nicotine. Ammonia is added to nicotine to make a pure, more potent substance that can then be absorbed by the body more effectively. Freebase nicotine delivers the dose over a longer period of time. Due to the  high pH level, it is popular for those looking for a stronger throat hit.


Shortfills are bottles of nicotine free e-liquid. They come in a range of different sizes and these bottles are generally never filled to the top. This leaves space to allow you to add a nicotine level that suits you. The only thing to bear in mind is that with 90% of short fills, the highest nicotine strength you can mix them to is 6mg. Any higher than this and the flavour will become diluted.

To mix your chosen shortfill to your desired strength, you simply fill the e-liquid bottle with a 10 ml nic shot. Nic shots are bottles of flavourless liquid containing nicotine. The majority of these come in strengths of 18mg and 20mg. For example, when combining one 50ml shortfill with one 18mg nicotine shot, you will produce 60ml of e-liquid with 3mg of nicotine.

How Do I Choose the Right Nicotine Strength?

Choosing the right nicotine strength is dependent on how frequently you smoke. What we would usually recommend if you smoke one to five a day, is to choose an e-liquid with 3 mg of nicotine. 6 mg is recommended if you smoke five to ten a day. Those who smoke between ten and fifteen a day should choose 12 mg. Finally, anyone smoking fifteen to twenty or more cigarettes per day is recommended 18 mg.

If you are quitting smoking cigarettes, choosing a nicotine strength that aids with cravings is best at first. 

Alternatively, if you would rather vape without any nicotine, shortfills are nicotine free until vapers add their own.

How Do I Know I am Choosing the Right Vape Juice For My Device?

With any starter kit or mouth to lung vaping device, we recommend using a high pg based e-liquid. These generally come in a 10ml bottle and are pre-filled with nicotine. This is because these bottles generally contain higher doses of nicotine that will be more suited to your specific smoking habits, and lower powered devices.

If a nicotine level stronger than 6mg is used in a high powered device, it will irritate the throat. Because of this, higher powered devices, such as sub ohm kits, are better paired with short fills as they contain a lower nicotine strength.

Which Vape Juice Flavour Should I Choose?

According to the National Academies of Sciences, engineering and medicine, there are more than 7,000 vape juice flavours.  The first step to narrowing down the choices is to think about what food and drinks you enjoy. Which flavours are you partial to? Do you prefer fruity or tropical flavours? Or do you prefer sweet desserts? These are just a couple of the huge variety of e-liquids available. 

Each of these flavours can create a different sensation with every vape. For example, Ice e-liquids produce a cool, refreshing blast combined with often fruity flavours. Tobacco and menthol flavours are popular for those looking for a sensation similar to traditional smoking. When choosing the right vape juice flavour, it ultimately depends on you and your own preferences. With so many out there to choose from, there is sure to be an e-liquid flavour you will enjoy. 


Overall, the crucial elements to think about when deciding on your e-liquid are: pg/vg ratio, nicotine strength, nic salts or short fills, and flavour. With so many factors to consider, we understand it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing your vape juice. We hope this article was able to help you make the right decision for you. If you are still struggling to choose a flavour, why not check out our news page for the latest reviews on both e-liquids and vape kits? At SMKD we have a range of great brands with tonnes of delicious flavours for you to choose from. 

Follow SMKD on social media

To be the first to know about our newest products, or to keep up with our latest articles and reviews, follow us on social media.