What Does PG & VG In Vape Juice Mean?

PG & VG are food-safe liquids that make up the bulk of an e-liquid or vape juice. PG stands for 'propylene glycol' and VG stands for 'vegetable glycerine. Almost all vape juices will contain a ratio of both ingredients, though you may see some e-liquids marketed as 'max VG' which means they contain only very small amounts of propylene glycol.

Keep reading to find out more about PG & VG and what the different ratios in vape juices mean. But first, here's some more information on the ingredients that make up most e-liquids and e-cigarette refills.

E-Liquid Ingredients

There are three base e liquid ingredients that you'll tend to find in most vape juices.

These consist of:

1. Propylene glycol (PG)
2. Vegetable glycerine (VG)
3. Flavourings

E liquids can also contain various strengths of nicotine, from completely nicotine free, up to 20mg. This is the highest legal nicotine content in e cig refills or vape juices, set by the EU TPD E Cigarette Regulations.

Cigalike e cig refills (otherwise known as cartridges or cartomizers), contain small amounts of e-liquid which is produced from the same ingredients as listed above.

Nicotine in E-Liquids

Molecular structure of nicotine - nicotine in e liquid ingredients
Nicotine is a stimulant substance which is considered to be addictive. It is a naturally occurring chemical found in the tobacco plant and it can also can be found in small amounts in some fruits & vegetables!

There are lots of e liquids available without nicotine, however many vapers choose vape juices with nicotine as this can help with the transition from smoking tobacco to vaping.

Nicotine Salts

Regular vape juices are made with what's known as 'freebase nicotine' - the purest form of nicotine. Nicotine salts however are made from nicotine extracted from tobacco leaves. The extracted product is less acidic than freebase nicotine which results in a much smoother vape. This makes e-liquids with nicotine salts a great choice for new vapers who might need a higher nicotine strength to help them switch from smoking, but find regular vape juices too harsh at higher strengths.

Find out more about nicotine salts.

What Are PG & VG?

Hover over or tap on the images below to find out more about PG & VG.


Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol or PG is commonly used in the food industry as a preservative. It is also used in the UK medical industry and can be found in asthma inhalers. It's a colourless liquid with a slightly sweet taste. Primarily used as a 'base' ingredient in vape juices, it has a lower viscosity than vegetable glycerine.


Vegetable Glycerine

Vegetable Glycerine

Vegetable Glycerine or VG is also a colourless liquid used in the food industry, mainly as a sweetener & thickener. Like PG, VG is also used as a base for e liquids, as well as acting as a sweetener.  It can either be synthetic or derived from plants or animals. It has a thicker consistency than PG and therefore helps to produce a more dense vapour.

What Does the PG/VG Ratio in E-Liquids Mean?

E liquids are produced with different levels of PG & VG. Differing ratios of these two ingredients will alter the throat hit, strength of flavour and amount of 'cloud'. These mixes are displayed in percentages, often as '80/20 PG/VG' or '80VG/20PG', for example.

See the chart below for an idea of what effect the different ingredient levels have.

PG/VG RatioThroat HitFlavourVapour or 'Cloud' Production
High PG
(usually 60%+ PG)
High VG
(usually 60%+ VG)

Which PG/VG Ratio Do I Need For My Vape Kit Or Tank?

We don't recommend trying to use high VG e-liquids in classic or 'MTL' kits. VG has a higher viscosity than PG and therefore atomises at a different rate. This can quickly cause coils to burn out and taste pretty nasty!

Likewise, we don't recommend using high PG e-liquids in sub ohm/DTL kits as the thicker liquid can clog up the coils and cause a burning taste.

It's for the reasons above that our all of our OK Vape E-Liquids contain a 50/50 PG/VG ratio. This balanced ratio means that the e-liquid is versatile and will work well in the majority of vape kits and tanks, regardless of whether they are designed for mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung vaping*.

You can find out more about MTL & DTL vaping styles and how each type of kit differs in this guide.

*Please note that 50/50 e-liquids will not generally be suitable for use with very low-ohm coils. 

OK Vape 50/50 E-Liquids

Our 50/50 e-liquid range is highly versatile and suitable for use with most e-cigarettes, tanks and coils. These are available in a wide range of nicotine strengths and great-tasting flavours.

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