The controversy has been around for quite a while. What's the difference between the two most widely used e-liquid bases — propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG)? Is one better or healthier than the other? Today we'll take you through 'e-liquid 101' and hopefully dispel any confusion you may have about what you're putting into your lungs now that you've dropped that killer tobacco smoke.
There are four ingredients in nicotine e-juice – the base (PG or VG), nicotine, water and flavouring. Non-nicotine e-liquid obviously has only three. The base is what holds the nicotine and flavour and produces the smoke-like vapour cloud. Both PG and VG are organic compounds and are generally considered to be safe for human consumption.
What is propylene glycol?
PG is currently the more popular base. Its consistency is thin and is more easily accessible to the cartomizer. It also has the advantage of not causing a build-up on the heating element of the e-cigarette. It's tasteless and odourless and it's a humectant that produces the strong throat hit tobacco smokers are used to. On the downside, it can cause dry mouth and throat irritation.
What is vegetable glycerin?
VG is a thicker solution. It has a slightly sweet taste that may mask some of the e-liquid's flavouring. Some vapers complain VG leaves them feeling a bit phlegmy and craving the throat hit of PG. VG also produces less vapour, but, on the upside, it causes less allergic reactions than PG. If you experience any unusual symptoms like throat tingling after vaping PG, you may be having an allergic reaction. Stop using it immediately and switch to Vegetable Glycerin.
On a final note –sources claim Propylene Glycol may be a preventive against pneumonia, influenza and other respiratory diseases. It's been scientifically verified to be antimicrobial and to fight candida albicans, staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis as well as several streptococci and E.coli. Huh … who knew?