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PG Vs VG E-Liquid

One of the most common questions from newbie vapers is "What is the difference between PG and VG e-liquid?" We hear it time and time again, so we have decided to answer it once and for all!

To a newcomer, PG and VG can seem confusing. Knowing what these two terms are and what they mean, however, can dramatically improve your vaping experience because you will be able to make a more informed decision when buying e-liquids.

What's Inside E-Liquid?

Aside from VG and/or PG, not a whole lot, actually! While the components can vary depending on the e-liquid, there usually isn't too much going on in them. There are four e-liquid components that remain the same in all of them, though:

  • Water;
  • Flavouring;
  • PG or VG (or both as a mixture); and
  • Nicotine (aside from nicotine-free e-liquid).

Whilst some e-liquids will have 100% PG or 100% VG, it is more common to see a mixture (or ratio) of the two. This provides more flexibility for vapers and lets them choose a PG:VG ratio that works best for them.


This is pretty self-explanatory. While not all e-liquids contain water, many e-liquids do.


The amount of flavouring depends heavily on your e-liquid. Natural flavours (e.g. fruits) are more straightforward than synthetic flavours (e.g. bubble-gum or cinnamon roll) and so fewer of them are present.

You can also get flavourless e-liquid, but this is not very popular for obvious reasons.


Nicotine is the addictive chemical found in cigarettes that keeps people hooked on them. It is present in e-liquids so that people can wean themselves off cigarettes and onto vaping whilst still satisfying their nicotine cravings.

Over time, many ex-smokers adjust the nicotine concentration in their e-liquids downwards until they are vaping with little-to-no nicotine at all. You can buy nicotine-free e-liquids, too. These are mostly used by people who have never smoked before and choose to vape for the social aspect or out of pure enjoyment. Here at Vaper Empire, our e-liquids are available with and without nicotine. For those that prefer to vape e-liquids that contain nicotine, we offer varying strength that range from none at all (0mg) to very strong (24mg).

VG (Vegetable Glycerine)

VG is a natural chemical that is derived from vegetable oils. It is used in e-liquids to give it that 'thick' vapour sensation when it is inhaled. It is slightly sweet and provides a smooth "hit" to the throat when inhaled.

Often, flavourings and nicotine are suspended in PG (see below), however, many manufacturers are beginning to offer a 100% VG alternative for 100% VG e-liquids.

Other Uses for VG

VG is not just used in e-liquids. It can be found in:

  • Artificial sweeteners;
  • Beauty products (e.g. shower gel);
  • Soaps and creams;
  • Baked goods (think of pre-packaged store-bought moist cake); and
  • Dental care products.

Is VG Safe to Consume?

VG is widely recognized as safe to consume orally and is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as "generally recognised as safe". In the case of vaping, VG is not ingested via swallowing, but rather inhaled. Presently, there is limited research into its effects on the human body when it is inhaled in the form of a vapour produced by a vaping device.

Side Effects

VG is not recognised as being an irritant and allergies are extremely rare.

One possible side effect with VG is dehydration. Increased thirst, dry mouth, and a sore throat are all indicative of dehydration. If you notice these symptoms after taking up vaping with a VG-heavy e-liquid, it may be wise to drink lots of water.

Over time with regular use, VG-related dehydration has been known to disappear.

PG (Propylene Glycerine)

PG is a petroleum by-product. In e-liquids, it is used to provide that all-important 'throat hit' that mimics the smoking of tobacco products. Despite being a by-product of petroleum, it is not toxic and is, again, recognised as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Less viscous than VG, PG carries e-liquid flavourings more effectively and this is why most e-liquids will contain at least some PG. PG itself is odourless and flavourless.

Other Uses for PG

PG is also found in:

  • Nicotine inhalers;
  • Medical products (e.g. topical formulations);
  • Toothpaste and oral hygiene products; and
  • Beauty products (e.g. shampoo).

Is PG Safe to Consume?

Again, PG is recognised as generally safe to consume. Like VG, most research centres around PG being consumed via ingestion rather than inhalation.

Side Effects

Some people can find that PG irritates their throat, especially first-time vapers who have no history of smoking. Allergies to PG are possible, however, they are incredibly rare. If you find that you are getting lots of irritation with a high PG e-liquid, consider using a liquid with a higher VG concentration.

Potential side effect of PG include dry mouth and other symptoms of dehydration (sore throat and increased thirst, etc.) If you hydrate yourself properly, these symptoms may go away after a few weeks of regular PG inhalation.

What PG:VG Ratio is Best?

The answer to this question solely depends on you. There is no single solution here---it all boils down to the type of vaping experience that you want. Many people use various PG:VG ratios depending on the purpose they are vaping for.

Here are a few options:

  • If you want a sharp throat hit that simulates smoking, go for a high PG e-liquid.
  • If you want a smoother feeling on the throat, go for a high VG e-liquid.
  • If you want to keep your vaping low-profile, high PG e-liquids produce less vapour.
  • If you want to produce big, thick dense clouds of vapour, high VG e-liquids are your only option---the higher the VG percentage, the better.

Many people find that a 50:50 ratio is just fine for them and gives the best of both worlds. We recommend trying e-liquids in varying ratios to find the ideal one for you. With vaping, it's all about trial and error to find the perfect device, flavour, and PG:VG ratio.

At Vaper Empire, all of our e-liquids are expertly crafted, ensuring a premium vaping experience for all of our customers.

Ready to Get Going?

If you are ready to take a few different e-liquids for a spin, head on over to the Vaper Empire online store.

We stock everything from vaping hardware to e-liquids and accessories, and all our products are manufactured following strict quality control measures. This is why we are often recognised as Australia's best online vaping retailer.

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