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Vaping 101: PG vs VG E-Liquids

20th Jan 2022

Vaping 101: PG vs VG E-Liquids

PG & VG are very important compounds in any e-liquid. Used in many household products and food items, PG for short refers to Propylene Glycol while VG relates to Vegetable Glycerin. Both are generally safe to use and have important roles in your vape juice, helping to shape the kind of throat hit, flavour and cloud production when you vaporise your e-liquid. For today’s entry in our Vaping 101 series for vape beginners, we’re going to clear the air around this ongoing debate about the key differences and share both the pros and cons of each non-toxic e-liquid base, as well as give you some insight about which type of PG VG ratio might be most suitable for your specific style of vaping.

View Our Full List of 101 Vaping Topics

What Does PG Mean?

As we mentioned before, PG stands for Propylene Glycol, which is a colourless and odourless by-product of petroleum. PG e-liquids are also known for creating greater taste. With a lower viscosity than a high VG bottle, it’s primary purpose and function is to carry the flavour. It’s thin in consistency and packs an impressive throat hit when the ratio is above 50%. New vapers appreciate this as the sensation is similar to smoking. For their hefty throat hit, e-liquids with a PG base are ideal for beginners, requiring less heat for the vapour particles to disintegrate and power as it requires less battery charge. A 50-70% PG ratio is suited to pod vapes, vape pens and small starter kits. Additionally, the thinner consistency leads to less build up in your tank so you might notice your e-cigarette is cleaner than usual if you switch to a PG-based e-liquid.

High VG Thicker E-Liquid With Splash Effect

What is VG?

While PG e-liquids are all about flavour with a very mild taste, VG e-liquids lead the way in vapour production and are also much sweeter naturally. If you’re looking for billowy plumes of vapour, then there’s no substitute for VG-based e-liquids.

Abbreviated from Vegetable Glycerin, VG is a natural derivative of vegetable oil, making it a suitable e-liquid option for vegetarians. It’s more viscous than Propylene Glycol, so you’ll notice that VG e-liquids provide a smooth finish, but takes longer to wick in the coil and could cause your heating element accessories to burn at a faster rate. For this reason alone, they’re a firm favourite with cloud chasers using Sub-Ohm devices and those seeking a warmer vape at a higher wattage but for an extended coil life, you may find a higher PG e-liquid the better option.

Are PG and VG Safe?

You can find PG in many products you have in your house right now, including make up, shampoo, topical medical products, baby wipes and even asthma inhalers. While numerous studies have confirmed PG is safe for humans, you should proceed with caution if you have pets in your home. While PG is considered safe for dogs and is included in numerous dog foods, it is linked to disease in cats, so we’d recommend vaping away from your household pets if you use PG e-liquids.

Some vapers may find a scratchy sensation on the throat which often relates to too much nicotine or in some cases an allergic reaction to PG. If this is the case, try to reduce the PG ratio if it’s higher than 50% and see if you notice a difference. If you’re still struggling and seeing symptoms like a sore throat, dehydration and mild coughing, you can even try a 100% VG e-liquid. Although it’s a much sweeter vape juice that will not carry the same natural flavours as a high PG e-liquid, it will not cause as many side effects, plus create much larger clouds.

As with Propylene Glycol, you’ll find Vegetable Glycerin in a plethora of household items, such as sweeteners, baked goods, toothpaste, bubble baths and hand creams. Toxicity studies have found minimal risk when it comes to VG and PG.

Matching VG & PG With the Right Coil

The lower the resistance coil, the higher the VG ratio should be, and vice versa with your PG ratio. A high PG e-liquid should pair with a coil over 1.0 Ohm to create the best mouth to lung experience, due to the thinner consistency and throat hit. A high PG e-liquid with a coil resistance plus one Ohm should be vaped at a low wattage and has a good chance of lasting all day on a decent battery capacity, even if it’s a disposable with a coil and battery built inside, which you intend to throw away after.

VG affects the longevity and performance of the coil differently to PG because of its thickness. It wicks at a slower rate and because of this, will cause greater gunk build up, meaning a coil heating to vaporise a high VG e-liquid needs replacing more frequently.

Man Topping Up Pod and Wicking Coil With E-Liquid

What about a 50/50 PG and VG Ratio?

What if you want the best of both worlds, can you blend PG and VG e-liquids? You can indeed, and it’s a popular option for those who find the throat hit from pure PG e-liquids too harsh, or find that the flavour from their VG e-liquids is lacking. Whether you opt for a 50/50 blend or a 75/25 split is up to you, so we’d recommend experimenting with different ratios until you settle on the best option for your vaping style.

A balanced e-liquid is the safe bet, the goldilocks of vape juice choices - it’s an equal amount of PG and VG so that you get not too much vapour production or throat hit, the flavour is not overly sweet or thick in density. It’s the go-to for vapers who are not sure or have decided against one or the other as a higher ratio because it does not agree with them. Any 50/50 e-liquid should work fine whatever kit you have, whether that’s a Sub-Ohm kit or a simplistic pod vape system.

High PG Nic Salts vs High VG Shortfills

It’s not just about picking the coil to match the VG or PG ratio, there are other options and considerations to think about such as the strength of your nicotine and how you want to absorb that. Initially when vaping began the only advice you would get, which is still beneficial as we stated above, is try to match the coil resistance with the coil Ohm resistance. Now it’s also important to consider what type of nicotine base you want and how to blend that with PG, VG or both.

Variety of Nic Salt Bottles

The ratio of VG & PG you pick makes all the difference to the type of nicotine base and determines the impact you’ll get in terms of flavour and throat hit as well as cloud production. In the past few years we have witnessed the rise in popularity of nic salts and shortfills. Both have a definitive job that gives vapers even more choice:

Nic Salts

  • Absorb quicker in your system
  • Often mixed with a 50VG/50PG base
  • Smoother on the throat
  • Less nicotine needed compared to freebase


  • 50ml bottle of vape juice is free of nicotine but you can add your required amount from a 10ml nicotine shot
  • Nic shot often produced with traditional freebase nicotine
  • Gives vaper greater control what goes in their e-liquid
  • Shortfills are typically 70VG/30PG, meaning bigger clouds
  • Less natural flavour as VG liquid reduces notes in e-liquid mix
  • Throat hit reduced


So there you have it, an in-depth guide to PG and VG e-liquids. Like with most subjects and discussions in vaping, it’s all subjective, with each individual having different preferences to the next. Compared to smoking and the lack of alterations possible, it’s fantastic that just tweaking the VG or PG ratio can make a huge change to the type of e-liquid you vape. Most importantly, remember to match your e-liquid with a compatible device and give it a try. On odd occasions it may occur where the hit isn’t quite right or the texture isn’t smooth enough. However, rest assured with a bit of patience and good old fashioned trial and error, you’ll find a winning formula and the best delivery of nicotine to quit smoking, eventually dropping down your nicotine levels to quit the addictive substance full stop and lead a healthier life.

We hope this information helps you make an educated decision about your next e-liquid and you’re delighted with whichever option you settle on. If you have any further questions about either PG or VG e-liquids, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via Twitter or our Contact page.