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What are Shortfill E-Liquids?

31st Aug 2021

Assortment of Shortfill E-Liquids

‘Shortfill’ - What Does it Mean?

The proof is in the name - a ‘shortfill’ is a 50ml or 100ml bottle of nicotine-free e-liquid with a short space at the top to fill a small amount of nicotine (up to 10ml with a 50ml bottle and 20ml with a 100ml) if the vaper chooses to add a nic shot. This abides by TPD vaping regulations because the bottle is nicotine-free initially but in a larger sized bottle. Containing just Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG) or often both, acting as carriers, in addition to sweeteners, it’s a handy way to remove your nicotine addiction at a cheaper price than 10ml e-liquids and certainly more affordable than cigarettes which average at £10 a pack in the UK, hopefully stopping the habit of smoking in the process. Introduced in 2015, the vaping industry wanted to reduce the size of e-liquid bottles containing nicotine, and rightly so, to reduce the amount of addiction in vaping.

Why is There a Demand?

After weeks, months or often years of smoking addiction, inhaling dangerous chemicals into the body, including combustible tobacco and filling the lungs with sticky black tar, e-cigarettes have been a refreshing cessation tool for smokers looking to quit because you can still get that nicotine hit but inhale a much safer alternative. However, because of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) laws announced in 2015 and enacted by 2016, vapers are no longer allowed to buy bottles of no more than 10ml containing nicotine.

The demand is there for shortfill e-liquids because it gives smokers what they have sought all along - control. Removing the need to buy multiple bottles of 10ml e-liquid is a space and time saver for vapers. Plus, not only do you pick the flavour of your e-liquid (there are multiple options available compared to purely tobacco from cigarettes), but you also control the level of nicotine.

Shortfill e-liquids are the ideal option at the lower end of the scale as you gradually cut down your nicotine levels. Typically, most vapers smoking more than a pack a day of cigarettes want to start at the highest strength of nicotine (20 milligrams) so that it feels like a familiar transition. Therefore, Shortfills suit casual vapers more and former heavy smokers used to a higher strength of nicotine might prefer a nic salt e-liquid to start with.

Can You Vape a Shortfill E-Liquid Without Nicotine?

V2 Cigs wants to make it clear from the start that nobody should try to vape if they do not already smoke cigarettes. The point of this cessation tool is to help give up smoking, which is considered far more dangerous than vaping, and switch to e-cigarettes where they only contain nicotine (one of the key addictive substances in cigarettes), sweeteners, PG and VG. Neither of the three last chemicals is dangerous to inhale and nicotine is not a dangerous substance on its own either for the record, despite the misconception surrounding the chemical from the tobacco plant. Essentially, with a Shortfill, you can vape with or without nicotine and be considered safe, although research is still carried out each year to understand the full effects of vaping. You can find out more here about the safety of vaping without nicotine.

What is the Ideal PG/VG Ratio?

This depends on what type of vaper you recognise yourself as, because there are many options. Generally, most Shortfills you will come across offer a higher ratio of VG (70VG/30PG or 80VG/20PG) because of its properties as odourless alcohol, which is often used in food production. On the upside, its thickness as a liquid produces thicker clouds and sweet textures but on the downside, a high VG Shortfill sometimes causes dry hits and burns the coils due to clogging up your heating element so that’s a consideration you need to think about. High PG, which is often used in medical products, is popular with new vapers switching from smoking because it tends to give a similar throat hit like cigarettes in your e-liquid. However, because some people are allergic to it, irritations on the throat can occur.

When you factor in all these considerations, most shortfills have a higher VG ratio because Sub-Ohm vapers love the cloud production, warm vape and use bigger devices with more power and lower resistance coils. Therefore, it accommodates a VG heavy Shortfill e-liquid with greater ease, even at the cost of a thicker density. As with most discussions in vaping, it comes down to personal preference depending on your needs. There’s no harm in trying different ratios of VG and PG to see which suits best.

How to Open, Fill and Add Your Nicotine

The process is a simple one with Shortfills. All you have to do is remove the lid, followed by the safety cap from your Shortfill e-liquid bottle and place it on a flat surface so it doesn’t spill when adding nicotine to a 0mg vape juice. Then you remove the cap from your 10ml nicotine shot and slowly tip into the Shortfill bottle using the dropper attached to the nic shot. Add as much as you like, with most nic shots containing 10mg, 18mg or 20mg strength, with 18mg being the most common. Once you have done that, give it a good shake to get the Shortfill mixed properly with nicotine and allow it to steep for a few minutes in a dark room or cupboard before vaping.

As an example of how much nicotine will be in your vape juice when mixed, an 18mg 10ml nic shot added to a 50ml Shortfill will create a 3mg nicotine solution after dilution. If you want a 6mg nicotine Shortfill, you will need a 100ml Shortfill. This is the highest strength you can get from a Shortfill, so it tends to be used more by former social smokers, Sub-Ohm ‘cloud chasers’ and those who have navigated their way down from a higher strength of nicotine to the final steps before vaping 0mg.

How to Fill Shortfills Diagram

Best Shortfill E-Liquids

Following the introduction of Shortfills in 2016, we have already seen some of the biggest manufacturers of e-liquids throw their hats into the ring. The likes of Dinner Lady, Vampire Vape and Nasty Juice demonstrated their knack for creating flavoursome Shortfills which appeal to all kinds of vapers. Check out some of the best below with our stand out Shortfill e-liquids.

Strawberry Macaroon and Lemon Tart Dinner Lady Shortfill E-Liquids


Dinner Lady

One of the pioneers in Shortfills, Dinner Lady is a brand with a big reputation that’s here to stay. Kicking off the Shortfill game with the iconic Lemon Tart dessert flavour, they’ve gone on to produce some delightful options for Shortfill enthusiasts seeking great taste, large dense vapour clouds and a carefully blended ratio of 70VG/30PG. Other delicious flavours include Strawberry Macaroon, Blackberry Crumble and Watermelon Slices from the Dinner Lady range.

Double Drip Coil Sauce

Created by Vapouriz, the now Vampire Vape backed Double Drip Coil Sauce gives vapers the chance to not just get their nicotine fix but try out some awesome e-liquid flavours in their vape tank or refillable pod. Available at 70% or 80% VG depending on the Shortfill you choose, they bring the nostalgic feels back with options such as Raspberry Sherbet or Cherry Cream Soda. Alternatively, why not try scrumptious desserts like Strawberry and Banana Waffle and refreshing e-liquids to cleanse the palette like Mango Tropic. Lots of mixtures to suit all taste buds for Sub-Ohm vapers!

  Arrangement of Double Drip Coil Sauce Shortfill E-Liquids

Nasty Juice

Next up we have Nasty Juice, which needs no introduction. Since 2015, this Malaysian manufacturer of Shortfill e-liquids, disposables and 10ml TPD compliant e-liquids has gone from strength to strength, growing the brand with new flavours and devices worldwide. Iconic examples of Shortfills include Slow Blow - a blend of mint, citrus, soda and finished off with hints of pineapple. Other options include Sicko Blue, merging berries, with a heavy influence on blueberry flavours and Stargazing which is similar to Sicko Blue but features mint too.


From the packaging with the childproof cap and smart design to the e-liquids bursting with flavour, IVG produces high standards for Sub-Ohm vaping. The 0mg nicotine Shortfills range from classic desserts like Roly Poly to delicious concoctions like Summer Blaze, featuring a blend of lemonade flavour and peach with other mixed fruits thrown in for good measure. All available in 70VG/30PG, expect large clouds from one of the best Shortfill e-liquids going. With certain brands, you can get 50/50 VG and PG but that may give too strong a throat hit or not enough cloud for your vape.

Final Thoughts

It's clear that Shortfill e-liquids serve a purpose and are popular with some vapers based on their versatility. Ideal for Sub-Ohm vapers and those wanting to cut down their nicotine to the smallest amount, a 50ml bottle equals 3mg of nicotine, which is one of the lowest strengths. They produce large clouds because they're typically thick 70% or 80% VG with added sweeteners and flavourings. Therefore, Shortfills are the perfect vape juice for vapers on the go who want to save a bit of money and time by not needing to carry around and top up 10ml bottles all the time, especially if Sub-Ohm vaping. If you have any questions, the V2 Cigs team is happy to help and we would love to know your thoughts on our social channels where you can interact with other like-minded vapers - whether you rate shortfills e-liquids highly or dislike, it's great to be a part of the discussion. 

Browse Shortfills