No, it’s not just water vapour, but it’s not some sketchy mystery either. In fact the ingredients are usually all listed on the label. That’s the law in the EU and soon will be in the USA.
Most e-liquid has four main ingredients; there’s some variation, but not really very much. If you know the basics you’ll be able to spot any differences quickly. In the meantime, here’s what you can expect to be pouring into your atomiser.
Liquid designed for modern atomisers is mostly vegetable glycerine, or VG – this can be up to 80% by volume.
Glycerine is a natural substance that can be processed from most kinds of fat. The glycerine used in e-liquid comes from vegetable oils, which is why it’s called VG, but it doesn’t really make a lot of difference. One important point is that although it’s processed from oils it isn’t an oil. In fact it’s an alcohol, which makes it safe to inhale.
VG is a non-toxic colourless liquid with no smell. It’s very thick and viscous, which means high-VG liquids don’t work well in older atomisers and small clearomizers – it’s too thick to wick well. Some liquids use aqueous glycerine to solve this, basically just VG with some water added.
Lots of common products contain VG. It’s used in the food industry as a sweetener and many medicines contain it as well. It’s never been linked to any health problems.
Most of what isn’t VG in your liquid is probably propylene glycol, or PG. Some liquids contain more PG than VG; these work better in clearomizers and older atomisers, because they’re less viscous.
PG is an alcohol, like VG, and it’s also nearly odourless. It has a faint sweet taste, although not enough for it to be used as a sweetener; it does get added to foods, medicines and other products.
While it’s true that there have been some minor health issues linked to PG, it is classed as generally safe; swallowing or inhaling it won’t do you any harm.
PG produces less visible vapour than VG, so it’s unpopular with cloud chasers but liked by people who want to vape discreetly. It also carries flavours better and gives more throat hit.
One of the best things about vaping is the wide choice of delicious-tasting juices. The liquid doesn’t have much taste on its own, so it’s flavoured with food-grade additives.
If there are any health concerns about vaping that’s mostly down to flavourings. There are some ingredients that are safe to eat but not to inhale – diacetyl, for example. As long as you stick to flavours from vape manufacturers, you’ll be absolutely fine.
Finally, most liquids contain nicotine in various strengths. This is what makes vaping such an effective substitute for smoking; you can satisfy your nicotine cravings without having to set fire to tobacco leaves.
Although it gets a lot of bad publicity, nicotine is actually a very safe drug: It’s the smoke from cigarettes that causes harm, not the nicotine. It is toxic in high doses, but there’s really no chance of poisoning yourself by vaping. Long before you get to a dangerous level it will make you feel slightly nauseous, then give you a headache.
Oh wait! This is a pretty new concept, and you probably won’t find supplements in your regular nicotine filled juices. But for companies like Nutrovape, vaping supplements is what it’s all about. What you’re inhaling depends on the kind of device you’ve purchased, but you can expect things like caffeine (Energy) and melatonin (Sleep), among many others. The rest of Nutrovape’s juice is still made with the basic ingredients you see above, minus the nicotine of course.