'Juices' and nicotine eliquids

The liquid that is used in electronic cigarettes is known as juice or eliquid.

Juices are usually made up of propylene glycol (PG - used in medicinal preparations among other applications), vegetable glycerine (VG) and food grade flavours.

Ecig juice flavors

There are a huge range of flavours available - some mimic tobacco, others include coffee, caramel and menthol. 

In fact, there are so many flavours, there's certain to be one (or a dozen) you'll like - the tough part is narrowing down what those are.

As personal taste varies so much, when buying eliquids from a supplier for the first time, it's best to buy a few and in small quantities. Most merchants will offer small sizes for just a few dollars each. This allows you to try a good range without outlaying too much money.

Some juices may be sold as concentrates - i.e you add them to a nicotine liquid/PG/VG base or a PG/VG base. 

Others will be sold as juices "ready to vape"; either with or without nicotine. Be sure you know what you are buying.

Nicotine liquids

The topic of nicotine based liquids is a very complex one. 

Aside from checking laws in your region, you should also be careful concerning sourcing and usage. Nicotine is not something to be messed around with.

While the debate rages on about how toxic nicotine is or isn't, the point remains it is toxic and should be handled with care.  

Knowing what strength nicotine you need is important and best discussed with someone very familiar with vaping. 

As I was a heavy, long-term smoker using high nicotine and high tar tobacco; I started with 24 mg (2.4%) nicotine liquid. When the juices I use are added, it brings the nicotine content down to around 18mg (1.8%). 

When I started out, I was vaping around 3.6mls of 18mg (1.8%) strength eliquid a day - which is around 2/3 of a teaspoon. This kept me comfortable and free of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Once you know what you should start with, bearing in mind you don't have to use nicotine liquids (many people choose to use non-nicotine products); you then need to locate a reputable supplier. 

There are a lot of backyarders who are more interested in a quick profit than helping smokers with a real alternative to tobacco. 

Quality control is an important issue. If you're buying 24mg nicotine liquids, you'll want to be assured that is what you are getting, or at least very close to it.

Lower levels mean you will need to vape more to feel comfortable, but higher levels can be more of a concern given the nature of nicotine.

For example, I purchased a nicotine testing kit. A test I ran on a New Zealand vendor's 24 mg nicotine liquid showed it to be very close to 24 mg. However, a test on a batch of 36mg nicotine liquid from a supplier in China showed it to be far higher -around 43mg. If I had used that liquid based on the vendor's rating; I would have been overdosing myself and for some people it could be particularly problematic.

This is not to say all Chinese vendors will be in the same boat; some are very good - but you do need to exercise due diligence when sourcing your nicotine.

Some people will say a certain supplier is good and others may make negative comment comments about the same vendor; which can make things a little confusing.

When you find a company, do some research on the merchant via the web and read reviews; but rather than decide based on one review, weigh up all you have read and decide if you're still comfortable buying from that company.

Bear in mind old reviews are probably not the best to base a purchase decision on. There have been cases where the quality of what was a previously good supplier has dropped.

When handling nicotine liquids, exercise caution - if you should spill any on yourself, wash off immediately and be particularly careful not to get any in your eyes - it may be transferred via your hands.

How to store nicotine liquid

The enemies of nicotine liquid are air, light and heat; which degrade the substance.

Generally speaking, if the nicotine liquid is going to be used within a month or two and is a fresh batch, storing it in a cool, dark and dry place with appropriate warning labels and preferably in a locked cabinet should be sufficient.

For longer term storage, the refrigerator or freezer is more appropriate and storage in amber glass bottles with child-safe caps advisable.

Storing nicotine liquid for long periods in the plastic bottles it usually arrives in could result in some of the plastic leaching into the nicotine.

Nicotine liquids should never be kept in an area accessible by children.



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