What Does PG And VG Mean?

PG and VG, or Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerine, are both substances found in many e-liquids. PG is a colourless liquid often used as a preservative across the food industry. VG is a thickening liquid that is also typically colourless. These ingredients partially dictate the type of experience an e-liquid provides depending on the ratio of the substances.

What is the Difference Between PG & VG

The type of vaping experience a device provides partially depends upon the e-liquid, and the levels of VG and PG within it. This is commonly known as the VG/PG ratio. Essentially, many e-liquids contain a certain percentage of each substance. For example, an e-liquid could have a combination of 70% VG, 30% PG, or 60% VG, 40% PG.  

High PG ratio e-liquids, usually above 60%, provide a stronger flavour. That is because PG is typically a thin substance - meaning it can dissolve quickly. PG generally doesn’t contain any natural flavour, so it helps blend the other flavours within the e-liquid.  

A higher level of VG in an e-liquid, generally over 60%, often provides less flavour but more vapour. When it comes to VG, this typically thicker substance usually produces more vapour when used as the base for an e-liquid, compared to PG.  

E-liquids with a 50/50 PG and VG split often offer a smooth vaping experience.  

Another common difference between the two substances is the nature of VG and PG. As a synthetic substance, PG often has a longer shelf life. It has been used by food and pharmaceutical companies for years. VG usually has a shorter shelf life because it is organic. Normally derived from natural plant oils, VG is also often found in many food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic products. VG and PG usually aren’t the only ingredients in e-liquids. Nicotine, for example, is a substance that is present in many e-liquids. It is important to note that nicotine is an addictive substance. 

Nicotine in PG and VG E-Liquids

Nicotine, VG, and PG are all ingredients that are often found in a typical vape. The inclusion of nicotine, which is addictive, is one reason why vaping is not risk-free. However, contrary to popular belief, nicotine is not the most harmful factor in cigarettes. The harmful chemicals and substances produced during the burning process - combustion - pose the greatest risk to an adult smoker. For that reason, switching from cigarettes to a vape potentially presents less risk to those who would otherwise continue to smoke. Of course, the reduction in harmful chemicals and a reduction in risk should be substantiated on a product-by-product basis.

Nicotine VG and nicotine PG base products are commonly both available online. These are not e-liquid products, rather they’re ingredients adult vapers can use to make their own e-liquid. However, we advise against this practice. Do not create your own e-liquids as they could pose a safety risk. Instead, check the vape device’s manufacturer guidance to determine which e-liquids are suitable for your device.  

Another ingredient found in many e-liquids are the flavourings. These food additives, usually blended for unique flavours, are used to amplify the aroma and taste of a vaping experience. Flavourings are also often used in various food and pharmaceutical products. 

Does VG and PG Matter in Heated Tobacco?

Heated tobacco works differently to vaping, and these products don’t require the use of e-liquid. Heated tobacco devices should heat tobacco instead of burning it, as cigarettes do. 

IQOS is one example of heated tobacco technology that an adult smoker may wish to consider when switching. IQOS provides cigarette-like satisfaction*. A high-quality range of heated tobacco devices designed with years of research and expertise, IQOS is worth considering. IQOS is the #1 tobacco heating system**. IQOS emits on average 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes***. Discover IQOS heated tobacco today.

If you have more queries about IQOS devices, head to the FAQ page where we answer the most commonly asked questions about our products.

Do note that IQOS products are not risk-free and they provide nicotine, which is addictive. IQOS products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. 

Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free. 

* 3 month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory). 

** PMI global estimate of total In-Market Sales of Heated Tobacco Units as of May 2022. (excluding China and US). 

*** Reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette.   

Both PG and VG usually have an important role in the overall vaping experience. With a greater understanding of these ingredients, it is possible for an adult smoker and adult vaper to find the right vaping and smoke-free experience for them. 

This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.  

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