PG vs VG - What Is VG and PG?

Adult smokers who have just switched over to vaping from continued smoking may wonder - what are PG and VG? PG and VG are two of the major ingredients of e-liquids.

Understanding their characteristics and how they work within e-liquids can help you find a PG - VG ratio to suit your vaping preferences. The PG - VG ratio can alter many aspects of the vaping experience – including the flavour, the strength of the ‘throat hit’, and vapour density.

What is PG?

PG (propylene glycol) is a colourless, tasteless solution. It has a number of properties, being a humectant (it helps keep things moist), a preservative and a solvent.

What is PG used in? In addition to e-liquids, PG is also used in a diverse range of other products - from cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to food flavourings.

What are the characteristics of PG (Propylene Glycol)?

PG provides the ‘throat hit’, which is the hit at the back of the throat that has been likened to the feeling of smoking a cigarette.

PG has been found to be a better carrier of nicotine than VG (vegetable glycerine), and, since it is virtually tasteless, it does not add to the flavour of e-liquid like VG can.

What is VG?

Like PG, VG (vegetable glycerine) is a colourless, odourless solution. However, unlike PG, VG has more of a flavour to it, and a more viscous consistency.

What is VG used in? Outside of vaping, VG is used in a wide variety of pharmaceuticals and other products, such as moisturisers, cosmetics and toothpaste.

What Are the Characteristics of VG (Vegetable Glycerine)?

Unlike PG, which is a thin solution, VG is thick and viscous. If you want to use a high-VG e-liquid, this works best with vapes such as large sub-ohm tanks.

E-liquids with a higher VG - PG ratio can produce larger volumes of vapour - provided they are used in the correct type of vape. These high VG e-liquids may work best in vapes compatible with low resistance coils, used at higher wattages. When purchasing vape coils, these products will typically specify the wattage range you can use them at.

VG vs PG?

Both PG and VG are common ingredients, found in many different types of e-liquids. However, while the substances are often grouped together when discussing e-liquid components, they each have their own distinct qualities.

Why does the ratio of PG and VG in an e-cigarette matter? E-liquids with different VG and PG ratios can bring out different characteristics to vaping - which is why this experience can differ depending on the PG - VG ratio your e-liquid has. Explore how the different levels of PG and VG in e-liquid could bring certain characteristics to your vaping experience below. 



High PG, Low VG 

High VG, Low PG

The distinctive taste of the solution



The level of diffused aerosol produced by the substance

Small amounts

Large amounts

'Throat hit'
The sensation at the back of the throat produced by vaping, said to imitate the sensation of smoking



Build up
The amount of residue caused over time by using the substance



It’s important to note that the PG – VG ratio isn’t the only factor that affects the characteristics above. Other factors can also impact the vaping experience in these ways, including other ingredients in the e-liquid, or possibly the settings on the vape device. 

Understanding PG - VG ratios

The balance of PG and VG within an e-liquid is usually referred to as the PG - VG ratio.

The quantity of PG and VG within is typically expressed in percentages, with PG first and then VG. Accordingly, an even mix of PG and VG would be expressed as a 50/50 e-liquid. An e-liquid that is 70% PG and 30% VG would usually be described as a 70/30 e-liquid.

A 100% PG E-Liquid

A 100% PG e-liquid will generally deliver a strong ‘throat hit’ – and, as such, it could be considered a suitable choice for adult smokers who are only just switching over from continued smoking to vaping.

Higher PG e-liquids are also usually used with more basic ‘cigalike’-type vaping devices, which could become clogged if high VG ratios are used - although this will depend on the device and manufacturer guidance.

A 50/50 PG – VG Ratio

A 50/50 ratio of PG and VG can create a measured vaping experience with a balance of flavour, a milder throat hit (compared to a high-PG ratio) and ample vapour production.

It is also a ratio that can suit a variety of different vape kits and tanks. 50/50 e-liquid could be thick enough for use with a sub-ohm mod, but isn’t so viscous that it will clog less powerful vaping devices. That said, it’s always important to only use e-liquids with a PG – VG ratio recommended for the device you’re using. 

A 30/70 PG – VG Ratio

Like the 50/50, the 30PG/70VG is another commonly seen PG – VG ratio.

This type of e-liquid can often produce thick and flavourful vapour with a light throat hit. Due to the viscosity of the solution, it may clog smaller ‘pen-like’ vaping devices - so always check the product guidance before using these types of e-liquids.

A 100% VG E-Liquid

100% VG e-liquid - sometimes referred to as ‘Max VG e-liquids’ may provide a smoother throat hit and more vapour production than those with a higher PG - VG ratio.

Which PG – VG Ratio Should I Choose?

When it comes to PG – VG ratio, there is no one ‘right’ answer on which to choose. Getting the best results for you will be largely dependent on what vaping experience you’re looking for, and the type of vaping system you’re using.

Understanding how the PG - VG ratio can impact your vaping experience – and knowing the most suitable liquid for your device type - can be useful when deciding which VG/PG balance to use.

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

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. Such content is not intended to be representative of the products sold on this website.

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