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Ultimate Guide to E-liquids

Your Ultimate Guide to E-liquids

Vapes and e-liquids go hand-in-hand. But what is e-liquid, and how does it work inside vape devices and e-cigarettes? Various e-liquid brands and formulas are available, so choosing the most suitable option can be challenging if you don’t understand what you’re buying.

Learn about e-liquids, their ingredients and how they work here. Then, learn about choosing e-liquid based on your preferred nicotine strength and how to look after it.

What is an e-liquid, and how does it work?

E-liquid is a nicotine-containing substance converted into vapour by vape devices and e-cigarettes*. It can come in cartridges, small bottles, or pre-loaded into disposable vapes.

While there are many e-liquid brands and formulas on the market, some ingredients are the same across all variations. These include the following:

Nicotine. An addictive substance.

Propylene glycol (PG). A food-industry ingredient that helps carry nicotine.

Vegetable glycerin (VG). A thick, plant-derived substance that helps carry nicotine.

Flavourings. Food-grade ingredients that add flavour and scent to the vapour produced by vapes.    

How does e-liquid work?

Most vapes have a battery (to power the device), a coil (the heating element) and a tank or cartridge (containing e-liquid). When activated by inhaling or pressing a button, the battery sends energy to the heating element, which converts e-liquid into vapour.

Are e-liquids legal in the UK?

Yes, e-liquids are legal in the UK and available to purchase online or in shops by nicotine consumers aged 18+.

UK law prohibits anyone under 18 from buying or consuming nicotine products, including vapes and e-liquids. If you’re planning a trip outside the UK, check the laws in your destination country before setting off.

Explore our guide to travelling with vape devices to learn more.

What does the PG/VG ratio mean?

All e-liquids combine propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), food-grade ingredients that carry nicotine, each with slightly different properties. For example, PG can hold flavourings better, while VG is thicker and produces more vapour. How much of each ingredient is in an e-liquid varies from product to product.

Types of e-liquids

E-liquids come in different formulas and nicotine strengths, suitable for existing nicotine consumers with varying experience levels. 

Light nicotine consumers might prefer a lower-strength e-liquid. Those used to smoking high-strength cigarettes or vapes may choose a higher-strength e-liquid.

Consumers can also choose e-liquids to suit their tastes. Our e-liquids come in tobacco, menthol and flavoured varieties.

What e-liquid strength should I choose?

E-liquids are available in various nicotine strengths, letting existing nicotine consumers find a suitable option for their experiences. This also means you can change your e-liquid flavour and strength. 

The most common nicotine strengths for e-liquids are:

  • 3mg. The lowest level of nicotine you can get in an e-liquid.
  • 6mg. Another low-level nicotine strength.
  • 12mg. Suitable for the average nicotine consumer.
  • 18mg. High-strength nicotine.

Discover our nicotine strength guide to learn more.

How to look after your e-liquid

Vape devices and e-liquids are easy to maintain with some understanding and care. Use e-liquid correctly and look after your device by doing the following:

Don’t let e-liquid run out. Using your vape with little or no e-liquid can cause damage and an unpleasant vaping experience.

Keep your device clean. Residue and debris can build up over time and affect the quality of your vaping experience.

Store your vape correctly. Keep your device upright to prevent the e-liquid from leaking, and store it away from water, sunlight and high temperatures.

Does e-liquid expire?

Yes, e-liquid can expire, but it generally has a long shelf life. Ten Motives e-liquids have their expiry date clearly displayed on the packaging, so double-check if you’re loading your device with a product you’ve had for a long time.

Nicotine salts vs e-liquids

While exploring the world of e-liquids, you may come across nicotine salts, or ‘nic’ salts. Nicotine salts are e-liquids containing an additional ingredient that returns nicotine to its original chemical composition (a salt found in tobacco plant leaves).

Both nic salts and freebase nicotine e-liquids are loaded into devices and consumed the same way. The only difference is their vaping sensation, with nicotine salts often described as more like smoking a cigarette.

Explore Ten Motives e-liquids

Discover e-liquids for Ten Motives devices, including Vuse e-liquids in a range of nicotine strengths, suited to different consumers and VIP e-liquids in various flavours.

* These products are not risk-free and contain nicotine, an addictive substance.

Browse E-Liquids


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