WHAT IS IN E-LIQUID?
E-liquid is made up of five main ingredients: propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), nicotine (currently not available in Victoria), flavouring and pure distilled water.
Propylene Glycol (PG)- Typically up to 50% of e-liquid is PG, which is an organic compound that is commonly used in food products, household products, cosmetic products and medicines. PG is thinner than VG and known for enhancing flavour and while it doesn’t produce as much vapour as VG it does often give a bigger ‘throat hit’ comparable to that of a traditional cigarette.
Vegetable Glycerine (VG)- Up to and over 50% of e-liquid is typically VG. VG is an organic substance (a carbohydrate) that is extracted from vegetable oils and is commonly used in general food products, food supplements, health products and cosmetic products. VG is thicker than PG and is known for producing larger vapour clouds and being smoother on the throat.
Flavouring- Often between 1% and 10% of e-liquid is flavour concentrate. The chemicals used to flavour e-liquid are typically PG based and are the same flavours used to add flavour to food products and are recognised as safe to consume. However flavour concentrates are made up of complex molecules and flavours for e-liquid manufacturing are often further processed to ensure that potentially harmful chemicals that may be present in a particular flavour are within the safety limits of exposure.
Nicotine- Currently nicotine e-liquid is not available in Victoria. However pharmaceutical grade nicotine is commonly added to e-liquid at concentrations of between 0.1%-2.4%. Nicotine is a poison which is lethal at high concentrations and 2.4% is considered extremely high and is the highest level recommended for vaping. Nicotine is often measured in milligrams (which is milligrams per millilitre) and the concentrations are from 1MG-24MG.
DOES E-LIQUID GO OFF?
Technically, e-liquid does have an expiry date. Over time e-liquids will degrade. The flavour concentrate and the Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) will tend to degrade, especially in warmer climates. Exposure to light can also speed up the time it takes for e-liquid to degrade. The nicotine in the e-liquid will oxidise a little over time and may become peppery or may seem weaker than normal. Nicotine will oxidise faster in warmer climates and when exposed to light for long periods.
Normally e-liquid that has gone bad will change colour (usually darker) a little or there will be a separation of colours. The e-liquid may also smell and/or taste different and it may be thicker than normal.
The life of e-liquid is typically about 8 months if stored in a cool, dark environment. However, you can store your e-liquid for up to 2 years if refrigerated. However storing e-liquid in the refrigerator can result in it going bad quick as it returns to room temperature once removed from the fridge. The best way to store e-liquid is in a cool place (about 20 degrees Celsius) and in the dark. If you do store e-liquid in the fridge, use it within two weeks once removed from the fridge.