What’s in E-Liquid? The Key Components Explained

Vape device with e-liquid and a strawberry next to it 900x589

There is a lot of confusion out there about what e-liquid is really made of. There are two key reasons why it’s important to know what e-liquid contains as a vaper. Firstly, understanding what the ingredients are and how they work together means you won’t fall prey to scaremongering. Secondly, having a good general understanding of the key ingredients means you will be able to spot any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients in the e-liquids you try.

Keep reading to learn more about the key vape juice ingredients and get some tips on how to choose a good quality vape juice in New Zealand.

Liquid Base

A main component of e-liquid that can make up to 90% of a bottle is the carrier or base. This is usually a blend of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, which you may have seen referred to as a VG/PG ratio. This base is used to disperse the nicotine and flavouring and is responsible for producing vapour when heated in your vape device.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin is a sugar alcohol. It’s a clear liquid that is derived from vegetable oils. Vegetable glycerin doesn’t have a strong smell but it does have a slightly sweet taste. The thick texture of the liquid helps to generate large clouds when heated in a vape atomiser. This component of e-juice is a safe, naturally derived substance that is also used in a range of other industries including foodstuffs and cosmetics.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is another alcohol used to make up an e-liquid base. It is also a clear liquid and is tasteless and odourless, making it a great neutral base that carries flavour well. Propylene glycol is thinner in consistency compared to vegetable glycerin, so it produces more discreet clouds and gives a stronger throat hit.


Nicotine is a key ingredient in many e-liquids. Many turn to vaping to enjoy a nicotine hit without having to inhale all the dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. However, some e-liquids are made without nicotine to provide more choice and allow people to wean off nicotine altogether if they want to.

The nicotine in vape juice comes in two formulations—freebase nicotine and nicotine salts. Freebase nicotine is nicotine that has been broken down into its purest form. This is the original form of nicotine used for vaping, it’s a potent source that is easily absorbed and can provide a strong throat hit at high levels.

Nicotine salts are a form of nicotine used in e-liquid. In this form, the nicotine is still held together in its organic salt structure found in tobacco leaves. Nic salts are also referred to as sub-ohm salts, as they need to be vaped at high temperatures making them ideal for sub-ohm devices.


Flavours are a real perk of vaping instead of smoking. You don’t have to stick to tobacco flavour, you can branch out and try a range of tastes including fruity flavours, dessert flavours, and heaps more.

Vape flavouring is made from food-grade additives. It is important to check that the vape juice you buy contains food-grade flavourings only, as some non-reputable manufacturers can use unsafe ingredients including diacetyl.

How to Choose Quality E-Juice

Here are our key tips for choosing a safe and delicious e-juice!

Check the ingredients list: Now that you know the four key ingredients you can expect to find in a bottle of e-juice, it’s good practice to look over the ingredients when you switch to a new brand and ensure that they are all above board.

Avoid e-liquids that use diacetyl: Diacetyl is a chemical that was previously used in e-liquid to create a buttery flavour. It has been linked to a lung disease referred to as popcorn lung, however, no cases of this have been identified from vaping. Diacetyl is not used by reputable NZ manufacturers, but remember that NZ does not have safety laws around vape ingredients currently, so it is best to double-check the label yourself. At NZVAPOR, we do not use diacetyl in any of our vape products.

Google the e-liquid company: In this day and age, it’s easy to quickly search up an e-liquid brand and check that they look legit. A reputable company will have information about their ingredients and their production process available so you can be sure you are using a safe product. If you take a look at our FAQ page, you will see that we only use FDA-approved flavouring, pure nicotine that meets EU medical standards, and food-grade PG and VG.

Pick Up Tasty E-Juice from NZVAPOR

When you buy e-liquid from NZVAPOR, you can be assured that it is the highest quality juice available. All our house-made flavours are carefully crafted by us, we don’t use any premade flavouring in our products so you can enjoy unique flavours that are as good as it gets. Shop NZVAPOR e-liquid online or in-store today and enjoy big flavours with even bigger clouds!

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