What's the difference between PG and VG?

Created by Jade Shand, Modified on Tue, 20 Sep 2022 at 12:33 PM by Jade Shand

Although they both have applications in various everyday objects, when it comes to vaping, PG and VG concern e-liquids. Along with nicotine, PG and VG are the most common ingredients found within e-liquid, and you'll usually see them expressed as a ratio on the bottle.


Are they safe?

Both PG and VG are recognised as safe, and the only known side effects are that some vapers may experience a dry or sore throat, increased thirst and in extreme cases, an intolerance (particularly to PG).


What is PG?

What does it stand for?

PG stands for propylene glycol, an odourless, colourless liquid. This is the element of your e-liquid that helps to provide the ‘throat hit’ similar to the sensation you would experience when smoking tobacco. PG also carries flavour much more effectively than VG, making it the more commonly favoured of the two for products such as flavour concentrates.

Where else might you find it?

Propylene Glycol has been around for quite some time, and can be found in products such as ice-cream, toothpaste and make-up wipes.

Where will I see it?

Most e-liquids contain some PG, though it's unusual to find an e-liquid made up of 100% PG (our Clear Steam vapourless e-liquids are one of the few examples out there).

When browsing e-liquids, you will find ratios that refer to the PG/VG quantities. For example, if you see 70/30 on the e-liquids then it will contain 70% PG and 30% VG.


What is VG?

What does it stand for?

VG stands for vegetable glycerine and much like PG, it is odourless and colourless. It’s a lot more viscous (thicker) than PG and has a slightly sweet taste to it. This is the part of your e-liquid that produces vapour.

Where else might you find it?

You will encounter vegetable glycerine in your everyday life. Food colouring, cough syrup and aftershave are a few products you will find VG in.

Where will I see it? 

Most e-liquids contain at least some VG, as without it you'll have a hard time getting much in the way of vapour. VG also helps to deliver a smoother overall vape, and counteracts the harshness some users encounter with PG.

You may have seen some 50/50 e-liquids (such as our Standard range). This simply means that there is 50% PG and 50% VG.


Which Ratio is Right for You?

PG and VG both have their benefits and limitations. There are five prominent differences between the two and these factors will determine which is better suited for your vaping style.

PG is great for throat hit

PG provides a throat hit much like the sensation you would experience when smoking a cigarette. This may not sound too pleasant but can be very beneficial for smokers that are making the switch to vaping. As the process will feel like smoking, the transition will be much easier.

Of course, this may not be ideal for everyone. Some may find high PG e-liquids too irritating or harsh, so should consider switching to a high VG. After vaping for a long time, many users find themselves moving to a high VG e-liquid as a throat hit becomes less important.

High VG e-liquids take a bit longer to wick

A prominent downside regarding High VG e-liquids is how well they soak into wicks. As VG is much more viscous than PG, it takes a longer for it to be absorbed into the wick and reach the coil, which can in turn cause complications when you vape if you are not prepared for this.

When you take a draw, the e-liquid in the wick depletes and is then replaced by the liquid in the tank. If your wick hasn’t yet had the chance to re-saturate, you’ll get a ‘dry puff’ which can taste quite horrible. This isn’t as common with PG due to its thinner state which allows it to soak into wicks more quickly, meaning you’re less likely to encounter this problem with a high PG mix.

For those who favour a high VG e-liquid, you just need to remember to allow time for the liquid to soak the wick. This isn’t a common problem with sub ohm tanks and rebuildable atomisers as those devices tend to have much more effective wicking.

Going for clouds? VG is your best bet

VG may not provide the best throat hit, but it can produce very dense, thick vapour. Although this may not seem necessary to new vapers, this is perfect for vapers who look to maximise vapour production.You may wonder why VG is necessary at all, but VG is essential in assisting in the replication of a genuine smoking experience. With no VG, the vapour production would be very weak.

If flavour is more your thing, PG may be the better choice

Generally speaking, PG is much better at carrying flavour than VG. This is partly due to the present flavour in each. PG is already near tasteless where as VG has a natural sweetness, which can interfere with the e-liquid flavour in question.

This effect is very subtle and hard to notice without a direct comparison but if you’re looking to maximise the flavour of your vapour, high PG e-liquids are the best option.

PG intolerance

Finally, some people can be sensitive or even allergic to PG. PG intolerance is fairly rare, but some can find it quite irritating to the throat. Although this is not common, it’s worth keeping in mind when you first try out vaping. If you find that the e-liquid you are using is quite irritating, try switching to a high VG e-liquid.


So, taking these factors into consideration, which ratio is best for you? At the end of the day, it’s all down to personal preference. Looking for a cigarette-like vaping experience? Try a high PG e-liquid. Or perhaps you’re looking to be exhaling plumes of vapour that would rival a steam train? Then try a high VG e-liquid. Once you can determine what it is that you are looking for from your vape, you’ll be able to work out if PG or VG is best for you.

If you’re still feeling pretty clueless, then you can try our 50/50 Standard Range. These perfectly balance a delicious flavour with a satisfying throat hit by using a 50/50 PG/VG mix. Thanks to this half and half mix, they are very well suited for all off our e-cigarettes, tanks and cartomisers – making them the perfect all-rounder. Once you have tried the 50/50, you’ll be able to determine where you would like to go from there.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article