What are the Ingredients in E-Cigarettes?

Friday, 22 April 2016  |  Admin

Sugar, spice and everything nice? Or snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails? What exactly little boys and girls are made of remains a mystery – and for many, the same goes for electronic cigarettes.

How a relatively simple device and small vial of liquid can allow you to produce wonderfully flavoured clouds - from your mouth, no less – is pretty amazing. We don’t claim to be scientists or as brainy as the masterminds behind the e-cigarette and there will always be elements of vaping which will baffle us (flavoured clouds! From your MOUTH!!). 

But we can tell you what we do know. The following ingredients are the main components that make up e-liquid – this is the stuff that is filled into your e-cigarette and is heated to produce the vapour. As is the case with food, cosmetics and anything else which makes contact with your body, it’s important to be aware of these ingredients so you can make an informed decision as to whether vaping is right for you.

e-liquid ingredients

Propylene Glycol (PG)

PG acts as one of the bases of e-liquid:

  • Colourless, odourless liquid
  • Organic compound
  • Water soluble 
  • Synthetic 
  • Non-toxic
  • Easily metabolised 
  • Safe in low concentrations
  • Found in many personal care products e.g. shampoo, hair conditioner, deodorant
  • Found in food additives
  • Carries the flavour of the e-liquid well

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

VG can also be used as an e-liquid base and is usually combined with PG in varying amounts:

  • Colourless, odourless liquid
  • Natural chemical
  • Derived from plant oils
  • Non-toxic
  • Widely used in food industry, including as a sweetener, preservative or thickening agent
  • Does not decay teeth
  • Used in various foods, personal care and pharmaceutical products e.g. soap, toothpaste, cough syrup
  • Heavier than PG – thicker and smoother
  • Naturally sweet taste
  • Creates large amounts of vapour


E-liquids contain varying amounts of nicotine (including none whatsoever):

  • Found naturally in plants
  • A stimulant similar to caffeine
  • Stimulants temporarily make heart beat faster and blood pressure rise
  • They can also speed metabolism and suppress appetite 
  • Highly addictive
  • However not proven harmful in responsible amounts
  • Does not cause cancer
  • Minimal risk of causing cardiovascular disease


The flavouring gives each e-liquid its unique taste:

  • Ingredients vary between manufactures, but typically flavouring used in e-liquids is naturally occurring, food-grade additives
  • Examples of flavouring used in e-liquid include:
    • Acetylpyrazine – commonly used flavouring added to coffee, popcorn, sesame seed, almonds, wheat bread, cocoa, pork and beef.
    • Beta-Ionone – a food-grade fragrance found in essential oils used to provide aroma. 
    • Dimethylpyrazine – ingredient found in the food, drug, and perfume industries.
    • Ethylpyrazine – used in food products such as pork and soups.
    • Rose Oil – a natural extract from roses used for its scent.
    • Trimethylpyrazine – commonly used in caramel, chocolate, cocoa and coffee.
    • Vanillin – primary component of vanilla bean extract, can be extracted from vanilla pods or artificially made from lignin.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is sometimes added, particularly when thick VG is the primary base ingredient of the liquid:

  • Used as a diluent to thin e-liquid mixture
  • Prevents build up
  • Ensures smooth delivery 

And that's all, folks! Consisting of such few, relatively harmless ingredients does seem promising for e-cigs, particularly when you compare this with the thousands of chemicals found in a traditional cigarette. It's important to remember, however, that electronic cigarettes are still relatively new and the long-term health effects remain unknown. 

If you feel ready to try out electronic cigarettes for yourself, take a look at what's available at Vape Mountain's online store.