If you’re new to vaping or perhaps even if you’re not you may be wondering what goes into making the e-liquids that you’re inhaling. Since an exact list of every chemical would be impossible due to the large number of brands and flavors, we can discuss the four basic ingredients and their purpose.

Propylene Glycol and/or vegetable glycerin

Almost all of the liquid you’re vaping is made up of either propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or both. Propylene glycol is the more popular of the two liquid bases for e-liquids because it is colorless, tasteless, and near odorless. Since it doesn’t have it’s own taste it’s a great carrier for the flavoring so you get more intense flavor and a better throat hit. It also has low viscosity which means it’s thinner, heats up faster so you can vape soon after refilling your liquid, and is less likely to gunk up your heating coil.

Vegetable Glycerin has higher viscosity which means it gives you a thicker and denser vapor cloud when you exhale. Vapers who prefer less of a throat hit will probably prefer vegetable glycerin-based e-liquids as well. Unlike propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin has a slight taste to it which can dilute the flavor of the e-liquid slightly. Since it is thicker, your heating coil will gunk up faster and you’ll need to wait longer after refilling your e-liquid before you can vape.

You can purchase e-liquids that use only one or the other but most e-liquid companies today use a mixture of both to get the advantages of both while trying to minimize the disadvantages of each. Both are commonly used in many foods and both are considered safe for consumption by the FDA.


Nicotine is the drug ingredient in e-liquid and is easily the most controversial aspect of vaping since nicotine is known for being highly addictive. It’s important to note that nicotine has never been linked to cancer, rather the drug delivery system of choice for nicotine (cigarettes) were full of cancer-causing chemicals. Vaping is a safer alternative to getting nicotine since it doesn’t involve the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Most e-liquid brands, including Lifted Liquids, lets you select the nicotine concentration regardless of which flavor you prefer. If you prefer, you can get e-liquids that contain zero nicotine.


This is where it gets complicated since every brand has their own chemicals they use to create the flavor for the e-liquid. Any reputable brand will only use food-grade chemicals meaning they’ve been deemed safe for consumption. Flavorings only account for 1-3% of the total volume of your e-liquid.