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What are the differences between PG & VG?

Differences Between PG and VG E-Liquid Bases: What You Need to Know

If you are curious about the ingredients in your e-liquid and what makes up the base, then read on as we go through an in-depth comparison of the two most popular e-liquid bases: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG).

Vaping terminology can be overwhelming at first, but understanding the differences between the two will help you make the choice that suits you best. To ensure you have a better understanding of both liquid bases, we’ll talk about their characteristics side-by-side.

What Are PG and VG?

PG and VG are non-toxic organic compounds known as alcohol sugar. The FDA approved them for human consumption due to their safety profile. As part of e-liquid, they form the suspension fluid, holding nicotine and flavor in place. They also produce smoke-like vapor from vaporizer or e-cigarettes.

It’s worth noting that some e-liquids may contain other possibly harmful substances; therefore, it is essential to check the composition of each one before use. However, the ingredients of most e-liquids consist of four main elements: a PG/VG base, water, nicotine, and food-grade flavorings.

The Differences Between PG and VG

Here is a detailed chart comparing PG and VG e-liquids:

Basis Characteristics Advantages Disadvantages
Propylene Glycol (PG) Thinner consistency Better throat hit and flavor
Produces less gunk build-up
May cause allergic reaction in some users
It dries users’ throats
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) Thicker consistency Produces more vapor
Less likelihood of allergic reactions
Gunk buildup
Affects flavor
Phlegm can build up in the throat.

Let聮s take a look at the specifics of each type of e-liquid in more detail to get a sense of which works best for your preferences.

Propylene Glycol-Based (PG) E-Liquids

PG-based liquids tend to be thinner and have a runny consistency. They are easily absorbed by wicking materials within tanks and absorbent cartomizers or polyfill material cartridges. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of these liquids:


  • It delivers a strong flavor with better throat hits than VG. For those looking for an experience similar to smoking cigarettes, PG offers a warm sensation in the back of the throat.
  • Since it has a low density, PG doesn’t cause as much gunk buildup or clogging within heating elements such as wick tanks and coils as VG does. This translates into less time spent cleaning out vaporizers over time.
  • Because propylene glycol is colorless and odorless, it doesn’t influence the taste of flavors used within the e-liquid base.


  • The most notable disadvantage of PG is that it can cause allergies or irritation to the throat, mouth, or nose if consumed regularly or used in high volumes. Some common symptoms include dry, itchy skin, hives or rashes, and various lung inflammations.

Vegetable Glycerin-Based (VG) E-Liquids

VG-based liquids have a thicker consistency. Although they take more time than PG to soak into wicks and cartomizers, they are well-known for producing significant clouds of vapors when vaping. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of these liquids:


  • VG is sweet, so the e-liquids that use it give off a slight sweet taste. Many people prefer juices sweetened with vegetable glycerin since the taste complements the flavors added to the mixture perfectly.
  • VG does not cause irritating or allergy-related symptoms as often as PG. VG e-liquids are perfect for individuals who find the feeling of irritation in their throat unpleasant.
  • Thick consistency of VG e-liquids provides more intense and large vapor clouds than PG ever could.


  • VG depends on heat to vaporize correctly, and this often leads to a thick syrup that can clog up tanks and burners faster than other liquids. Users should clean their vape devices regularly to prevent this problem.
  • As it is more resistant than PG, VG hamper flavors in e-juice blends. Most users opt for a mix of 70% VG and 30% PG to balance flavor and vapor production in their e-liquids.

Mixing PG and VG

Most experienced vapers suggest using a blend of the two types of e-liquids, opting for ratios that balance flavor, vapor production, and throat hits. Commonly, vapers tend to use a mix of 80% VG and 20% PG. This ratio provides excellent throat hits and full, sweet-tasting vapor production.

The following table summarizes Mixed VG and PG based E-liquids:

E-Liquid Base Type Throat Hit Flavor Vapor Production
100% VG E-liquid Low Sweet High
70VG/30PG Moderate Richer Flavor More Clouds
100% PG E-liquid High Strong/Pungent Low

Is PG or VG Safer?

Both PG and VG belong to the “Generally Recognized as Safe” category according to the FDA. Hence, both bases are safe to inhale as per the reports show, and no long-term adverse effects have been reported to date.

However, some people have reported mild sensitivities or allergies to either of the bases. But since the number of cases is relatively small, there’s no evidence to support claims that either of these components can be called harmful. Please note that if you have any symptoms after inhaling e-liquid containing these bases, stop using them right away and consult a doctor if necessary.


Both PG and VG e-liquids are safe and widely used by vapers worldwide. However, personal preferences play a vital role in deciding which one is better for you. We hope that our guide has enlightened you enough to make an informed decision when selecting your preferred e-liquid base. Happy vaping!

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