WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

What Chemicals Are in Vape Juice

How Many Chemicals Are in Vape Juice? A Look at Vape Juice Ingredients

Perhaps the most important thing to learn is what exactly are the ingredients that are used in vape juice. In today’s blog we break down each of the ingredients and even the different types of nicotine that are used in vaping. 

Table of Contents:

  1. The Ingredients in Vape Juice
  2. Vegetable Glycerin
  3. Propylene Glycol
  4. VG/PG Ratios
  5. Flavorings
  6. Nicotine
  7. Conclusion

The Ingredients in Vape Juice

There are four ingredients that are found in e-liquid:

  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Flavorings
  • Nicotine (which is optional)

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a natural chemical that is found in vegetable oils and is used in numerous medical, food, and personal products. VG is used in low-sugar food to add sweetness, in soap and hand cream, and even in toothpaste. Since VG is widely used in both personal products and foods, it has been recognized as safe by the FDA. However, there are a few studies on the effects of VG as an aerosol, but it should be stated that it is extremely benign to humans in many of its other forms. 

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol (PG) is a substance synthesized from corn, soy, and petroleum. It is odorless and flavorless and is used in many types of medicine. In the real world, you can find PG in oral hygiene products like shampoos and deodorants. Again, just like with VG, the effects of PG as an aerosol have not been studied extensively, but PG is recognized as safe by the FDA as a food additive. 

We should also state that a small percentage of the population is allergic to PG. But since PG is so prevalent in personal hygiene products and medicines, there is a chance that you would know by now if you are allergic to PG. If you have worries about being allergic to PG, we recommend buying a 100% VG vape juice which uses zero PG in its ingredients.  

VG/PG Ratios

The experience of vaping can change dramatically depending on the VG/PG ratio that is used in the vape juice you buy. VG for example, tends to be sweeter and also creates denser, bigger, and more clouds, while PG gives more of a throat hit, which makes the vape juice harsher and also carries flavor way better than VG.

If, for example, you have a ratio of 80VG/20PG, you can expect a sweeter vape juice that will generate more clouds. If you have a 50VG/50PG flavor, you can expect a stronger, harsher vape juice that is big on flavor. But where does the flavor come from? This is what we’ll talk about next. 


The third ingredient in vape juice is flavorings or food-grade artificial flavors. They are the same substances used by companies that make lollipops, snacks, ice cream, and artificially flavored foods. In complex vape juices, you can find as many as 12 different types of flavors in one bottle of vape juice, that are perfectly balanced to give you an incredible flavor experience. 


Finally, nicotine is the last ingredient in vape juice, but it should be stated that it is optional. And this is what makes vaping so great. While there is no way to reduce the nicotine, you intake with cigarettes, with vaping, you can slowly decrease the amount you have until you vape juices with zero nicotine. Currently, there are three kinds of nicotine used in vape juices, synthetic nicotine, nicotine salts, and freebase nicotine. Below we break down the differences between these types of nicotine.

  • Freebase nicotine: The most common form of nicotine. It’s used in almost every nicotine product in the world (patches, gum, chewing tobacco, etc). It’s the nicotine that is derived from the tobacco plant and used to be the most popular form of nicotine used in vape juices. 

  • Nicotine Salts: Created by JUUL, nicotine salts are still nicotine derived from tobacco, but it has been chemically modified to be more potent and more bioabsorbable, meaning it gives a nicotine rush more quickly. This type of nicotine is used in disposables and pod systems since it does not require too much power in order to be activated.

  • Synthetic nicotine: Synthetic nicotine, also known as tobacco-free nicotine (TFN), is nicotine that is entirely made in a lab. It’s 100% man-made, meaning that it does not use tobacco, and manufacturers of this type of nicotine claim that because of this, it is cleaner and purer. It also happens to be currently the most popular type of nicotine.  


We hope that with this information, you were able to learn about the four ingredients found in vape juice. As always, we invite you to continue learning about these ingredients in our content, which we have written extensively about. 

EjuiceDB articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them. Furthermore, Vaping products and nicotine use are only meant for persons over the age of 21.

Children, breastfeeding and pregnant women, persons with risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or that take medications especially for depression or asthma should not use nicotine or vaping products. Always consult a licensed physician prior to use.

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Andres Roman

Andres Roman is a content writer with 3+ years of experience, a former 3 pack a week smoker who used vaping to kick the habit, he now wants to educate the world about vaping. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter.