The Science of Ecig Vapor: How to Decrease Harshness and Optimize Flavor and Consistency

A significant percentage of ecig users are former cigarette smokers, and as such most of them look for a vaporizing experience that will be comparable to smoking both in the texture and flavor of the vapor, and in the amount of vapor produced. Although everyone has their own preferences and opinions on what makes an “optimal” ecig vapor, the components involved in changing the qualities of the vapor typically include:

  • The type of ecig or vape pen used
  • The flavor, brand, or composition of the ecig liquid used
  • The amount and thickness of the produced vapor
  • The temperature at which the e-liquid is vaporized
  • The voltage pushed to the atomizer, cartomizer, clearomizer, or glassomizer

All of these factors and more need to be considered when customizing vapor consistency and harshnesss to your likings. While we could leave you with that and let you do your own experimenting, we’ll let you in on three tips you can use to get started.

1. Use the Right Mixture of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin

The e-liquids used in ecigs and vape pens are typically based on a mixture of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), although some are 100% PG and some are 100% VG. In short, VG is widely regarded as being the smoother of the two, so mixes that contain more VG than PG tend to be less harsh. However, some ex-smokers prefer a bit of harshness on the throat to simulate the feeling of smoking, so that is a matter of preference to consider when choosing your mix. While a 100% VG mix will provide an extremely smooth, air-like vapor, some ecig users prefer a balanced 50/50 PG/VG mix because the PG adds some substance and volume to the vapor, making it more akin to the smoking experience.

2. Try a Different Flavor or Brand

If you’ve already dialed in on your PG/VG mix and you’re still looking for a more optimal flavor or consistency in your ecig vapor, try experimenting with a few different brands and flavors, but remember to stick with VG-dominant mixes if you’re looking for a more gentle vapor on your throat and lungs. Sometimes the flavors and ingredient concentrations in certain brands or flavors can make a difference in the feel of the vapor as well, so sampling a few different kinds may lead you to one that is a perfect fit. However, be sure to give yourself a few minutes between testing different vapors to let your throat and lungs clear up a bit before moving on to the next sample, and try to exercise proper sampling techniques.

3. Use Variable Voltage Ecigs

Finally, another way to quickly change the consistency and qualities of e-liquid vapor is to try different settings with a variable voltage ecig to experiment with desired smoothness, flavor intensity, vapor production, and throat hit presence. Variable voltage ecigs let you control how much voltage the battery pushes to the atomizer, cartomizer, clearomizer, or glassomizer, depending on the type of device you have. You’d be surprised at how much a slight voltage change can modify the flavor and amount of vapor produced. Sometimes all it takes is an adjustment from 3.4v to 3.7v. Click here to see an example of a popular variable voltage ecig.

Is It All in the E-liquid?

The key point you should take away from all this is that it’s not just the e-liquid that plays a role in the qualities of the vapor produced, but also the kind of vaporization device and method used to produce the vapor. With that said, if you really like a particular flavor but the vapor is a bit too harsh, try dialing in to the right setting with a variable voltage eCig before you commit to making the switch to a different liquid altogether.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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