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Many bottles of flavourings (suitable for vaping)

DIY eliquid

It is easy to manufacture your own eliquid. Many people choose to do this, for varied reasons. In places where it is impossible to get commercial liquid this may be the only option.

A simple recipe for general use is…

60% PG (propylene glycol)

40% VG (vegetable glycerin)

Nicotine and flavour to your liking, ethyl maltol is often added as a sweetener.

Nicotine strength

Nicotine strength is highly individual and will depend on how much you smoke, the recommended strength of eliquid is as follows. These recommendations are just a starting point, and assume an average starter kit. You will need to experiment to find your own 'sweet spot' generally if you find yourself 'chain vaping' or still craving a cigarette, then you need to increase the nicotine. If you find the inhalation 'throat hit' too harsh, or you feel dizzy, nausious, or develop hicups, then you need to reduce the nicotine.

Note: it is not uncommon to require more nicotine to start with, when switching from smoking to ecigs, the author uses 48mg/ml liquid for example (but finds himself an outlier, at the high end).

Yet others have found it helpful to use a nicotine patch, plus vaping. The patch provides a background nicotine level, and the ecig is used to top up, for example when cravings strike.

Table of nicotine strength vs number of cigs smoked
Number of Cigs per day Suggested nicotine concentration to start at
1-5 0.6% / 6mg/ml
5-10 1.0% / 10mg/ml
10-15 1.6% / 16mg/ml
20+ 1.8% / 18mg/ml+

The author finds unflavoured, sweetened eliquid to be acceptable and it leaves no residual smell, other than faint cotton candy, that dissipates in minutes. However prefers fruit flavours given the option, and personal taste is very subjective, this may be the reason the market for so many flavours developed. Please see: ENDS Flavors for information on the subject.

The percentage of PG can be increased, to provide an even more stealthy experience, with less exhaled vapour. Going the other way and increasing the VG content will increase the density and thickness of exhaled vapour.


red-outlined triangle containing exclamation point Warning

It is important to use only water soluble food flavour, oil containing flavour will not mix with eliquid, and can be dangerous to inhale.

A huge database of Flavour safety documents is available at on exactly what is safe to inhale. As of writing it has over 3,000 safety datasheets and ingredients from many manufacturers.

More info

There is a comprehensive calculator here for creating any recipes you like

Nicotine ’base’ is available from e.g. the uk, and China.

Many suppliers will ship it as VG (vegetable glycerin) or otherwise disguised (we do not endorse this, as high strength nicotine is poisonous, but acknowledge it to be common).

See Also:

Information on Coil building

List of nicotine suppliers: nicotine suppliers

Important Battery safety information

Coil builders Ohms law

Myth busting Myth Busting