Photo by @brewstills
It’s time to look beyond the fancy packaging and subjective flavor reviews on Instagram and perform your due diligence on what you are buying. After all, you’re inhaling vapor in your body.
1. Know Where Your E-Juice Is Made
Some questions to ask are
a. Does the e-juice company have a website identifying where it’s made and mixed?
b. Are all e-juice ingredients extracted and produced in an ISO7 clean room?
c. Does the website provide pictures of the facility and who is behind the scenes or is it just a generic stock photo?
Pro Tip: It’s scary knowing there are e-juices mixed in uncontrolled environments that can easily contaminate the juice you’re ultimately buying and consuming.
Ask your retailer if they’ve visited the lab or have done their due diligence in verifying each e-juice vendor they’re carrying. Find out if they have a personal relationship or just buy generic. Everything matters, and you need to know as much as possible about a juice’s background and pedigree before purchasing.
Think of your e-juice as a fine wine. If you’ve ever heard of people buying specific wines because they’re produced in Italy, Australia, Spain, Greece, France, or NorCal, you understand how small changes can affect flavor, aroma, and overall effect.
2. Identifying your PG/VG ratio
There is a small rate of customers out there that do have PG allergies. Consult with your doctor if you require a higher/max VG mixture. Besides that, understand that higher VG results in greater cloud production while sacrificing flavor and throat hit.
Always ask for nicotine levels and PG/VG levels, as this will ultimately determine the feel of the hit. Disposable vape pens like the Blu and Mark 10s sold in gas stations don’t often list this vital ingredient list. It would be like milk without a date or a TV dinner with no ingredient list.
Pro Tip: Hit up your local Vape store’s sample bar and taste some eijuice ratios starting from 99% VG, working your way to 50/50.
It may take time, but eventually you’ll find that right flavor with your specific throat hit and cloud production. Once you put in that time and effort, you’ll be glad to have found your vaping profile and comfort zone, allowing you to quit smoking or achieve your goals.
3. Determine Your Nicotine Levels
If converting from that pack a day habit to becoming a new Vaper then you may need to start at a higher nicotine level to help you wean off that nic fix.
A lot of our Vape Chemist customers started off with 12mg and worked their way down to 3mg in the past 2.5 years we’ve been in business. The gradual reduction of nicotine is the best way to eventually kick the habit.
Pro Tip: Set goals in reducing your nicotine intake. Give yourself 3-6 months at a time to slowly level down. Though results may vary, long time ex-smokers can take up to 1 year to eventually go from 12mg to a 3mg.
Be sure to track results on paper and a spreadsheet. This habit will quantify and track results so you know how close you are to your goals.
4. Choose Glass over Plastic
In the past 2 years, there has been a steady transition from plastic to glass bottles, and with good reason(s.)
a) Plastic bottles may contain harmful chemical compounds such as BPA.
b) Glass bottles are easily sterilized before going into e-juice production.
c) Glass bottles has longer shelf life.
d) Glass bottles can be easily recycled, and are more environmentally friendly.
Pro Tip: Reputable Vape shop owners listen to their customers. As a customer, let them know that you will only buy glass over plastic. In this particular instance, money talks, especially if you’re a repeat customer. Vape shop owners know it’s a crowded marketplace and when you buy glass, they’ll stock glass.
5. Childproof caps
This is an absolute must. There has been at least one case of an accidental death when a 1-year-old child from New York ingested a bottle of vape juice. This may have been prevented if a childproof cap was on that bottle.
The tragedy impacted the state of NY to the point that all vape shops had to make sure that all e-juice carried in their store had to have a childproof cap. In order to protect Vaping, we must be held accountable and take steps to reduce harm.
No Pro Tip here. No childproof. No sale.
6. Professional Labeling
You absolutely can judge a book by its cover – it’s what they’re designed for. Look for warning labels (Prop 65) and a description of ingredients. Make sure nicotine strength is in clear sight, and ask questions to ensure employee knowledge.
Glass bottles with shrink-wrapped top caps indicated it was produced in a lab setting. You can be sure these haven’t been tampered with after the fact or diluted and may actually be safe. At a bare minimum you have a chance to look at it again before buying another bottle of expensive juice.
Pro Tip: Consistent, high quality and printed labels are usually a good sign you’re not dealing with a small time brand. Mom and pop shops aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to ensure quality control procedures are in place before buying vape products.
Conrad Alberto is the owner and founder of Vape Chemist.
Additional content by Brian Penny.