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E-Liquid Ingredients

E-Liquid Ingredients Explained

Is e-liquid poison by the barrel? Should we be worried about what’s in vape juice? Do we even know what’s in them? The treatment of vaping in the media may lead you to believe that e-juice ingredients are a cause for concern, but in reality e-liquids are made from just a handful of ingredients: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine and various food-safe flavorings. Learning a little more about these ingredients – and the trace amounts of by-products from vaporization – is enough to allay in fears you may have, especially when placed into proper context alongside the 7,000-plus chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is one of the two main ingredients in e-liquid, and its use largely comes down to its ease of vaporization. Often known simply as PG (chemical name 1,2-propanediol), it’s used in a multitude of applications, including theatrical smoke machines, as a solvent in pharmaceuticals, sunscreen, shampoos, lotions, shaving cream and many other products, as an emulsifier in cosmetic creams, and as a humectant (to keep things moist), preservative and stabilizer in pet food, baked goods and food flavorings.

Its use in this wide range of consumer products comes down to the fact that it’s generally recognized as safe. Although information on inhalation is limited, irritation of the respiratory tract is a known effect, and this provides a “throat-hit” to e-liquids that enables them to mimic the sensation of inhaling smoke. Outside of vaping, there is limited evidence on human exposure by inhalation, but studies in rats, dogs and monkeys suggest that inhalation is very low in risk.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin (glycerol) is known as VG, with the chemical name 1,2,3-propanetriol, and is the other primary ingredient in e-liquid. Black Note, along with many other mixers, uses a 50/50 mixture of PG and VG. Like PG, VG has a wide range of uses, spanning pharmaceuticals (where it’s used in things like cough syrups and creams), cosmetics (as a moisture-retainer, solvent and lubricant), food (to retain moisture and sometimes as a sweetener), in tobacco (to retain moisture) and in many other applications. As with PG, VG is generally recognized as safe, but may cause respiratory irritation when inhaled. Again, VG is of low toxicity and animal experiments on inhalation have observed only minor effects.


Nicotine is the core addictive component of tobacco, and the reason most people use e-liquid. Its health risks are often overstated because it’s hard to separate nicotine’s effects from those of tobacco smoke. The evidence on nicotine when separated from tobacco smoke generally shows minimal risk, even in the primary area of concern, cardiovascular dangers (meaning risk for the heart and blood vessels). Even when larger risks due to nicotine are assumed, the benefit of switching from smoking drastically outweighs the risk from nicotine. Additionally, evidence shows that vapers consume much less nicotine than smokers, so any risk attributable to nicotine would be reduced for that reason alone.

Nicotine is indeed poisonous (although not as much as once thought), but – outside of drinking a whole bottle of strong e-liquid – serious risk from poisoning would only be a concern if you’re dealing with concentrated nicotine used for DIY mixing.


This is a big catch-all term for other flavors you may find in e-liquid. CASAA calls food flavorings “the great unknown” when it comes to e-cigarettes, and the reason is simple: we know they’re safe to eat or drink, but it’s not so certain for inhalation. A good example of this is diacetyl, a flavoring often used to impart a buttery taste, which is safe to ingest but is associated with adverse effects on lung function. However, after a study exposing the widespread use of diacetyl in e-liquid, many manufacturers have ceased including the ingredient.

A full list of common food flavorings is available (Table 2), but in many cases limited risk information is available for inhalation, and the specific chemicals used often aren’t listed by e-liquid mixers. However, flavorings such as vanillin (a vanilla flavor), linalool (gives a herbal flavor, like coriander), ethyl maltol (a sweet, bakery-like flavor), acetyl pyrazine (a graham cracker-like flavor) and malic acid (a sour, fruity flavor) are commonly used, and generally speaking most carry no known risks.

Mixers may use artificial or natural chemicals for flavoring, and in many ways the difference between the two is minimal. An artificial flavoring will be heavily based on a natural chemical, with some strategic changes possibly made along the way, so in many cases what you get is relatively similar. However, when it comes to capturing the true flavors – especially in a complex blend of tastes like tobacco – the advantage of using natural flavorings really shines through.

The simplifications made when replicating a natural flavor synthetically can rob the resulting taste of its depth and complexity. Bearing in mind that everything you taste ultimately comes down to its chemical properties, it’s obvious that messing around can have undesirable effects on the taste. This is why most tobacco e-liquids aren’t particularly realistic, and one of the reasons we believe that natural is better.

Trace Components

There may be trace components in some flavor concentrates, and there are also often tobacco-specific nitrosamines present in e-liquid as a result of the pharmaceutical-grade nicotine used. These nitrosamines are carcinogens, so the goal is always to minimize their content as much as possible – snus manufacturer Swedish Match has done a fantastic job of this, for example. The fact that most e-liquid mixers use pharmaceutical-grade nicotine suggests that these same chemicals would be present in nicotine patches and gums too, and that is indeed the case. The levels of nitrosamines are similar between the two, and you’re exposed to many, many times less from vaping (around 1,400 times less in some cases) than you are from smoking tobacco.

Other Chemicals in Vapor

Most of the other trace ingredients that are found in studies of e-cigarette chemistry are produced during the process of vaporization. An example is PG degrading into formaldehyde (and other carbonyls) during the process. Again, you’ll be exposed to many times more formaldehyde than you would from smoking, and the evidence to date seems to suggest the production only gets close to cigarette-like levels during a “dry puff,” where there isn’t enough e-liquid supplying the wick and thing overheat. If this happens, you’ll know about it.

You can learn more about the trace chemicals found in vapor through many different studies, but Igor Burstyn’s systematic review of the chemistry research is free and covers a lot of ground.

Knowing What’s in Your E-Liquid

This guide has given you a general indication of the sort of thing you’ll find in your tobacco e-juice, but as you can undoubtedly tell from the flavorings section, there is a lot of uncertainty involved. Here at Black Note, we don’t add any “characterizing flavors,” and aside from PG, VG and nicotine, all the flavors in your e-liquid are naturally-extracted from tobacco leaves. Additionally, our e-liquids are lab-tested, so you can see exacting what you’re getting in your juice. That said, with pretty much any e-liquid you can rest assured that any harmful components are only present in trace quantities, and vastly lower than you’d find in tobacco smoke.

Michael Grey
Find Me Here

Michael Grey

With a passion to educate through my writings and a passion to help others, I found my place here at Black Note. Being that I am a former smoker who quit smoking because of vaping, I knew I could help others do the same. Working for Black Note is a true blessing. Not only do I help educate vapers on a daily basis through my writings, but I am also enjoying the benefits of working with an amazing team and sharing an authentic tobacco solution with the vaping community.
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

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What is Naturally Extracted Tobacco E-Liquid?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

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