Vegetable Glycerin [VG]

Vegetable Glycerin

Commonly found in many household products and used frequently as a food additive; it is also the main ingredient in the nicotine solution used with electronic cigarettes. Vegetable glycerin /or [VG] has a long established safety record and many related scientific studies proving it to be harmless when ingested. 

The carbohydrate is commonly derived from plant oils and therefore can be classified as a natural domestic substance.  Synthetic versions are also produced tending to be more pure but atomically identical in their description.  Besides being used as the main ingredient in the nicotine solution used in electronic cigarettes, vegetable glycerin is also used in the following examples

  • Eye and ear drops
  • Dental products such as toothpaste
  • Beauty products such as makeup and shaving cream
  • Bath products such as shampoo, conditioner, and bubble bath & bath beads
  • Skin care products and soaps

Since a key characteristic of VG is that it has a sweet taste, it is also very commonly used as a food additive sweetener. 

VG  verses PG (propylene glycol)

Compared to the other commonly used nicotine solution base propylene glycol [PG], vegetable glycerin has a few differences that are worth mentioning.  When used in an electronic cigarette vegetable glycerin tends to produce more vapor although the vapor has less of a throathit (the feeling of inhaling).  Vegetable glycerin is also naturally sweeter than proplyene glycol.  The sweetness of VG tends to mask the flavor of the eliquid nicotine solution, so it is said that VG has less flavor than PG. Vegetable Glycerin is easier on the throat than propylene glycol.  Some users of PG have described throat irritation after extended use, this is due to the nature of PG, PG tends to draw moister in from it’s surroundings and by doing so may result in a dry throat.  To solve this issue, some electronic cigarette users either make the switch to using VG or use a combination mixture of VG/PG (ie. 50/50 or 80/20)  By using a combination mixture some feel they are receive the best of both worlds, they have the smoothness and vapor production of VG while at the same time they retain the flavor of PG.

One other difference between the two is that VG is a thicker solution than PG.  Being a thicker solution vegetable glycerin tends to degrade atomizers more quickly.  This is another reason why some electronic cigarette users prefer a combination mixture, using the PG to dilute the thickness of VG to extend the life of their atomizers. 


Cignature is working on its definitions pages to help spread the word of electronic cigarettes by making the terminology and culture easily accessible. To learn more of the electronic cigarette lingo check out our Definitions & Terminology Page here or access it from our homepage under the Resources heading.  If you have any terms you find undefined and are curious about, feel free to ask about it in the comments below and we will add it to our list.


One Response to “Vegetable Glycerin [VG]”

  1. Larry Lebouf says:

    As far as I know, the Fifty-One Duo is a re-branded E9 or KR808D-2 model, so you can look for compatible cartomizers like these from Vapor Kings. Please note that the 2 in KR808D-2 is important, as there is also a more common KR808D-1 that is not compatible.

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