Ingredient Profiles of "Tobacco" Flavorings

Having used some Vapage “Classic Tobacco” flavored e-juice, and discovered that something in that flavor (as opposed to Nicotine concentrations, or relative proportions of PG/VG) seems to irritate my lung tissue. Have responded by diluting down the Vapage e-juice by a factor of 5 (minimum) with base Nicotine of two different strengths, in order to arrive at a custom brew in the range of 6 mg/mL( in ~75% PG and 25% VG) for my single-battery rig utilizing one 1.5 Ohm coil (with brief draws at what is realistically around 6 Watts).

I’ve been doing research in the literature that I have found available on-line (viewable and download-able without cost) regarding ingredients known to exist in various “tobacco” type flavorings. Very little specifics found, with one notable exception. This paper (see “Table 2: Detected E-liquid Flavorants” on page 3):

“Evaluation of the Components within Electronic Cigarette Liquids and Drugs of Abuse Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry”

… identifies tri-methyl and/or tetra-methyl pyrazines in three of the five individual “tobacco” flavors assayed.

Evidently, the authors are on a (to me somewhat humorous) kick that certain (highly socially demonized) molecules (might, in their paranoid fantasies, anyway) actually be a likely ingredient in e-juices. Seems a bit hysterical to me - but may be a harbinger of things to come as the FDA and “thought police” launch their snouts into e-Nicotine ? At any rate, the specific e-juice analyses presented in the paper are welcome info.

Was originally on a kick that (perhaps) ethyl-maltol (might) be a possible flavoring ingredient in “tobacco” flavored e-juice - but (at least the analysis provided in the above-referenced paper), it is not mentioned as detected in (any) of the various flavor-types analyzed. This paper has swayed me more towards pyrazines (which are significantly included within the 599 additives to leaf tobacco revealed by tobacco companies). They affect chemo-receptors in the mouth and throat - mitigating the sense of “harshness” from Nicotine.

Links to other papers which include interesting related ingredient information (but not for “tobacco” flavors):

Flavour chemicals in electronic cigarette fluids

Analytical and toxicological evaluation of flavor chemicals in electronic cigarette refill fluids

I thought that (without necessarily revealing sensitive critical “process secrets” specifying concentrations) perhaps other readers who post (might) have some further knowledge relative to ingredients contained in various “tobacco” e-flavorings (with Vapage “Classic Tobacco” being my specific area of personal interest).

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If I am wrong, sorry… but that company is part of Big Tobacco… not exactly sure who owns it, the flavors come from the lab in Texas (Houston if I am not mistaken) and “finalized overseas”

With that statement, no wonder why your lungs are irritated. Most companies will only tell you, flavors and vg/pg. Chances are, it isn’t the flavors, or nicotine, but the pg involved in how they formulate their ejuice.

To test if this is the case… use your base liquid only (just plain vg and pg) and slowly lower the vg while raising the pg amounts and find out where your tolerance is using a lot of pg.

If you are new to vaping, you might just be sensitive. There could be other factors, but I am leaning to too much pg in their ejuice.


You could look through the TFA spec sheets to see what is in them. Won’t really help too much with your search for the Vapage stuff, but I suppose it could at least be interesting.



DK Type


Flue Cured

M Type

Red Type

Red Type II

RY4 Asian

RY4 Double






Are you sure you don’t have those numbers reversed?


I have carefully varied Nicotine concentrations as well as the relative proportions of PG/VG solvents in experimentation. It’s true that there may have been physiological as well adaptive mechanisms at work. While I have read that certain persons may have a sensitivity for PG, have also found individuals posting on forums who find that VG causes their lungs to become congested. Neither PG or VG seem to be primary in my case. Interestingly, (at temps of around 270 Deg C and above), it is primarliy VG (not PG) that generates toxic aldehydes formaldehyde and acrolein (which is by far the most dangerous and harmful by-product).

See: “Aldehyde Detection in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols

It (may) be that certain flavoring components are more of a concern than Nicotine, PG, or VG. I’m (pretty much) going with “flavorless” juice (from groovy “small tobacco” sources) as a result of my experiences .

In my experimentations, I have used PureNic brand (3 mg/mL Nicotine concentration) PG as well as VG in order to dilute the proportion of the Vapage “Classic Tobacco” juice (in 36, 8, and 6 mg/mL concentrations). As a result, the relative contribution of the various ingredients in the Vapage brand juice are less significant.


Thanks for the references !


The stated numbers are indeed correct. It appears that PG/VG ratios in that range are not at all uncommon.


In pods it is fairly common to have those ratios, not in any other devices.


That’s my application. Have read about the wide range of PG/VG ratios used. Perhaps you may be able to educate me. While surely much is (understandably) related to personal aesthetic preferences and tastes, it seems (to me) that for a given single-coil system that operates immersed in e-juice, for a given Nicotine concentration and vaporization temperature reached from the average (intra-puff) wattage, results might be somewhat similar (save for the fact that VG appears to counteract Nicotine absorption a bit more than PG):

" …a moderate effect of the PG/VG ratio was observed on the nicotine total mass delivery. … The aerosol nicotine delivery seems to be slightly higher when the PG content of the refill liquid formulation is high …"

From: “Nicotine delivery from the refill liquid to the aerosol via high-power e-cigarette device”, Page 4

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First, your looking in the wrong place. POD systems are low power vaporizers.
POD systems use nicotine salts and are usually somewhere between 25-50 mg per ML.
PG is bitter and makes vape harsh but is also the flavor carrier.
VG makes the clouds and gives you the feel of smoke or fullness to the vape.
So as far as personal preference yes this is a portion of the popularity of certain ratios, it is not the only reason for them.
High PG = harsh vape
High VG= large clouds


Ok first, you are messing around with a ready made juice. What else do you expect to change when tinkering with someone else’s already made juice?

Second… If you are scared to vape, then do not.

If you are vaping to quit smoking, great!
If you want to learn to mix your own… don’t use already mixed juice.

Go out buy some solo flavors you like, and read everything here, on site.

Keep your posts simple and friendly, and welcome to ELR :slight_smile:


Thanks for that about taste perceptions. So, in my particular application - a single coil immersed in (Nicotine base, as opposed to salts) e-juice in a “clearomizer” tank vaporizing at temperatures resulting from around 6 Watts - is there something special about that application dramatically affecting taste (thus, PG/VG ratios) ?

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Just a sec, let me get someone that has much more experience with your particular situation.
HEY @50YearsOfCigars! I believe you will be able to help @Raven-Knightly more than anyone else here.

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Oh and you may have better luck tagging @50YearsOfCigars yourself, he and I don’t exactly see eye to eye, so he may not come since it was I who called.


Thanks, SmokyBlue.

Purchased some of the ready made juice already, and don’t mind the flavor - it’s just that I think my lungs may. The purpose of starting this thread is to possibly learn more about what the ingredients of said ready made juice may be (so that I might possibly be able to avoid such ingredients). Have acquired PureNic and LNW unflavored Nicotine (at 3 mg/mL and 36 mg/mL concentrations) for vastly less cost than ready made juice since, and am gravitating towards a virtually flavorless 6 mg/mL juice. Just my own personal druthers.


They say slighting higher. But than say “not statistically different”

“Besides, refill liquid MMAD (0.76 ± 0.03 μm vs. 0.79 ± 0.01 μm), were not statistically different between the
20PG/80VG and 80PG/20VG formulation.”

I have to agree with @anon84779643 the juice your buying maybe a freebase nic and not salt nic, which is much less harsh.

As far as flavor I never fully believed or tested the experience myself that more PG would make a better flavor as ppl say it’s the carrier for flavor just as they say it doesn’t increase the Nic levels in the study you posted, significantly. But im certainly not scientist. :rofl:

For flavor try different settings and coils and coil placements and air flow, and atomizers and ohms.

There is tons of info on here you may find interesting and helpful.

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Hmm, yeah I can relate.


Thanks, Freddie3.

It’s important to note that in the referenced paper, “MMAD” is the “Mass Median Aerodynamic Diameter” (the particle size) - which is the “Aerosol mass distribution” as opposed to the “Aerosol nicotine delivery”, both being listed in Table 1 (appearing near the top of Page 4). Note that the mean values of “Aerosol nicotine delivery” found are 45.07% higher for a 80/20 PG/VG, as opposed to a 20/80 PG/VG, ratio. The reported details relating to the “Aerosol nicotine delivery” are discussed in the “Impact of PG/VG ratio on the nicotine delivery” section (near the bottom of Page 4). Taste perception is, of course, different than nicotine delivery.

An interesting mystery exists (from near the top of page 6):

Another important finding of this study is to highlight a lower aerosol concentration of nicotine compared to
un-puffed nicotine concentration of the refill liquid initially introduced inside the tank-type atomizer. A decrease ranging from 24 ± 7% to 38 ± 15% was measured depending on the PG/VG ratio of the refill liquid. No experi-mental biases could explain these results

Am certain that the Vapage “Classic Tobacco” flavored e-juices are Nicotine base, as opposed to Nicotine salts. Yes, the phrase “carrier for flavor” seems a bit vague. (Perhaps), one factor is that a lower PG/VG ratio of solution attenuates the perceptual sense of harshness in chemo-receptors in the mouth and throat as a result of larger amounts of vaporized VG - thus resulting in a possible perception of “reduced flavor” ?

My rig is a simple non-adjustable single battery device with non-disassemble-able bottom-coil clearomizers containing a single (likely Kanthal) always immersed coil and a (likely Silica composition) wick. Relatively simple, non-sophisticated gear. ~ 6 mg/mL Nicotine and ~75% / 25% PG/VG seems to be my preference.

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That is not an immersed could, the wick brings the juice to the coil, the coil Is not sitting in a puddle of juice.
As I said before you are not looking for the information you seek in the correct location. @anon84779643 told you where to look. Alas your probably to smart for your own good.


Thanks, Cutlass92.

By using the term “immersed”, I mean to indicate that the clearomizer tank is not a “top-coli clearomizer” as described here. Perhaps I should have (more accurately said), “always immersed wick assembly”. This thread is intended to be about the chemical ingredients of “tobacco” flavorings. Just curious to learn about that particular subject matter. The rest seems like interesting matters of personal tastes and preferences.