What is the TPD?
The TPD, or Tobacco Products Directive, is a regulation in the European Union, which also affects the UK. It sets rules for the sale and manufacture of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-liquids (vaping products).
Key points include:
Although it is an EU directive, the law also applies to the UK and is the reason why you cannot buy nicotine in strengths higher than 20mg and in larger bottles than 10ml, and why vapes come with a maximum tank size of 2ml.
Why Nic Shots?
Due to TPD laws, any liquid that contains nicotine cannot be sold in larger than 10ml bottles. In order to have e-liquid in larger bottles, the nicotine portion must be added to the liquid via “nic shots”. The strength of the nic shots and how many are added to the liquid will determine the final nicotine strength. The VG/PG ratio of the nic shots will also affect the ratio of the liquid. Example: 50ml of 0mg liquid plus 1 x 18mg 10ml nic shot makes 60ml 3mg
What Nic Strength do I need?
Nic strength is a preference that varies from person to person, just like smoking habits vary. The kind of device you use and how much vapour it produces will also affect how much nicotine you require. A smaller device that produces a small amount of vapour will require a higher nicotine strength compared to a larger, cloudier device. The strongest available in the UK is 20mg due to TPD laws. Disposable devices are typically 20mg and contain 2ml of liquid. MTL vaping is typically between 6mg to 20mg and DTL vaping between 0-6mg. If you are just starting out we would recommend our Long Fills at 14mg for MTL and our Short Fills at 6mg for DTL. You can then lower your nic strength from there as required.
What is DTL/MTL?
MTL (Mouth To Lung) and DTL (Direct To Lung) refer to different vaping styles. MTL is similar to the way you smoke a cigarette: you first draw the vapour into your mouth and then inhale it into your lungs. This method is often preferred by those transitioning from smoking to vaping, as it provides a similar throat hit and uses less e-liquid. MTL devices typically have tighter airflow and are used with higher PG e-liquids. DTL, on the other hand, involves inhaling the vapour directly into the lungs, much like taking a deep breath. This style is favored for producing larger clouds and is usually paired with lower nicotine, higher VG e-liquids. DTL devices have more airflow and are often more powerful.
What is VG/PG?
VG (Vegetable Glycerin) and PG (Propylene Glycol) are the 2 main ingredients of e-liquid. VG is thicker, smoother and produces more clouds. PG is thinner, gives more of a throat hit and produces less clouds. PG is also a better solvent, it would be difficult to dissolve the flavourings/nicotine without it. VG and PG are both common ingredients in food and medicine. Typically e-liquid will be 50/50 (50% VG, 50% PG) for MTL vaping on small devices and 70/30 (70% VG, 30% PG) for DTL vaping on bigger devices.
What are Short Fills and Long Fills?
“Short fills” are a class of e-liquid product designed to accommodate nic shots. The bottles are “short filled”, that is, the bottle is not filled to the top in order to allow room for nic shots to be added. Short fills are typically 70/30 and are ready to vape without adding nic shots (zero nicotine, 0mg). Usually you can add 1 or 2 nic shots to 50ml to make 3 or 6mg and this liquid is suitable for DTL vaping. Short fills have been a popular product for many years.
“Long fills” are a fairly new concept that are similar to short fills but designed for MTL vaping at a higher nicotine strength. This is achieved by having a concentrated flavour base in the bottle to which multiple nic shots are added to create a 50/50 liquid with a nic strength of 7-14mg.
What’s the Difference Between Salt Nicotine and Freebase Nicotine?
When vaping first came about, only freebase nicotine was available. Nicotine on its own is not very pleasant to vape. It is a bit spicy/peppery. This is not a problem at lower strengths (ie 3mg) as you can hardly notice it but at higher strengths (6mg+) it will be noticeable. Nicotine salts came about to alleviate this problem.
Nicotine salts are a slightly different chemical variant of nicotine which results in a much smoother vape at higher strengths and also better absorption of nicotine by the body. Nic salts do not taste salty! There are no obvious downsides to nicotine salts. We still sell original freebase nic shots for those that prefer the old way for whatever reason, but we would always recommend trying salts, especially if you are experiencing the peppery taste from nicotine.
How do I Add Nic Shots to my Liquid?
NOTE: the liquid and nic shots will be quite thick on a cold day. Allow both the nic shots and the liquid to reach room temperature or above to make emptying and mixing the nic shots easier.
What is “Ice” in E-liquid?
It is common for manufacturers to add “ice” to e-liquid to make it feel cold. “Ice” is an additive, also called Koolada, WS-5 or WS-23. It is similar to menthol but without the minty taste. It makes the vapour feel “cold” when you vape it. Some people love it, others hate it and some people can take it or leave it. It is often a source of frustration when trying a new liquid to find that it is unexpectedly icy. At Sweet Vapes we will always specify if a flavour contains ice. Our Chilled range contains a mild amount of ice by default. You can also purchase “Ice Drops” which can be added to any liquid to make it cold. Our ice drops additive is VERY strong with 1 x 10ml bottle enough to chill up to 1000ml of liquid.
What’s the Deal with Coils?
The coil is the consumable part of your device and must be changed for a fresh one from time to time. Coil life can vary depending on many factors but as a rule of thumb you should get a week from your coils. You will know when to change it because your liquid will first become muted in flavour and then will taste burnt. When your desire for a fresh tasting vape is greater than your desire to not have to change the coil is when you change the coil. Excessive sweetener in e-liquid, using a high VG liquid in an MTL device and excessive chain vaping can all reduce coil life. One bad dry hit (vaping with no liquid) can ruin your coil in one go. Bear this in mind if your coils are not lasting very long.
What are Ohms?
Your coils are rated in ohms. This measures the amount of resistance to electrical current. Coils with lower ohms require more power to work and subsequently produce more vapour. You will find coils starting at 0.1 ohms for large and powerful devices right up to 2.0 ohms for small, low powered devices. “Sub ohm” vaping refers to vapes with ohms below 1.0 (sub-ohm) and is often used interchangeably with “DTL”
What are Watts?
If you have a device with adjustable power then you can set the wattage. You can set this to your preference and coils will usually have a suggested range printed on them. If your watts are too low then your device will feel “weak” and not produce much vapour. If your watts are too high then the vapour will be too hot and burn you. Feel free to adjust to find your sweet spot.