TPD restrictions; Mixing E-Liquid with TPD Strength Nicotine

TPD Restrictions; Mixing E-Liquid with TPD Strength Nicotine

Richard Winter DIY E-Liquid Mixing Leave a Comment

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Back in May 2017, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) was introduced in Europe. First of all, for more information about the TPD restrictions, please check out our Guide to the TPD!

Today we’re taking a look at just one aspect of those TPD restrictions; the limit of nicotine strength to 20mg/ml. Like me, you’ve probably been wondering how to mix e-liquid following the TPD and how to calculate the nicotine strength you want to vape your e-juice at.

Now, essentially this is totally dependent on the PG/VG ratio you’re mixing with and your nicotine base liquid! However, we can make some general assumptions and give you a good idea of how to use Nicotine Shots to get your desired strength!

If you’re starting from scratch and want to learn how to mix e-liquid, please take a look at our complete beginner’s guide to DIY e-liquid mixing! Also, you might want to check out our custom built e-liquid calculator!

TPD Restrictions; Nicotine Strength

In addition, while the maximum strength of nicotine has been limited to a strength of 20mg/ml, you can also only buy a maximum bottle size of 10ml! Outside of Europe it’s still possible to buy a strength of up to 72mg/ml in whatever bottle size you want. Therefore, outside of the EU you’re still allowed to wear your ‘big boy’ pants and make your own decisions… Don’t get me started!

It’s also worth noting that, although the TPD restrictions are capped at 20mg/ml, most suppliers will only provide Nicotine Shots at 18mg/ml. This is probably because it’s easier to calculate the e-liquid mix required based on those figures.

Prior to the TPD, you could purchase 72mg/ml nicotine strength, which meant you could mix e-liquid at a nicotine strength up to and in excess of 36mg. Ideal for those of us transitioning to vaping from a 30 plus a day habit!

Sadly us guys and gals in Europe are no longer able to mix at this strength of nicotine since the TPD. Following the TPD restrictions, we’re limited to mixing up to a maximum of 16.2mg strength! Not to mention the fact we have to buy the nicotine in 10ml bottles at a significantly increased price! It’s these new bottles/levels that’re commonly referred to as Nicotine Shots or ‘nic shots’.

TPD Mixing Recipes/Ratios

The examples below highlight the maximum target nicotine strength you can mix at with respect to the different PG/VG ratios while using TPD compliant nicotine. All these figures have been calculated using our E-Liquid Calculator, so feel free to try this out for yourself.

For the purpose of these ‘recipes’, I’ve assumed the following:

  • The amount of e-liquid you mix (bottle size) has very little effect on the results (default at 10ml).
  • The flavour percentage strength is calculated at 10% and the carrier base is in PG. Changing these parameters will affect the overall results.
  • Water/vodka dilutant is zero.
  • The nicotine base strength is 18mg/ml (1.8%).
Example 1: Nicotine Diluted in PG

Nicotine Base: PG
Target Nicotine = PG/VG Ratio:

7.2% = 50/50
9% = 60/40
9.9% = 65/35
10.8% = 70/30
11.7% = 75/25
12.6% = 80/20
13.5% = 85/15
14.4% = 90/10
15.3% = 95/5
16.2% = 100/0

From Example 1, you can see that the maximum target nicotine level you can achieve when mixing at a 50/50 PG/VG ratio is 7.2%. Anything above this is not possible unless you increase the PG content of the PG/VG ratio.

Each PG/VG ratio shown in the example will allow you to mix at a target nicotine level corresponding to the PG/VG ratio up to a maximum of 16.2%.

Example 2:  Nicotine Diluted in VG

Nicotine Base: VG
Target Nicotine = PG/VG Ratio:

9% = 50/50
9.9% = 45/55
10.8% = 40/60
11.7% = 35/65
12.6% = 30/70
13.5% = 25/75
14.4% = 20/80
15.3% = 15/85
16.2% = 10/90

From Example 2, you can see that the maximum target nicotine level you can achieve when mixing at a 50/50 PG/VG ratio is 9%. Again, anything above this is not possible unless you increase the VG content of the PG/VG ratio. Just bear in mind that making those earlier assumptions, specifically that the flavour base is in PG, means at a flavour percentage of 10% we can only reach a total of 90% VG.

Each PG/VG ratio shown in the example will allow you to mix at a target nicotine level corresponding to the PG/VG ratio up to a maximum of 16.2%.

Example 3: Nicotine One Shot 50/50 Mix
Nicotine Base (Diluted in) One Shot 50/50 Mix
Target Nicotine Level (Max) 14.4% 16.2%
PG/VG Ratio 50/50 55/45

From Example 3, you can see that when using a Nicotine One Shot 50/50 mix, the maximum target nicotine level you can achieve when mixing at a 50/50 PG/VG ratio increases to 14.4%.

Summary

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the limitations imposed following the TPD in respect to DIY e-liquid mixing.

If you plan on vaping at a nicotine strength of 7mg (7%) or lower, then the TPD restriction with respect to nicotine strength won’t affect you (apart from the increased cost of course!). If you prefer vaping at a higher nicotine strength, you’ll need to play around with your PG/VG ratios or use a 50/50 Nicotine One Shot. However, this will still limit you to a maximum nicotine strength of 16.2%.

If your supplier only supplies nicotine in either PG or VG, don’t worry. You can still increase your target nicotine level by simulating a 50/50 Nicotine One Shot. Purchase your nicotine in both a PG base and VG base so you have some of each. This basically means you’d select the “50/50 One Shot Mix” on our E-Liquid Calculator. When the result specifies how much nicotine you need to add to your mix, add half that value of PG based nicotine and the other half in VG based nicotine.

So that’s it folks! While the TPD restrictions have certainly brought about significant changes in the way we mix e-liquid, hopefully this post will give you a better idea of the limitations in place!

Happy Vaping!

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