Nicotine E-Liquids vs. Nicotine-Free E-Liquids (Shortfill)

When it comes to vaping, one of the most significant choices you’ll make is whether to use nicotine e-liquids or nicotine-free e-liquids, also known as shortfills. This decision can affect your overall vaping experience, health, and satisfaction. In this article, we will explore the differences between nicotine e-liquids and shortfills, helping you make an informed choice tailored to your needs.   

Understanding Nicotine E-Liquids

Nicotine e-liquids are the traditional choice for many vapers, particularly those who have transitioned from smoking cigarettes. These e-liquids contain varying concentrations of nicotine, allowing users to select the strength that best suits their cravings and preferences. Nicotine is the addictive substance found in tobacco, and its inclusion in e-liquids aims to provide a satisfying alternative to smoking.   

Benefits of Nicotine E-Liquids 

  • Craving Satisfaction: For those who have recently quit smoking, nicotine e-liquids can be crucial in managing cravings. The presence of nicotine helps mimic the sensation of smoking, reducing withdrawal symptoms and making the transition smoother.  
  • Customisable Strengths: Nicotine e-liquids are available in a range of strengths, from very low (3mg) to very high (20mg or more). This variety allows users to gradually reduce their nicotine intake over time, aiding in the process of quitting nicotine altogether.  
  • Immediate Impact: Nicotine e-liquids provide an immediate nicotine hit, which can be particularly satisfying for those accustomed to the instant gratification of smoking.    

Exploring Nicotine-Free E-Liquids (Shortfills)

Nicotine-free e-liquids, commonly referred to as shortfills, have become increasingly popular among vapers. These e-liquids do not contain nicotine but are sold in larger bottles, usually 50ml or 100ml, leaving space for users to add their desired amount of nicotine via nicotine shots.   

Benefits of Nicotine-Free E-Liquids 

  • Customisation: Shortfills offer unparalleled customisation. By adding nicotine shots, users can tailor their e-liquid to their preferred strength. This flexibility allows for gradual nicotine reduction or complete elimination, catering to individual goals.  
  • Cost-Effective: Buying larger bottles of nicotine-free e-liquid and adding nicotine shots can be more cost-effective in the long run. This approach often results in a lower cost per millilitre compared to pre-mixed nicotine e-liquids.  
  • Variety of Flavours: Shortfills are available in a wide range of flavours, often more diverse than pre-mixed nicotine e-liquids. This variety can enhance the vaping experience, making it more enjoyable and less monotonous.  
  • Compliance with Regulations: Since shortfills are nicotine-free, they are not subject to the same regulatory restrictions as nicotine-containing e-liquids. This means they can be sold in larger bottles, providing more value and convenience to the consumer.  

Comparing the Vaping Experience

One of the primary factors influencing your choice between nicotine e-liquids and shortfills is the overall vaping experience. This includes the throat hit, flavour intensity, and vapour production. 

  • Throat Hit - Nicotine e-liquids are known for delivering a noticeable throat hit, which many former smokers find satisfying. The presence of nicotine contributes to this sensation, replicating the feeling of smoking a traditional cigarette. Shortfills, being nicotine-free, offer a smoother inhale. When nicotine shots are added, the throat hit can be adjusted to match your preference, providing a more customisable experience. 
  • Flavour Intensity - Flavour intensity can vary significantly between nicotine e-liquids and shortfills. Nicotine can sometimes alter the taste of e-liquids, particularly at higher concentrations. Shortfills, on the other hand, are designed to deliver pure, unaltered flavours. This can result in a more enjoyable and vivid taste experience, making shortfills a favourite among flavour enthusiasts. 
  • Vapour Production - Vapour production is another aspect where shortfills often excel. The higher VG (vegetable glycerin) content in many shortfills results in thicker, denser clouds. Nicotine e-liquids, especially those with higher PG (propylene glycol) ratios, might produce less vapour but offer a stronger throat hit. Your choice will depend on whether you prioritise cloud production or a more pronounced throat sensation. 


Making the Right Choice

Choosing between nicotine e-liquids and shortfills ultimately depends on your personal preferences, goals, and vaping habits. Here are a few considerations to help guide your decision:  

  • Nicotine Dependence: If you are highly dependent on nicotine, starting with nicotine e-liquids might be the best choice. The immediate nicotine hit can help manage cravings effectively. Over time, you can gradually switch to shortfills and reduce your nicotine intake.  
  • Health Goals: For those looking to quit nicotine altogether, shortfills offer a clear path. The ability to customise your nicotine levels allows for a gradual reduction, eventually leading to nicotine-free vaping.   
  • Convenience vs. Cost: If convenience is your priority, pre-mixed nicotine e-liquids are straightforward and ready to use. However, if you’re budget-conscious and enjoy a bit of DIY, shortfills can be a more economical and versatile option.  
  • Flavour Preferences: If flavour variety is important to you, shortfills might be the better choice. The extensive range of flavours available can keep your vaping experience exciting and satisfying. 


Top 5 Best Nicotine E-Liquids 

For those who prefer nicotine e-liquids, here are five highly recommended options: 

  • Vampire Vape Heisenberg - Known for its unique blend of fruity and menthol flavours, Heisenberg is a favourite among many vapers. Available in various nicotine strengths, it offers a refreshing and satisfying vape. 

  • Lemon Lime Sorbet Nicotine Salt by Pod Salt Nexus - A dessert-flavoured e-liquid that combines lemon with sweet pastry notes. This popular choice provides a rich and indulgent vaping experience. 

  • Grape Nic salt E-liquid by Elf Bar Elfliq - This e-liquid delivers a bold and juicy grape flavour with a hint of menthol. It's perfect for those who enjoy a fruity and refreshing vape. 

  • Riot Squad Pink Grenade - A delightful mix of strawberries and lemonade, Pink Grenade offers a tangy and sweet flavour profile. Available in different nicotine strengths, it caters to various preferences. 

  • Drifter Bar Salts Blueberry Bubblegum Nic Salt - This nostalgic e-liquid captures the taste of bubblegum candy, offering a fun and flavourful vape. It's a great choice for those with a sweet tooth. 

Top 5 Best Nicotine-Free E-Liquids (Shortfills) 

For vapers who prefer shortfills, here are five top-rated options: 

  • Drifter Bar Juice Sweet Blueberry Ice - A refreshing blend of sweet blueberries and cool menthol, perfect for an invigorating vape. This shortfill allows for customisable nicotine strength with added shots. 

  • Strawberry Watermelon by IVG- A delicious combination of ripe strawberries and juicy watermelon, offering a smooth and fruity vaping experience. 

  • Blueberry Jam by Sad Boy - A tropical blueberry jammy flavour that delivers a burst of sweetness and refreshment. This shortfill is ideal for those who enjoy vibrant, fruity flavours. 

  • Mango Chilled 100ml Shortfill by Moreish Puff - A delightful mix of honey mangoes with a cool mint twist. This shortfill provides a tropical and refreshing vape, perfect for summer. 

  • Nasty Juice Cush Man - A popular choice featuring the taste of ripe mangoes with a hint of mint. This shortfill offers a rich and exotic flavour profile, perfect for fruit lovers.   

For those exploring the world of vaping, Tidal Vape offers an extensive selection of both nicotine e-liquids and shortfills. With over 20 stores across the UK and a comprehensive online shop, Tidal Vape provides high-quality vape products to suit every vaper’s needs. Their knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the right e-liquids and offer guidance on mixing shortfills, ensuring you have a seamless and enjoyable vaping experience.  

The decision between nicotine e-liquids and nicotine-free e-liquids (shortfills) is a personal one, influenced by your individual needs and preferences. Whether you’re aiming to manage nicotine cravings or gradually eliminate nicotine from your life, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each option can help you make an informed choice. Remember, the ultimate goal is to enhance your vaping experience while prioritising your health and satisfaction. For all your vaping needs, Tidal Vape stands ready to support you with top-notch vape products and expert advice. 

Back to blog