What is a shortfill e liquid - A Brief History Lesson

  • 7 min read


What is a shortfill e liquid
What is a Shortfill e liquid - A Brief History Lesson

So, what is a shortfill e liquid, you ask? Let me break it down for you in simple terms. Shortfill e liquids are larger bottles of vape juice that come without nicotine. They're perfect for vapers who want to add their own nicotine shots to customize their vaping experience. Shortfills are an easy way to get your hands on a variety of flavours and strengths, all in one bottle.

Shortfills entered the vape scene to comply with the European Union's Tobacco Products Directive in 2016. This directive aimed to make vaping safer by restricting the sale of bottles containing more than 10ml of e liquid with nicotine. The introduction of shortfills revolutionised vaping by offering vapers the freedom to mix and match their favourite flavours without the hassle. Do not forget, always handle nicotine with caution, as nicotine is a highly addictive substance that can be harmful when not used responsibly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shortfill e-liquids are a popular choice for vapers who want to customise their nicotine levels without the constraints of TPD regulations.
  • A shortfill e-liquid comes in a larger bottle containing nicotine-free e-liquid, leaving room for vapers to add nicotine shots to their desired strength.
  • The history of shortfill e-liquids dates back to the introduction of the Tobacco Product Directive in the EU in 2016, which restricted the size of nicotine-containing e-liquid bottles.
  • Shortfill e-liquids have revolutionised the vaping industry by providing vapers with greater flexibility in choosing their nicotine levels and flavour preferences.
  • By understanding the concept of shortfill e-liquids, vapers can enjoy a more personalised vaping experience tailored to their individual needs.

Decoding Shortfills: The Basics

Understanding the Terminology

Pertaining to shortfills, understanding the terminology is crucial. Simply put, a shortfill e-liquid is a nicotine-free vape juice that comes in a bottle that is only partially filled. This allows you to add nicotine shots to reach your desired nicotine strength. The term "shortfill" originates from the fact that the bottle is not filled to the brim, leaving space for the nicotine shots.

The Shortfill Bottle Explained

The shortfill bottle typically comes in larger sizes, such as 60ml or 120ml, to accommodate the additional nicotine shots. These bottles are designed with a higher VG (vegetable glycerin) content to enhance vapour production. It's important to note that shortfill e-liquids do not contain nicotine by default – it's up to you to add the nicotine shots to customise the strength to your liking. Adding nicotine shots to a shortfill e-liquid without following the guidelines can be dangerous and lead to nicotine poisoning.

If you're new to shortfills, it's necessary to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure safe and enjoyable vaping experience. Always handle nicotine shots with care, and be mindful of the nicotine strength you're adding to your e-liquid. Stay informed and enjoy the versatility that shortfill e-liquids offer.

A Brief History Lesson

The Birth of Shortfills

Shortfills first surfaced in the vaping market in response to the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in 2016. This regulation limited the amount of nicotine e-liquid that could be sold in a single bottle to 10ml, to make vaping safer. However, this posed a challenge for vapers who preferred higher nicotine levels. To cater to this demand, the concept of shortfills was introduced – larger bottles of nicotine-free e-liquid with extra space to add nicotine shots. This allowed vapers more flexibility in choosing their nicotine strength while staying compliant with the law.

Regulations That Shaped the Market

In the UK, the vaping industry operates under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, which implemented the TPD. This legislation aimed to ensure a higher standard of quality and safety for e-liquids and devices. Additionally, organisations like the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) oversee the licensing and regulation of nicotine-containing products. These regulations have helped promote transparency and consumer safety in the vaping market.


One important repercussion of these regulations is that shortfills are not subjected to the same restrictions as regular e-liquids, as they do not contain nicotine. This has contributed to the popularity of shortfills among vapers looking for greater variety and control over their vaping experience.

The Anatomy of Shortfill E-Liquids

Nicotine Strengths and Mixing

Pertaining to shortfill e-liquids, one of the key features to consider is the nicotine strengths and the art of mixing. Shortfill e-liquids typically come without nicotine, allowing you to add your desired amount. This flexibility gives you the power to control your nicotine intake without being restricted to pre-set levels. However, it is crucial to handle nicotine with care, as it is a toxic substance that can cause harm if not used properly.

VG/PG Ratios in Shortfills

Another important aspect of shortfill e-liquids is the VG/PG ratios. These ratios determine the viscosity of the e-liquid, affecting the overall vaping experience. VG (vegetable glycerin) is known for producing thick vapour clouds, while PG (propylene glycol) provides a stronger throat hit. Choosing the right VG/PG ratio can enhance the flavour, throat hit, and cloud production of your vaping experience.

It is vital to note that different devices work best with specific VG/PG ratios. For example, sub-ohm tanks generally perform better with high-VG e-liquids, while pod systems may work more efficiently with a balanced VG/PG ratio. Understanding the characteristics of VG and PG can help you tailor your vaping experience to suit your preferences.

The Mixing Ritual: Adding Nicotine Shots

Step-by-Step Guide to Mixing

Step Instructions
1 Squeeze the nicotine shot into your shortfill bottle.
2 Securely replace the bottle cap and shake vigorously for a few minutes.
3 Allow the mixture to steep for a while to ensure the flavours blend well.

Customizing Your Vaping Experience

In terms of customizing your vaping experience, the possibilities are endless. You can experiment with different nicotine levels, VG/PG ratios, and flavour combinations to find what suits you best. However, remember that adding too much nicotine can be dangerous, causing nausea, dizziness, and even nicotine poisoning. Always follow recommended guidelines and take note of how you feel after vaping your mix.

Advantages of Using Shortfill E-Liquids

Cost-Effectiveness and Value

One significant advantage of using shortfill e-liquids is their cost-effectiveness and value for money. As these e-liquids come in larger bottle sizes with no nicotine, they often work out to be more economical in the long run. This means you can enjoy your vaping experience without constantly worrying about running out of e-liquid or breaking the bank to purchase more.

Variety and Flexibility in Flavours

In terms of shortfill e-liquids, the variety and flexibility in flavors are truly unmatched. With a wide array of flavours available, from fruity to dessert-inspired options, there is something to suit every palate. Additionally, shortfill e-liquids allow you to customise the nicotine strength to your preference, providing a personalised vaping experience like no other.

More nuances in flavour can be explored using shortfill e-liquids, giving vapers the opportunity to experiment and discover new favourites. This level of variety and flexibility ensures that your vaping journey is always exciting and never stagnant.

Considerations and Precautions

Storing and Handling Shortfills

Pertaining to storing and handling shortfill e-liquids, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Firstly, it is crucial to store your shortfills in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. This is because exposure to sunlight can degrade the nicotine in the e-liquid, impacting its potency and flavour. Additionally, ensure that your shortfills are kept out of reach of children and pets, as the high nicotine content can be harmful if ingested.

Potential Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

One of the most important things to be aware of when using shortfills is the risk of nicotine poisoning. Shortfills contain high levels of nicotine and should be handled with caution. To avoid this, always use appropriate safety gear when handling shortfills, such as gloves and protective eyewear. Furthermore, make sure to keep your shortfills tightly sealed when not in use to prevent accidental spills or leaks.

It is also important to note that shortfills should never be vaped in their concentrated form, as this can be extremely dangerous to your health. Always make sure to dilute the e-liquid with a nicotine-free base before use to ensure a safe and enjoyable vaping experience.

To Sum Up What is A Short Fill E Liquid

In conclusion, shortfill e-liquids have marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the vaping industry, offering vapers an unmatched level of flexibility and control over their vaping preferences. These innovations emerged as a direct response to the European Union's Tobacco Products Directive of 2016, designed to navigate the stringent regulations imposed on nicotine-containing e-liquid bottle sizes. By providing a practical solution that allows vapers to customise their nicotine levels and explore a wide array of flavours, shortfills have catered to a broad spectrum of vaping styles and preferences.

The introduction of larger bottle sizes, combined with the ability for individuals to add nicotine shots according to their personal preference, not only enhances the vaping experience but also presents a cost-effective and convenient option. This has made shortfills particularly appealing to both novice and seasoned vapers alike. However, the process of mixing nicotine requires a cautious and responsible approach to ensure safety and enjoyment in vaping.

As the vaping landscape continues to grow and change, shortfills stand out as a pivotal innovation, fostering creativity and personalisation while adhering to health and safety regulations. This blend of flexibility, economy, and regulatory compliance underscores the importance of shortfills in the future trajectory of vaping, ensuring they remain a popular choice within the vaping community.


Q: What is a shortfill e liquid?

A: A shortfill e liquid is a larger bottle of nicotine-free vape juice that leaves space for you to add a nicotine shot. This came about due to TPD regulations limiting the size of nicotine-containing e-liquids.

Q: Why are shortfill e liquids called "shortfills"?

A: The term "shortfill" comes from the fact that the bottles are filled short of full capacity to allow for the addition of nicotine shots, hence the name "shortfill".

Q: What is the history behind shortfill e liquids?

A: Shortfill e liquids became popular in 2017 with the introduction of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in the UK. This regulation restricted the sale of nicotine-containing e-liquids in bottles larger than 10ml. Vapers then turned to shortfills as a solution to continue enjoying larger quantities of e-liquid.

How do you use shortfill e liquids?

To use a shortfill e liquid, simply remove the cap, add the required nicotine shot(s) to reach your desired strength, replace the cap, shake well to mix, and let it steep for a short while before vaping.

What are the benefits of using shortfill e liquids?

The main benefit of shortfill e liquids is the flexibility it offers in terms of nicotine strength and bottle size. You can customise your vaping experience by adding nicotine shots to suit your preferences, and the larger bottle size means you'll have more e-liquid to enjoy.