WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

What are Short Fills?

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In recent years, governments have put in place certain regulations to get a handle on the vape industry and do what they think is best for the public. The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is a directive of the European Union that places limits on the sales of products that contain nicotine. This new directive meant that e-juice companies were only allowed to sell 10ml bottles of nicotine with a maximum nicotine level per ml. Obviously buying teeny tiny bottles of your favorite e-liquid is beyond annoying so, e-juice brands got creative! While still staying within TPD regulations, companies used the max 10ml nicotine rule by creating short fills.

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What are short fills?

Short fills are the loophole to TPD regulations. Not included in the 10ml rule are e-juices that do not contain nicotine. This means that companies can send any size of 0 mg e-juice they want. That is how the vape industry gave birth to short fills. Short fills are bottles of 0mg e-juice that are not filled all the way up which allows users to insert what are called nicotine shots.

As mentioned previously TPD regulations demand that the largest bottle size that can be legally sold in the EU is 10ml bottles. Vape manufactures got smart and decided to use that entire 10ml for nicotine shots and to sell 0mg bottles of whatever size. This enabled users to mix their own 100+ ml bottle of 3mg+ e-juice and enjoy their experience as it were before TPD.

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How to use nicotine shots

Using nicotine shots can be tricky, as adding to much or too little can alter the flavor and throat hit of your favorite e-juice. Luckily, there are a number of resources out there to help you determine how much nicotine you need to get the right concentrations of mg in your e-juice. A simple google search for a nicotine calculator should give you what you are looking for.

The way nicotine shots work are like diffusion. If you have ever used food coloring or easter egg dye, you are familiar with the process. The dye (or nicotine) is highly concentrated and once mixed with the water (VG, PG and Flavoring in 0mg e-juice) it diffuses through out and dilutes the highly concentrated liquid to give you a solution with the mixture you are looking for. Just like easter egg dye, the more nicotine you put in the stronger the mg will be in the final solution. This is why using a calculator before purchasing the nicotine shots is critical.

Some tricks to help the process are as follows:
  • Mark the nicotine bottle into 1/4ths to help measure how much you are using
  • Add the nicotine slowly
  • Give it a good shake to ensure proper disbursement
  • Consider the effects of steeping on the flavor of your final product

TPD regulation can be a pain and may prove to be even more restrictive in the future, but the creative minds that run the vape industry will always do their best to ensure a convenient way to enjoy their e-liquids. Short fills are proof of the innovation and care for consumers e-liquid brands possess. And there is always a silver lining, TPD bottles allow you to taste a new juice without having to commit to a larger bottle and short fills allow you to customize your juice. Check out this video by IndiJuice to get a full tutorial on how to use nicotine shots.