How to Mix a Shortfill and Reduce Nicotine Strength

How to Mix a Shortfill and Reduce Nicotine Strength

Shortfills are nicotine-free E-Liquids, so how do you mix nicotine with a shortfill and what amount should you use?

18 November | Hannah Rubery

How to Mix a Shortfill and Reduce Nicotine Strength (Image)

What are Shortfills?

These nicotine-free E-Liquids were born from necessity when the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) first came into force. They are bottles that contain a slightly less amount of liquid than the size of the bottle i.e., a 60ml shortfill bottle containing 50ml of liquid, and 120ml bottles that contain 100ml.

Many brands had to quickly adapt to the new legislation that meant all nicotine products required submission to the MHRA for approval and testing. Bottles of E-Liquid also had to be reduced to 10ml bottles, while tanks got smaller too, with some flavours becoming extinct due to the cost of analysis and submissions outweighing the cost of production.

Thereby nicotine-free E-Liquids were created to bypass the new regulations. Of course, these items were still legal, they just did not require all the paperwork of a nicotine-containing product. These became a hit however as they opened the doors to possibilities of more complex flavours and the ability to manage your own nicotine intake, by simply adding nicotine shots to your shortfill – hence the little less liquid housed in the bottles to allow for a nicotine shot to be added. They also allowed vapers to be able to carry fewer bottles when out and about, by having a larger bottle of E-Liquid at the ready.

Advantages of using nicotine shots and shortfills:

●  Able to make the perfect blend just for you
●  You reduce the risk of burning your coils compared to using nic salts, which are thicker
●  Shortfills and nicotine shots are compatible with most devices
●  Nic shots are usually unflavoured to maximise the flavour of your shortfill


●  Nicotine shots don’t offer high strengths - If you want a higher level of nicotine in one go, nicotine salt shots are better (a 100ml shortfill bottle with two nicotine shots equals only 6mg of nicotine. Nicotine salt shots typically offer 20mg of nicotine)

How to mix a shortfill

How to Mix a Shortfill method (Image)

First off, make sure you are adding your nicotine shot to a 0mg/ml, nicotine-free E-Liquid – the last thing you want to do is accidentally make a stronger E-Liquid than intended.

Remove the cap and nib from your shortfill, as well as the cap from your nicotine shot. Slowly squeeze your nicotine shot into the shortfill bottle. Make sure to wash hands and surfaces thoroughly with warm water should any spill!

Once it’s been fully added into your shortfill, replace the nib and ensure a tight, solid seal to your bottle. Replace the cap and shake thoroughly for ten minutes to make sure it mixes fully.

Make sure that when you are mixing your nicotine shot and shortfill, that you are aware of the volume of your E-Liquid, as different ranges can create vastly different E-Liquids. For example, 50ml shortfills are usually designed to be used alongside 10ml nicotine shots of 18mg/ml or 20mg/ml nicotine salt shots. By blending these volumes, you create 60ml of liquid with 3mg of nicotine. If you have a 100ml shortfill, then 2 x 10ml nic shots create a 120ml E-Liquid with 3mg of nicotine.

You also want to take into consideration the VG and PG ratio of your shortfill. If your shortfill has a high VG ratio then you will want to use a 70% or even 100% VG nicotine shot.

Higher VG ratio nicotine shots and shortfills lend themselves to creating voluminous clouds of larger vapour due to the thickness. These are usually for more advanced vapers using direct to lung (DTL) devices. Due to the thickness, you also end up inhaling more E-Liquid which means more of a nicotine hit, and too much of it can be harsh on the throat.

Alternatively, 50/50 ratio nicotine shots offer the best of both worlds with a mix of throat hit and cloud production.

Amount of nicotine shot per shortfill (Image)

How to reduce nicotine intake

Using shortfills really does lend itself to helping reduce nicotine intake. By being able to find the perfect blend of nicotine in your E-Liquid, you can gradually reduce the intensity of each throat hit, until you eventually reach zero nicotine when you vape.

For those starting out vaping after making the switch from smoking, naturally you will want to start on a higher strength. But over time, especially for those who vape regularly throughout the day, you will want to reduce your nicotine strength and eventually cut it out completely.

For example, if you used an 18mg nicotine shot normally with your 50ml bottle shortfill to get a 6mg E-Liquid, you could lower it to 3mg. You can do this by using only 1 x 18mg nicotine shot rather than 2, and similarly to reduce even further to 1.5mg nicotine in your E-Liquid, you would use half an 18mg shot instead.

What’s your favourite shortfill or your go-to flavour? Let us know in the comments.