WHAT NICOTINE STRENGTH E-LIQUID DO I NEED?

If you’re switching from smoking to vaping, then we'd like to congratulate you on starting your journey. Choosing the right vape kit and e-juice is a crucial decision, and we go into more detail on that in our Vaping Starter Guide.

However, choosing the right nicotine strength is equally important and can make or break your vaping experience. Getting started with a nicotine vape juice strength that is too weak might not satiate your cravings, increasing the possibility of you returning to cigarettes.

A nicotine strength that is too high can make you lightheaded and hinder your first impression of vaping. As we want everyone to have a successful transition to e-cigarettes, we feel that it’s part of our job to ensure that you have all of the information you need on e-liquid nic strength. 

HOW MUCH NICOTINE IS IN A CIGARETTE?

This can be a difficult question, as the nicotine content of a cigarette typically varies from brand to brand. On the lower end of the scale, a single cigarette may contain around 6 milligrams (mg) of nicotine; at the other end, you’re looking at roughly 28 mg. Studies suggest, the average cigarette contains between 6mg and 12mg of nicotine; however, you don’t inhale every milligram of nicotine as it burns. You generally inhale roughly 1.1 to 1.8 mg of nicotine by the end of each cigarette. Vaping allows you to control your nicotine intake without inhaling the thousands of toxic chemicals that come hand-in-hand with smoking. 

HOW MUCH E-LIQUID IS EQUIVALENT TO SMOKING A CIGARETTE?

This also varies from brand to brand and person to person. It can depend on how strong your cigarettes were, how many you smoked per day, and even factors as intricate as your body mass. To give you an accurate answer, we'd have to calculate the concentration of nicotine you have in your e-liquid and what your vaping style is. To give you a rough idea, your average cigarette contains 10mgs of nicotine (though it can range from 6mg right up to 20mg), but your body will only absorb a small amount of this.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN E-LIQUID AND NICOTINE SALTS?

The two main types of vape juices available are freebase nicotine liquids (generally known as just ‘e-liquid’ and nicotine salts. Technically both are e-liquid but offer very different features for different styles of vaping.

Both have their benefits, with nic salts providing a smoother throat hit, and freebase e-liquids being available in lower strengths. 

WHAT NICOTINE STRENGTH E-LIQUID SHOULD I USE?

To decide on the right strength, you must pay attention to the milligrams of nicotine included in the vape juice you would like to buy. If the nicotine content is either too low or too high, you risk not receiving your preferred amount of nicotine delivery. If the amount of nicotine is too low, your intake won’t help your cravings, but if the nicotine level is too high for you, you can expect unpleasantly harsh throat hits and some undesirable side effects. Your preferred vape juice strength is an entirely personal choice, so let’s take a look at the different strengths and which one may suit you best. 

0mg E-Liquid - The nicotine-free option, perfect for vapers who have gradually cut down on their nicotine intake but still want the hand-to-mouth motion of an e-cigarette.

3mg E-Liquid-This is the lowest level of nicotine available in a vape juice (unless you mix your own e-liquid). This option is ideal for those that are on the final stretch of kicking cigarettes, and only require a low amount to keep you satisfied. We’d also recommend this concentration for light smokers who only really smoke a few cigarettes a day, or just socially.

6mg E-Liquid- Another low-level nicotine strength; however it still provides enough of a kick to satisfy your cravings. If you smoked around 10 cigarettes per day then this strength should work for you.

12mg E-Liquid-  Made for your average smoker, who smokes up to 20 cigarettes a day. This is an ideal strength to start with, allowing you to experiment and increase or decrease your strength as you see fit.  

18mg E-Liquid -
The highest nicotine strength that we offer, recommended for the heavy smokers who smoke through a substantial number of cigarettes; roughly a pack a day.

MOUTH-TO-LUNG (MTL) VS DIRECT-LUNG (DL) VAPING

While researching vaping, you will probably have seen these two particular pieces of vaping lingo thrown about. Although we go into thorough detail in our Vaping Starter Guide, it’s important to explain how it affects your choice of nicotine strength. If you’re a new vaper looking for a sensation akin to the act of smoking a cigarette, then you’re going to be an MTL vaper. When you MTL inhale, you take the vapour into your mouth, holding it in before inhaling it into your lungs. With its tighter, more restricted draw, the MTL experience is a lot closer to what a smoker would be used to.

Direct-Lung inhale is the act of inhaling the vapour directly into your lungs, without holding it in your mouth first. This style may seem alien to former cigarette smokers or new vapers, as it is more akin to shisha inhale. So why is this important? If you've gone down the MTL route and picked yourself up a mouth-to-lung vape kit, you’ll be relieved to learn that most nicotine strengths are compatible with this style.

However, if you’ve decided that Direct Lung is better for you, then we recommend that you use a lower strength (up to 6mg), as the throat hit associated with this style will be considerably harsher using high-strength vape juice.  

A FEW EXTRA TIPS

  • If you still want a decent throat hit, but the amount of nicotine is a bit too high, try an e-juice with a 50:50 VG/PG ratio, the higher the PG content there is, the stronger your throat hit will be.
  • Getting into the swing of vaping and decreasing your Nicotine intake is a process.  We can expect heavy smokers to start with a higher nicotine strength, and if it helps you quit, it’s what’s going to be better in the long run. There's nothing wrong with gradually reducing the strength of your e-liquid over time.
  • There's no harm in starting slightly lower - it’s worth trying some of the lower strength e-juices to avoid overdoing it and ending up with a nicotine head-rush or feeling nauseous - the last thing we want is for you to have an unpleasant first vaping experience.
  • If you have a slightly lower strength, you can take a few more drags until you are satisfied - when vaping, nicotine is absorbed into your system a bit slower than when you smoke, so give it a few minutes when you first try it to see how you feel.
  • Not all vape kits are designed to accommodate high-strength e-liquids, with sub-ohm devices being too powerful for higher doses, you’ll need something different
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