Choosing nicotine levels when switching to vaping can be daunting. Here’s a guide to get the best out your vaping experience.
It is important to state upfront that everyone’s tolerance of nicotine varies. Thus, as a vaper, when you start out vaping, you’ll have to play around and find what works for you. Luckily, e-liquids vary in levels so that you can do just that. You even have an option of nicotine-free e-liquids.
Why do nicotine levels matter?
When smokers are looking to switch to vaping, nicotine levels are imperative to ensure they don’t go back to being full-time smokers again. In this regard, levels need to do the following:
- It needs to match the levels that was in your cigarettes, otherwise vaping might not last for you.
- The vaping experience should be the same as what you get from smoking.
Some ex-smokers are looking for an alternative to smoking and wants to match the nicotine strength in order to make the transition easier; while others want to use vaping as a cessation method by starting with similar strength and gradually step down to zero strength.
Is vaping nicotine the same as smoking?
The first thing to understand is that e-liquids act as a vehicle to get nicotine into their bodies, in the same way smoking does – by inhaling. This is however where the similarities end.
Nicotine in cigarettes
Cigarettes generally contain between 4-14 mg of nicotine each. How much of this actually being absorbed into the body, depends on how deeply you inhale and how much of the cigarette is smoked. Thus, not all of the nicotine will get into your body.
Nicotine in vaping
As with cigarettes, the amount of nicotine being absorbed depends on a couple of things:
- How deeply the vapour is inhaled
- How often is being puffed
- What kind of device is being used
Knowing exactly the levels of nicotine in your e-liquid is an advantage vaping has over cigarettes. There is no set strength and the levels are listed in milligrams per millilitre on the packaging. The lowest nicotine level is, of course, 0mg per ml and the highest (except if you are using nicotine salts) is 36mg per ml or alternatively 0% to 1.8%.
What is the right amount of nicotine in e-liquid
Different levels are right for different users. Here are some guidelines, however:
- High concentrated e-cigarettes will provide more nicotine than a drip system tank mod.
- Smokers will find a more satisfying experience from e-cigarettes rather than mods.
- Different manufacturers have different sets of standards for the strength of nicotine levels in their products.
- Sub-Ohm vaping means lower nicotine levels, although it’s possible to get similar inhalation of nicotine as you would get from smoking cigarettes.
- Sub-Ohms produces more vapour, aka clouds, and thus more nicotine is inhaled.
- 3-6mg of nicotine in sub-Ohms should satisfy the same cravings as cigarettes. High strength nicotine is not recommended for sub-Ohm vaping as it could be harsh for even heavy smokers.
There is a general gradation though:
Nicotine salts aka nic salts
These contain the highest levels of nicotine in e-liquids and can contain over 50mg of nicotine per ml. As little as one or two puffs can be enough to satisfy a nicotine craving. The most common example of devices making use of nicotine salts is the Juul and generally contain 5% per pod or capsule of e-liquid.
How to wean off nicotine
- Find the right level and steadily reduce your intake. It’s easy to make adjustments to the levels with e-liquids.
- If you’re a heavy smoker, we recommend that you start off with the same levels as the cigarettes that you smoke and also use a device that simulates the smoking experience. We find that e-cigarettes rather than mods are best for that. Gradually lower your nicotine levels at a comfortable pace.
Avoid rushing to a lower strength or to quit completely all of a sudden. This can result in feeling unsatisfied and turn you back to smoking before you gave vaping a proper chance. Be patient, there’s no one-size fits all solution.
Go in with an open mind, ask a lot of questions and stay informed. The pay-off can be big – enjoying a smoke-free life…eventually.