How to Choose The Right Nicotine Strength
When switching to vaping, it is important to consider nicotine strength, especially if you are making the transition from smoking. The wrong strength can ruin your early vaping journey, whereas the right nicotine strength makes everything much easier.
Here, we'll discuss the different nicotine strengths available and what considerations should be made when choosing your perfect strength.
Table of Contents
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a naturally produced chemical compound belonging to the alkaloid family. As an alkaloid, nicotine shares similar chemical characteristics to addictive substances such as caffeine and cocaine. Nicotine is derived from tobacco plants but can also be found in other variants of the nightshade family including tomatoes and aubergines - although in significantly smaller doses.
Nicotine is an optional ingredient in e-liquids, often added to help vapers manage their cravings after making the switch from smoking. With e-liquids, nicotine can be bought in strengths from 0.3% up to 2+%. Anything higher than 20mg (2%) is not compliant in the UK. Plus, we wouldn’t recommend such a high strength as even heavy smokers don’t need that much nicotine.
Nicotine strengths can be measured and displayed in different ways, usually as a percentage or in milligrams (mg). Each metric shows the same thing: the nicotine amount per millilitre (ml) of vape juice.
Most vape stores display nicotine strengths in ‘mgs.’ This simply means that, when e-liquids have a strength of, for example, 1.8%, every ml of vape juice has 18mg of nicotine.
At The Electronic Cigarette Company, we display our nicotine strengths in percentages. A percentage will tell you how much of the e-liquid is nicotine. For example, a 10ml e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 1.8% contains 0.18ml of nicotine.
Essentially, the lower the percentage or mg, the lower the nicotine strength of that e-liquid. So, a 0.3% e-liquid is considered a low strength whereas a 1.8% is a strong vape juice.
Does It Matter What Vape Kit I Have?
Certain vape kits can have different effects depending on the strength that you choose.
Most vapers start off with a mouth to lung (MTL) technique. This is because it has a tighter draw and closely resembles smoking. The vapour production is low but the flavours and throat hit are strong. To get the best out of an MTL kit it should be used with medium to high strength e-liquid. This will provide enough nicotine for most smokers. Plus, it means you won’t need to go through as much e-liquid to get the required hit.
When using a sub ohm kit the strength should be lower than with an MTL Kit. This is because it creates larger clouds of vapour. As a result, each puff uses more e-liquid and means you take in more nicotine. Avoid high strength e-liquid such as a 18mg or 20mg even if this is the strength you normally use when MTL vaping. A 3mg or 6mg high VG e-liquid will offer a similar nicotine hit when sub ohm vaping as more e-liquid is used.
It is important to find the right balance of output wattage and e-liquid strength as using a high strength vape juice with a sub-ohm coil will be far too strong. Also, vaping with less power using weaker e-liquid will not provide enough of a throat hit. The aim is to find the right combination to satisfy your personal nicotine requirements. So, for new vapers it will take a few tries before they find the right strength for them. Plus, some vapers lower their need for nicotine through vaping, so their strength preference will change over time.
Which Nicotine Strength Is Equivalent to Smoking a Cigarette?
There is no set answer for the amount of e-liquid that is equivalent to smoking a cigarette. However, there are nicotine strength guidelines that are generally related to the amount of cigarettes you would be likely to smoke. These guidelines can be seen in the table below.
How to Choose The Right Nicotine Strength
Vaping the wrong nicotine strength or a strength that is too high for you could result in unpleasant effects such as nausea, feeling dizzy or headaches.
It’s important to work out the optimal strength for you so that you can have the best vaping experience possible.
To help you with that decision, we have created some easy-to-follow recommendations based on how many cigarettes you used to smoke and your vaping style.
|Zero nicotine (0%/0mg)||Our nicotine-free options are best suited for social smokers or vapers who prefer their e-liquids without nicotine. Many vapers no longer require nicotine but still need a hand to mouth action similar to smoking to keep them away from cigarettes.|
|0.3% / 3mg||Unless you mix your own e-liquid, this is the lowest strength available. This is the ideal strength for light smokers who don’t require much nicotine. It is also the best strength for sub ohm vapers who go through lots of e-liquid.|
|0.6% / 6mg||This strength is also suited to more casual smokers. It still offers a fair hit but not as strong as in a high strength liquid. If you normally go through 10 light cigarettes a day then this is the ideal strength.|
|1.0% / 10mg||10mg is a good strength to start at to work out whether you need to increase or lower your nicotine strength. It should only really be used for MTL vaping however some sub ohm vapers who require a large nicotine intake can also use this strength.|
|1.2% / 12mg||Another strength that is a good starting point is 12mg. It should offer an average smoker enough nicotine. However, it is best suited to mouth-to-lung vaping to ensure you don’t take more nicotine than you’re used to.|
|1.8% / 18mg||One of the highest strengths available, this is designed for heavy smokers. It is important to stick to MTL vaping with this strength as sub ohm kits will use too much e-liquid making it too harsh.|
|2.0% / 20mg||This is the highest strength you can legally purchase in the UK. If you require 20mg of nicotine but find the throat hit too harsh then try it in a nic salt. This provides a smoother hit.|
Ultimately, we recommend starting low and working your way up until you find the right strength rather than starting at the highest strength. Most people will find as they will settle on 6mg or 10mg without needing to go higher.
It is important to remember that the type of device you are using should also determine the e-liquid strength. MTL devices can be used with a wide range of nicotine strengths depending on personal preference. However, when switching to a sub ohm device the strength should be lowered to compensate for the increase in e-liquid.