If you’re quitting smoking and starting out on your vaping journey, choosing the right nicotine strength for your vape juice can be the trickiest thing to do. Especially with the vaping market today being absolutely inundated with plenty of different options
This is why I’ve written this article so I can try and help you make a smooth transition from quitting smoking to start vaping as easy as possible and for you to be satisfied that you are getting the right amount of nicotine from your vape juice.
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a naturally produced chemical that is found within a family of compounds called Alkaloids. These compounds are commonly found in several varieties of plants, mainly the nightshade family. Based on scientific studies, the highest levels of nicotine are found within Tobacco leaves and Nicotine makes up anywhere from 0.6% to 3% of the dry weight within a tobacco leaf.
Unbeknown to some people, nicotine is also found in certain vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines, just in much smaller amounts compared to tobacco. We’re talking 0.0001mg of nicotine is found in 1g of aubergine compared to the 20mg of nicotine found in 1g of a tobacco plant, so very minimal amounts but still present within these vegetables.
Nicotine is also what is added to vape juice to satisfy any urges or cravings for people who are used to ingesting it via cigarettes.
Nicotine is a harmful substance and is also a highly addictive substance We do not suggest using vape juice containing nicotine if you have previously never smoked as this could cause an unnecessary dependence on nicotine and can be easily avoided.
What do the numbers on bottles of vape juice mean?
No, the numbers on vape juice bottles aren’t there to help you with your 3 times table, they are indicators of how many milligrams of nicotine in each 10ml bottle of vape juice.
So if you see 3mg or 0.3% on a bottle, this means that your vape juice contains 3mg of nicotine per 10ml of vape juice.
Also, don’t be mistaken if you see something like a disposable vape device that has 2% Nicotine written on it. The common misconception from people is this only contains 2mg of nicotine, this however is not the case. This means there is 20mg of nicotine contained in the nic salts e liquid inside the disposable vape. 20mg is the highest nicotine strengths allowed in vape juice in the UK as set out by TPD legislations.
How much nicotine is in a cigarette compared to vape juice?
This is a tricky question to answer, and I’ve written an article that is more detailed surrounding this question.
But to answer the question briefly here, it comes down to what cigarettes are in question, as the content varies from a traditional tailor made cigarette compared to a hand rolled cigarette. There’s roughly around 12mg of nicotine per average cigarette, but your body doesn’t absorb all of this and it is exhaled in the smoke created by cigarettes.
What vape juice strength is right for you?
Now here comes the tricky part, working out how to choose a nicotine strength that is right for you. This was a question everyone asked and had no idea back when I used to manage a vape shop, and I worked off my own system which seemed to have plenty of success and minimal failure to which I’ll share with you now.
There are different types of smokers and how many cigarettes a person smokes each day which means their nicotine intake will vary from person to person and this is what determines what nicotine level you will need in your vape juice. Choosing the right nicotine level in your vape juice is not as easy task, and I’m hoping this makes the process easier to choose the right strength for you.
1-5 cigarettes a day/social smoker – This is someone who tends to smoke in a social environment or only have a couple of cigarettes throughout the day, therefore their nicotine dependency will not be very high. For this, I would recommend a lower nicotine strength vape juice like 3mg.
5-10 cigarettes a day/light smoker – Someone who enjoys smoking but not too much. Smokes periodically throughout the day but doesn’t have massive cravings. For someone like this, I would recommend a 6mg Nicotine strength vape juice or 10mg Nic salt vape juice.
10-20 cigarettes a day /moderate smoker – Someone who has a fairly moderate nicotine dependency and smokes frequently throughout the day. For someone like this, I would recommend a 12mg nicotine strength vape juice.
20+ cigarettes a day/heavy smoker – Someone who smokes heavily and often throughout the day and has a high dependency on nicotine. For heavy smokers like this I would recommend higher nicotine strength e-liquids like 18mg, or 20mg Nicotine Salts vape juice.
Nicotine Salts explained
Nic salts are a popular type of vape juice made by blending a standard freebase nicotine base with a weak acid such as Benzoic acid to create Nicotine Salt vape juice.
Nicotine salts are popular due to the faster absorption rate into the bloodstream from inhaling, which is roughly 6 seconds. So it gives you a near instant punchy nicotine kick. These are usually available in 0mg, 10mg and 20mg nicotine strengths.
Using Salt Nic vape juice can give users a faster and more satisfying vaping experience, and some prefer using this over standard freebase nicotine. Users of nicotine salts find they do not have to vape as frequently compared to if they were using standard freebase nicotine e-liquid as their cravings will be supressed by the high nicotine content found in nicotine salts and the faster absorption rate.
I’ve written a separate article which you can read more about Nicotine Salts and what the benefits of using them.
Trial and Error is part of the process
As the header states, trial and error is a fairly standard part of the process from wanting to quit smoking to getting started on your vaping journey.
If you opt for a nicotine strength and has a strong throat hit and is a bit too harsh on your throat, this is probably because you’ve opted for too much nicotine in your e liquids, just simply go for less nicotine and choose the strength below what you originally went for.
If you find you’re still getting big nicotine cravings after you’ve used your vape, or the throat hit isn’t enough, you may need to up your nicotine strength, or if you’re using freebase nicotine vape juice, try switching over to Nicotine salt e liquids for a punchier nicotine kick.
And always ensure the vape juice you go for is a 50/50 mix ratio of VG and PG as this is what replicates and compliments the throat hit alongside the nicotine content.
The vape kit you opt to us will also play a part of what vape juices you can and can’t use. If you opt for something like a pod system or traditional mouth to lung vape device, then using freebase nicotine or nicotine salt vape juices will work fine.
However, if you wanted to use sub ohm devices designed for direct lung vaping, you will only be able to use e liquids with a low nicotine content. This is because sub ohm vaping is designed for advanced vapers and not for someone who is looking to get rid of their smoking habits.