WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical. NEVER use products containing any trace of THC, Vitamin E Acetate, or sold by unauthorized sellers.
By Ryan Goo | Jan 03, 2020 | Vape Blog | 7 min read
Vaping is about many things – finding the most high-tech device, finding the most delicious flavors to treat yourself with, and, of course, finding a replacement for tobacco cigarettes. Above all other things, vaping is a smoking cessation tool that was specifically designed to help anyone who has a smoking habit. Today’s vaping world has evolved to offer everything from simple, portable e cigarette devices to technologically advanced sub ohm systems, and everything in between. Yet, no matter how much the industry evolves, one thing never changes, and that is the fact that vaping is able to satisfy nicotine cravings better than most products that are on the market today.
When it comes to nicotine and vaping, a lot of factors have to be taken into consideration. If vaping is designed to help you quit conventional smoking by acting as a replacement for regular cigarettes, then finding the right nicotine strength for your specific needs is essential. As you know, e juice is available in a wide range of nicotine concentration levels, and finding the nicotine content that’s right for you can make all the difference when it comes to whether or not you can stay off of combustible cigarettes once and for all.
Given just how important nicotine is when it comes to vaping, we’ve decided to make a thorough guide. This guide will help you figure out how to choose the right nicotine strength so that you can satisfy your cravings perfectly.
First, let’s talk about what nicotine is. Nicotine is a chemical compound that’s native to the nicotiana tobacum plant, which is also known as cultivated tobacco. Cultivated tobacco is the tobacco that is cultivated in the United States and used by the cigarette industry. The tobacco plant is naturally high in nicotine.
As we all know, nicotine is an addictive substance. This is why cigarette users have a hard time quitting their habit. But, thanks to vaping, we can enjoy nicotine without inhaling all of the other compounds found in cigarette smoke that have been proven to be harmful. That’s because e juice has nicotine added to it.
Vape juice contains nicotine so that any regular smoker can simply switch out their cigarettes for e cigarettes or vaping devices. And, e juice comes in a wide range of nicotine strengths. The nicotine concentration that’s right for you depends on your unique tolerance to nicotine, which is based on how much you once smoked, in most cases.
Essentially, the nicotine strength of a vape juice is measured in milligrams, or, sometimes, in a percentage. This refers to how much nicotine is in the vape juice formula. A vape juice containing 50mg of nicotine has 5 percent liquid nicotine, and so on.
When a person first decides that they want to transition from smoking to vaping, they have to choose their nicotine concentration wisely. Otherwise, they won’t be able to satisfy their needs. For instance, if you were a heavy smoker, you want to go with a high nicotine vape juice. Otherwise, you won’t feel satisfied with the lower nicotine content, and you’ll end up craving cigarettes. There are zero nicotine vape juices on the market, but those aren’t recommended for people who are just switching from cigarettes.
Similarly, choosing a nicotine level that’s too high can have adverse effects. If you were not a very heavy smoker, a high nicotine content can actually make you feel ill.
We talked about choosing the right nicotine concentration, but there’s another factor to consider, and it’s the difference between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt. Freebase nicotine is considered “regular nicotine” since it’s used in cigarettes, and was the only type of nicotine found in vape juices up until a couple of years ago. Freebase nicotine is nicotine that’s taken from the tobacco plant and chemically modified to be more potent. The problem with freebase nicotine is that when it’s used with a high-power device, such as a sub ohm system, it can have a harsher taste than most would like. This means that users of sub ohm systems tend to opt for low-nicotine vape juices so that they don’t experience any harshness.
Then, there’s nicotine salt. Users tend to find that vaping an e-liquid made with nicotine salt feels more like smoking cigarettes. That’s because this type of nicotine delivers the nicotine buzz that users associate with cigarette smoking. Nicotine salt is the nicotine compound taken from the tobacco plant and mixed with benzoic acid. This produces a highly potent nicotine that can be enjoyed in high concentrations, without the harshness. Users can even enjoy nic salts vape juices in small, low-wattage e cigarettes due to its high potency.
Because nic salts can be enjoyed in higher potency levels, the liquid strength of nicotine in this type of vape juice tends to be much higher than it is in freebase nic vape juices.
Now, let’s talk about how you can select the right nicotine level for your needs. First, let’s discuss choosing the right level when making your own DIY vape juices. As you know, you’ll need liquid nicotine that you can add to your vape juice formula.
First, consider how much you used to smoke. And, ask yourself if your addiction to cigarettes was more about your addiction to nicotine, an addictive chemical, or more about an oral fixation. If your cigarette habit was largely based on your addiction to nicotine, you’ll want to go with a fairly high nicotine level. You’ll also want to decide if you want to go with regular nicotine or nic salts.
If you’re purchasing vape juice to use with a sub ohm tank, you’re going to want to go with freebase nicotine as nic salts are not compatible with this type of vaping style. Most first-time users start with a medium nicotine level, which is around 15 to 18mg. We don’t advise going with a lower nicotine level when first starting out, because your body likely craves more nicotine.
As a side note, we suggest choosing a tobacco flavor as it will help reproduce the experience of smoking as much as possible.
An electronic cigarette is a small, portable device that looks a lot like a regular cigarette. It’s considered, by most, the weakest nicotine delivery system out there since it operates at a very low wattage level. It offers very little vapor output. Most e cigarettes only come in one nicotine strength.
If you’re going to go with salt nic vape juice, you’re going to need a pod mod starter kit as only this type of vaping system is compatible with this kind of nicotine. The strength nicotine that’s most common in salt nic vape juices is 50mg, so we suggest going with that, as many people find that it’s their sweet spot.
Now, let’s discuss three ways to tell if you need to adjust your nicotine strength.
If you’re experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms, we suggest upping your vape juice nicotine strength.
If you’re feeling dizzy, agitated, anxious or shaky after vaping, your nicotine strength is probably too high. It’s not really possible to experience a nicotine overdose that’s dangerous, but you can feel sick from consuming too much nicotine in a short period of time.
A lot of new users who were pack-a-day smokers really fit this sign. If you find that you're constantly vaping just to feel satisfied, you likely need more nicotine in your e-liquid. However, if you do this, make sure that your body can properly handle it.
Whether you’re using a sub ohm tank, an e cigarette, vaporizer or even a pod system, choosing the right nicotine level is one of the most important decisions that you can make. Use this guide to make sure that you select the nicotine strength that will most satisfy you, as well as the proper type of nicotine. Choosing correctly can have a lot to do with how well you are able to stay off of cigarettes for good.
AuthorRyan is a writer at Vapebox. He fully converted to vaping in 2014 and has been educating new vapers ever since.