Which Vaping Nicotine Level Is Best For You?
For new vape users, vaping nicotine levels can be confusing. After finally deciding on a great e-liquid that seems like it fits your flavor profile, now you have to decide what nicotine level you will vape at. Although smokers rarely ever know the nicotine levels in cigarettes, when it comes to vaping, nic levels are important. In the following post, we will explore the most available e-liquid nicotine options to help you decide which level is best for you!
What is Nicotine?
In general, nicotine is a nitrogen-containing chemical that is naturally occurring in plants of the nightshade family. This plant family includes the tobacco plant, but also contains many other plants and vegetables including eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes. Historically, nicotine was first isolated from the tobacco plant in 1828 by Wilhelm Heinrich Posselt, a doctor, and Karl Ludwig Reimann, a chemist.
Cigarette smokers are often led to believe that nicotine is the sole chemical in cigarettes that spurs negative side effects, but the truth is, there are so many different chemicals in a single cigarette that it is difficult to pinpoint where each negative side effect originates. The side effects of nicotine as an isolated chemical have been studied significantly and in-depth, and what has been found is that there are several pharmacologic and psychodynamic side effects related to the consumption of nicotine.
- Pharmacologic effects include an increased heart rate and heart muscle oxygen consumption rate.
- Psychodynamic effects of nicotine include raised alertness, euphoria, and a sensation of being relaxed.
Is Nicotine Addictive?
Nicotine is commonly presumed as being an addictive chemical. While it has not been totally proven, people often use the addictive nature of cigarettes to suggest that nicotine is in fact, extremely addictive. As mentioned previously, while smoking is addictive, it is difficult to say what part of that addiction is caused by the nicotine, and which part is caused by other chemicals that cigarettes contain. What is known however, is that people who consume nicotine regularly (in any form) will likely have some minimal withdrawal symptoms if their consumption ceases for a long period of time. These extremely short-lived withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, nausea, and headaches.
Is Nicotine Dangerous?
People often question whether vaping nicotine is dangerous, and especially whether nicotine causes cancer or has the potential to cause death.
Many studies have shown that smoking cigarettes will likely have a negative outcome on your health. However, it is currently unproven that nicotine by itself, or through vaping, will cause cancer. Cigarettes contain a large variety of different chemicals and produces tar, which are a much larger factor in cancer production that nicotine alone. It is safe to say that nicotine from vaping is no more likely to cause cancer than other nicotine delivery replacement devices including nicotine patches and nicotine gum.
While it is possible to overdose on nicotine, the amount of nicotine it would take to do so is much higher than what your body will ingest through vaping. According to WebMD, “The CDC says 50 to 60 milligrams of nicotine is a deadly dose for an adult who weighs about 150 pounds. But some research suggests a lethal amount may be a lot higher.” Even if you vape frequently at a vaping nicotine level of 12mg/mL, your body only absorbs a small percentage of that nicotine. Also, nicotine has a very short half-life, meaning that the amount of nicotine within your body declines rather quickly once your vape session has ended.
E Juice Nicotine Levels
Vapers have the advantage of knowing the exact ingredients of their vape juice and knowing exactly how much nicotine their e-liquid contains. For smokers though, it is difficult to know how much nicotine is contained in a single cigarette, as it varies by brand. Many cigarette brands add nicotine and other chemicals to their products, although nicotine already exists in the tobacco itself. For vape users that were previously smokers, it can be difficult to choose which vape juice nicotine level is right for their specific need.
Commercial e-liquids often come in nicotine strengths of zero nicotine, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, and 18mg, although the highest nicotine vape juice may reach 36mg. These values represent the amount of nicotine in each 1mL of e-liquid, and are sometimes expressed as a percentage (such as 1.8% instead of 18mg/mL).
Finding Your Perfect Vaping Nicotine Level
E-cig nicotine levels may have an affect on how enjoyable vaping is for you. There are several considerations that should be made when considering the best option:
- Taste and Throat Hit: Higher nicotine levels can give e-liquids a harsher taste and throat hit. Some vapers prefer a lower vaping nicotine level that gives a smoother hit and allows them to enjoy the flavor better.
- Usage: A person that vapes only sparingly throughout the day might do well with a higher nicotine level. Individuals who vape in longer sessions however, may feel that the higher levels are too much for them - maybe even causing dizziness or nausea.
- Smoking Equivalency: For many vapers who once smoked, it is important to find a nicotine level that gives an equal level of pleasure as they felt when they smoked. Someone who was once a very heavy smoker may enjoy a heavier nicotine level. However, vaping is much different than smoking, and even some heavy smokers prefer a lighter nicotine level.
Nicotine Levels for Sub-ohm Vaping
Sub-ohm vapers typically choose to vape juice with a lower nicotine percentage. With these devices, more volume of vapor is produced, and as a result, more nicotine is ingested. Due to this, individuals who use sub-ohm devices can generally reach their “nicotine sweet spot” with a lower nicotine level, even if they were heavy smokers in the past. Many sub-ohm vapers would recommend 6mg e liquid nicotine levels or even a 3mg e juice; especially for those just starting out with sub-ohm devices. Higher nicotine levels, such as 24mg/mL and 36mg/mL juices are not recommended for users of these types of devices.
Vaping vs. Smoking - Nicotine Strength Equivalency
It is challenging to calculate exactly what vaping nicotine level equate to the levels experienced in various types of cigarettes or for different smoking experiences of each individual. The way that nicotine is absorbed by the body is different for every vaper. The amount of nicotine delivered to the body is not just dependent upon how much nicotine is in e juice, but also upon several other factors including the frequency and size of inhalation.
While finding the perfect nicotine level typically comes through trial and experimentation, the following vape nicotine levels (in e-liquid) are most equivalent to different cigarette smoking experiences:
- 0mg/mL is best for individuals who have worked their way down from higher vape juice nicotine levels, or want to vape without the existence of nicotine.
- 3mg/mL is best for vapers who are stepping down from higher vape nicotine levels, or those who were only light (less than 10 cigarettes per day) smokers previously.
- 6mg/mL is usually best for new vapers who were formally light to moderate smokers, or those who were formally smokers of “light” cigarettes.
- 12mg/mL is usually best for new vapers who were formally heavy cigarette smokers (up to 30 cigarettes per day), or smokers of unfiltered cigarettes.
Nicotine Salt (or Nic Salt) is a type of processed nicotine used in vape juice that some vapers prefer over “freebase nicotine” (the form of nicotine ordinarily used in e-liquid. Unlike e-liquid nicotine, nicotine salts are compounds that contain both nicotine and several organic components. While opinions vary person to person, many people find that nicotine salts work better than the nicotine found in ordinary e-liquid. While some people enjoy benefits of e-liquid such as the variety of flavors and the ability to create large clouds, others prefer Nic Salts, and cite that they are smoother and less harsh on the throat.
Nicotine Salts are generally on the high end of the nicotine level spectrum. Levels in most commercial nicotine salts are available from 25mg/mL to up to 100mg/mL strengths.
Reducing Your Vaping Nicotine Levels
Many vapers just want to find their optimal nicotine level, but others have a goal of reducing their nicotine level to zero. Over time, many vapers find that it is relatively simple to reduce their nicotine levels. One advantage of doing so is a better taste and a smoother throat hit. The best way to reduce your nicotine levels is to do so gradually. If you reduce your levels by too much or too soon, you may find that you have to vape more regularly to be satisfied. If you are currently vaping at a 12mg/mL, wait a month or two, and then try to reduce to a 6mg nicotine level.
If your goal is to reduce from a high-nicotine vaping level all the way to zero, it may take some time. Don’t rush the process, but instead, comfortably reduce your levels over time until you reach your objective.
A Final Note About Vaping Nicotine Levels
Just because you start at one level, doesn’t mean you’ll stay there forever. Try different e-juices, different devices and different nicotine levels, and find what suits you best personally. The more you enjoy your setup, the more satisfaction you will realize and the more likely you will be to stick with vaping over the long-term.
Want to find some incredible vape juices in a variety of vaping nicotine levels? Check out our wide selection of the most popular and requested e-liquids!