When you’re starting out on your vaping journey, there are many decisions you’ll need to make; decisions which – without the proper guidance or research driving them – can be misguided, to put it lightly.

If it’s not the selecting the most suited vape device for your needs, it’s deciding on the best flavour from the thousands and thousands available on the market.

If it’s not separating credible brands from the sea of vape brands all competing for your attention, it’s a decision to do with costings – comparing prices between Seller A, B, Q, and Z, determining whether or not there’s value for money etc. etc.

Throw the need to learn how to use your newly-acquired hardware properly, compatibility of individual device components, and orienting yourself with the industry jargon, and it can all feel a little too much for a starter to be honest.

While all these decisions are important and have to be made, there’s another small but crucial aspect to think about: the strength of the nicotine you’ll be using.

It’s important to choose the ideal nicotine strength because – unlike choosing a flavour or vape device – the wrong pick could end up ruining your first vape experience for good.

Now, when it comes to choosing vape pods and nicotine strength, it’s important to highlight that majority of pod systems run on nicotine salts, aka nic salts or salt nics.

Two Types of E-Liquids

Vape juice comes in two types: nicotine salts and freebase nicotine.

Nic salt e-liquid is laced with benzoic acid which makes it easier to inhale at higher concentrations without being harsh. Before the TPD directives came into effect in the UK, it was available in strengths as high as 50-60mg. Today, however, this has been capped at 20mg.

Freebase nicotine, for its part, is the normal e-liquid used in most vape devices. Strengths range from 0mg to 20mg/ml.

While we’re talking different e-liquids, perhaps it’s worth stating that advancements in the industry have led to some notable changes in how we vape.

Here’s what we mean…

Initially, pod devices were exclusively paired with nicotine salts. Not only that, but vape pods were also not refillable (that is, we only had closed-system pods). These two aspects have changed recently, though.

Today, not only do we have pod kits that can be paired with regular and/or sub-ohm juices (for example, the AquaVape Click & Vape uses both, in addition to salt nics) but also it’s possible to refill the pod when it runs out of juice.

Known as open-pod systems, you can refill them a number of times before discarding the device.

Similarly, nicotine salt e-liquids are no longer a preserve of pod devices alone. Unlike yester years, salt nics are now available as a standalone e-liquid that can be paired with devices such as vape pens/regular kits.

However, what’s also worth highlighting is this:

Nic salts work best with pod devices

Yes, that’s right.

Reason is because pod devices operate at low temperatures and emit lower amounts of vapour, conditions optimal for higher-strength juice, ensuring you enjoy the most satisfying vape experience.

Good thing is, we live at a time when vape devices have become a bit advanced and these conditions can be replicated even in other devices.

Choosing the Right Pod Vape Nicotine Strength

As to the question of how to choose the right nicotine strength for your pod system, here are two simple pointers to keep in mind:

·      A juice high in nicotine (think 4 percent and above) packs as much nicotine per inhale as a regular cigarette. If you’re a smoker looking to make the transition to vaping, a nicotine strength of at least 4 percent should suffice.

·      A juice low in nicotine (think 3 percent and below) packs less nicotine per inhale than a regular cigarette. A nicotine strength in this range will feel satisfying for individuals who are either not frequent cigarette smokers or those who have already made the switch to vaping and are yet to try a pod vape with a high-strength juice.

How to Tell if the Nicotine Strength is Right

If you have already begun your journey as a vaper, there are ways you can tell if you’re using a nicotine strength suited for your needs.

But there’s a caveat to this. Or two, rather…

·      For one, it’s important to remember that the transition from tobacco cigarettes to vape devices takes some getting used to, and understandably so.

·      Second, there could be other things making your vape experience unsatisfying besides the nicotine strength. How effective is the starter kit you’re using? What about the e-liquid flavour – is it speaking to you or would it be a better idea to start out with a tobacco flavour before experimenting with the rest?

Read: Things to Consider When Choosing Your First Vape Device

Also Read: Choosing the Right E-Liquid for You

That said, here is how to gauge whether or not you’re on the right nicotine strength:

1.     Are you still craving a smoke even though you’re vaping regularly? Are you starting to question whether successfully ditching smoking and switching to vaping may not be possible for you?

If you answer yes to one or both of these statements, then odds are your nicotine strength could be a bit on the lower side. Try bumping it up a notch and see if it makes a difference.

2.     Do you find vaping a bit unenjoyable because you experience an irritation whenever you inhale vapour? Or probably your throat or lungs feel sore when you vape? Do you find it difficult to discern flavours or taste e-liquid, instead the vape taste coming off as peppery nicotine?

If you answer Yes to any of these statements, chances are your nicotine strength is too high. Try a lower strength pod vape and see how you like it.