Choosing the best nicotine level is an important decision every new vaper has to grapple with. Too much and it will ruin the vaping experience for you, too weak and you may be left wondering what the big deal about vaping is all about.
Worse still, you could splurge on premium e-liquid, only to find it falls short of expectations on the nicotine satisfaction aspect, rendering it virtually useless.
E-liquids in the UK come in strengths that start from zero nicotine all the way up to 18mg/mL. Sometimes, you may find this figure stated as a percentage, as in 1.8%.
There is no magic number as to what constitutes the right nicotine strength. Unlike combustible cigarettes, it is incumbent upon every vaper to find what works best for them.
It can be a bit of a process in the beginning, we have to say. This is why patience will be a virtue in your journey towards finding your sweet spot.
Furthermore, unlike regular cigarettes, this figure is not static in the case of e-liquids as you could start with a higher nicotine strength which you can then gradually scale down even to zero, if that’s the goal.
Finding the Best Nicotine Level for you
There are a number of things that can factor into the decision to find the best nicotine level for you.
However, the info below can serve as a rough guide on where to begin:
0mg/mL (zero nicotine juice) is a great pick for those who would rather steer clear of nicotine altogether – or vapers who have deliberately managed to scale down their nicotine levels in a bid to do away with their nicotine dependence. If you have never touched cigarettes, or would rather avoid nicotine, this is a good point for you to start.
3mg/mL can be ideal for users who were used to less than 10 cigarettes a day or vapers who are working to bring down their overall nicotine intake.
6mg/mL is ideally a good fit for ex-smokers who preferred ‘light’ cigarettes or people who were accustomed to light and moderating smoking.smokers.
12mg/mL to 18mg/mL is best suited for those who were heavy smokers (think upwards of 30 cigarettes daily) or ex-smokers who favoured unfiltered cigarettes.
It is worth noting that the body experiences nicotine differently for each person. That means even though two vapers shared almost identical smoking habits, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will feel at home at the same nicotine level.
Nicotine absorption is something that can also be influenced by how deeply or how often you inhale on your vaporiser.
It is dynamics such as these that make nicotine strength selection such a personal affair.
There is also the small matter of preferred taste and throat hit.
Usually, the higher the nicotine level present in an e-liquid, the harsher the taste and throat hit. While there are those who enjoy this sensation, some vapers opt to reduce the nicotine level so that they can enjoy a gentler flavour and much smoother hit.
The type of device also has a say on which nicotine strength you feel most comfortable at.
Mouth-to-lung (MTL) devices are more suited to high nicotine vaping compared to direct-lung (DL) units.
They produce less vapour (meaning you are inhaling less vapour per draw) and also importantly, tend to emulate a traditional cigarette’s draw. For this reason, MTL devices are a safer bet for smokers looking to make the transition to vaping.
Devices that fall under the MTL category include most vape pens and a selection of pod systems.
DL vaporisers, on the other hand, include the more powerful sub-ohm tanks which are big on vapour production, as well as more powerful pod systems.
Lastly, the best nicotine level is also dependent on the type of e-liquid you are using.
The emergence of nicotine salt e-liquids in recent years has given smokers who did not consider vaping an effective alternative for cigarettes another avenue to ditch the stick.
Initially, nic salts were only available through pod devices such as the Nano Disposable (which partly explains the popularity of pods) but they also come as stand-alone salt-based e-liquids these days.
Due to their composition (and specifically the presence of benzoic acid), nicotine salts make it possible to increase your nicotine dosage without it negatively impacting on flavour and throat hit.
This makes this type of e-liquid perfect fit especially for ex-smokers.
In closing, what we can say is that finding the best nicotine strength takes some trial and error.
You won’t nail it on the first day, that’s for sure. But once you get started on your vaping journey, you will personally know if you need to cut down the nicotine strength or bump it up a notch.