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How to Choose the Right Nicotine Strength for Your E-Liquid

Choose The Right Nicotine Strength For Your E Liquid

If you are new to vaping or want to switch to a different e-liquid, one of the most important factors to consider is the nicotine strength. Choosing the right nicotine level can make a big difference in your vaping experience, as it affects your throat hit, flavor, and satisfaction. In this blog post, we will explain what nicotine is, how it works in vaping, and how to choose the right nicotine strength for your e-liquid.

What is Nicotine and How Does it Work in Vaping?

Nicotine is a natural stimulant found in tobacco plants and other plants in the nightshade family. It is the main ingredient that makes smoking addictive, as it activates the reward system in the brain and releases dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel good.

When you vape, nicotine is delivered to your bloodstream through the vapor that you inhale from your device. The amount of nicotine that you get from vaping depends on several factors, such as the nicotine strength of your e-liquid, the type of device and coil that you use, the power and temperature settings, and your vaping style and frequency.

What are the Different Nicotine Strengths Available in E-Liquids?

E-liquids come in different nicotine strengths, which are usually measured in milligrams per millilitre (mg/mL) or percentages. The higher the nicotine strength, the more nicotine you will get from each puff. The most common nicotine strengths in e-liquids are:

  • 0 mg/mL or 0%: This means that the e-liquid contains no nicotine at all. This is ideal for people who do not want or need any nicotine, or who have successfully quit smoking and want to enjoy vaping without any nicotine.
  • 3 mg/mL or 0.3%: This is a very low nicotine strength that is suitable for light smokers who smoke less than half a pack of cigarettes per day, or for vapers who want a mild throat hit and flavor.
  • 6 mg/mL or 0.6%: This is a low to medium nicotine strength that is recommended for moderate smokers who smoke half to a whole pack of cigarettes per day, or for vapers who want a moderate throat hit and flavor.
  • 12 mg/mL or 1.2%: This is a medium to high nicotine strength that is suitable for heavy smokers who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes per day, or for vapers who want a strong throat hit and flavor.
  • 18 mg/mL or 1.8%: This is a high nicotine strength that is only recommended for very heavy smokers who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes per day, or for vapers who want an extreme throat hit and flavor.

Some e-liquids have higher nicotine strengths, such as 24 mg/mL or 2.4%, 36 mg/mL or 3.6%, or even 50 mg/mL or 5%. These are usually made with nicotine salts, which we will discuss in the next section.

Differences Between Regular Nicotine And Nicotine Salts

What are the Differences Between Regular Nicotine and Nicotine Salts?

Regular nicotine, also known as freebase nicotine, is the purest form of nicotine that is extracted from tobacco plants. It is the most common type of nicotine used in e-liquids, especially those with 18 mg/mL or lower nicotine strengths. Regular nicotine has a high pH level, which means that it is alkaline and can cause a harsh throat hit at higher concentrations.

Nicotine salts, on the other hand, are a newer form of nicotine that is created by adding acids to freebase nicotine. This lowers the pH level of the nicotine, making it more acidic and smoother to vape. Nicotine salts also have a faster absorption rate, which means that they can deliver a higher dose of nicotine to your system in a shorter time. This can mimic the sensation of smoking more closely and provide more satisfaction.

E-liquids with nicotine salts usually have higher nicotine strengths, such as 20 mg/mL or 2%, 35 mg/mL or 3.5%, or 50 mg/mL or 5%. These are ideal for people who want a high nicotine level without a harsh throat hit, or for people who use pod systems or low-power devices that produce less vapor.

How to Choose the Right Nicotine Strength for Your E-Liquid?

Choosing the right nicotine strength for your e-liquid is not an exact science, as it depends on your personal preferences and vaping habits. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow based on your smoking history and your vaping goals.

If you are a smoker who wants to quit or reduce your nicotine intake, you can start with a nicotine strength that matches or slightly exceeds your current smoking level, and then gradually lower it until you reach your desired level or zero nicotine. For example, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes per day, you can start with 12 mg/mL or 1.2% nicotine strength, and then switch to 6 mg/mL or 0.6%, 3 mg/mL or 0.3%, and finally 0 mg/mL or 0%.

If you are a non-smoker or an ex-smoker who wants to enjoy vaping without any nicotine, you can simply choose 0 mg/mL or 0% nicotine strength. This way, you can experience the flavors and clouds of vaping without any nicotine effects.

If you are a vaper who wants to optimize your vaping experience, you can choose a nicotine strength that suits your device, coil, and settings. For example, if you use a sub-ohm tank or a high-power device that produces a lot of vapor, you can opt for a lower nicotine strength, such as 3 mg/mL or 0.3%, or 6 mg/mL or 0.6%, to avoid getting too much nicotine and a harsh throat hit. If you use a pod system or a low-power device that produces less vapor, you can go for a higher nicotine strength, such as 12 mg/mL or 1.2%, or 20 mg/mL or 2%, to get enough nicotine and a satisfying throat hit.

How To Read Nicotine Percentages In E Liquids

How to Read Nicotine Percentages in E-Liquids?

Some e-liquids use percentages instead of milligrams per millilitre to indicate their nicotine strengths. This can be confusing for some vapers, especially those who are used to the mg/mL notation. However, reading nicotine percentages is easy once you understand the conversion formula.

To convert mg/mL to percentage, simply divide the mg/mL by 10 and add a decimal point. For example, 3 mg/mL is equivalent to 0.3%, 6 mg/mL is equivalent to 0.6%, and so on.

To convert a percentage to mg/mL, simply multiply the percentage by 10 and remove the decimal point. For example, 0.3% is equivalent to 3 mg/mL, 0.6% is equivalent to 6 mg/mL, and so on.


Choosing the right nicotine strength for your e-liquid is an important decision that can affect your vaping experience and satisfaction. By understanding what nicotine is, how it works in vaping, and what are the different nicotine strengths and types available, you can make an informed choice based on your preferences and goals. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to nicotine strength, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Happy vaping!


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