Guide to Finding the Right Nicotine Level for You: Part Two

Man smoking a vape

The question that most people have on their minds when they first transition to vaping is how much nicotine they can expect to get out of their e-liquid, and how they can go about choosing the right concentration to suit their cravings. A follow-up to our first post about finding the right nicotine level for you, we pit vaping and smoking against each other to see how the nicotine levels stack up and explore ways you can reduce your nicotine intake.

 Smoking vs Vaping

Nicotine levels can vary from brand to brand. Cigarettes can contain as little as 6mg or an insane 28mg of nicotine, with the average cigarette containing about 10 – 12mg. However, this doesn’t mean that you inhale every milligram of nicotine contained in a cigarette. Only about 1.1 – 1.2mg at the end of each stick. In addition, cigarettes don’t just contain nicotine, but other harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide and lead as well, pushing many to make the switch to other alternative, safer ways to satisfy their nicotine cravings like vaping.


Vaping as a means to satiate nicotine cravings is a much more controllable way of deciding how much you want to inhale, and how much nicotine content you get with each intake. The effects of nicotine are released with more intensity when vaping than through smoking. When lighting up a cigarette, you would need to finish a whole stick with a set amount of nicotine each time in order to get the same effects of a single hit on a potent vape.

However, just switching to vaping alone doesn’t mean that it is an effective way to limit the amount of nicotine you take in. Many first-time e-cigarette users don’t know where to start, and usually go for e-liquids with a higher nicotine level than their original tobacco products. So, how do you know what level is right for you?

Choosing the Right Nicotine Level for Your Vape

Nicotine levels can vary drastically, meaning its important to choose the correct level when you first transition to vaping from smoking, so that you don’t go back to reaching for a cigarette just because the amount of nicotine doesn’t satiate the craving.


  • Nicotine-free

 An E-liquid with no nicotine is a great substitute for those who love the taste, or are trying to wean themselves off nicotine, but otherwise provide no benefit to first-time vapers.


  • 3 – 6 mg

 E-liquids containing between 3-6mg of nicotine are great for those who are trying to reduce their daily nicotine consumption, or for those who enjoy vaping but with an added kick. However, this is unlikely to fully satisfy cravings of regular smokers making their first transition.


  • 12 mg

 An E-liquid with 12mg of nicotine is widely considered a suitable replacement for a one-pack-per-day smoking habit and is recommended for lower level to moderate level smokers.


  • 18 mg

 This e-liquid concentration is a good replacement for moderate to heavy smokers who smoke at least one pack or more a day, or for those who prefer a much stronger hit.


  • 24 mg

 E-liquids with 24mg of nicotine are considered highly concentrated and are recommended for heavier smokers who go through more than two packs a day.


  • >36 mg

 E-liquids of this concentration or higher contain potentially dangerous levels of nicotine and should not be used alone but to dilute other e-liquids with lower levels of nicotine.


Do take into consideration that this is an inexact science, and you should not expect the vaping experience to exactly mirror that of smoking a set number of cigarettes. The amount of nicotine taken in can also depend on the draw and type of vaping pen or mod you use as well, and it can take a little trial and error in order to find something that satisfies your needs.

How You Can Reduce Your Nicotine Intake

Besides traditional advice like reducing the amount you smoke or controlling when you smoke; you can consider switching to nicotine salts. Unlike regular e-liquids where you can only achieve smooth hits on nicotine levels lower than 18mg, nicotine salts can reach nicotine levels of between 30-50mg while maintaining the same smooth texture. This is because regular e-liquids contain nicotine that turns potent upon reaching a certain temperature, while nicotine salts don’t have to be vaped at similar high temperatures but can be delivered from the vape to the body quicker. This means you can hit the nicotine level you want and achieve smoother hits, without the need for chain-vaping all day – the less you vape, the less likely you are to exceed your normal nicotine intake!


Make the Switch Today!

Need advice on what level of nicotine is right for you, or just want to buy e-liquid online? Contact Big Vape today and we’ll be happy to sort you out.