Vaping e-cigarettes is characterized by one key ingredient-Nicotine. The greatest plus vaping is claimed to have over traditional smoking is that the nicotine levels can be managed and controlled by the vaper. This brings up the necessity of knowing what level of nicotine is best suited for an individual with a certain history, conditions and of course liking. Understanding nicotine is equally important in determining the appropriate level.
Nicotine is an extract of the tobacco plant scientifically known as Nicotiana tabacum. It is basically an alkaloid and can be artificially synthesized as well but that process is not commonly used. Largely because it is quite expensive. Being a natural compound, nicotine is also found in very small quantity in other plants and foods like potatoes, tomatoes, and aubergine. The special characteristics of this compound are that it has some very interesting effects like mood elevation, relaxation, alertness, and calmness of nerves. So basically it works both as a stimulant as well as a relaxant. One highly distinguishing characteristic of Nicotine is that it has been noticed to be addictive, both physically as well as psychologically. This makes it important to know the level of Nicotine one is inhaling in order to avoid any harm in the longer run.
E-liquids available in the market come in varying strengths ranging from 0 to over 50mg/mL. Zero nicotine strength actually has zero nicotine and the perfect flavor for people who want to completely avoid nicotine, and continue to vape only for the flavor and smoke.
Here is a guide to choose the right level of nicotine in your e-cigarettes.
Juggling between two options; regular nicotine and nicotine salts
Nicotine has a new friend-a modified form-in the market, the nic salts. The nic salts are made from a compound, benzoic acid, that actually smoothes out the irritable sensation in the throat caused by nicotine which allows for stronger nicotine concentrations intake with greater ease.
The nic salts are usually used with JUUL with the introduction of which the strengths can be seen jumping from 3 mg and 6mg to 25mg to as high as 60mg. With nicotine salts, it is said that a regular nicotine 6mg hit feels like a 25mg nic salt hit. This is why it is suitable for higher nicotine percentage!
Choosing the best strength suited to you!
Nicotine strength is predominantly decided by two factors: smoking habits and the type of device.
The device is commonly picked by the vapor output as this is what defines the nicotine consumption per puff.
If you are a conventional Smoker, turning to vape then considering your smoking habits is important in determining the strength. If you smoke up to 10 cigarettes a day, you lie on the lower range of nicotine consumption. A pack a day means middle range and smoking two packs or more a day makes you a heavy smoker. So here are the suggestions based on these levels, but you are always free to adjust your strength as per your desire!
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Low vapor production
Vapor production and nicotine levels are inversely proportional. This category produces thick and discrete cloud similar to those of a traditional cigarette. The devices used include regular pod systems, MTL tanks that usually come with tight airflow and pronounced cloud making. A higher concentration of nicotine in nic salts is preferred in this category. The suggested strengths of nicotine under this category is:
- Regular nicotine: 9-18 mg/mL
- Nicotine salts: 30-60 mg/mL
Medium vapor production
Here the clouds are produced but not as distinct and variety as in the other category. This uses almost any and all devices including pod systems with sub-ohm coils, MTL tanks, and sub-ohm tanks with very restricted air throw. The suggested concentrations for nicotine are:
- Regular nicotine: 6-9 mg/mL
- Nicotine salts: 20-30 mg/mL
High vapor production
The clouds produced are big, not discrete but big. The devices used are powerful sub-ohm tanks and atomizers with large airflow. Usually, the nic salts with appropriate concentration are not easy to find so most people use regular nicotine for the purpose. The suggested nicotine levels are:
- Regular nicotine: 1.5-6 mg/mL
- Nicotine salts: up to 10 mg/mL
When quitting smoking, it is advisable to use low vapor devices as these more or less replicate the experience of cigarette smoking making the transition smooth. The finest formula to choose the right concentration, however, is one that does not compel one to go back to traditional smoking!
Conversions from mass to volume and back!
Complete knowledge of the concentration and strengths would mean that you are able to understand what the various units stand for. The nicotine strength is written in either percentages or mg/mL.
Nicotine strength in mg/mL
Mostly the e-liquid strength is shown in mg/mL (i.e. milligrams per milliliter). This implies that each milliliter of the liquid contains the said milligrams of nicotine.
For instance, a 3mg/mL liquid means that for every liter of the e-liquid, there is 3mg of nicotine. To calculate the nicotine present in the entire bottle, multiply the strength with the number of liters. That’s simple math!
For instance, a 3 mg/mL e-liquid if poured into a 5 mL tank, the nicotine in the tank would be 3mg/mL x 5mL =15mg.
Nicotine strengths as percentages
Nicotine strength in percentage measures these liquids by volume. Thus instead of combing the mass and volume in mg/mL, it uses volumes of both liquids. This makes it easier and even simpler to calculate. For instance, a 0.5% strength means 0.5% is the nicotine while the rest of the 99.5% is the e-liquid consisting of PG, VG, and flavor.
This type of measurement is called “nicotine by volume” in just the same way as alcohol by volume is mentioned on liquor bottles.
Converting from mg/mL to percent and back
Efficient application of knowledge should equip one to be able to convert the units as well. To convert mg/mL to percentage. Simply divide by 10. For example, a 3mg/mL e-juice is actually 0.3% e-juice. Or a 30mg/mL juice is 3.0% juice.
Similarly, to convert from percentage to mg/mL, multiply by 10. So a 0.6% juice is actually 6mg/mL. No rocket science involved!