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How to Choose the Right Nicotine Strength for E-Liquid

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How to Choose the Right Nicotine Strength for E-Liquid

If you’re new to vaping, you might encounter quite a surprise when you buy e-liquid for the first time. With many of the entry-level e-cigarettes that you can buy in gas stations and convenience stores today, the nicotine strength of the e-liquid isn’t a consideration at all because most of today’s entry-level brands are only available in one nicotine strength.

When you buy your first vaping device with a refillable tank, though, everything changes. You go online or to a local vape shop to buy some e-liquid, and your eyes bug out when you see nicotine strengths ranging from 3-50 mg. How in the world are you supposed to make the right decision if you’ve never chosen your own nicotine strength before? If you choose the wrong nicotine strength, you’ll either consume way too much nicotine, or you’ll have a vaping experience that’s wholly unsatisfying. You’ll also have wasted your money on e-liquid that doesn’t work for you.

We’re here to help you avoid all of those things and get your e-liquid purchase right the first time. Although the selection of e-liquid nicotine strengths might overwhelm you initially, the fact is that your personal nicotine needs won’t play as much of a role in your e-liquid selection as you might think. Actually, the ideal nicotine strength for you depends far more on the type of vaping equipment you’re using. Once you understand that, the decision becomes much simpler.

Pod Vaping System

Examples: iQ Pod Vaping Systems

Pod vaping systems are the devices that store their e-liquid in little replaceable plastic pods. If you’ve previously used a vaping device such as the JUUL – which has a nicotine strength around 50 mg – you already have some experience with pod systems. The difference between the JUUL and pod systems such as the iQ series linked to above, though, is that our pod vaping systems allow you to fill your own pods with the e-liquids of your choice.

Manufacturers of pod vaping systems design their devices with the assumption that most users will be filling the pods with nicotine salt e-liquids. Pod systems work so well with nicotine salt e-liquids, in fact, that there’s little reason to choose anything else.

You’ll find most nicotine salt e-liquids in two different nicotine strengths: a lower strength around 25 mg and a higher strength around 50 mg. The higher strength is for people who are recent converts from smoking. If you’re new to vaping – or you’ve only ever used a high-nicotine product like the JUUL – you should choose the higher nicotine strength. If you’ve been vaping for a while and didn’t use a product like the JUUL, though, your nicotine needs are lower now than they were when you smoked. You should choose the lower nicotine strength.

Small Vape Pen

Examples: Aspire K3, Innokin Endura T20

Out of all the vaping devices on the market, smaller vape pens might vary the most in the volume of vapor they’re capable of producing. You can see that simply by looking at the devices available; some of them are barely distinguishable from ballpoint pens, and others are big and colorful with large tanks that hold plenty of e-liquid. Obviously, there’s going to be a pretty large performance difference between those two types of vape pens – and that means it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact e-liquid nicotine strength you should use.

With a smaller vape pen, the ideal nicotine strength is generally at least 6 mg. Most vape pen users prefer higher nicotine strengths than that, though; you might even consider using a nicotine salt e-liquid in the 25 mg strength. If you’re not sure which nicotine strength to choose, try 12 mg. You’ll find that strength – along with an 18 mg nicotine strength – in our own Gold Seal e-liquid line.

Large Vape Pen or Box Mod

Examples: SMOK Baby Mag, iJOY Saber 100, SMOK Procolor 225

How can you tell whether you have a small vape pen or a large vape pen? The surest way is by looking at the width of the tank’s mouthpiece. If your tank has a narrow mouthpiece that’s about the same size as a cigarette filter, you have a small vape pen that’s designed for a mouth-to-lung inhaling pattern – the same inhaling style you use when smoking a cigarette. If the tank has a wide mouthpiece, then you have a large vape pen capable of much greater vapor production. You’ll inhale the vapor directly into your lungs.

The more vapor your hardware can generate, the lower the nicotine strength of your e-liquid should be. You’ll absorb about the same amount of nicotine either way. The difference is that, with large vapor clouds and a low nicotine strength, you’ll have a much more flavor-forward vaping experience with far less throat hit. Throat hit – the feeling that you get in your throat when you inhale vapor or smoke with nicotine – is an important aspect of the full-body satisfaction that many people expect and require when they first switch from smoking to vaping. As you become more accustomed to vaping, though, you might find that flavor becomes much more important to you than throat hit. That’s why many experienced vapers eventually switch to higher-vapor devices and lower-strength e-liquids.

The most popular nicotine strength among users of the largest and most powerful vaping devices is 3 mg. That might not sound like a lot of nicotine to you, but the most powerful devices generate so much vapor that the low strength of the e-liquid doesn’t matter. A very powerful vaping device can easily consume more than 20 ml of e-liquid in a day. If your device is on the smaller side – or your nicotine requirements are very high – you should consider choosing a nicotine strength of 6 mg instead.

Final Thoughts

Using the information in this article, we hope that you’ll select the best nicotine strength for your needs and have a great experience buying your first bottled e-liquid. You’ll always choose the right e-liquid as long as you remember that the vapor production of your hardware largely determines the nicotine strength that you should buy.


Author Jason Artman eCig One

Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue.



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