If you’re making the switch from cigarettes to e-cigs, choosing the right nicotine strength is key to enjoying vaping. Smokers have it easy. They have words like ‘smooth’, ‘reds’ and ‘silver’ as well as packs that make it clear how strong a cigarette is going to be. Let’s look at ways to find the right e-cig nicotine strength for you.
Cigarettes vs. e-cigs
Lots of ecig guides will tell you to match up the nicotine strength of your cigarette brand with your new ecig. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. Even though vapour and smoke feel similar when you vape/smoke, the way the body absorbs the two is very different. So finding the right nicotine strength is not as easy as making a like-for-like swap.
The number of cigarettes you smoke isn’t the answer either. Sorry guys. You’d think if you’re a light smoker that a lower nicotine strength would suit you. Say 6mg. And that heavy smokers should go for higher, 18mg-style strengths. Thing is, if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day, but they are a reds-style brand, then you’ll probably want a higher strength e-cigarette. And if you aim too low with your strength, you may not enjoy ecigs as much as you could be.
‘I gotta start somewhere!’
So, where do you start? Remember those packs we talked about at the start? Turns out they can be useful for vapers too. If you smoke ‘smooths’, try a lower nicotine e-cig strength (around 6mg). If you smoke reds, you’ll want to go for a higher strength e-cig such as 18mg. Aim for the middle if you smoke a cigarette brand in between. Again, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, so you’ll want to experiment to find the right strength for you. You can always move up or down a level if it doesn’t feel right.
Cig-a-like e-cigarettes vs. e-cig tanks
When you start vaping, you’ll choose from cig-a-like e-cigarettes or e-cig tanks. With cig-a-likes, you use prefilled flavour cartridges that come in variety of nicotine strengths. If you go with an e-cig tank, you’ll vape on e-liquids you fill yourself. They also come in varying nicotine strengths, but you’ll notice tanks and e-liquids provide a stronger ‘throat hit’ and a more cigarette-like sensation. So, heads-up, a 12mg cig-a-like will not feel the same as a 12mg e-liquid vaped on an ecig tank.
You want a nicotine level that will hit the spot. But you should still take it easy. If you smoke smooths and go straight for a high strength nicotine e-cig, you might find the throat hit is too much. Similarly, if you’re an all-day vaper, you might find a lower strength gives you the enjoyment you’re after.
If you’re moving between nicotine strengths, it’s best to go slow and take the next step up/down. Jumping from 6 to 18mg (or vice versa) could feel a little uncomfortable. Too much throat hit? Not getting the nicotine hit you’re after? Listen to your body.
Actually, be adventurous!
To find the right nicotine strength, you’ll have to find your vaping style. That means experimenting with ecig types, strengths, flavours, how often you vape and how big your puffs are.
And don’t stop exploring. If you switch and find 18mg offers the closest sensation to smoking, you may find you grow into a lower nicotine level the longer you vape. Or that nicotine-free 0mg is the best option for you. After all, lower nicotine levels can be just as flavoursome.
Still unsure which nicotine strength to go for? Our ecig experts are on hand Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm. Give us a call on 0800 0149 355.