People might talk about an ecig containing the equivalent nicotine as a full pack of 20 cigarettes, but it isn’t as simple as that – so how much nicotine do you actually need?
New vapers will walk into a UK Vape Shop and ask the assistant how much nicotine they will need in their premium or standard UK vape liquid. The assistant might ask about their smoking habit but, as we will show in this article, finding the right nicotine concentration for your E-Liquid is more than just balancing numbers.
How much nicotine is in a cigarette?
Knowing how much nicotine you used per cigarette when smoking is a good starting point to understanding this topic.
A study found that there was between 6.17 to 12.65 mg in Iranian cigarettes, 7.17-28.86 mg in other cigarettes, and between 30.08- 50.89 mg in pipe tobacco. So, in a cigarette, the average is between 12-15 mg. Now, here is the first problem – a smoker doesn’t inhale all of that nicotine.
Little nicotine is being taken in while a smoker holds the cigarette or leaves it resting in an ashtray. Also, the strength and frequency of the drag taken will vary – and therefore so too does the quantity of nicotine being absorbed into the bloodstream.
So, I vary my nicotine intake?
Absolutely. Your smoking behaviour changed depending on your body’s need for a nicotine hit – and vapers do that do. The technical term for this is self-titrating, giving yourself what you need and stopping when that desire is fulfilled. On average, a smoker will use no more than 1 milligram of nicotine from each cigarette.
But they do say an e-cig contains the same as a packet of fags
They do, and it’s a meaningless statement, as your UK vape shop assistant will confirm.
Not only is it wrong, because UK eliquid comes in a range of strengths up to a maximum of 20 mg/ml, but also that no nicotine is being lost to the atmosphere when you are not vaping – the device sits there waiting until the next time you want to inhale some more nicotine.
What makes me want to inhale more nicotine?
The nicotine chemical compound is broken down in the body. Once this happens it stops triggering the pleasure receptors in the brain. Eventually, when the blood concentration drops low enough (which will vary from person to person), you seek another ‘hit’.
Does everybody break down nicotine at the same rate?
No. It depends on how large and how healthy you are. It also depends on what is happening in your life: pregnant women break down nicotine much faster than before they conceived, which is why they find it harder to quit when this happens as the drive to smoke increases.
So, how do I know what strength e-liquid I need?
UK vape juice can be found in strengths ranging from 3 mg/ml to 18 mg/ml. The strength of the juice is more relevant to the style of vaping you will be doing.
Direct to lung vaping involves taking in a huge volume of vapour, and therefore these vape liquids have between 3-6 mg/ml nicotine concentrations. Mouth to lung vaping involves discreet puffs, inhaling less vapour, and so users opt for higher strength liquids, typically 12-18 mg/ml.
Whether premium or standard UK e liquid, talk to your favourite juice shop for further advice if you need it.