If you’re new to vaping, you have a few challenges ahead because choosing the right vaping device – and learning how to use that device properly – are integral parts of having a great vaping experience. Choosing the right device isn’t the most important aspect of having a great experience, though, and neither is choosing the right e-liquid flavour. When it comes to vape juice, the taste is subjective. Only through experimentation can you find the flavour that will work best for you. When it comes to choosing your first vape kit, the fact is that all modern vaping devices work well – so it’s almost impossible to make a choice that’s completely wrong.
Choosing the wrong device or flavour might not ruin your first vaping experience, but here’s something that can: choosing the wrong nicotine strength. If the nicotine strength that you use is too low, you’ll be unhappy with your vaping experience regardless of how often you vape. If your nicotine strength is too high, the resulting irritation will make vaping almost impossible for you.
For a first-time vaper, choosing the right nicotine strength is further complicated by the wide variety of strengths available. You can buy a bottle of e-liquid containing as little as 3 mg of nicotine per ml, or you can buy pre-filled pods with as much as 60 mg of nicotine per ml. One e-liquid, in other words, might be as much as 20 times stronger than another. If you buy a refillable JUUL® pod and a bottle of e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 3 mg, you’re probably going to be very, very unhappy.
The good news is that, although choosing the right nicotine strength might seem like a complicated problem on the surface, making the correct choice isn’t actually as difficult as it appears because the type of vaping device that you use will largely determine the ideal nicotine strength for you. Let’s learn more.
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The Two Types of E-Liquid
E-liquid comes in two types: freebase nicotine and nicotine salt. Nicotine salt e-liquid contains an additive that makes it easier to inhale at high nicotine strengths, and it is therefore available in higher strengths than freebase nicotine e-liquid.
- Freebase nicotine e-liquid typically comes in strengths ranging from 0-18 mg. The most popular strengths are 3 and 6 mg.
- Nicotine salt e-liquid typically comes in strengths ranging from 25-60 mg. The most popular strengths are 30 and 50 mg.
- Many e-liquid and pod makers express the nicotine strengths of their products as percentages. Multiply an e-liquid’s nicotine percentage by 10 to get the approximate strength in milligrams. Nicotine strength of 5% equates roughly to 50 mg/ml. Nicotine strength of 0.3% equates roughly to 3 mg/ml.
Nicotine Salt E-Liquids Work Best With Pod Systems
Here at Premium Vape, we sell vaping systems with pre-filled pods – such as the JUUL® – and systems with refillable pods, such as the Uwell Caliburn. With most pod systems, you’ll have the best possible vaping experience if you use a nicotine salt e-liquid. That’s because pod systems operate at lower temperatures and produce lower volumes of vapour. When you use a device that produces a low volume of vapour, you need to use a higher-strength e-liquid to get the right level of satisfaction.
We recommend pre-filled pod systems to those new to vaping because pre-filled pods remove much of the guesswork from choosing the right nicotine strength. JUUL® pods, for example, are only available in nicotine strengths of 1.6%, 3.0%, and 5.0%.
Refillable pod systems allow more room for error, but they’re still worth considering if you want to vape as cheaply as possible. Bottled e-liquid is less expensive than pre-filled pods.
Which nicotine strength should you choose if you use a pod system? Follow these two simple pointers.
- A higher-strength e-liquid (4% and above) delivers about as much nicotine per puff as a tobacco cigarette. If you are a current smoker and are about to switch to vaping for the first time, start with a nicotine strength of at least 4%.
- A lower-strength e-liquid (3% and below) delivers less nicotine per puff than a tobacco cigarette. You should use an e-liquid with a nicotine strength in this range if you are an infrequent cigarette smoker or you have already switched to vaping and are not currently using a pod system with a high-strength e-liquid.
Freebase Nicotine E-Liquids Work Best With Vape Pens and Mods
Vape pens and mods are much larger than most pod systems. They can produce enormous vapour clouds, and they typically have longer battery life than pod systems. Because larger vaping devices produce bigger vapour clouds, they work best with lower-strength e-liquids. The more vapour you inhale with each puff, the less nicotine your e-liquid should contain.
Why do some people use vape pens or mods if a pod system can deliver as much satisfaction as a tobacco cigarette? An e-liquid that contains less nicotine by volume delivers a more flavour-forward vaping experience. If you switch to a larger vaping device and a lower-nicotine e-liquid, you won’t get the same cigarette-like throat hit that you get from a device like the JUUL®. You will, however, taste stronger flavours while getting around the same amount of nicotine.
While a high-nicotine pod system delivers a high level of satisfaction that makes it easy to switch from smoking to vaping, you may decide later that you’d prefer a more flavour-centric vaping experience because you no longer crave cigarettes as you once did.
Which nicotine strength should you choose if you use a vape pen or mod? Follow these two simple pointers.
- If you use a vape pen or mod with a small mouthpiece and inhale the vapour from the mouth to the lungs, start with a nicotine strength of at least 0.6% (6 mg). The smallest vape pens may require nicotine strengths as high as 1.8% (18 mg).
- If you use a vape pen or mod with a wide mouthpiece and inhale the vapour directly to your lungs, start with a nicotine strength of 0.3% (3 mg). Increase your nicotine strength to 0.6% (6 mg) only if the 3 mg e-liquid leaves you feeling unsatisfied.
How to Know If Your Nicotine Strength Is Right
Let’s suppose that you’ve already begun vaping, and you’re finding that you’re not completely happy with your experience. Are you unhappy with your chosen vaping device or e-liquid flavour – or could the nicotine strength of your e-liquid be the culprit? Here’s an easy way to determine whether you’re using the right nicotine strength for your needs.
- Do you still find yourself craving cigarettes strongly even though you’re vaping constantly? Are you beginning to think that switching fully from smoking to vaping might not be possible for you? If either of those is the case, it’s likely that your nicotine strength is too low.
- Do you find it difficult to vape because you experience irritation when you inhale the vapour? Does vaping leave your lungs or throat feeling sore? Do you have trouble tasting your e-liquid because you can’t taste anything but peppery nicotine? If any of those statements apply to you, it’s likely that your nicotine strength is too high.