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How to Choose the Right Nicotine Strength for Vaping? (Chart)

How to Choose the Right Nicotine Strength for Vaping (Chart)

Whether you are a non-smoker who wants to try vaping or a smoker who wants to quit smoking, it is crucial to know how to choose the right nicotine strength for vaping. A too-low nicotine level puts you at risk of returning to cigarettes because it can’t fulfill your cravings.

On the other hand, a too-high level of this ingredient can be challenging for novices, causing dizziness and headache. Only the right choice can provide a satisfying transition to E-cigarettes. Let’s take a look!

The correct nicotine strength for vaping

Nicotine level in milligrams Nicotine level in percentages Nicotine concentration Smoker type
0 mg 0% Nicotine-free Social smokers
3 to 5 mg 0.3% to 0.5% Low concentration Social smokers
6 to 11 mg 0.6% to 1.1% Low to medium concentration Light smokers
12 to 17 mg 1.2% to 1.7% Medium to high concentration Average smokers
18 to 20 mg 1.8% to 2% High concentration Heavy smokers


Existing Nicotine Levels for Vaping

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The nicotine level you need when starting to vape depends on a few factors. Expectedly, lower values are better for beginners, social smokers, and sub-ohm vaping.

On the other hand, heavy smokers who need a higher nicotine intake look for its higher levels. Since finding the right nicotine concentration directly affects your pleasure while vaping, you should be precise in determining it.

0 mg (0%) nicotine

This nicotine-free option is ideal for social smokers who need only a few puffs a day to get the feel of smoking. This option is also attractive for hobbyists who enjoy doing the Irish Waterfall and blowing vapor rings.

Finally, you can choose a nicotine-free vape when you plan to quit smoking. In this case, the best path includes cutting down its intake gradually. As a result, you can get rid of addictive substances but still keep the hand-to-mouth motions you enjoy.

You can choose between two E-liquid types for this option. Shortfill juice with a lower nicotine level and longfills to get a stronger nicotine hit and better control over E-liquid.

3 to 5 mg (0.3% to 0.5%) nicotine

Such a low nicotine concentration is ideal for social smokers who vape only occasionally or plan to quit this habit. Besides, it is the lowest available nicotine dose, making it trendy among sub-ohm vapers. This combination is an excellent opportunity for you if you used to smoke three to ten cigarettes a day.

6 to 11 mg (0.6% to 1.1%) nicotine

This low to medium nicotine strength is the best for light smokers who used to smoke approximately half a pack of cigarettes daily. It is also the most popular nicotine concentration for vapers because it provides enough hit levels to satisfy increased cravings.

You should choose this option if you are a light smoker, enjoy rolling tobacco, or want to lower your current nicotine intake. It is also convenient for those who use DTL devices and prefer strong hits.

12 to 17 mg (1.2% to 1.7%) nicotine

This medium to high nicotine concentration is excellent for average ex-smokers who used to smoke a pack a day. They often select this nicotine strength range to make the transition from smoking to vaping smoother and reduce cravings.

Since E-liquids with 12 mg/ml sometimes leave a little harsh feeling, you can choose Nic Salts in 11 mg/ml, which give a strong hit but leave a gentler feel. In any case, you will probably enjoy this option if you used to use rolling tobacco or find that the higher nicotine strength is too harsh.

18 to 20 mg (1.8% to 2%) nicotine

Such a high nicotine concentration suits heavy smokers who used to smoke over a pack a day. Be prepared that not every vape device is good enough for this concentration, and you should buy the one that fits the desirable juice strength.

You can expect 20 mg Nic Salts to be perfect for you when enjoying a high nicotine strength. It is also perfect when you expect a hit to the throat similar to the one you get while smoking traditional cigarettes.

However, be careful when starting to use such a high nicotine strength because of possible reactions, like dizziness and nausea. You should consider switching to a lower concentration if this is the case.

The Best Nicotine Strength for Vaping

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The only way to enjoy vaping and get the best experience from using it is to precisely determine the adequate nicotine strength you need. This value directly depends on a few points.

Your previous smoking habits

Expectedly, the nicotine strength you need depends on the number of cigarettes you used to smoke per day. Therefore, one of the possibilities is to start with stronger juice to make switching from smoking to vaping more effortless. Then, you can explore the proper concentrations until gradually reducing them to the perfect one.

The other option is to choose a slightly lower strength and increase it until becoming satisfied. It is better than getting too strong hits initially.

So, the first step when starting to vape is to determine the desired nicotine strength. A too-low concentration can’t satisfy your cravings, while a too-high nicotine level results in harsh and pretty unpleasant throat hits.

Your nicotine tolerance

Believe it or not, the tolerance for nicotine significantly varies, depending on your body and living habits. For instance, heavy smokers have more significant tolerance to this substance than social smokers or beginners.

Since you can’t be sure about your tolerance to nicotine, your best shot is to choose a middle option. Then, you can shift it up or down depending on its effect on fulfilling your cravings.

Light smokers – You are in this group if you used to smoke up to five cigarettes a day. In this case, the best thing to do is to try one of the lighter E-liquid options. Depending on your goal, you can try nicotine-free juice or the one with concentrations of 3 to 6 mg.

Medium smokers – Smokers who used to enjoy 6 to 10 cigarettes a day should opt for higher nicotine concentrations. The best option in this case is E-juice with 6 to 12 mg of this chemical.

Heavy smokers – If you were a heavy smoker who used to smoke over ten cigarettes a day, you should consider E-liquid with the highest nicotine levels. The recommended value for you is 12 to 20 mg of nicotine, but you should decrease it over time.

The type of device

Choosing the perfect nicotine strength also depends on the kit you use. For instance, mouth-to-lung vape kits require higher concentrations, while these values are lower if you prefer sub-ohm vaping kits.

You can also experiment with different types of vape devices. For instance, those who want to quit smoking should start with a low-vapor device, like an MTL or a pod system.

Since they mimic the cigarette draw, you can expect these devices to help you make the smooth transition from smoking to vaping. On the other hand, you need a sub-ohm or more powerful pod system if you prefer an RDTL draw.

Vaping style

You can differentiate three types of vaping. Which one is the best option for you depends on several factors.

Mouth-to-lung – MTL is a way of vaping similar to smoking, so it is a preferable option for ex-smokers who have switched to vaping. It requires pooling the vapor inside your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs. The best option is E-liquid with a higher PG percentage and nicotine level that provides less vapor.

Direct-to-lung – DTL (sub-ohm) vaping style implies that you inhale the vapor directly into your lungs without keeping it in your mouth. It is an excellent option for experienced vapers who enjoy juices with low nicotine and high vapor production.

Restricted direct-to-lung – RDTL is a hybrid between the previous two vaping styles popular among moderate vapers. It is similar to MTL but offers equal cloud production and throat hit. In this case, the vapor pools partially inside your mouth while inhaling.

Vapor Production

Since various types of vaping provide different vape quality, you should choose the one that fulfills your needs. The crucial thing in this case is the level of vapor production.

Low vapor production – This option provides discreet clouds, and you should choose MTL tanks and pod systems to get the best results. The available nicotine strength for this option is 12 to 24 mg/mL.

Medium vapor production – You should choose a 6 to 12 mg/mL nicotine strength when you expect more clouds. You can buy any device to enjoy this vaping style.

High vapor production – It is necessary to buy a powerful device with a coil resistance under 1 ohm to get dense clouds. Such vapes provide big clouds, but you should be an experienced vaper to enjoy them. The ideal E-liquid for this option contains a low nicotine concentration of 1.5 to 6 mg/mL.

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$34.99$14.99 (Free Shipping, 2-6 Days Delivery)

  • Full-Screen Display
  • Smooth & Boost Adjustable Two Models
  • 25ml E-liquid Capacity
  • 50mg Strength
  • Up to 20000 Puffs


Transitioning to vapes is one of the efficient ways to quit cigarette smoking. However, choosing the correct nicotine level is crucial to make this transition smooth and successful. Once you determine the right concentration of this ingredient, the only thing to do is pick out a favorite flavor and start enjoying it.

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