One of the greatest things about vaping is the enormous variety of products available. After you’ve switched to vaping, you’re going to discover what your equipment and flavour preferences are – and with so many different products on the market, you should have no trouble finding a vaping device and an e-liquid flavour that are perfect fits for you.
The downside of having so many different products available, though, is that it can be difficult to figure out what you should buy first. Here at Vapekit, we’ve taken some of the work out of the equation by clearly identifying the beginner vape kits on this site.
Once you’ve selected your first vape kit, though, it’s time to buy e-liquid – and that’s where the confusion can begin because vape juice is available in a wide range of different nicotine strengths ranging from nicotine free to a very high 20 mg/ml. If the e-liquid that you use isn’t right for your vaping equipment, you’re not going to enjoy your experience. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.
If you’re new to vaping and aren’t sure what vape juice to buy, this is the guide for you. In this article, we’re going to explain e-liquid nicotine strengths in simple terms and explain exactly how to choose your first vape juice.
When you shop for e-liquid, you’ll see the nicotine strengths of the various products printed on the bottles’ labels. The nicotine strength is usually expressed in milligrams – such as “20 mg” – but it’s more accurate to think of an e-liquid’s strength in terms of milligrams per millilitre. If you have a bottle of vape juice with a printed nicotine strength of 20 mg, that doesn’t mean the bottle contains 20 mg of nicotine in all. It means that the e-liquid contains 20 mg per ml – or 200 mg in total.
That’s roughly comparable in nicotine content to a carton of cigarettes, although there’s generally no need to worry if a bottle of vape juice doesn’t last as long for you as a carton of cigarettes would. The nicotine absorption of vaping vs. smoking isn’t precisely the same.
You can find e-liquid in nicotine strengths ranging from nicotine free to 20 mg/ml. However, some nicotine strengths have proven to be more popular than others. These are the most common nicotine strengths that you’ll see when you shop for vape juice.
Freebase Nicotine: 3 mg/ml and 6 mg/ml
Nicotine Salt: 9-10 mg/ml and 18-20 mg/ml
For the most part, you usually don’t need to concern yourself too much with the differences between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt because selecting the correct nicotine strength for your vaping equipment is the most important thing. There’s generally very little overlap in nicotine strengths between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt e-liquids, so your choice will come down to the nicotine strength rather than the nicotine type.
If you happen to have a choice between a freebase nicotine e-liquid and a nicotine salt e-liquid with the same strength, you’ll probably find that the freebase nicotine e-liquid has a slightly stronger throat hit. The nicotine salt e-liquid, on the other hand, will probably feel smoother. For the most part, though, you won’t have to worry about this decision because freebase e-liquids and nicotine salt e-liquids usually come in different nicotine strengths.
When you’re buying e-liquid for the first time, the most important thing you need to know is whether your vaping device is designed for mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung inhaling because that’s what’s going to determine the correct range of nicotine strengths for your needs.
Pod vaping systems and vape pens are smaller vaping devices that are usually very small and pocketable and are almost always designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling. You’ll know that you have a mouth-to-lung vaping device because the mouthpiece will be similar in width to a cigarette filter. With a mouth-to-lung device, you should generally buy nicotine salt e-liquid. If you’re new to vaping, we recommend starting with the highest available nicotine strength, which is 18-20 mg/ml for most e-liquid brands. Most people find that this is the ideal vaping setup for quitting smoking because it produces the most cigarette-like throat hit.
Advanced vape mods are larger vaping devices that are optimised for vaping at higher power levels and are usually designed for direct-to-lung inhaling. You’ll know that you have a direct-to-lung vaping device because it’ll have a glass tank with a mouthpiece that’s larger than a cigarette filter. With a direct-to-lung device, you should generally buy freebase nicotine e-liquid. We suggest starting with the 3 mg/ml nicotine strength for this type of vaping hardware. This vaping setup produces very little throat hit, so it’s best for those who prefer smoothness, bold flavours and big vapour clouds.
Let’s suppose that you’ve purchased your first vape kit and bottle of e-liquid. You like the flavour of your vape juice, but something isn’t quite clicking for you. Maybe you’re having difficulty vaping because you find the throat hit too intense or irritating, or perhaps you haven’t been able to quit smoking because vaping isn’t quite satisfying enough for you. These are the signs that your nicotine strength is too high or too low.
If your nicotine strength is too high, you’re not going to find vaping pleasurable. You might feel intense irritation in your throat when inhaling or find that vaping makes you cough. These problems are especially likely to happen if you use a high-strength e-liquid with a device intended for direct-to-lung inhaling. In this case, you should either step down to an e-liquid with a lower nicotine strength or switch to a smaller and less powerful vaping device.
If your nicotine strength is too low, you might not feel the sensation of nicotine satisfaction at all when you vape. You may find yourself continuing to smoke occasionally – or you’ll still experience powerful cravings for cigarettes – even though you’re vaping almost constantly. In this case, you should consider stepping up to an e-liquid with a higher nicotine strength. If you’re already using the maximum available nicotine strength of 20 mg/ml, it might be wise to consider upgrading to a more powerful vaping device.