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What Nicotine Level Should I start Vaping at?

vape 101

For those who made the transition from the chemical tobacco cigarettes to the electronic cigarette, or decided to jump on the vaping trend, one of the first questions that many new users ask is how to choose what nicotine level they should start vaping at.

It can be confusing, but we’ve made it simple with this guide. For some, levels that are too low might not be satisfactory, and levels that are too high might be too intense.

Most e-liquids come in the strengths of high, medium, low and zero. Too start off with, here are the standard nicotine levels that are offered:

0mg/mL: There is no nicotine in the e-liquid. This is recommended for people who have quit smoking, but still need something to smoke – thus an e-cigarette satisfies the urge.

3mg/mL: This is generally the lightest level of nicotine offered. This is for people who want to enjoy a light nicotine hit or who are using a more powerful device.

6mg/mL: This level is still considered to be on the lower end of the spectrum when using a lower output device, and is good for people who prefer nicotine but are not heavy vapers. Using a lower output device, this is good for people who used to smoke lighter cigarettes or less than a pack a day.  Using a more powerful device, this will usually satisfy pack a day smokers.

12mg/mL: This level is good for many pack a day smokers when used with a lower output device.  Former heavy smokers over a pack a day may find this hits the spot on a higher output device.

18mg/mL: This is close to the natural dosage of nicotine that is in a cigarette when used in a lower output device, and is preferred by former heavy smokers (pack a day or more).  Most people will not want to vape with this level if using a more powerful device.

24mg/mL: This is on the high side of the spectrum, as it definitely gives you a strong hit of nicotine, and is preferred by former heavy smokers (i.e. more than a pack a day) when used with a lower output device.   You will likely not want to use this with a higher output device as it will be too intense and difficult to tolerate.

For those who were smokers and want to transition to vaping, use your old smoking habits to determine the kind of nicotine level that you should start vaping at, using the above information.

How to Choose Nicotine Strength

While you might have a good idea of what strength is right to you, finding the one strength that is just right will take some trial and error. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Smoking to Compensate → Too Low

  • If you were a previous smoker, your body is used to having a certain amount of nicotine in it, and you might end up choosing a lighter replacement in the e-cigarette. This might lead to compensation smoking, meaning that you will start vaping more to make up for the nicotine that your body is craving. If that is the case, try opting for a higher level of nicotine strength.


  • Too Intense → Too High

  • If you used to smoke a lighter tobacco cigarette, and go for an e-liquid that has nicotine levels on the higher end of the spectrum, you might end up overloading your body with more nicotine than it needs. This might lead to a harsh throat hit and some lightheadedness. If this is the case, lower your nicotine strength.

  • Relaxation → Just right

  • Having the right nicotine level will be akin to finding a sweet spot. You will feel satisfied and reach that perfect level of relaxation.

    Choosing what nicotine level to start vaping at is simpler than you think, it just requires some self-reflection and trial and error to find the right one for you. And trust us, when you do right, it is worth the effort!



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