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Choosing The Right Nicotine Strength

by Daniel Lofchick on November 26, 2020

Let’s cut right to the chase. A lot of people choose to vape because they want to switch to a safer alternative to smoking. That’s why we’re called Cold Turkey. There’s a rising tide of evidence that shows vaping is an effective tool to stop smoking - you just need to choose the right nicotine strength, and reduce it slowly.


Here’s the question: what is the right nicotine strength? The answer - well, it’s not so straightforward.


You see, cigarettes come in pretty standardized packages. Vapes, well, not so much. There are so many different kinds of vapes, and you can change the wattage you’re vaping at, so the nicotine delivery can actually vary substantially from vape to vape. In other words, using the same strength of juice with different vapes can yield different results.


So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to talk a bit about the levels of nicotine in most cigarettes, and compare them to the levels of nicotine available in juices. From there, we’ll delve into how you might adjust your use depending on how effective you find different levels of juice.


The average cigarette has somewhere between about 10-12 mg of nicotine. Cigarettes aren’t the most efficient method of nicotine delivery, so you’ll probably only end up inhaling about 1.5 mg of nicotine by the time you’ve finished a smoke.


If you smoked one cigarette a day, you might think that smoking 1 ml of juice with 12 mg/ml of nicotine would be the right amount. Again, it’s important to remember that nicotine delivery varies from vape to vape, so you might find that the actual amount of nicotine you absorb is quite a bit higher. 


That’s one of the reasons we recommend starting lower than you might anticipate. With the example of a one cigarette a day smoker (by the way, that’s to make the math easy, not because there are a lot of 1 smoke/day addicts out there), you might opt to vape 1 ml of a 9 mg/ml juice, and see how it treats you. Should you feel it’s not enough, you can increase the level of nicotine.


That brings us to what’s more or less the game with choosing the right level of nicotine. You’re going to try a juice out, and if you find there’s too much or too little nicotine, you can adjust. Most of our juices come in intervals of about 3 mgs, so if you start with a 9 mg juice, you can adjust it up to a 12 or down to a 6 depending on how it treats you.


How do you know if you’ve had too much or too little nicotine? See how it makes you feel. If, after a few puffs, you still find yourself with a craving for more nicotine, you might not have enough. Conversely, if you suddenly feel light-headed or jittery, you may be vaping a juice with too much nicotine.


Again, it’s worth remembering that the delivery method and how much you smoke will have a huge impact on how much nicotine you actually take in. Things get even more complicated when you consider salt nics, which can deliver far more nicotine than your average cigarette. Higher concentrations of salt nic can be a good choice for smokers who are used to going through more than a pack a day.


When you get a juice that’s too strong or too weak, don’t fret! You can buy a lower (or higher) nicotine juice, then mix it with the juice you bought in order to change the amount of nicotine. Mixing juices is not only harmless, it can be a lot of fun (if you mix flavours). 


Finally, it’s worth remembering that if you’re vaping as an alternative to smoking, you might decide to start lowering the nicotine levels in your juices slowly. Mixing can be handy again here - you can mix a 12 mg with a 6 mg to wind up with about 9 mg/ml liquid. We offer e-juice delivery in Winnipeg, so we can deliver juice with the potency you’re looking for right to your door. 

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