What Nicotine Strength Should I Use?

Finding The Right Nicotine Level

One of the most commonly asked questions by new vapers when they first begin, Nicotine level is crucial and your question is very very justified. Nicotine is a key ingredient in e-liquid along with PG, VG and flavourings that make up your chosen flavour. Between a group of vapers the nicotine level could vary dramatically, but there is a way of knowing or better understanding what level of nicotine you should be choosing. Lets look at what nicotine actually is:

Nicotine is extracted from the tobacco plant. Nicotine has reported mood altering properties it is said: mood elevation, calmness etc I can remember this from when I smoked the relief of having that first cigarette is Real! Nicotine is used in particular as both a stimulant and relaxant. Nicotine is an addictive substance hence why many of you reading this found it difficult to stop smoking or are still considering making the switch.

What Nicotine Strengths Are There

The most common strengths of e-liquid purchased in a reputable store are typically the following:

0mg or 0% – Contains no nicotine (see shortfill e-liquid)

3mg or 0.3% (Low) – 1 x 18mg Nicotine shot will make a shortfill this strength.

6mg or 0.6% (Low – Medium)

12mg or 1.2% (Medium)

18mg or 1.8% (Medium – High)

20mg – Now only found in salt nicotine in the UK. Other countries go higher.

Above shows the values and quantity of nicotine in the e-liquid and the way we (and the rest of the industry) measure and indicate it. Some brands represent these values as a percentage instead of milligrams but they represent the same thing and are the same.

The obvious question you will have is what question should I go for? The answer to this question largely depends on what kind of e-cigarette kit you have. Sub-ohm, mouth to lung, and if you are a smoker or ex-smoker. These variables change from person to person but here are some things to consider:


There are thousands of different e-liquid flavours possibly even tens of thousands the majority of which are delicious, especially when compared to conventional tobacco cigarettes. The amount of nicotine can make a huge difference to a flavour, generally speaking the higher the nicotine level the less pure flavour you will experience. The higher the nicotine level the harsher the throat hit. When using a mouth to lung set up (i.e. smoking in the style of a tobacco cigarette) harshness is bearable and can actually be rather enjoyable, in a larger sub-ohm vaping device this may be unbearable and not very enjoyable.

Throat Hit

As discussed above the higher the nicotine level the harsher throat hit. When combined with a higher PG level (Propylene Glycol) this can be intensified, so it is important to check the VG to PG ratio before making a purchase. Also worth considering is the fact the a higher VG e-liquid with lower nicotine levels may not satisfy the cravings of a person switching from regular tobacco cigarettes.

Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is an addictive substance; and if you were a heavier smoker then it is the obvious choice to go for the higher nicotine level, what you really need to consider though is vaping is very different from smoking, it is a different sensation. This is where a variable wattage device with adjustable airflow etc may come in handy, having that slight bit of adjustment may be exactly what you need. Here you could start with a lower nicotine level, and adjust the wattage and airflow accordingly.

PG and VG in e-liquid

Don’t have a clue what this e-liquid ratio thing is we discuss or you see everywhere? Well… it refers to two ingredients found in e-liquid Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol – How these two are mixed and in what ratio is very important and good to know!