How Do You Choose the Correct E-liquid Strength?

If you’ve got to the stage of having to consider which e liquids you want and need the chances are you’ve already made or are making the move over from traditional tobacco cigarettes. You won’t be sorry! Not only is vaping a cleaner and more affordable smoking alternative, it is also incredibly enjoyable. The ability to completely customise your smoking habit thanks to the huge number of different flavours available as well as nicotine strengths is an added bonus.

Being able to control the amount of nicotine your e liquids contain makes a big difference to your smoking habit. Many are however put off by the supposed complexity of it. Little do they know that actually, switching up or down your nicotine levels couldn’t be easier with a little know-how.

How Much Nicotine Does My E Liquid Contain?

All e liquid vials or bottles are labelled to show the nicotine level they contain. This number is shown as a mg/ml measure, for example 24mg or may be shown as a percentage (so 24mg would be 2.4%). Mostly choosing the right nicotine level for you depends on what you are looking for (perhaps you crave the perfect throat hit, maybe you are looking to get to the point where you can enjoy a nicotine-free vape). There’s no difference between 2.4% and 24mg in actual nicotine content, it is simply that different manufacturers choose different ways of expressing their nicotine content. Thankfully the numbers are easy enough to remember / decipher.


These numbers show how much nicotine there is (mg) per ml of e liquid (still with us?) So....

•    A ten millilitre vial of 24mg e liquid would have 240mg of nicotine in there.
•    A thirty millilitre vial of 24mg e liquid would have 720mg of nicotine in there.

If that’s confusing you this might help:

E liquids generally come in strengths ranging from 24mg to 18mg, 12mg and 6mg. There are also some e liquids which are nicotine free and some which are super-strong (coming in at 36mg).


How Much Nicotine is Right for Me?

It all comes down to personal preference however it makes sense to start somewhere in the middle rather than going too high. The most common starting nicotine level would be 18mg/ml, particularly for those with a regular tobacco smoking habit. This tends to be a like for like nicotine level with your favourite normal-strength tobacco cig.

Those choosing 24mg/ml will typically have been pretty heavy smokers, smoking a packet or more of regular cigarettes a day. 36mg/ml, well, this is a pretty high amount of nicotine and not for the faint of heart. This is for your extremely heavy smoker who was obviously heavily addicted to tobacco cigs.

12mg/ml e liquids would probably be best suited to those who were lighter smokes or smoked “light” cigarettes while 6mg/ml would be for very light smokers and those just starting out with vaping yet not being a cigarette smoker previously.

Which level is best for you depends entirely on your individual taste and previous smoking habits. It’s important to not go too high too soon (see below) so be conservative with your first e liquids. Some trial and error may be advised here.

nicotine level guide for e liquids

nicotine level guide for e liquids

Too Much Nicotine

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and while there is no proof whatsoever that it contains any carcinogenic properties it is still a chemical and as such should be respected. Those with any medical conditions or who are pregnant and are looking to alter their nicotine level (raise it) should talk to their health professional first.

Choosing an e liquid with too much nicotine in it will make you feel pretty rough if you aren’t used it with symptoms including nausea, a headache and even dizziness. It is by far the better idea to go low and build back up than go too high and make yourself sick!

Obviously nicotine is toxic to children and animals especially (and shouldn’t be ingested by grown-ups either!) so make sure vials are closed tight and stored away safely.

When it comes to e liquids it’s hard to get it wrong to be honest provided you have an idea of the level you want to start with. The upside of course of having so many nicotine strengths to choose from is that you can gradually step down through them until you are using nicotine free e liquids if that’s your wish or up if you are looking for a deeper throat hit to suit your smoking style.

Happy vaping!

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