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Quitting smoking can be scary, even if you’re swapping it for a smoking cessation tool like a vape product. Even though it might seem like nothing can replace the hit of a cigarette, you may be surprised at how easy the transition can be. Sometimes, it’s all in how you choose your nicotine level.
When the time comes to stamp out the habit for good, purchase a new vape product, some e-liquid, and discover the best nicotine levels for you.
Why Does it Even Matter, Anyway?
Surely you can just pick up any old e-liquid with a random nicotine level and enjoy the experience, right? Wrong. If you are fresh from smoking and use an e-liquid with a nicotine level that doesn’t match that of your cigarettes, you may not succeed in quitting.
Initially, it can be quite essential to mimic that cigarette smoking sensation if you are to have the best chance of quitting. The higher the milligram dosage of your e-liquid, the more intense the hit.
If you are a heavy smoker, starting with a high e-liquid strength can put you in the best chance to quit smoking and eventually decrease your nicotine intake down to zero.
It also helps to talk to a vape product and e-liquid expert before picking up something off the shelf you believe might work. They can match what you’re trying to achieve with the correct products.
For example, if you’ve just quit smoking and are looking for something as closely matched as possible, a pod kit with nicotine salts based on your current smoking level might be an ideal option.
If you’re simply looking for the best vaping flavours, an e-liquid store worker might recommend a kit with a tank or other sub-ohm devices with freebase nicotine e-liquid.
How Much Nicotine is in a Cigarette Compared to Vaping E-Liquid?
The average cigarette has between 4mg and 14mg of nicotine. However, that doesn’t mean you’re inhaling that much with each cigarette. If you’re taking breaks between puffs, some part of that cigarette is burning without you receiving any of the nicotine.
The same rule generally applies to vaping. You can choose an e-liquid (nicotine salts or freebase) between 0mg and 60mg. Freebase e-liquid goes up to around 18mg, while nicotine salts go up to 60mg. How much nicotine you actually inhale depends on how deep a breath you take and the type of device you’re using.
How Do I Know Which Nicotine Level is Right for Me?
Think about how much you smoke. Are you a heavy smoker, currently spending around $147-$188 per week on a 20-a-day habit? You may need to start with a higher freebase nicotine strength of 6mg, 12mg, or 18mg. If you smoke more than a packet a day, you may need to begin with an even higher strength.
If you tend to smoke around a pack a day or less, you can play around with different nicotine strengths of between 6mg and 12mg. Once you successfully transition from smoking to vaping, you can gradually decrease the nicotine amount until you eventually reach 0mg – if that’s your goal.
If you’re unsure, allow a vape product expert to guide the way. They can offer newcomers products based on their smoking habits.
- Low – 12-20mg
- Medium - 20-35mg
- High – 35mg+
- Low – 1-3mg
- Medium – 3-6mg
- High – 12-18mg
Does it Matter If I Use Nicotine Salts or Freebase Nicotine?
You may have seen it mentioned above that nicotine salts have a higher nicotine strength availability than freebase nicotine. When you’re exploring your options around vaping, it’s worth considering whether freebase nicotine or nicotine salts are right for you. There are pros and cons for each.
Freebase nicotine is nicotine in its purest form. It is the same nicotine type that has been used in cigarettes since around the 1960s. It’s easy to absorb into your body, easy to vape, and, you guessed it, addictive. The higher the nicotine strength, the more intense the hit.
Nicotine salts are a bit different. Benzoic acid is added to the nicotine, which lowers its pH for a smoother hit. Because you get a smoother hit, you can inhale nicotine salts with a higher nicotine content. It’s also even easier to absorb into your bloodstream than freebase nicotine.
What About Nicotine Strengths for Vapour Production?
While some people want to vape discreetly to help them quit smoking, other people want to become human cloud factories. Surprisingly, the type of e-liquid you buy and the nicotine level can dictate the kind of vapour you produce.
For Low Vapour Production
Freebase nicotine at between 12-24mg and nicotine salts of 30-60mg can be the best for discreet vapour clouds. Most pod systems in NZ fall into this category, along with a few MTL tanks.
For Medium Vapour Production
If you’re not trying to be discreet but not too showy, either, there is the perfect e-liquid and vape product combination for you. Stick with freebase nicotine levels between 6-12mg and nicotine salts between 20-30mg.
Pod systems with sub-ohm coils, MTL tanks, and even some sub-ohm tanks with restricted lung draw can be suitable.
For High Vapour Production
Want to pretend you’re a cloud machine? Freebase nicotine between 3-6mg and nicotine salts of up to 6mg may tick all the boxes. Pair these with sub-ohm devices with big airflow channels and rebuildable atomizers.
Still Not Sure?
When you’re new to the vaping scene, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many new things to learn! Fortunately, you’re not alone on your quit smoking journey. Any vape store worker in New Zealand will be more than happy to assist in making sure you’re armed with the right products to stamp out cigarettes for good.