Electronic cigarette: how much nicotine to start with? Tips and mistakes to avoid.

How much nicotine is best to start with in the e-cig?

Modified on: 27/05/2024

If you think of taking up smoking, remember nicotine dosage is crucial.

Smoking is bad for your health.

Smoking is the leading cause of several severe health problems, especially lung cancer and cancer of the mouth and throat.

When you started smoking, you probably did not think that you would soon find yourself so dependent on the substances contained in cigarettes, primarily nicotine.

The biggest problem when a smoker tries to quit is precisely the physical and psychological dependence they find themself in, which makes it challenging to give up the habit.

Switching to e-cigarettes can be an excellent way to start moving away from cigarettes and all the harmful consequences they can bring. Still, it is essential to consider several elements that can make a difference in your nicotine cessation journey.

Correctly dosing the nicotine you need is the first thing you need to do to avoid making mistakes that could cause you to return to smoking sooner than you think.

In this article, I explain what assessments you should make to ensure your vaping experience is close to your needs.

Read also: Nicotine detoxification: what are the most effective remedies for overcoming addiction.

Nicotine dosage: why is it crucial?

Dosage of nicotine

Let’s start by saying that there is no such thing as a universally suitable nicotine level. In fact, not all commercially available cigarettes are the same. Instead, there are more robust and weaker products, and the degree of strength is determined precisely by the level of nicotine they contain.

Moreover, not all smokers consume the same amount of cigarettes per day. It is therefore impossible to determine a standard nicotine level with which to start smoking.

To do this, one must estimate the type and quantity of cigarettes one habitually smokes. Only then can you estimate the amount of nicotine to smoke with your new electronic cigarette.

This step is crucial, and I will explain why.

Whatever your reason for switching to an electronic cigarette – I assume it is to try to stop smoking – it is essential that you take the time to free yourself from nicotine addiction gradually.

Even if you start with the best intentions, remember that your body needs to detoxify and, without causing too many problems, cannot suddenly be deprived of a substance it considers essential.

Returning to the best dosage, as I said, you need to calibrate it to your smoking habits and be determined to eliminate traditional cigarettes. This will ensure the body gets the nicotine it needs while eliminating all the harm associated with combustion.

The most common mistake beginners make when it comes to vape is to start with a nicotine dosage that is too low compared to what they are used to.

If you were to make this choice, you would almost certainly find yourself compulsively smoking in search of the satisfaction that cigarettes used to give you – without getting it, of course – and without being able to free yourself from traditional smoking because your brain will push you to seek out the nicotine it lacks.

Understand that this situation is not at all conducive to achieving your goal.

To start evaluating the reduction of nicotine consumption, it is essential to have succeeded in eliminating traditional cigarettes.

In addition to the addiction issue itself, the hit factor must also be considered. Let me explain. When you smoke a cigarette, you feel a scratch in your throat (the hit) which can be more or less pronounced depending on the intensity of the tobacco smoking. Not perceiving it means an unsatisfactory experience.

The same applies to electronic cigarettes. If the liquid you have chosen to vape is too bland, the lack of hit will prompt you to seek satisfaction in other ways. And how can this be done without returning to smoking?

By increasing the nicotine in your e-liquid.

But be careful not to overdo it. If you increase too much, you will have the opposite problem. On the other hand, too strong a hit will also be unpleasant, and this is certainly not what you want.

That is why it is essential to use the proper dosage for your needs.

Finally, I want to tell you that the electronic cigarette you choose also plays a role in calibrating the right amount of nicotine, but we will discuss that later.

Let us now see how to get an idea of how much nicotine to take daily to avoid withdrawal syndrome.

Read also: Nicotine allergy: symptoms, reactions and remedies

How do I know how much nicotine I need? And what nicotine levels can I find on the market?

Let us try to estimate how much nicotine you need.

As I said, the aspects to be assessed here are mainly the variety of cigarettes smoked in intensity and the amount consumed daily.

Let us assume that you belong to the category of occasional smokers and that you take puffs on the cheek. In this case, 5-6 mg/ml should guarantee a vaping experience close to your needs. If, on the other hand, you prefer lung smoking, 2 mg/ml will do the trick.

Levels of e-liquids

If, on the other hand, you are a heavy smoker, doses should be higher, and you can consider 8-10 mg/ml for cheek injections and 3-4 mg/ml for lung injections as reference values.

Once you have established your preferred nicotine concentration, you can choose which liquid to purchase from all those available on the market.

The possibilities are many and cover a nicotine range from 0 to 20 mg/ml, the maximum dose permitted for safety reasons by the TPD.

The liquids available on the market can be divided into 4 categories according to their nicotine concentration: nicotine-free (0 mg/ml), low strength (2 mg/ml to 6 mg/ml), medium strength (7 mg/ml to 12 mg/ml) and high strength (13 mg/ml to 20 mg/ml).

Electronic cigarettes: cartridge or tank?

As I predicted, electronic cigarette choice also plays a key role in managing nicotine consumption levels.

The first thing to do is to find the differences between the various types and choose the one that seems best suited to the needs of the person who will then have to use it.

The choice is to buy a cartridge or a tank electronic cigarette.

But how are they different?

Cartridge e-cigarettes are used with ready-made cartridges, available with different nicotine levels, whereas tank e-cigarettes require the desired liquid to be inserted by hand.

What is the difference?

The main difference is that tank electronic cigarettes are much more similar to traditional cigarettes with the same nicotine. This is due to the presence of the liquid, which provides a more significant throat effect than cartridges.

In conclusion, how much nicotine should you use to start smoking?

There is no single answer for everyone. Not everyone smokes the same cigarettes with the same frequency, and the desired effect is subjective.

However, you now know how to estimate the nicotine concentration to start with, depending on your needs.

It is likely that, despite the assessments made, you will not achieve the perfect combination on the first attempt. Several attempts are often required before the desired experience can be recreated. I recommend buying 10 ml bottles of liquid, the smallest available, to avoid wastage.

If you want to get an idea of the different e-cigarette liquids and other products related to the fascinating vaping world, look at our Terpy website.