How much nicotine does a classic cigarette contain? Comparison with e-cigarettes

How much nicotine does the classic cigarette contain and how much does the electronic cigarette?

Modified on: 16/05/2022

Learn more about nicotine doses: how much nicotine analogue cigarettes contain, how it is dosed in e-cigarettes and how much the body absorbs

If you have recently quit smoking and switched to using an electronic cigarette, you have likely asked yourself one question when choosing vape liquids:

“How much nicotine does an analogue cigarette contain?”.

Many new vapers ask themselves the same thing. The intention is to mimic the intensity of a classic cigarette puff to achieve the same degree of satisfaction with an e-cigarette.

In the following, we will answer this question. Still, we will also explain that knowing this figure will only be of partial use to you, as the ratio of nicotine intakes from e-cigarettes to analogue cigarettes is somewhat different.

Here is all the information you need to know about nicotine doses in smoking and vaping liquids.

Woman lighting a cigarette

Nicotine in cigarettes: doses and amounts taken by smokers

Apart from you, many people periodically wonder how much nicotine a classic cigarette can contain.

Several tests have been carried out worldwide to answer this question, and here are some of the most significant results.

According to Penn State University (Pennsylvania) researchers, for example, the average cigarette contains 10.2 mg of nicotine, and Marlboro Red contains explicitly 10.9 milligrams of nicotine.

A study carried out by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed the amount of nicotine contained in one gram of tobacco. The result from averaging the many tested brands is that there are 19.2 milligrams of nicotine per gram of tobacco.

Now that you know how much nicotine is in a Marlboro cigarette and how much nicotine is in a gram of tobacco, it’s time to get to the crux of the matter: how much of this substance is absorbed by smokers?

According to Professor Bernd Mayer’s findings, published in NCBI, the human body absorbs around 2 mg of nicotine when smoking a cigarette.

In contrast, according to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor Arthur Brody, smoking ‘classic’ cigarettes takes about 1.2 to 1.4 mg of nicotine; smoking ‘light’ cigarettes about 0.6 to 1.0 mg.

These figures, which are not identical, will help you adjust the amount of nicotine you take with e-cigarette liquids, but only after you have learned some more information and done some calculations.

Let’s go into the details.

Read also: Where to buy nicotine for electronic cigarettes

Nicotine to e-cigarette ratio: here’s how to dose it according to your old habits

Thanks to the data in the previous paragraph, we have established that analogue cigarettes transfer far less nicotine to the smoker than they have.

Based on this information, it will also be easier for you to determine how much nicotine to put into a neutral e-liquid base or which nicotine-containing liquids to choose.

However, there is one more thing you should know first.

How much nicotine do we consume with an e-cigarette compared to a classic cigarette?

The e-cigarette takes in about a third of the nicotine consumed with analogue cigarettes for the same content.

Now, to help you identify the perfect nicotine liquid for you, let’s take an example.

Let’s consider that, on average, someone who starts vaping consumes 4 ml of e-liquid per day.

Let’s assume that before you switched to vaping, you smoked a pack of 20 ‘light’ cigarettes and therefore consumed around 12 mg of nicotine per day (0.6 mg x 20 cigarettes).

Calculation of nicotine quantity

We made it clear earlier that with an e-cigarette, you only absorb a third as much nicotine as you would with a classic cigarette, so for your body to receive the same amount (and for you to avoid finding yourself in the middle of withdrawal or compulsive vaping), you would need to multiply this by three, giving you 36 mg of liquid nicotine.

You would then have to divide this figure by the 4 ml of liquid per day to get the ideal nicotine e-cigarette liquid ratio for you!

According to this assumption, you should vape a liquid with 9 ml/gr of nicotine per millilitre.

It is the best way of dosing nicotine, but of course, you are free to decrease or increase the dose if you wish. However, we recommend that you not exceed this amount in either direction.

Read also: Fruit flavoured e-cigarette liquids: here are the best of 2021

To conclude

After reading this article, you will have a clearer idea of the nicotine doses in analogue cigarettes and vape liquids.

Now you have to visit our e-shop to choose nicotine e-cigarette liquids or bases, vaping flavours and liquid nicotine to make your blends.

We are waiting for you!