What do watts mean in an electronic cigarette, and how high you should set the power of your device?

What do watts in the e-cig indicate and how should you set them?

Modified on: 27/05/2024

Learn how to adjust the wattage, and vaping will taste even better – here’s how to find the ideal one for you

If you are an ex-smoker and have just embarked on your journey into the vaping world, you may be confused by the new information you have come into contact with.

Consuming a cigarette was convenient: you had to light it up and bring it to your mouth.

Your new electronic vaping device, on the other hand, has a whole series of numbers that you might struggle to understand: you probably see a W on display, and perhaps the shopkeeper who sold you the e-cig explained to you that that letter stands for ‘watts’ and that it is a value that you have to set correctly to enjoy your e-liquid to the fullest.

But what exactly is this value?

In this article, I will explain in detail what watts are in an electronic cigarette and how to set them so you can enjoy your vaping sessions fully.

R-40 Wismec the most manageable and light e-cigarette

The ideal wattage for your device? A question of physics

For many new vapers, an electronic cigarette set at a low wattage (e.g. below 20 W) offers the best entry-level experience. However, if vaping becomes a hobby, you may prefer to invest in a more powerful device or mod.

But how to make the most of it?

To answer this question, there are some scientific principles you should know. Taking the time to learn them will help you get the most out of your vaping experience.

Volts and watts are not the same: here is the relationship between these two quantities.

The voltage (V) indicates the ‘electrical pressure’ inside the battery. The greater this quantity, the faster the resistance of the e-cigarette is heated. As we will see below, voltage and wattage are related.

People often confuse wattage with voltage. However, these are distinct physical quantities related to each other by the following formula: W = V x A. The last letter, A, stands for amperes, the unit for measuring electrical intensity.

Anyway, without getting lost in complicated explanations, suffice it to say that the formula I have given you explains that the watts and volts of an electronic device increase directly. In other words, as one of these quantities increases, so does the other.

If you change the wattage, you automatically change the voltage. Conversely, changing the voltage can cause an uncontrolled current surge that can be dangerous for the device. This is why many people prefer variable wattage mods rather than variable voltage mods.

Read also: A step-by-step guide to mixing DIY electronic cigarette liquids.

What are ohms, and how do they affect wattage?

Put; ohms measure the amount of electrical energy that can pass through the coil. Therefore, regardless of the size of the battery you are using, your resistor can only carry a certain amount of current.

The higher the ohm value, the less current can pass through the resistor at any given time. This results in a decrease in power. Conversely, the lower the ohms, the higher the wattage that can be applied, which means that the e-cigarette will reach higher temperatures.

What happens when you increase the wattage of an electronic cigarette? Here is how watts affect vaping


As we have explained, the more power you supply to the device, the hotter the resistance gets; consequently, changing the wattage can affect the vapour temperature. Do you like hot clouds? Increase the wattage of your e-cig. Conversely, decrease the wattage if you prefer your device’s vapour to be cooler.


When a heating element is pushed to higher wattages, it can produce more vapour and increase the amount of nicotine inhaled per puff. Consequently, the hit in the throat also increases.

Use a higher wattage if you like to feel that tingling sensation in your throat that all vapers know. If, on the other hand, you prefer a lighter vape, you can reduce the hit by lowering the wattage.


The temperature of the heating element can affect the flavour of your e-liquid, and specific wattages enhance each type of flavour.

For example, menthol liquids taste best at low wattages and thus at cooler temperatures, as this allows their balsamic characteristics to be highlighted.

On the other hand, creamy liquids are enhanced at high wattages because the heat allows their aromatic notes to be fully captured.

Consumption of e-liquid

As you can easily imagine, increasing the temperature of the heating element also increases the consumption of e-cigarette liquids. On the one hand, this is good for those who like to exhale huge clouds. On the other, this means being forced to buy e-liquids more often.

Just think that some cloud-chasing vapers can manage to consume as much as 10 ml of liquid in a single day!

For this reason, if you want to save a bit on vaping, you could set your device to low wattages.

Electronic cigarette resting on a wooden coffee table

Resistance duration

The higher you increase the wattage of your e-cig, the more stress is placed on the resistance and the shorter its lifetime is because of the possibility of it burning out due to the high-temperature increases.

In the worst-case scenario, you might start to get a terrible taste: it is a sign that you have taken what, in the jargon, vapers call a cue.

If you notice that the vapour tastes ‘burnt’, the resistance tells you it is nearing its life cycle’s end. In this case, try lowering the wattage: you might be able to make it last a few more days before changing it.

Battery life

The more power you deliver with your e-cigarette, the more energy the batteries consume. If you get used to vaping at high wattages, you may notice a net decrease in battery life – a minor inconvenience when you have spare batteries.

But what if you don’t have any and perhaps find yourself out of the house and cannot recharge your e-cigarette in any way?

Well, in this case, the ideal solution is to lower the wattage to save the electricity still available and increase the life of the batteries.

In short, what wattage should I use for my electronic cigarette?

Now you know how the power output affects your device, but how do you know which wattage to use?

Each resistor is built to work optimally at a specific wattage range indicated on the coil itself and often also on the packaging in which it is contained.

To work out which wattage to apply, check the suggested values for the product you are using and start with the lowest wattage. Then gradually turn it up a watt or two at a time without taking too long puffs so that you will immediately notice any signs that the wattage is too high.

If your atomiser gets too hot or you start to taste burnt, stop and lower the wattage. Experiment in this way until you find your ideal wattage and you are done.

Read also: Are tobacco warmers bad for you? Here’s why e-cigarettes are still the best alternative to smoking

In conclusion

In this article, I have explained what watts are and given you tips on how to set them so that you can adjust your device to your taste.

As you may have noticed, there is no precise wattage that fits every vaper: the ideal value depends on a myriad of factors, including the personal taste of the vapers. For this reason, I decided to set up the article in such a way as to provide you with a practical guide with all the information you need to find out for yourself what wattage is best for you.

Before saying goodbye, I invite you to look at the wide selection of electronic cigarette liquids available on Terpy. With the information I have given you, you can enjoy all our products fully with your trusty electronic cigarette!