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E-Liquid: Which Liquid Nicotine Strength is Right for You?

By Raymond Polidori

Friday January 31, 2014
Choosing the right e-cig liquid nicotine level is important, ECCR gives you a guide to make the right choice

E-Liquid: Which liquid nicotine strength is right for you?

When it comes to deciding on your e cigarette liquid, you want to get it right. Every decision in this process is an important one, yet choosing the right eliquid nicotine strength is right at the top among the most important. It can make all the difference between success and failure in using your e-cigarette as an alternative to the level of nicotine you get from a traditional tobacco cigarette.

Before you happened upon this ingenious little device called the electronic cigarette, you probably had no idea there was such a thing as liquid nicotine. We all equate nicotine with tobacco cigarettes, or maybe nicotine gum or the patch at most. You know now that e cigarette liquid forms a key component in what makes an e-cig so effective for so many people, but it can also scare consumers because of the negative association that nicotine has picked up over the years.

You’ll be surprised to know that nicotine on its own, and in moderation, really isn’t bad for you. In fact, there are studies that point to the positive effects of nicotine usage. Studies have shown that nicotine can help you focus, increase your cognitive process, and even help treat symptoms of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Choosing the right nicotine strength has a lot to do with how much you smoke and which type of cigarettes you smoke. Let’s take a look at the basic parameters in accordance with the most popular e cigarette liquid standards on the market right now:

choosing nicotine strength, eliquid, chart, guide

No Nicotine: This level will work for you if you just want the feel of smoking a cigarette. If you are anything more than an extremely light (a few cigarettes a week) smoker, this won’t be enough. At least not in the beginning, but we’ll get to that later.

6mg or 0.6%: Considered the ultra-light level, 6mg can be effective if you are used to smoking ultra-light cigarettes such as Capris or Pall Mall ultra-lights.


12mg or 1.2%: Here we start to get into the area where more smokers fall into. This would be considered a light level nicotine strength for most e-cigarette brands. If you smoke a light cigarette, especially if you smoke less than a pack a day, this could fit your needs well.

18mg or 1.8%: The majority of smokers will want to start with this level of liquid nicotine or higher. If you smoke a full flavored or regular cigarette and have up to a pack a day, you will want your e cigarette liquid to contain at least 18mg of liquid nicotine.

24mg or 2.4%: Now we’re talking! This nicotine strength level suites smokers used to “natural” cigarette brands like American Spirit or rolled tobacco. This could also be a good starting point if you smoke more than a pack a day of a full flavored cigarette.

36mg or 3.6%… or higher: More and more e-cigarette brands are starting to offer e cig liquid at this nicotine strength. The need is there, and brands like White Cloud ecigs already go up to 54mg in their e cigarette liquid. This is truly for the heavy smoker who is used to two or more packs a day and needs this much liquid nicotine to be satisfied.

You should be able to place yourself and your habits into one of the above categories, if not more. That’s actually where a lot of first time e cigarette users falter. The negative connotation of nicotine kicks in and they’ll choose a lower level in the hopes that it will be enough for them. That is exactly where you don’t want to be! You are better off going with a higher liquid nicotine level and satisfying your cravings rather than not getting enough and feeling like e-cigarettes aren’t doing the trick. We even recommend getting some e-liquid or cartomizers at a higher level and going back and forth between nicotine strength levels, at least in the beginning. You will want to make sure you are getting enough nicotine!

That isn’t where it ends. As we hinted at earlier, where you start with e cigarette liquid isn’t where you are going to end up later in your journey. A lot of people use e-cigarettes to “step down” off of nicotine in a very pragmatic and functional way. While there are studies on both sides of the issue, most experts tend to agree that weaning yourself off nicotine is much more effective than stopping cold turkey. You can start out with a nicotine strength level that will keep you using electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, and you can slowly step down to lower levels of liquid nicotine. That is generally where most of those no nicotine users are going to come from, sometimes after a long and steady process. Which is fine! Go at your own pace or just stick to the e cigarette liquid that makes you feel the most comfortable. We know nicotine isn’t terrible for you, so the most important part is having your e-cigarette fill the role you meant it to fill.

Don’t forget that, like a lot of things in life, finding the right liquid nicotine strength can take some trial and error. You’ll want to try out some different levels of e cig liquid or cartomizers in the beginning to see what works best for you. From that point on, you can enjoy all the vapor out there and in the many different flavors. It’s all a journey and here at ECCR we love doing our part in being your guide J. If you still need help, feel free to give us a holler via our live chat box on the bottom left of the page.

Enjoy your vaping experience!

Raymond Polidori

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