Nothing can ruin your vaping experience more quickly than an e-liquid with the wrong nicotine strength. If the nicotine strength of your e-liquid is too low, it’s impossible to get any real satisfaction out of vaping – and if the nicotine strength is too high, you’ll find the vapour so harsh that you won’t even want to vape.

What makes things even worse is the fact that you’re most likely to pick the wrong e-liquid nicotine strength when you’re completely new to vaping. You’ll have a terrible experience with your first e-cigarette, and you may not know why. If the experience is bad enough, you may not even try vaping again. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.


Your e-liquid nicotine strength is a vital choice

When you shop for e-liquid, you’ll find an enormous variety of nicotine strengths ranging from no nicotine at all to 50 mg/ml. That can make the e-liquid selection process seem pretty intimidating initially. Thankfully, the vaping equipment that you’re using is the main factor that determines the right nicotine strength for you.

The bigger the vapour clouds that your device produces, the more e-liquid you’ll inhale with each puff. You’ll compensate for that by using a lower-strength e-liquid. For any type of vaping device, there’s a range of appropriate e-liquid nicotine strengths. As long as the e-liquid that you buy is in the right range for your device, you’ll have a good first experience with vaping. From there, you can make small adjustments to your nicotine strength if necessary to accommodate your personal nicotine requirements.


Traditional E-Cigarette

Example: EasyPuff E-Cigarette Starter Kit

The traditional e-cigarette remains one of the most popular options for new vapers because having a device with pre-filled twist-on cartridges is incredibly convenient for anyone who’s just given up smoking and needs the simplest vaping solution possible. If you’re about to buy your first e-cigarette, we suggest trying a nicotine strength of 2.4% if you currently smoke full-flavoured cigarettes. If you smoke mild cigarettes, try the 1.8% nicotine strength instead.

High-strength e-cigarette cartridges are ideal if you’ve just made the switch to vaping because you may experience some rather powerful cravings for tobacco cigarettes in the first few days after switching. As with any other vaping device, a traditional e-cigarette makes it easy to buy lower-strength e-liquid in the future if you decide that you’d like to reduce your nicotine intake. Wait until you’ve grown completely accustomed to vaping before you start buying lower-strength cartridges.


Mouth-to-lung vape pen

Example: Vaporesso - Luxe PM40 Pod System

If you’re new to vaping, a mouth-to-lung vape pen is one of the best devices that you could possibly buy. A good vape pen provides ample e-liquid storage and has enough battery power to last all day. The greatest benefit of using a vape pen, though, is that you can buy any bottled e-liquid you like rather than sticking with the few pre-filled cartridges or pods available from the manufacturer of your device. It’s important, though, to choose a vape pen designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling because that’s what you’re used to as a smoker. 

How can you tell whether you’ve got the right type of vape pen? If a vape pen is designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling, its mouthpiece will be about the same size as a cigarette filter. Mimicking the dimensions of a cigarette allows a vape pen to have similar airflow. Vape pens with wide mouthpieces, on the other hand, are designed for direct-to-lung inhaling. Many experienced vapers prefer that inhaling style because it reduces throat hit while making your e-liquid’s flavours more prominent. When you’re first switching to vaping, though, throat hit is the most important thing.

If you use a mouth-to-lung vape pen, we recommend choosing an e-liquid nicotine strength between about 0.6 and 1.4%, depending on your personal nicotine requirements. If your nicotine requirements are especially high, you might even try a nicotine salt e-liquid with a strength of about 2.5%. 

To calculate an e-liquid’s nicotine strength in milligrams from a percentage, simply move the decimal point one place to the right. An e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 2.5%, for example, contains about 25 mg of nicotine per ml.


Direct-to-lung vape pen or mod

Example: Vaporesso - Swag PX80 Kit

Many people who vape absolutely love blowing enormous clouds into the air – and if you want to maximize the amount of vapour that you get when using your device, you’ve got to inhale the vapour directly into your lungs. If you’re new to vaping, the idea of inhaling directly to your lungs may not appeal to you yet.

That’s why we recommend mouth-to-lung devices for new vapers. As you gain experience with vaping, though, you may eventually decide that you no longer need a powerful nicotine hit in your throat to remind you that you’re still getting your nicotine. That’s why direct-to-lung vaping devices exist. People use them because they no longer crave cigarettes and would rather enjoy a vaping experience that concentrates on flavour rather than throat hit.

As with a mouth-to-lung vape pen, you can identify the ideal inhalation style for a device by looking at the mouthpiece. If the mouthpiece is wider than a cigarette filter, the device is designed for direct-to-lung inhaling. Many vape pens – and virtually all larger mods – are designed for direct lung hits.

If you own a direct-to-lung vaping device, you’ll want to buy lower-strength e-liquids because using a large vaping device will cause you to inhale a lot of vapour. Most people agree that the ideal nicotine strength for a direct-to-lung vaping device is either 0.3 or 0.6%. Don’t try to use a high nicotine e-liquid – such as most nicotine salt e-liquids – with a direct-to-lung vaping device. High-nicotine e-liquids are intended for use in much smaller vaping devices.

If you’re not sure which nicotine strength to choose, we suggest starting with the 0.3% strength for a direct-to-lung vaping device. Modern vape tanks produce absolutely enormous clouds, so the 0.3% nicotine strength is perfect for almost everyone. If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough nicotine, then you might want to try the 0.6% nicotine strength instead.


Vaping pod system

Example: Vapourium - Stratus Pod Starter Kit

Pod systems are just about the hottest things in vaping today. They’re tiny, affordable and reliable. They produce fairly small vapour clouds, but a pod vaping system can pack a big nicotine punch because pod systems are designed to work with nicotine salt e-liquids. Because a pod system can deliver nicotine so efficiently, it’s often the perfect choice for someone who’s new to vaping. 

If you currently smoke and have not started vaping yet, we recommend a nicotine salt e-liquid with a strength around 5% if you’re going to use a pod system. If you’ve already switched to full-time vaping, you aren’t likely to need that much nicotine. Try a nicotine salt e-liquid with a strength around 2.5% instead. Pod systems come in both pre-filled and refillable varieties. Using a refillable pod system might require a little more effort, but bottled e-liquids both cost less and offer greater flavour variety than pre-filled pods. We think you’ll find the extra effort worthwhile.