What is the Nicotine Level in Vapes? A Selection Guide

What is the Nicotine Level in Vapes? A Selection Guide

February 20, 2022

Vapes have grown significantly in popularity over the past decade, and they show no signs of slowing down. This boom in the market has been great for innovation but has also made it a little overwhelming if you're first getting started. 

A big concern for many beginners is the nicotine level associated with vaping.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the nicotine level in vapes, starting with the absolute basics. We will also cover what you should look for in your next (or first!) vape and the differences nicotine levels can make to your vaping experience. 

Let's get into it. 

What Is Nicotine Level?

Nicotine level is measured in cigarettes, cigars, and even hookah. It is often measured in milligrams (mg) or millilitres (ml). Most vapes possess some of the lowest nicotine levels compared to other forms of consumption.

Some people may believe that vapes have no nicotine in them. Certain vapes are nicotine-free and are marketed as such, but some are offered with varying levels of nicotine. You should be aware of this before purchasing your first vape — especially if you're entirely new to nicotine consumption. 

It's also important to remember that nicotine levels affect everyone differently for varying reasons: Your lung capacity, age, body mass, and how you choose to inhale all affect how nicotine impacts your system. 

Don't assume that the level that works for one person will be the perfect fit for you, too, as this is most likely not the case. A process of exploration is usually required to find the best fit for you. 

How Much Nicotine Is in Vapes?

The level of nicotine in vapes is a big question and is difficult to answer outright, as so many variables go into it. There are numerous different vapes, each with its individual nicotine levels. Nicotine level is primarily dictated by the e-juice (or e-liquid) of the vape and the strength of the liquid itself.

For instance, the nicotine level of some vapes is zero. These are often marketed and advertised as nicotine-free e-juices. On the other hand, some vapes can carry up to 50mg of nicotine per millilitre. 

Even when working with specific numbers like these, the nicotine a vaper receives can vary enormously depending on their technique. The length of your drag and how you choose to inhale can significantly impact the amount of nicotine your body receives. 

Part of the appeal of vaping is this variability. Whether you want a significant puff of nicotine or not, there's an option out there for you. 

How To Choose the Right Nicotine Level for You

Knowing which nicotine level to opt for can be challenging initially. Everyone has a different recommendation, and it is incredibly easy to get lost in all of it and end up purchasing something that was never right for you in the first place.

Ultimately, you should start by considering your current nicotine consumption habits. If you are already a long-term smoker, going straight into a nicotine-free vape will likely disappoint you. 

However, if you have never smoked before, opting for a high nicotine level may prove entirely too much. It is often accepted in the vaping community to work your way up with nicotine levels, if that’s what you desire, rather than starting high. This way, you can gradually figure out what works for you.

There is plenty to consider when making an informed choice about the nicotine level that’s right for you. We will cover a few key areas. First, let's talk about the different kinds of nicotine available in milligram forms and how they interact with your body.

0mg Level

As its name suggests, this is the option for those who have no interest in nicotine consumption at all. 

3mg Level

If you are looking for a hit of nicotine at the lowest level, 3mg is the one for you. 

3mg is the lowest nicotine level you can purchase in liquid form. If you want a softer nicotine hit, you can always mix in some 0mg liquid to dilute the strength. 

3mg is generally recommended for those who have never vaped before and are curious about nicotine’s effects. However, it is unlikely that you would feel any sort of buzz from this level. 

6mg Level

Still considered a weaker nicotine level, this is the lowest you would need to feel any kind of buzz, and even then, that will only happen if your body is not already accustomed to nicotine. If you are a smoker already but usually only smoke around ten a day, this is likely to be a satisfying level for you. 

12mg Level

If you are currently a cigarette smoker and go through around a pack a day, 12mg will likely achieve a similar feeling. 12mg is often the level that smokers looking to quit opt for. The nicotine levels feel somewhat similar, which can help with cravings. 

18-20mg Level

20mg is the upper end for most vapers and possesses some of the most potent hits. There are nicotine levels above this threshold, as we stated above, but this is where many experienced vapers will sit. If you opt for this level, make sure that your vape can handle it. Not all vapes are the same, and overwhelming your device can be a costly mistake. 

Don’t Start With the Highest Levels if You’re Inexperienced

If you are new to vaping, you might be overexcited and opt for a high nicotine level right away. However, this can backfire and ultimately result in an experience that could put you off vaping for good. Nicotine headaches are real, and excessive exposure to nicotine when your body isn't used to it can cause nausea

If you do wish to consume nicotine, the best approach is to start low and work your way up. That way, you can fully customise your vaping experience by increasing or decreasing your nicotine intake however you please. Starting slow is strongly recommended if you are entirely new to vaping or smoking to avoid potential adverse effects. 

If you are moving to vaping from smoking, many in the vaping community suggest that you go a little slower with your drags. Your body absorbs nicotine from vapes a little slower than it does from cigarettes, so don't get ahead of yourself because you don't immediately feel a buzz. 

Level of Vapour Production

Another thing to consider when deciding on your e-liquid of choice is the level of vapour production you’re looking for. Depending on whether you’re looking to vape discreetly or create large clouds, there are numerous options, some of which we’ll cover below.

Low Vapour 

Vapes in this category produce very subtle clouds, which aren't particularly noticeable. They tend to be the vapes of choice for those who want to be under the radar, especially when vaping in public. 

They have a tight airflow and often possess high-strength nicotine salts, though some manufacturers still produce e-liquid for low vapour devices. 

Medium Vapour

With medium vapour, you're going to see clouds, but they aren't going to be enormous. Almost any product range will supply medium vapour devices, from pod systems to sub-ohm tanks. 

Medium vapour pods often have quite a restrictive draw. If you're looking for an easily customisable vape experience, this may not be it. 

High Vapour

These are designed for the trick vapers of the world or just anyone that enjoys producing a massive cloud whenever they exhale. 

High vapour pods possess large airflow channels, so it is rare to find high-strength nicotine salts for these vapes. Due to the size of the airflow channels, it is very easy to get too much nicotine too quickly, even for experienced vapers. Beginners should generally avoid these when they’re starting out. 


Ultimately, the perfect vape for you is suited to your expectations and needs. Generally, it can be a good idea to slowly work your way up the nicotine levels until you find a comfortable fit. 

You may find that the nicotine-free vapes are perfect for you, and you don't need to move on to e-liquids with nicotine at all. You also may find the higher levels are more suited to your desired experience. Take it slowly and discover what vaping experience works best for you.

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