When you smoke tobacco cigarettes nicotine is just something that comes with your cigarette, is usually fairly static in amount and you probably don’t know how much that amount is. With e liquids nicotine content may vary and there are even zero nicotine e liquids. This offers vapers more control and for the first time people are learning more about what nicotine is and what it does.
What is Nicotine?
Derived from the nightshade plant, nicotine has a number of side effects. Most notable among these includes relaxation, euphoria, an increase heart rate, a higher heart muscle oxygen consumption and even increased focus. Something of a mixed bag!
One of the things that nicotine has a particularly bad reputation for is being highly addictive. For some people the jury is out on this one, while for others nicotine is the work of the devil. Some studies suggest that nicotine itself is addictive while other studies indicate that nicotine mixed with various other chemicals in tobacco cigarettes becomes addictive. Some report that it is the action of smoking, the physical habit that is what is addictive about smoking.
Clearly this is something of a grey area. Here at Go Smoke Free will go with yes, it is addictive, unless we see concrete evidence otherwise.
On its own nicotine is fairly bland however you certainly want to swallow it or have too much in your e cigarette. Vaping at a level that’s too high for you is likely to make you nauseous, dizzy, give you headaches and even make you physically be sick. When your body has gotten used to nicotine being used regularly you could experience something of a withdrawal, which is something that anyone giving up smoking cold turkey might experience. The withdrawal is short-term and much like when you go cold turkey with caffeine you might find yourself cross, prone to headaches and again, even a little nauseous (which is one of the reasons so many smokers decide to move over to vaping).
Vaping Nicotine Levels
One of the wonderful things about vaping is how easy it is to customise your hobby. Not only are there countless devices and e juice flavours to choose from, you may also choose your nicotine content. Normally ranging from 0mg nicotine to 18mg, vapers may step down or up their nicotine content to suit. For example, someone smoking daily but perhaps not a super heavy smoker might decide to start to vape with 12mg of nicotine. They may then step down their levels to 6mg (etc) and down until they reach 0mg, or up to 18mg if they felt 12mg was too low.
Some vapers might decide that actually, having moved over from smoking, that they are quite happy to vape nicotine containing e liquids at a level they are used to, given that they’ve already ditched the potentially cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarettes for a much better future.
Do read the labels your e liquids as over-dosing on nicotine i.e. vaping a higher level that you need will make you feel really quite shockingly bad, and is unnecessary.
Choosing the Right Nicotine Level for You
Starting with a nicotine level that’s equivalent, more or less, to what you were used to when smoking, considering cigarette strength (lights or standard) and frequency, you can decide what suits you best. You might find that the equivalent amount of nicotine when vaping offers more throat hit than you like, or less. You might choose to step down your nicotine consumption because you don’t want to vape anything other than flavourings and base liquids. You have the power to choose and nothing need be permanent. Mix and match, try different strengths out and see how you get on.
A Tip for Sub-ohm Vaping
Sub-ohm vaping (read more about this here) is popular with some vapers, particularly those who prefer to have more control over certain aspects of their vape and who crave big vape clouds. Please be aware that because of the way that sub-ohm vaping works, typically vapers need e liquids that are lower than usual as sub-ohm vaping effectively amplifies the nicotine in place. If you sub-ohm vape with the same level of nicotine-containing e liquids as you would use in a “normal” e cigarette you could end up with far too much nicotine and that is not going to be pleasant.
When it comes to nicotine and vaping, as long as you know the basics you may enjoy complete control over what and how you vape. Making sure you’ve got the right strength will enhance your vaping experience and help you avoid the side-effects that come with using too high a level.