Choosing The Right Nicotine Strength




Undoubtedly, vaping is immensely popular today, offering the best alternative for those seeking to quit their addictive smoking habit. However, the common question among newcomers remains: how can I choose the right nicotine strength for a vape? The answer is not as simple as it may seem at first because a lot of factors affect the right choice. From the vape kits and accessories to the type of e-liquid, there are a lot of factors you may not even know about. Pod mods, vape pods, disposable vape devices, and vape pens - what nic type and strength are appropriate for them? In this guide, we’ll answer your questions and provide you with additional information about the world of vaping. Let’s learn the details!

Difference between alkaline and salt nicotine

Before we start, please remember that the legal age when you can start a using vape device is 18 years old, especially if it contains nicotine.

Alkaline Nicotine (freebase nicotine)

Alkaline nicotine is a classical variant found not only in tobacco but also in other plants, serving as a natural defense against pests. In e-liquids, nicotine concentrations range from 1 to 20 mg. The main advantages include:

  1. Safer Option: The strength is well-perceived, requiring a small volume of nicotine to achieve the desired effect.
  2. Minimal Impact on Vapor Taste: It does not significantly affect the flavour of the vapor, preserving the intended taste. So, whether it’s a taste of sweet fruit or refreshing menthol, the intended taste will be preserved.

However, there’s a number of drawbacks:

  1. Strong Throat Hit: Alkaline nicotine produces a strong throat hit, similar to the sensation of smoking a cigarette. Some vape users, particularly ex-smokers, prefer this sensation.
  2. Slow Absorption into the Blood: Our bodies absorb alkaline nic much slower, so more frequent and longer vaping sessions are required.

Salt nicotine

Salt nicotine is simply a mix of classic nicotine with certain chemical acids, resulting in a softer composition. It’s a relatively new type of nicotine usually used in vape e-liquid. The primary advantages of nic salts are:

  1. Mild Throat Hit: The throat hit in this e-juice is minimal, allowing for the consumption of higher concentrations without the discomfort of a vaper.
  2. Faster Blood Absorption: Improved absorption leads to quicker saturation.

However, there are some considerations:

  1. Increased Consumption: The softer composition often leads to higher nicotine consumption over time, requiring users to gradually raise nicotine concentrations.
  2. Distinctive Taste: Some e-liquids based on nicotine salt may have a specific taste.

Both options have their merits and are utilized based on individual preferences and device compatibility. If you want to start your vaping journey with some good juice, think of Brusko e-liquids to buy for vape devices. A perfect balance with VG/PG 50/50, this salt nicotine liquid makes a perfect choice for vapers who prefer mild throat hits and use pod systems. And it comes in a large variety of flavors, from Spruce Tea to Icy Blackberry, so everyone can find something suitable.


There are various vaping inhalation techniques directly influenced by the atomizer. These include DTL (Direct to Lung) and MTL (Mouth to Lung).

MTL is like smoking a traditional cigarette, it creates a tight draw. It involves pulling vapor into the mouth first and then into the lungs. This method is commonly used in contemporary POD systems, requiring minimal vape device power while maintaining the taste of an e-liquid without generating noticeable vapour. 

In contrast, DTL provides a more open draw, allowing vapor to go directly to the lungs. This technique enhances e-liquid flavor delivery but demands higher vape device power. However, it's important to note that higher power requirements mean larger batteries or cells in vape, significantly exceeding the capabilities of modern POD systems. Each of these inhalation styles corresponds to a specific type of e-liquid. It’s important to note that DTL works only with alkaline nicotine juices.

What is nicotine strength?

Nicotine strength, in the context of vaping, is the concentration of nicotine in an e-liquid or vape juice. It is usually measured in milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml). This measurement indicates the amount of nicotine people will consume with each milliliter of the e-liquid they use.

Nicotine Strength Options (salt nicotine):

  • Zero Nicotine (0mg): Looking for a liquid that will minimize the damage to your health? In such a case, this is your choice.
  • 3mg: Usually, this little concentration in vape e-liquids can be called one of the lowest on the market. If you’re a beginner or sub-ohm vape device user, first try this.
  • 6mg:  Products with strength provide a fair hit, and this concentration is not as intense as higher-strength e-liquids. If you usually get 10 cigarettes a day, this medium strength e-liquid is just the best cigarette replacement.
  • 10mg: A good point for high nicotine needs. Primarily for mouth-to-lung vaping, but some sub-ohm vapers with higher nicotine requirements may find this strength of e-liquid suitable.
  • 12mg: Slightly higher nicotine strength in an e-liquid, offering enough nicotine for the average smoker looking to switch to vape devices. 
  • 18mg: Among the highest concentrations of e-liquid available for vape devices, it’s designed for heavy smokers. 
  • 20mg: The highest e-liquid strength in many countries, which is legal to buy. If 20mg feels too harsh on the throat, consider trying it in nicotine salt form for a smoother hit.

Selecting the appropriate nicotine strength

In the following options, we'll provide a range of nicotine strengths for e-liquids, recognizing that individual preferences vary. For users of mouth-to-lung vape kits, it's advisable to lean towards the higher end of the suggested range. Conversely, for those using sub ohm vape kits, opting for lower nicotine strengths is recommended. Note that the numbers are approximate. The final decision depends on the user and their preferences.

  • For example, if your daily smoking habit typically involves a few cigarettes (1-5), there are numerous lighter e-liquid options to explore. Generally, a suitable range for this category would be 3-6mg of alkaline or 20mg (20%) of salt nicotine concentrations.
  • For individuals who smoke around 6-10 cigarettes daily, experimenting with higher nicotine concentrations in an e-liquid is recommended, typically falling within the range of 6-12 mg of alkaline or 20 mg Strong of salt nicotine.
  • If your daily cigarette consumption exceeds 10, a bit more experimentation may be needed. Consider exploring nicotine concentrations ranging from 12-20mg for a standard 10ml vape e-liquid. With some trial and error, you'll discover the optimal hit for your preferences.
The Best E-liquid

How do you determine if the nicotine intake is too high?

Determining that the nicotine strength is too high can be recognized through various easy signs and sensations. If you experience any of these, please stop the process and contact your healthcare specialist, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Here are some indicators:

  • Harsh Throat Hit: you can experience an uncomfortable or harsh sensation in your throat when inhaling.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: feeling excessively dizzy or lightheaded after vaping could be a sign of nicotine overdose. 
  • Nausea: nicotine sensitivity varies among individuals using vapes. If you feel nauseous after vaping, it might be an indication that the nicotine level is too high for you.
  • Headache: high nicotine concentrations can lead to headaches.
  • Increased Heart Rate: nicotine is a stimulant, and high concentrations in an e-liquid can cause a rapid heartbeat.
  • Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances: nicotine can impact sleep patterns. If you have difficulty sleeping or experience insomnia, the nicotine strength might be a contributing factor.
  • Unpleasant Taste: high nicotine concentrations can impart a strong, peppery taste to the vape, affecting the overall flavor experience.


In conclusion, choosing the perfect nicotine strength is an individualized process. When transitioning from smoking to vaping, pay attention to personal preferences, sensations, and satisfaction levels during vaping. It’s recommended to start with a moderate nicotine strength and gradually adjust to your needs. If you’re unsure, you can ask for guidance from experienced vapers or vape specialists. Also, exploring different types of tanks and their unique coil configurations allows users to discover the perfect combination for their preferred vaping style. Remember, finding the ideal nicotine strength is a journey of exploration, and the goal is to achieve a satisfying and enjoyable vaping experience.

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