E-liquid Strength Explained: Which Nicotine Strength Is The Right One For You?

E-liquid Strength Explained: Which Nicotine Strength Is The Right One For You? Oliver Norman

E-liquid Strength Explained: Which Nicotine Strength Is The Right One For You?

When making the switch from smoking to vaping, it is important to use the right strength e-liquid. The nicotine content of cigarettes can be very varied, so it can be helpful for new vapers to have e-liquid strength explained. Having a clear understanding of e-liquid nicotine strength can make the switch to vaping less stressful. We hope that our simple e-liquid strength guide will help you decide what strength e-liquid you should use.

How is E-liquid strength measured?

An e-liquid nicotine strength is the amount of nicotine present in each millilitre of vape juice. This measurement is most often shown in milligrams(mg) or as a percentage. At LiQuid, we use milligrams. A nicotine strength measurement of 10mg on a 10ml bottle of e-liquid shows that it contains 100mg of nicotine in total. Converting nicotine strength from mg to a percentage is simple as dividing by 10. For example, an 18mg e-liquid has a percentage nicotine strength of 1.8%. LiQuid e-liquids are sold in strengths of 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg

Understanding how e-juice nicotine strength is measured is the first step to any vape liquid strength guide, however when choosing an e-liquid strength, it is important to also understand how vaping style and e-cigarette devices can affect nicotine absorption.

What are MTL and DL?

MTL and DL are vaping abbreviations that describe different styles of inhaling. MTL stands for Mouth to Lung, which is when the vapour is drawn into the mouth and then inhaled down into the lungs. DL stands for Direct to Lung and is a style where vapour is drawn directly into the lungs instead. MTL vaping is often preferred by new vapers because it has a similar resistance to a cigarette filter and is suitable for e-liquid of any strength.

In contrast, lower strength e-liquids are a good choice for vapers who inhale Direct to Lung. There are two reasons for this. Firstly DL vaping produces more vapour, which increases nicotine uptake, and secondly high nicotine content e-liquids can create an unpleasantly strong throat hit when vaped Direct to Lung.

Will my e-cigarette impact nicotine strength?

Vaping devices and the amount of vapour they produce can also impact nicotine uptake. Devices that use high resistance coils take longer to heat up and produce less vapour. This reduces the chances of coughing, but also reduces nicotine delivery. In contrast, devices with low resistance atomizers, such as sub-ohm vapes, heat up quickly and produce large amounts of vapour. This results in greater nicotine delivery, despite the lower nicotine strengths typical of High VG e-liquids used in sub-ohm devices. Variable output devices allow users to adjust the amount of vapour produced and therefore also vary the level of nicotine delivered. Being aware of how vaping devices can affect nicotine uptake is helpful when working out the right e-liquid strength to use.

How can I choose the ideal nicotine strength for me?

Because vaping can be used as an alternative to smoking, the number of cigarettes previously smoked can provide an easy guide for choosing e-liquid strength. Generally speaking, the higher the number of cigarettes smoked per day before quitting, the higher the ideal e-liquid nicotine strength.

However, it is important to be aware that vaping with too high a nicotine strength can sometimes cause mild side effects, including headaches, dizziness, nausea or frequent coughing. This might sound scary, but these symptoms pass quickly and can easily be prevented by reducing the strength of your e-liquid or vaping less frequently to reduce nicotine uptake.

What is the best nicotine strength for vapers quitting smoking?

New vapers who are quitting smoking sometimes want to choose a nicotine strength that will help with nicotine cravings. The variations of nicotine levels in cigarettes make it difficult to directly compare them to e-liquid strengths. Unfortunately, the right vape juice strength is often dependent on the individual and takes some experimentation to find. There is no one size fits all solution.

Some vapers start with a higher nicotine strength e-liquid to reduce the possibility of experiencing nicotine withdrawal and then gradually decrease the nicotine strength or their e-liquid once vaping has become a long term switch, which gives them total control over their vaping journey. Others choose to start with sub-ohm devices and lower strength e-liquids of 6 or 3mg. This may make finding the best e-liquid strength seem like a challenge, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is a perfect vaping device and e-liquid out there for you.


We hope our vape liquid strength guide is helpful. Explore the LiQuid range to find the perfect flavour and strength e-liquid for you.

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