Nicotine Strengths vs Cigarette Count & Throat Hit Guide

Nicotine Strengths vs Cigarette Count & Throat Hit Guide by The Vape Shop

Quick Links:
Understanding Nicotine Strengths
Selecting the Right Nicotine Strength
Throat Hit and Vaping Experience
Warning: Sub-Ohm Consideration
Other Factors Influencing Throat Hit
Choosing Your Vaping Experience

Understanding E-liquid Nicotine Strengths

Understanding Nicotine Strengths by The Vape Shop

At The Vape Shop, we understand that the journey from traditional cigarettes to vaping can be filled with uncertainties, especially when it comes to choosing the right nicotine strength in e-liquids. This choice is not just crucial; it’s often the make-or-break factor in a vaper’s transition journey.

The challenge lies in the fact that the nicotine content in e-liquids, measured in milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml), doesn’t directly translate to the nicotine delivery of a traditional cigarette. This discrepancy can lead new vapers to choose a strength that doesn’t align with their previous smoking habits, resulting in an unsatisfactory experience.

For instance, selecting a nicotine level that’s too high can lead to an overly harsh throat hit, making vaping uncomfortable or even intolerable, particularly for beginners. This harshness can deter smokers from continuing their transition to vaping. On the other hand, choosing a nicotine strength that’s too low may fail to satisfy cravings, leaving one feeling unfulfilled and potentially leading back to cigarette smoking.

It’s not just about matching the physical aspect of smoking; it’s about fulfilling the psychological need that nicotine provides. The right nicotine strength should offer a balance – enough to satisfy cravings but not so much that it overwhelms them. This balance is key to replicating the satisfaction one gets from smoking, which is essential for a successful and enjoyable transition to vaping.

At The Vape Shop, we guide our customers through this crucial decision, offering insights and advice to ensure that their transition to vaping is as smooth and satisfying as possible. We emphasise that while this initial choice might seem daunting, it’s a journey worth undertaking, and with the right guidance, a fulfilling vaping experience awaits.

Selecting the Right Nicotine Strength

Selecting the Right Nicotine Strength For Throat Hit & Harshness by The Vape Shop

Making an informed choice about nicotine strength is pivotal in your transition from smoking to vaping. At The Vape Shop, we emphasise that this choice must reflect not just your previous smoking habits but also your current goals and preferences in vaping. Here’s a more detailed look at how to choose the right nicotine level:

Heavy Smokers (More than 20 Cigarettes a Day)

18mg: This strength is tailored for those who are accustomed to a significant nicotine intake, typically from more than a pack a day. At 18mg, the nicotine concentration is the highest, providing the substantial kick that heavy smokers are used to. It’s important, however, to be cautious as this level can be overwhelming for those not used to high nicotine levels. We recommend this for long-term, heavy smokers looking for a comparable alternative to their regular smoking habit.

Moderate Smokers (15-20 Cigarettes a Day)

15mg to 13mg: These strengths strike a balance for moderate smokers. They provide enough nicotine to satisfy cravings without the harshness that can accompany higher levels. For those who are used to smoking a pack or slightly less per day, these levels can offer a comfortable middle ground, helping to manage cravings effectively while avoiding the intense throat hit of higher concentrations.

Regular Smokers (10-15 Cigarettes a Day)

11mg to 9mg: These medium-range strengths are suitable for regular smokers. They offer a satisfactory nicotine hit that aligns well with the habit of smoking around half a pack to a pack of cigarettes a day. It’s a popular choice for those who are looking for a balanced experience – enough nicotine to satisfy cravings but not so much that it leads to discomfort or harshness.

Light Smokers (Up to 10 Cigarettes a Day)

7mg to 6mg: For light smokers, these lower nicotine levels are an excellent starting point. They provide a gentler introduction to vaping, offering enough nicotine to satisfy occasional cravings without overwhelming the user. It’s an ideal choice for those who are in the early stages of reducing their nicotine intake or who smoked light cigarettes.

Casual Smokers (Less than Half a Pack a Day)

5mg to 3mg: These levels are tailored for casual or social smokers. They offer minimal throat hit and a lower nicotine concentration, making them suitable for those who smoke infrequently or are interested in vaping more for the experience and less for the nicotine satisfaction.

Minimal Nicotine Preference

2mg to 1mg: The lowest strengths available cater to those who are in the final stages of their smoking cessation journey or who prefer to vape with minimal nicotine. These levels are perfect for very light smokers or those who have gradually reduced their nicotine dependence and are looking for the slightest nicotine presence in their vaping experience.

Remember, these are guidelines to help you start your journey. The Vape Shop recommends trying a few different strengths to find what suits you best, as personal preference and individual body chemistry play a significant role in your vaping experience.

Throat Hit and Vaping Experience

Throat Hit and Vaping Experience by The Vape Shop

At The Vape Shop, we often discuss the importance of ‘throat hit‘ in the overall vaping experience. This term describes the sensation felt in the throat when inhaling vapour. For many transitioning from smoking to vaping, replicating the throat hit they experienced with cigarettes is essential for satisfaction and a successful transition.

Nicotine Strength and Throat Hit

High Nicotine E-liquids (15mg to 18mg)

– E-liquids with 15mg to 18mg nicotine strength are known for providing a robust throat hit. This sensation closely mimics the intense and harsh feel that heavy smokers are accustomed to with traditional cigarettes. While it can be very satisfying for those seeking a strong physical sensation, it’s important to note that it can also be overwhelming for new vapers or those who smoke less heavily. At The Vape Shop, we advise starting with caution at these levels, especially if you are new to vaping or have a lower nicotine tolerance.

Medium Nicotine E-liquids (9mg to 13mg)

– For those looking for a balanced experience, the 9mg to 13mg range is ideal. These levels offer a noticeable throat hit without the intensity of higher nicotine strengths. It’s a ‘sweet spot’ for regular smokers transitioning to vaping, providing enough sensation to satisfy the habit while being gentle enough to avoid discomfort. This range is often recommended for individuals who are in the process of reducing their nicotine intake but still desire the familiar throat sensation of smoking.

Low Nicotine E-liquids (1mg to 6mg)

– Low nicotine e-liquids, ranging from 1mg to 6mg, offer a milder and smoother throat hit. These strengths are well-suited for light smokers, those who are new to vaping, or vapers who prefer a less intense physical sensation. In this range, the focus shifts more towards enjoying the flavours and the act of vaping itself, rather than replicating the strong throat hit associated with smoking. It’s also a popular choice for those using advanced vaping devices designed for sub-ohm vaping, which can produce a large volume of vapour but require a smoother inhale.

Warning: Sub-Ohm Consideration

Throat Hit and Harshness in Sub-Ohm Vaping: Impact Across Different Nicotine Levels

When using a sub-ohm device, vapers should be aware that the throat hit and harshness of the vaping experience can be significantly exaggerated. Sub-ohm devices are designed to produce a larger volume of vapour, which leads to more nicotine being inhaled with each puff. This increased vapour production can intensify the throat hit, making it harsher than what you might experience with standard vaping devices. Especially for those using higher nicotine strengths, the effect can be quite pronounced. Therefore, it’s advisable for vapers, particularly those new to sub-ohm devices or with a lower tolerance for harsh throat hits, to consider starting with lower nicotine strengths to ensure a more comfortable and enjoyable vaping experience.

Throat Hit and Harshness in Sub-Ohm Vaping: Impact Across Different Nicotine Levels

High Nicotine E-liquids (15mg to 18mg)

When using e-liquids with 15mg to 18mg nicotine strength in a sub-ohm device, it’s important to be aware that the harshness and intensity of the throat hit can be significantly amplified. Sub-ohm devices produce more vapour, which means more nicotine is inhaled per puff. This can make the already strong throat hit of high nicotine e-liquids even more pronounced, potentially leading to discomfort, especially for new vapers or those with lower nicotine tolerance. At The Vape Shop, we recommend caution with these strengths in sub-ohm vaping. It’s best suited for experienced vapers who are accustomed to high nicotine levels.

Medium Nicotine E-liquids (9mg to 13mg)

Sub-Ohm Consideration: While the 9mg to 13mg range is often ideal for a balanced vaping experience, using these nicotine strengths in sub-ohm devices can also heighten the throat hit. The increased vapour production in sub-ohm vaping means more nicotine is inhaled, which could make the throat hit more intensely than expected, even at these medium levels. This can be a concern for those in the process of reducing their nicotine intake or for regular smokers transitioning to vaping. We advise starting with a lower strength than you might use in a standard device to find a comfortable balance in sub-ohm vaping.

Low Nicotine E-liquids (1mg to 6mg)

Sub-Ohm Consideration: Low nicotine e-liquids are generally well-suited for sub-ohm vaping. However, it’s still important to note that even at these lower strengths, the throat hit can be more pronounced due to the larger amount of vapour produced by sub-ohm devices. This means that even a 1mg to 6mg nicotine e-liquid can feel stronger than expected. It’s a popular range for those who prefer a smoother experience but remember, the increased vapour can subtly enhance the strength of the throat hit. This should be considered when choosing your nicotine strength for sub-ohm vaping, particularly for those new to vaping or with a preference for a gentler throat sensation.

At The Vape Shop, we emphasise the importance of matching your nicotine strength to your personal preferences and smoking history. Throat hit is a subjective experience, and finding the right balance is key to enjoying your vaping journey. Whether you’re looking for an intense sensation similar to traditional cigarettes or a gentler, more flavourful experience, understanding how nicotine strength affects throat hits will help you make more informed choices.

Factors Influencing Throat Hit

Factors Influencing Throat Hit by The Vape Shop

In addition to nicotine strength, several other factors can significantly influence the throat hit in vaping. Understanding these can help fine-tune your experience for maximum satisfaction. At The Vape Shop, we guide our customers through these nuances to ensure a tailor-made vaping journey.

Propylene Glycol (PG) vs Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

The ratio of Propylene Glycol (PG) to Vegetable Glycerin (VG) in e-liquids plays a pivotal role in the kind of throat hit you experience. 

Higher PG Content: PG is known for providing a sharper throat hit, which can simulate the feel of smoking more closely. E-liquids with a higher concentration of PG will give you that more pronounced throat sensation. This is particularly appealing for former smokers who miss the ‘kick’ of a cigarette. However, it’s worth noting that a higher PG level can sometimes lead to dryness or a slight irritation in the throat, especially for those with sensitivities.

Higher VG Content: On the other hand, VG leads to a smoother and softer throat hit. It’s thicker and produces more vapour, which is ideal for those who enjoy cloud chasing or prefer a gentler inhalation. VG is also slightly sweeter, which can enhance the flavour profile of your e-liquid.

Vaping Equipment

The hardware you choose for vaping also impacts the throat hit. 

Device and Coil Resistance: Devices with higher wattage and lower resistance (sub-ohm) coils tend to produce more vapour and a warmer vape, which results in a smoother throat hit. These setups are preferred by vapers who prioritize flavour and vapour production over a strong throat hit.

Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vs Direct-to-Lung (DTL) Devices: MTL devices mimic the cigarette smoking experience and can provide a stronger throat hit, especially when used with higher nicotine strengths and higher PG liquids. In contrast, DTL devices are designed for inhaling directly into the lungs, typically leading to a smoother sensation.

Individual Preferences

Finally, it’s essential to acknowledge that a throat hit is a highly personal sensation. 

Tolerance and Preference: Each vaper’s preference for throat hit will vary based on their smoking history, how they vape, and personal sensitivities. Some may prefer a strong and impactful hit, while others may seek a more subtle experience. 

Adjustment Over Time: It’s also common for preferences to change over time. As you become more accustomed to vaping, you might find yourself gravitating towards different nicotine strengths or PG/VG ratios to match your evolving taste.

At The Vape Shop, we encourage vapers to experiment with different combinations of nicotine strengths, PG/VG ratios, and equipment to discover what suits them best. Remember, the perfect throat hit is the one that feels right for you, and our experts are always here to help guide you in finding that ideal balance.

Final Thoughts on Choosing Your Vaping Experience

Choosing Your Vaping Experience by The Vape Shop

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide on nicotine strengths, throat hits, and the various factors influencing your vaping experience, it’s important to remember that vaping is a highly individual journey. Whether you are a heavy smoker looking to transition to vaping, a casual smoker seeking a less harmful alternative, or a vaping enthusiast exploring different sensations, understanding these key elements can greatly enhance your experience.

At The Vape Shop, we believe that the right balance of nicotine strength, PG/VG ratio, and appropriate equipment is crucial in finding the vaping experience that best suits your needs and preferences. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another. It’s all about experimenting within safe limits and finding what satisfies your cravings and preferences the most.

Keep in mind that your journey with vaping will evolve. You might start with a high nicotine strength and a strong throat hit to closely mimic the sensation of smoking cigarettes, but gradually move towards lower nicotine levels and a smoother throat hit as you become more comfortable with vaping.
We hope this guide has been informative and helpful in your quest for the perfect vape. Always feel free to consult with our experts at The Vape Shop for personalised advice and recommendations. Happy vaping, and here’s to finding your perfect puff!