WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

E-Juice Nicotine Levels - Which is Best For You?

How to choose the Perfect E-liquid Nicotine Level

If you want to have a rewarding experience vaping, you must know what nicotine level is best. The nicotine level will spell out how often you'll end up vaping and what type of e-liquid to buy, among other things. It will also predict what type of vaper you'll be, one who coughs continuously or one who enjoys smooth inhales and relaxing exhales. 

In this blog, we'll go over what nicotine is, how to pick the perfect nicotine level, the difference between regular nicotine versus nicotine salts, and the latest form of nicotine used in vaping. If you're ready, let's get started.

Table of Contents

  1. Nicotine Basics
  2. Vape Juice Nicotine Levels
  3. Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol Ratio
  4. Regular Nicotine vs. Nicotine Salts
  5. Conclusion

    Nicotine Basics 

    Nicotine is both a stimulant and sedative that accelerates messages from the body to the brain. Absorption of nicotine thru smoking can reach the brain in 5 to 20 seconds. It eases the mind, increases alertness, and raises the heart rate. It comes from the Nightshade family of plants, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants and is most commonly found in Nicotiana's tobacco plant. 

    The earliest use of tobacco goes back to 5000 BC in Central Mexico. Radiocarbon methods have also established the cultivation of tobacco in New Mexico from 1400 to 1000 BC. Much later, Native Americans would use it for medicinal and ritualistic purposes. It was one of the gifts given to Christopher Columbus by the Native Americans when he arrived in America. Fast forward a few centuries, and tobacco had quickly become popular in the U.S. colonies. By 1880 James Bonsack had invented the first cigarette rolling machine, and in 1889 James Duke created the first U.S. Tobacco company. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

    Vape Juice Nicotine Levels 

    The answer is tricky. Although nicotine content is clearly labeled in all e-liquids (for example, 3mg of nicotine per ml of e-liquid or 3mg/ml), that does not mean that it will give all vapers the same experience. 

    Some vapes can deliver nicotine faster than others; everyone absorbs nicotine differently, and how often you vape can dictate how much nicotine your body absorbs. Still, your former smoking experiences can inform what nicotine levels you should use. Here are some approximations: 

    • 3mg/ml: For persons who used to smoke 5-10 cigarettes a day.
    • 6mg/ml: For persons who used to smoke half a pack a day.
    • 12mg/ml: For persons who smoked a pack a day.
    • 18mg/ml: For persons who smoked a pack plus a day. 

    With these approximations, you can get closer to what e-juice nicotine level will work best for you.

    Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol Ratio

    Believe it or not, the amount of nicotine in the e-juice you choose is not the only ingredient that can dictate the experience you’ll have while vaping. Because e-juice is made from nicotine and vegetable glycerin (VG), and propylene glycol (PG), you’ll need a good starting ratio of both to have a recipe that is not too harsh on your throat.

    As a rule of thumb, vegetable glycerin is thicker and has no throat hit, while more propylene glycol means a sharper throat hit. If you plan to use a lower nicotine level but still want more of that throat hit, we recommend getting a high PG ratio. However, if you plan on getting e-juice with a high nicotine level, the best idea would be to go with more VG since there will be less of a throat hit.

    We recommend sticking to the most common ratio for the middle of the road solution, 70VG/30PG.  

    Regular Nicotine VS Nicotine Salts

    Another factor to keep in mind is whether the nicotine you plan on using comes in nicotine salts or if it's freebase. While most e-liquid nicotine is freebase, nicotine salt is a new form of nicotine available in higher concentrations giving a more potent hit with fewer puffs and none of the throat irritation. 

    Nicotine salts, which come in higher nicotine equivalents, could work better for some people, especially those trying to replicate cigarette smoking since the nicotine is absorbed faster by the body when using nicotine salts. Still, some people enjoy the slow nicotine intake of freebase nicotine, and for them, freebase nicotine would be the better option. 

    Nicotine salts only work with specific vapes that are low-wattage, so before going out and buying nicotine salts with your preferred nicotine level, make sure that you have the right device to vape it.


    By following the recommendations above, you should find the right starting e-juice nicotine level. But remember that the process of finding your perfect nicotine level is one of experimentation. By trying different vapes and various e-liquids, you'll eventually land on a nicotine level that will provide the best vaping experience.


    DISCLAIMER: EjuiceDB articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them. Furthermore, Vaping products and nicotine use are only meant for persons over the age of 21.

    Children, breastfeeding and pregnant women, persons with risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or that take medications especially for depression or asthma should not use nicotine or vaping products. Always consult a licensed physician prior to use.

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    Andres Roman

    Andres Roman is a content writer with 3+ years of experience, a former 3 pack a week smoker who used vaping to kick the habit, he now wants to educate the world about vaping. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter.