Before I go ahead and talk about choosing nicotine strength when first using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, I want to make one thing clear. I am not a medical professional and I do not have the qualifications to give you health-related advice.
The following paragraphs are specifically for informational purposes only based on my own experience.
Nicotine For New Users
Okay now that we are clear on where I stand, I’m going to say that nicotine requirements for everybody is different. “How many mg nicotine e-liquid should I buy?” – if you’re asking this question, then my answer would be “it depends”.
Nicotine requirements vary and it has a lot to do with how much you are currently smoking. Are you a heavy smoker? Or just a moderate tobacco user? I am a moderate smoker myself and when I switched over to e-cigarettes, anything between 18-24 mg nicotine e-liquids were good enough to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay. I had no cravings at these amounts, at all. This made the quit smoking transition super-easy for me.
As a rough guide, if you are a:
- half pack a day smoker, go with 12 mg or lower
- 1 pack per day smoker, try 12 mg to 18 mg
- More than that and you’re a smokaholic! Try 24 mg or 36 mg e-liquids
Why You Should Get a Starter Kit
The key is to find out how many milligrams of nicotine your body needs to be content while you kick the habit. This is why, the most cost effective way for beginners to start off with e-cigs is to purchase an all-in-one starter kit, with a range of different strength nicotine cartridges for you to experiment with, like the V2 e-cigarette or the Halo G6 electronic cigarette which offer pre-filled cartridges. This is by far the most simplistic way to go about it.
The other way is to buy your e-cigarette and e-liquids separately. You will need to learn how to fill your own cartridges, which isn’t difficult but can be quite frustrating to some new users. The other down side to this gung-ho method is that you might end up buying too much of a liquid that has too high a nicotine strength for your liking, or a flavor of juice that you just cannot put up with.
It is always good to start off with a starter kit of some kind because they offer you tons of different sample sized, pre-filled cartomizers of varying strengths to let you experiment with and determine what is best for you.
Lowering Your Nicotine Strength
Over time, when you get used to vaping, you can slowly and gradually decrease your e-liquid’s nicotine strength (if you wish to). You should only start decreasing the nicotine levels once you are totally free from tobacco cigarettes though.
I really enjoy vaping and the flavors and I don’t have a desire to quit vaping. Others utilize e-cigarettes specifically to put an end to their nicotine dependency. Whichever you choose, is ultimately up to you. If your goal is to quit, then you should be setting yourself a goal to lower your e-liquid nicotine content gradually, week by week till you are finally smoke-free.
Most of us require a big nicotine hit in the mornings, and much less during the night time. So you have two options: vape less at night, or have e-liquids with different strengths at hand (i.e.. you might use an 18 mg during the day and 12 mg at night before bed).
According to medical professionals, if you smoke a lot before you go to bed, you don’t sleep well. Personally, I would vape less before bed. I remembered when I first started, I was chain-vaping e-cigarettes all the way to bed time, and during the night, I had vivid dreams and just didn’t sleep all too well. Once I cut down the vaping frequency during the nights, I was fine – easily resolved.
Using E-cigs In Conjunction With Tobacco Cigarettes
When I first started, I was still smoking occasionally. Not because I had withdrawal symptoms, but because I was curious as to what the difference were between the two. It is actually okay to use both as long as you know your limits. Unlike some nicotine replacement therapies (or NRT’s), it is much less likely that you will get an overdose from e-cigs than say from a nicotine patch. Skin is able to absorb much more nicotine from a patch than from vapor emitted through an electronic cigarette.
If you feel the need to have an analogue cigarette, then have one. I have not heard of anyone having any problems with this. Just look out for signs such as dehydration, dizziness and headaches, as these are the most common signs of nicotine overdose.
How Long Does The Transition to E-cigarettes Take?
Again, how long it takes for you to be totally free from smoking and to be comfortable with electronic cigarettes can vary. For a lot of us, we make the switch in one day and have an occasional tobacco cigarette on social occasions, that’s about it. It may vary for you. It was really easy for me and I made the switch over to e-cigarettes immediately.
Think about it like this: the sooner you make the switch the better off your health would be and the sooner your body and lungs start to recover. Your wallet gets fatter in the mean time as well as you save a lot more money. Aren’t the prices of cigarettes ridiculous these days? $14 a pack on average these days, that’s insane!