Fri 1 Dec 2017
Back in the days when I bought my first cartridge e-cig, in an attempt to quit smoking, I foolishly bought the extra strong 24mg nicotine cartridges. I’m pretty sure 30mg were available too! My throat was hammered, and it didn’t do my feelings towards vaping (which wasn’t even a word back then) any good. The plant “flavours” tasted like…I can’t actually think of something similar, but not plant! They certainly wouldn’t make the range on this site.
There was a lack of knowledge and choice back then though. How times have changed. There are now mods designed for quitting smoking and reducing nicotine intake, and ones designed purely to create clouds.
How the level of nicotine in your juice works and correlates to the power of the mod however is something some are yet to get a grasp on. A friend of mine has two Endura T22s, designed to replicate the feel and delivery of a cigarette, fixed on 14 watts of power. He has decreased his nicotine levels from 18mg to 6mg in a year, having smoked around 40 a day for 30 years, which is a great achievement. Having seen me go from 10mg to 0mg in a similar timeframe using an IStick Pico of up to 75W, he wonders why he has struggled to get below the 6mg he is currently vaping. He also wondered why I started on 10mg and he so highly when the 18mg hit him a bit too hard. I myself struggled a bit below 3mg, and felt a bit rough at 10mg. It is all relative to the mod’s wattage, the coil resistance and airflow. We can call this power, as a simple rule of thumb, it is all to do with the power in delivering the nicotine.
In theory at least (with some variables and science along the way of course) me vaping 3mg at 28 watts will give a similar nicotine kick to him vaping 6mg at 14 watts. We both struggled at certain respective nicotine levels, I just managed to achieve that final step, of which I am of no doubt he will achieve.
But how much nicotine do we actually need? Does it vary that much from those who have smoked heavily for years, to those who have had 10 a day for 5 years?
It would be interesting in responses to this article to get a feel for what nicotine concentrations people have successfully started on, and quit smoking with, along with their smoking history.
The rate people drop their nicotine levels in e-liquids seems far greater to me than the amount of cigarettes a day people cut out for example. Not just this, one almost feels obliged to smoke a full cigarette, with it being expensive item that becomes litter once used. If a cigarette could easily be reused, would a smoker inhale so many times on a cig break?
Just as a rough guide, a 30ml bottle of juice at 3mg nicotine is the equivalent of just a couple of cigarettes. How many smokers out there are addicted to half a cigarette a day? Yet making that final drop from 3mg to 0mg was hard for me. Thinking about that fact though, I now believe it was psychological. Probably as much as picking up a cigarette in the latter of my smoking days was habit rather than necessity.
The best advice I could suggest, from my experience for dropping nicotine is this. If you have given up smoking by vaping with a particular mod, stick with that mod. Buy a spare. Especially if you are fearful you may return to smoking, or have had bad experiences with other vapers in the past, like myself with cartridges.
Have a core juice you are happy with. In addition, make some DIY liquids with half the nicotine level you are currently on. Similar flavours to your favourite helps. If you genuinely feel uncomfortable on the new juice, revert to your trusted core juice, and reduce your regular juice by 2 to 3 mg at a time.
Written by ELFC content creator Alex Blatherwick
Further reading: Do You Even Need Nicotine?