Do e cigs have nicotine? Are they safer than traditional cigarettes? Does second-hand vapor have harmful effects? These are some of the questions surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes we frequently come across.
So, do electronic cigarettes contain nicotine really?
Like it or not, the era of e-cigs is here. This is a booming, billion-dollar industry on course to beating tobacco products within the next decade. There is a growing number of individuals using these products, every year higher than its predecessor since their introduction in the United States in the mid-2000s.
Thus, the time to get informed about them is now. And we kick things off with this rampant question from people new to the concept: does vapor have nicotine, or rather, do e cigarettes contain nicotine?
To answer your question simply, yes, electronic cigarettes have nicotine. And nicotine can be addictive. But you probably knew that second part already.
Most e-cig users are ex-smokers looking to kick the habit. If you’re one, then you’ll know there is no better option among your list of choices that beats electronic cigarettes.
The reason they may be popular with many, save for effectiveness and simulating the smoking experience, is – based on multiple studies – safer than regular cigarettes so much so that they keep thousands of chemicals from your body.
When it comes to electronic cigarettes, there are various e-liquid concentration levels, and the choice will depend on personal preference.
So, what is this e-liquid strength? E-liquid strength basically refers to the e-cig nicotine levels per amount of liquid. Here’s a chart to better illustrate what we are talking about:
- 0mg/mL nicotine: This implies there is zero nicotine in your e-liquid concoction. These e-cigs and PVs are referred to in vaping circles as doublers, or triplers. They are best for quitters who still get an oral fixation and use e-cigs to take care of it.
- 6mg/mL nicotine: This is the lightest nicotine concentration level and is usually the last level in steeping.
- 12mg/mL nicotine: This level is considered comfortable for individuals who aren’t heavy vapers but don’t mind a little nicotine. It is preferred by those whose favorite cigarettes were the lighter varieties.
- 18mg/mL nicotine: Considered the middle of the spectrum with regard to nicotine. Majority of vapers who used to smoke enjoy this level because of its ability to deliver a good nicotine amount per draw.
- 24mg/mL nicotine: This is on the higher side of things and mostly a preference of former heavy smokers who used to do at least a pack a day.
- 36mg/mL and 48mg/mL nicotine: This has a very high nicotine concentration level. It is best suited for ex-smokers with a serious addiction that spanned more than two packs a day.
We should perhaps have started by explaining what the units of measurement mean. Expressed as mg/mL, it means the amount of nicotine in milligrams, for each milliliter of e-juice.
As you do your research or shop around, you’ll notice some companies representing it as a percent per solution. For example, instead of 18mg/mL, they’ll say 1.8%. It all means one and the same thing.
Choosing Nicotine Strengths in Electronic Cigarettes
Anyone transitioning from smoking to vaping needs to settle for a nicotine level that’s close to his/her traditional cigarettes for two reasons:
Smoking/Vaping to compensate
When you are smoking, your body gets used to a certain level of nicotine, thus choosing a lighter replacement when you switch (or even when still smoking) will result to what we call compensation smoking. What this means is you’ll find yourself vaping/smoking more to make up for the nicotine you find yourself craving.
If you settle for a lower nicotine level than what your body is used to, you may think the e-cig does not work and may revert to smoking while all you need is to simply adjust your nicotine strength accordingly.
Too much throat hit
Conversely, if you’re used to light combustibles and you go for a high-density e-cig strength, you will overload your body with more nicotine than it is used to. The result is the throat hit may be too strong for you, and consequently, a dislike for the e-cigarette may develop.
These are two basic reasons why getting the nicotine strength level is crucial for your success as a vaper.
Absorption of Nicotine
The amount of nicotine absorbed into your body depends on a number of other factors, not just e-liquid strength.
The factors in question include the density of the alkaloid in the liquid solution, amount of vapor produced, the time you vape, how often you vape and so on.
Understanding the Properties of Nicotine
Nicotine will always attract divided opinion. While we may call it addictive, no study is yet to establish it as a carcinogenic substance.
Additionally, it is associated with the feel good feeling smokers, and vapers, get and this is why stress levels reduce after engaging in the act, which will become addictive the deeper you venture.
Nicotine is not good for pregnant or nursing mothers, or those with unstable heart conditions (as you may have guessed) and it is good to seek medical advice before using e-liquids infused with nicotine if you are in any of these situations. This is one of the reasons behind the strict regulations on electronic cigarettes some health organizations want enforced in the name of protecting users from the negative effects of the substance.
There is a tendency for new vapers to choose very strong e-liquids the first time, but you cannot fault them for this. Most tend to relive the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms the last time they tried to quit smoking and are afraid this may happen again.
However, e-cigs and personal vaporizers can and do deliver a good dose of nicotine, and with a strong e-liquid, these withdrawal symptoms should not be a concern; all you need to do is know your smoking level – were you a light or heavy smoker?
Electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers give you the wiggle room to go for an e-liquid that suits your current need: you can opt for low or higher nicotine levels.
Careful not to get yourself sick by getting an e-liquid that is too concentrated. Before you adjust completely, always be on guard for symptoms of nicotine overdose – too much of it can be fatal. Some of the symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and headache.
It is for this reason that you should choose a sensible nicotine level.
There you have it. Hopefully that does add some additional useful information to the topic. Next time someone asks the question, ‘Do e cigs have nicotine?’, you know how best to answer.
When making the life-changing switch, follow these basic guidelines and your transition to personal vaporizers and electronic cigarettes will be less bumpy. First start with an amount that matches your current tobacco product, then gradually cut down that level with time, as you deem appropriate.
We are always ready to assist you wherever you need the help. And by making this informed decision, the transition can be smooth most of the way. Just don’t forget to use common sense, and always listen to your body.