NICOTINE - A quick Guide (pt1)

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Too much is intoxicating! So what is the right dosage? We find out...

Picking the right nicotine strength is an important decision for a new vaper. Too much and you might wind up coughing, too weak and you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Or even worse, you spend a chunk of cash on a huge bottle of premium juice, only to find out that its nicotine strength is not enough to satisfy your cravings.

E-liquids come with strengths that start from zero nicotine, and go up to over 50 mg/mL. You may have also seen nicotine strength stated in percentages instead of concentrations. All this can be confusing at first, but it doesn’t have to be! This guide will help steer you in the right direction when choosing nicotine strength, and show you how to navigate the market.

Do you go Regular "Free Base" or Nic Salts? Which one is best for you!


Over the years, nicotine has progressed in many forms. However, traditionally these are the common sources or types of nicotine:

  • Traditional: sourced from the roots or leaves of Tobacco

  • Stem: sourced from the stem of the Tobacco plant

  • Veg/Fruit based: sourced from fruits and vegetables containing natural nicotine

  • Synthetic: made in a lab

  • Salt/Sodium: sourced from natural salts (not to be confused with salt nicotine)


Freebase or Regular Nicotine (includes all forms aside from Salts)

Saltnic, Nic Salts, Nicotine Salts or Salt Nicotine (includes: Stem nicotine)


JUUL is not only one of the most popular vapes around, it is also one of the most influential. It's also one of the brands purchased by BIG TOBACCO to dive into the Vape market. One of the most significant market effects of the JUUL has been the influx of nicotine salt e-liquid, which has changed the way many users consume nicotine in vapes. Prior to JUUL there have been various eliquid manufacturers who started introducing nicotine salts as a means of diverting away from Synthetic and Traditional nicotine sources.

Ill be adding more info on Salt nicotine in the blog, but they are the reason you see nicotine strengths jumping from 3mg and 6mg to 25mg or even 60mg in online shops. In layman’s terms, nic salts employ a compound (benzoic acid) that smooths out the throat sensation of nicotine, making larger concentrations more tolerable. Thus, reducing the harshness of traditional nicotine at high dose while providing a more smoother nicotine delivery to the blood stream.

When the nicotine strength is in milligrams and not a percentage (more on that later), single digits means it’s probably good ol’ regular nicotine (sometimes called “freebase” nicotine). Anything over 20 mg/mL is probably nicotine salt e-liquid, with only minor exceptions. There is no direct correlation between these two, but most people say that the throat hit of 6 mg regular nic feels more or less like 20-25mg nic salts. However, as we have various forms of nicotine, the source, composition and final product may ultimately differ in sensation and strength. For example, a 3mg USA produced eliquid will be more potent than a 3mg Malaysian eliquid. Factors such as added sucrose or other elements found in Malaysian liquids and the type of nicotine, help make it less potent.

With such high concentrations, salt nicotine has become synonymous with pod systems and other devices with low power and vapor output. It is important to note that Salt nicotine MUST NOT be used at high wattages. This evaporates the liquids quicker and will be very unpleasant. Salt nicotine liquids should only be used in MTL/Pod systems or vaping at low wattages.

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