Everything you need to know about e-liquid nicotine strengths

By Samuel Lawrence

Man holding a vape


If you’re using vaping products already, you’re probably more than likely using e-liquids which have been pre-mixed to a specific nicotine strength. E-liquid strengths can vary for many reasons. Read on to learn more about vape liquid strengths, and also to learn about another alternative to smoking.

What is nicotine strength?

E-liquids are available in varying nicotine strengths. Nicotine strength is either shown in percentages or mg on e-liquid containers. Some vapers choose to mix their own e-liquids to achieve their desired nicotine strength.

Vapers may choose to use higher nicotine strength liquids, for example if they were heavy smokers before switching to vaping. Others might choose to use lower nicotine strength, or nicotine free liquids, if they are working towards reducing nicotine consumption, or if they are “cloud chasing” (creating thick clouds of vapour).

What strength vape should I use?

If you’re wondering what strength e-liquid is right for you, our chart below provides some comparisons as a starting point you may want to consider.

This gives a guide as to the vape liquid strength that could be comparable to the number of cigarettes you’re used to smoking. Our comparison here references nicotine strengths that are regularly available in the UK in pre-mixed e-liquids.

You will also find a comparison versus Heated Tobacco, another better alternative to smoking which heats tobacco rather than burning it. We’ve shown the equivalent in HEETS, the tobacco sticks used in the market leading heated tobacco system, IQOS*.

Nicotine Comparison Chart

As the image shows, the more cigarettes you are accustomed to smoking, the higher the nicotine strength you are likely to need from your e-liquid in order to provide a similar level of satisfaction.

As you’ll also see from the above visual, the number of HEETS tobacco sticks required to provide a similar level of nicotine satisfaction will remain similar to the number of cigarettes you are accustomed to smoking.

HEETS are available in packs of 20, the same as cigarettes, meaning you’ll always know how many you’ve used and how many you have left.

Heated tobacco – another better alternative to smoking

IQOS heats real tobacco to a controlled temperature instead of burning it to release real tobacco flavour and nicotine.

Switching completely to IQOS is a better alternative than continuing to smoke. IQOS emits 95% less harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.** You can find out more about IQOS here.

Important Information: IQOS is not risk free.



*Source: PMI global estimate of total In-Market Sales of Heated Tobacco Units as of December 2019. (excluding China and US).
**”95% less” represents the average reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. See Important Information on IQOS.com.

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This website is intended only for users of nicotine or tobacco products who are over 18.

This website is restricted to adults in the United Kingdom who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine products. Our nicotine and tobacco products are not an alternative to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids. They are not risk-free. They contain nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults. Please visit the Important Information page for further risk information.