By Scott McKirahan
One of the most common questions I get about an electric cig relates to which e-liquid nicotine strength is equivalent to a particular kind of cigarette that a person smokes. There isn’t really a great deal of information regarding this on the Internet and you really have to hunt to find anything that is close to an answer.
I’ve put together all of the pieces I could find from other places into one place so hopefully people can have a better understanding of what they are vaping. It’s really not that complicated once you have all of the information, so here goes …
What Does The Label On The Bottle Really Mean?
The nicotine strength listed for e-liquid is the number of milligrams of nicotine per milliliter in a bottle. That means a 10ml bottle of 24mg nicotine e-juice would have 240mg of nicotine in it (24mg x 10ml). Likewise, a 30ml bottle of 24mg e-liquid would have 720mg of nicotine in it (24mg x 30ml).
Unless you have developed a serious vaping habit, you probably don’t take in a whole bottle in a sitting so this information is really only useful if you know exactly how many days it takes you to go through a bottle. This can get especially difficult to figure out if you vape multiple flavors during any given time period, though, so we need to put this in terms that everyone that uses an electric cig can understand. That is, how much nicotine there is in each drop …
How Much Nicotine Is There In Each Drop?
We all have an idea of how many drops of e-liquid we use each time we drip onto a cartridge or directly onto the atomizer. All we need to know then is how many drops of e-liquid are in a milliliter.
There are approximately 20 drops of e-liquid per milliliter. So, using our 24mg nicotine e-juice once again as an example, there would be 1.2mg of nicotine per drop (24mg ÷ 20 drops). So, if you put three drops of e-liquid onto a cartridge (or directly onto the atomizer for those of you that “direct-drip”), that means you will be taking in 3.6mg of nicotine from the time you start vaping until you “top off” again.
“Great information,” you’re probably thinking, ”but what does that really mean in terms of cigarettes?” Well, all we really need to know is the amount of nicotine in each cigarette …
How Much Nicotine Is In A Tobacco Cigarette?
Different brands of cigarettes vary ever so slightly in terms of their nicotine content and obviously a longer 100mm cigarette has more nicotine in it than a standard or “king” size 84mm cigarette. For the most part, though, here is the amount of nicotine that is in a typical 84ml tobacco cigarette:
If you smoke Regular cigarettes (like a Marlboro Red, for instance), there are approximately 1.2mg of nicotine in each cigarette, or 24mg of nicotine per pack (1.2mg x 20 cigarettes).
If you smoke Light cigarettes (like a Marlboro Light, for instance), there are approximately .7mg of nicotine in each cigarette, or 14mg of nicotine per pack (.7mg x 20 cigarettes).
If you smoke Ultra Light cigarettes (like a Marlboro Ultra Light, for instance), there are approximately .5mg of nicotine in each cigarette, or 10mg of nicotine per pack (.5mg x 20 cigarettes).
For those of you that absolutely need to know how much nicotine is in a “100” cigarette, take the above numbers and multiply by 1.19 (100mg ÷ 84ml) to get the amount of nicotine per cigarette or per pack.
Okay, so what’s all that mean?
Hopefully, with the following chart (and maybe just a little bit of math), you will finally be able to compare nicotine levels between regular tobacco cigarettes and an electric cig:
One Final Note:
We have rounded numbers slightly here to make them easier to work with. No scientific studies have actually been performed with regular users of e-cigarettes to determine how much of the liquid nicotine, if any, is burnt up or evaporates before it hits the lungs. Therefore, the numbers represented above indicate the maximum amount of nicotine intake assuming that 100% of it makes it into the lungs of the user of an electric cig.
It should also be noted that, although it is highly addictive, no studies have shown nicotine to be a carcinogen. It is simply “the fix” that cigarette smokers crave. It is recommended that those who have a demonstrated sensitivity to nicotine, are pregnant or breastfeeding or who have unstable heart conditions, should discuss the use of any nicotine delivery device with a doctor before using.
E-Cig Express Blog Quote of the Day: “Do not worry about your problems with mathematics; I assure you, mine are far greater.” – Albert Einstein