Until 3 years ago, Megan was smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
This was a habit she’d had for 40 years.
Then she discovered e-cigarettes.
She decided to give them a go.
To start with they didn’t work for her. Then she started using 2.4% nicotine.
Bingo. Her cravings were satisfied. Over time her health started to improve. She found she could breathe more easily, her smoker’s cough disappeared and it became much easier to do exercise.
She was delighted.
the EU decided to ban 2.4% nicotine, based on a misunderstanding of the science behind nicotine.
Megan may be a fictional name, but in every other way she is very similar to many vapers I have spoken to.
Why You Might Need More Nicotine From Your E-Cig Than Your Cigarette
When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine is absorbed in the lungs.
But scientists believe that when you vape a cigarette, the nicotine is absorbed in your throat and airway passages.
The nicotine also appears to be absorbed more slowly (which might be one reason why e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes.)
For that reason, some vapers (especially those who have recently switched from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes) need higher strength nicotine e-liquid.
In total there are around 200,000 people using nicotine strengths over 2% in the UK.
Some of these people are alarmed by the fact high nicotine strengths will not be available post May 20th, and fearful of reverting to smoking.
If this is you, don’t worry – because there IS something you can do about it!
In this post I’m going to go over the three ways to get more nicotine from your vape.
I’m going to keep it simple, as many vapers who prefer high nicotine strengths use simple devices, and don’t need complicated explanations!
Three Ways to Get More Nicotine From Your Vape
What determines how much nicotine you get from your vape?
There are three factors.
The first is obviously the nicotine strength of your e-liquid.
The other two are the power your battery puts out, and the resistance of the coil you have.
To get more nicotine out of the same strength e-liquid, you need to do two things.
- Decrease the resistance of your coil.
- Increase the power your battery is putting out.
We’ll explore both of those in a minute, but first it’s worth exploring their impact…
Vapers Are Using Less Nicotine…
One fascinating trend over the last few years has been decreasing nicotine levels.
Many vapers who started on 2.4% nicotine (or higher) now use 0.6% or even 0.3% nicotine levels.
Last year we surveyed 1100 vapers to explore this trend further.
The results were fascinating.
27% of the people we interviewed had started using nicotine levels of 2.1% or above. But by the time we did the survey, that had decreased to just 6%.
I believe one of the factors in this fall in nicotine usage has been a trend to using lower resistance coils and higher powered batteries.
How To Use Lower Resistance Coils To Get More Nicotine…
Inside your tank or clearomiser, there is a coil.
The coil is the part of the tank that heats up and vaporises the e-liquid.
In order to generate more vapour, and more nicotine, you need to lower the resistance of the coil.
Coil resistance is measured in ohms.
The coils which produce the most vapour and most nicotine are less than one ohms. These are referred to as sub ohm coils, and vaping with these is called sub ohm vaping.
For a more indepth explanation, see our Beginner’s Guide to Sub-Ohm Vaping.
How To Use Increased Power To Get More Nicotine
At present, you need to buy a e-cig battery that has variable voltage or wattage.
Although many of these batteries have fairly complicated features, increasing the wattage/voltage is as simple as pressing an up button.
It’s important to use the right wattage range.
While we used to provide charts to help with this, we now feel the best way to do this is to check the instructions that come with your tank.
These usually provide the best power range to use with your coil and/or tank.
Putting High Power and Low Resistance Together
It’s important to remember that power and resistance go together.
Use high power without reducing resistance, and you risk burning out your coil.
Reduce the resistance of your coil without increasing power, and you won’t get much vapour.
So you need to increase power and decrease the resistance of your coil at the same time.
Using Airflow With Higher Powered E-Cigs
If you’ve been using a basic tank and battery, you probably don’t have any airflow options.
More advanced tanks come with variable airflow.
If you’re vaping at a higher power setting, you might want to open this up. This cools down the vapour, and allows for an airier vaping.
However, if you prefer flavour to big clouds of vapour, you might want to keep your airflow tighter. See 10 Tips for Flavour Chasing Vapers for more information.
How To Prime Your Coil
When you’re vaping at a higher power setting, it’s important to prime your coil.
This involves dripping a few drops of e-liquid into your coil and then leaving it to stand for a few minutes.
ASH’s lack of concern for 200,000 vapers is staggering, Vaper’s In Power, May 2016
New EU rules on nicotine strength not a problem for most vapers, Action on Smoking and Health, May 2016
Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction Royal College of Physicians
Fagerstrom K., Dependence on tobacco and nicotine, Nicotine Policy, Dec 2013