Have you recently started vaping to help you quit smoking? If so, you must have asked yourself one question at a point: “How much nicotine do you inhale from a vape?”
Well, we have wondered about this before too. So we decided to write this article to share all that we’ve learned from our research. After all, there’s no point in you struggling with this as we did.
What is nicotine?
Nicotine is a chemical that is present in cigarettes and other tobacco products. It’s also present in small quantities in the nightshade family of plants. These include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants.
When consumed in significant doses, it makes you more alert; this is why it’s categorized as a stimulant. It was first purified in 1828 and is colorless and odorless in its purest form.
Before that year, consuming tobacco was the only way to get nicotine in your system. Back then, you could only consume tobacco by chewing or smoking it.
While it’s unclear when people across the world started doing this, we know that it was a French diplomat called Jean Nicot who brought tobacco to France. It’s therefore not surprising that nicotine was named after him.
What are the benefits of consuming nicotine?
Apart from making you alert, nicotine gives you a pleasant feeling. This is because it reaches your brain within minutes and triggers dopamine release. This can help some people when they’re anxious.
A 2017 study even suggests that consuming nicotine can help people living with schizophrenia. However, more research needs to be done into such claims.
What are the cons of consuming nicotine?
The biggest downside of consuming nicotine is that it’s addictive. This is because the pleasant feeling it gives fades away quickly. So if you want to get it again, you’ll have to take more and more nicotine.
In time, this can build up your tolerance, forcing you to up your dosage once more. Eventually, you will get symptoms like irritability, restlessness, and sleeping problems when you try to stop taking nicotine.
Keep in mind that it’s difficult to take too much nicotine, even when you consume different forms of it at the same time. But it’s still possible. Some side effects of taking too much nicotine are dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
How much nicotine is in vape pens?
Vape juices usually contain nicotine in the form of nicotine salts. The concentration of this in e-liquids usually ranges from 0 to 24 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter (mg/ml). In percentage form, this is 0% to 2.4%.
However, some outliers contain 50 mg of nicotine/ml of e-liquid (5%) or more. The brand JUUL has pods with this concentration.
Keep in mind though; the amount of nicotine that gets to your lungs depends on the types of e-cigarettes you use and how you vape. Studies on these vaping devices indicate that only 68% of the nicotine in the vape juice ends up in your lungs.
This means you only end up consuming around 34 mg of the 50 mg of nicotine in a 5% liquid. Since such pods can give you 200 puffs, this translates to around 0.17 mg of nicotine per puff.
How much nicotine is in a pack of cigarettes?
A single cigarette contains 8 to 20 mg of nicotine; the average value is 12 mg. But even if you smoke a 20 mg cigarette, you will still only absorb 1 to 1.8 mg per cigarette.
As such, you may have to smoke around 20 cigarettes (a pack) to absorb the same amount of nicotine as you would with a 50mg/ml vape pen. This means you will take longer to absorb your desired amount of nicotine and get the buzz you want.
This is because cigarettes contain around 600 ingredients, some of which are cancerous when burned. On the other hand, vape juices only contain nicotine, cannabis oil, flavorings, vegetable glycerine (VG), and/or propylene glycol (PG).
Switching from cigarette smoking to vaping
If you’re trying to drop your smoking habit, you can try vaporization. Using e-hookahs delivers nicotine to you in a healthier way than smoking. It particularly minimizes your exposure to chemicals that can make you sick.
Vaping can be tricky for a traditional smoker though. To help quench your cravings, ensure that you draw slow and long nicotine puffs. Also, try to get a vape pen with a high nicotine concentration.
Healthier alternatives for smokers looking to quit
As helpful as vaping is, it isn’t the healthiest way to quit vaping. It’s best to use FDA- approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) instead. These are:
1. Nicotine patches
A nicotine patch is a device that you can place on your skin to help you stop smoking. It contains nicotine and releases it slowly into your body for a period, mostly 16 or 24 hours. This ensures that you don’t get nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
To wean yourself off of smoking, you need to start with a patch with high nicotine concentration and then gradually reduce the concentration. Keep in mind that you don’t need a prescription to buy nicotine patches.
However, nicotine patches can have side effects like skin irritation, sleep problems, and nausea. If you experience these, try getting a different brand of patch or move to a lower dosage. If all adjustments fail, use a different form of NRT.
2. Nicotine inhalers
When you puff on a nicotine inhaler, it releases nicotine into your mouth. It is absorbed here and in the throat; the further it gets the lower theconcentration of nicotine delivered.
Ultimately, the nicotine you get this way doesn’t get absorbed as quickly as that delivered through vaping or smoking. It doesn’t hit as much either. A nicotine inhaler cartridge carrying 10 mg of nicotine allows you to inhale around 4 mg in 20 to 40 minutes.
And of this 4 mg, only 2 mg of the nicotine gets absorbed. Dosage aside though, nicotine inhalers also provide an experience that’s different from smoking and vaporization. The nicotine administered is cold, like medicine.
To make matters worse, nicotine inhalers have unique side effects on top of the usual nicotine ones. These include indigestion and irritation around the nose/mouse. The good thing is you get to choose how often to use your nicotine inhaler per day.
For best results, start with consuming 4 to 20 cartridges and then gradually lower your dose over 6 months.
3. Nicotine gum
This is a fast-acting solution that you can get without a prescription. This gum is available in 2 concentrations; 2 mg and 4 mg.
If you smoke 25 or more cigarettes a day, struggle with not smoking in public, and need to have a cigarette within ½ hour of waking up, start with the 4 mg one. You can even use nicotine gum with a longer-term solution such as a nicotine patch.
Once you buy some nicotine gum, just follow the instructions on its packaging to use it appropriately. Also, ensure that you chew at most 24 of these gums per day for no more than 6 months; 6 to 12 weeks is best.
Some common side effects of chewing nicotine gum are mouth sores and throat irritation.
4. Nicotine lozenges
Like nicotine gums, these lozenges are fast-acting solutions available in 2 mg and 4 mg concentrations. Only choose the latter concentration if you usually smoke within ½ hour of waking up.
For best results start with taking a lozenge every one to two hours; do this for 6 weeks. You can reduce the dose after this. Also, be on the lookout for side effects like heartburn, gas, and a sore throat.
5. Nicotine nasal sprays
You can only get these if you have a prescription. They can easily deliver nicotine to your bloodstream through your nose. When you first start using nicotine nasal sprays, you may need to apply 16 sprays (8 sprays per nose) each day.
Whatever you do though, don’t use more than 80 sprays a day. Also, keep in mind that this solution should be used for no longer than 6 months. Don’t worry though; these are the things your doctor will discuss with you before giving you a prescription.
Some side effects you’ll need to look out for when using nicotine nasal sprays include nasal irritation and watery eyes.
When vaping, you can consume more nicotine in a short time than when using any other consumption method. This can be 34 mg of nicotine per day or more; it’s all up to you. Just ensure that you:
- Get a vape juice with your desired nicotine concentration; get several bottles of it
- Take long and slow puffs
- Refill the cartridge until you absorb your desired nicotine content
Do you have any more advice for getting the most nicotine from vaping? Leave it in the comment section below. Your tips could help new smokers-turned-vapers.