How Does Vaping Compare to Smoking?

Posted by Vicken Seraydarian on

How Does Vaping Compare to Smoking? 

Putting a number on how many vapes equals how many cigarettes isn’t easy, every e-liquid is different, and every vaporizer or e-cigarette is different, but we’ll do our best!

This is one of those questions which new vapers often ask. How many vapes equals drags or how many bottles of e-liquid equals a packet of cigarettes? It’s a very valid question, but not one that is ever easy to put a definitive answer on. When you smoke a cigarette, you light it and then smoke it until it’s finished. You don’t really have a lot of choice; you just finish it whether you really wanted to or not. When you vape or use an e-cigarette, you take a few inhales then slip your vaporizer back into your pocket. You may use it more often, but you’re using it a lot less each time.

When you first quit smoking, experts recommend that you start off with one of the higher strength nicotine e-liquids. This is several reasons for this. Firstly, you need to try and switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. The easiest way to do this is by replacing one with the other. High nicotine strengths allow you to better handle the cravings or withdrawal from nicotine many smokers experience. The other reason is that most basic e-cigarettes can’t handle high VG ratio e-liquids. This means you generally start off with high PG e-liquids with high nicotine levels.

Most seasoned vapers suggest that when you’re first trying to quit smoking and start vaping, you should be vaping an e-liquid that’s an 18mg nicotine or 24mg nicotine. The high levels of nicotine will more closely resemble higher level cigarettes. Higher PG ratios in your e-liquid will also give you less vapor, but a stronger throat hit. Much like traditional cigarettes. It is easier to compare the amount vaped each day to the amount smoked each day rather than the amount of nicotine in individual cigarettes.

Mouth-To-Lung Vaping – For vapers that draw vapor into their mouth before exhaling, they’ll need e-liquid with more nicotine. The following guide is for vaper that uses MTL techniques and cheaper pen-style e-cigarette devices.

  • 18mg - 1.8% Nicotine – Full Pack of Cigarettes Per Day
  • 12mg - 1.2% Nicotine – ½ Pack of Cigarettes Per Day
  • 6mg - 0.6% Nicotine – ¼ Pack of Cigarettes Per Day
  • 3mg - 0.3% Nicotine – Less Than ¼ Pack of Cigarettes Per Day

Direct-To-Lung Vaping – This is when you inhale on your vaporizer directly into your lungs. The nicotine in the e-liquid vapor will absorb into your lungs and then bloodstream more efficiently than MTL vaping.

  • 18mg - 1.8% Nicotine – Not Recommended
  • 12mg - 1.2% Nicotine – Not Recommended
  • 6mg - 0.6% Nicotine – Full Pack of Cigarettes Per Day
  • 3mg - 0.3% Nicotine – ½ Pack of Cigarettes Per Day
  • 5mg - 0.15% Nicotine – Less Than ½ Pack of Cigarettes Per Day

All the comparisons mentioned above rates are only guidelines and could vary depending on the brand of e-liquid. With e-liquid, it’s a good idea to start with higher levels of nicotine and then working your way down until you find a comfortable level. If you find your cravings intensifying, simply increase the nicotine level until the cravings subside and then try dropping down again at a later time.


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