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How Much Nicotine Is in a Cigarette Compared to a Vape?

At California Honey Vapes, we know that vaping e-liquid and e-cigarettes can be major stepping stones towards giving up cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products. However, those curious about making...

At California Honey Vapes, we know that vaping e-liquid and e-cigarettes can be major stepping stones towards giving up cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products. However, those curious about making the switch may have concerns about the nicotine level in these products. 

You may wonder if there’s enough nicotine in vapes to compensate for smoking or if there’s more nicotine involved in vaping than you may need. Luckily, as with many vaping products, the amount of nicotine you put into your vape can be entirely customizable. 

Still, when it comes to disposable vapes, e-cigarettes, and other ready-to-go vaping products, there are some important comparisons before you switch. California Honey Vapes has you covered with this guide on the nicotine content in smoking cigarettes versus vapes. 

How Much Nicotine Do I Get in a Puff?

An important thing to note before we get into the nitty gritty is that vaping is a little more reserved than traditional smoking. You don’t typically need as many drags on a vape to get the nicotine you need.

Gone are the days when you had to stand outside for 10 minutes, puffing away at a cigarette down to the filter, spending all that time just to get your nicotine fix. The worst times can be the winters: stuffing yourself into boots, coats, and whatever else you need to last through your cigarette. 

And for heavier users, sometimes, this still might not be enough. By the time you finish, you’re already longing for another. Compared to vapes, where you could practically walk out in your slippers, take a few good puffs, and step back inside. 

You can get the same mg of nicotine in a few good puffs of a vape than you would get in a whole cigarette, and for a fraction of the time. 

A Pack of Cigarettes or a Vape Cartridge?

Many leading brands of e-cigarettes will advertise that just one cartridge (typically around 200 puffs and .8 mL of liquid) has as much nicotine as a full pack of cigarettes. For those that like metrics, that’s between 14 to 36 milligrams of nicotine. 

That said, with constant developments in nicotine-salt and freebase products, the concentration of nicotine in vape juices continues to get higher:

  • Many popular disposable vapes can have upwards of 1500 to 3500 puffs per vape, with substantially higher nicotine concentrations.

  • On the other hand, many heavier cigarette brands can have upwards of two to three milligrams of nicotine in a single cigarette. That’s 40 to 60 milligrams in a pack! 

Like vapes, brand-to-brand, tobacco cigarettes can also have a wide range of varying nicotine contents. So, when you browse and compare many of these brands, you’ll find pack-to-cart comparison slightly straining.

But, if you’re trying to monitor how many “packs of cigarettes” you’re vaping each week, a good rule-of-thumb would be to try and make 200 vape puffs (or about ~1 mL of low-yield vape liquid) last you about as long a typical pack would.

So, while the pack-to-cart ratio is a good marketing tactic, the reality is that there’s a lot more wiggle room in there than the comparison allows for. Still, comparisons can often be helpful when managing your smoking habits.

A Range of Vapes for Every Puff

Chances are, whatever you’re looking to get out of vaping, there’s a product for you. If you like the act of smoking or puffing on something for a while, then you should try a vape with lower nicotine content and get more puffs in without feeling dizzy. 

Or, if you’ve got a knack for efficiency and you’re looking to get your nicotine fix without the entire ritual, then a high nicotine concentration will be your friend. 

You’ll find most disposable vapes to have fairly higher concentrations in just a few good puffs than your average cigarette, which you’ll be taking much more than a few drags out of to get the same effect.

When it comes to the effect that being a heavy smoker has on your lungs, heart rate, blood pressure, and so on, it can be a lot less straining on your body to take a few puffs of a vape versus taking down a whole cigarette. 

Puff Responsibly

That said, the higher nicotine concentrations in vapes, mingled with the smoother inhale that comes with vapor, can often be deceiving to newcomers. Puff responsibly! 

Though you may love blowing big clouds, or performing vape tricks, don’t puff away carelessly at your vape like it’s a cigarette unless you need a rude awakening. Too much nicotine at once can often lead to dizziness and nausea.

Depending on your vape battery, you may also want to lower your voltage or temperature settings to control how much you take in at once. Vapes may have smoother hits, but they are far from weaker. 

Hitting a vape too often or taking drags for too long can also lead to broken coils, burnt-out wicks, and other technical problems with your device.

Be responsible, vape with moderation, and stay wary of the nicotine concentration in your disposable vape pen or e-liquid! 

What Types of Nicotine Are in Vape Juice?

When it comes to vape juices or e-liquids, it’s important to note that nicotine concentration is typically measured per milliliter of liquid rather than as a whole bottle. 

So be wary: if you see a bottle that advertises 30 milligrams of nicotine, and that bottle is 3mL, then you may unknowingly get a total of 90 milligrams of nicotine, perhaps more than you bargained for. 

There are two types of nicotine available for vaping devices:

  • Nicotine Salt e-liquid is typically the stronger of the two, although it can come in various concentrations. Normally, nicotine salt can contain between 20 and 50 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of e-liquid. You might want to consider this if you’re looking for a short, to-the-point hit.
  • Freebase Nicotine is more modest but usually good for those who like to puff on their vapes for a steady bit. This can have a nicotine concentration of as little as two to eight milligrams per milliliter of e-liquid. This type is also great for big batteries and chambers. 

So as you can probably see, when it comes to vaping, you get a fair amount of control and customization over how much nicotine you take with each puff or cartridge. Whereas with traditional cigarettes, you typically get what you get. 

If smoking cessation is your goal, vaping makes it easy for you to lower your nicotine intake steadily. There are even options for e-liquids and disposables with no nicotine

Non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are great if you still crave the experience of vaping even when you’ve weaned yourself off nicotine or if you like to try different flavors from time to time but don’t want the nicotine kick. 

How Much Nicotine Do Cigarettes Have?

While not as customizable as vaping, cigarettes still come in various nicotine strengths, depending on the brand of cigarette, type of pack, and so on. 

There’s an important distinction to make, however, when it comes to measuring nicotine strength in cigarettes:

  • While some cigarettes may contain between 10 and 12 milligrams of nicotine per cigarette, you will typically only inhale and ingest one to two milligrams of that nicotine as your cigarette burns. 
  • So, with 20 cigarettes inside, you can expect to take in anywhere between 30 and 40 milligrams of nicotine total for your average cigarette pack. This could be the equivalent of just one milliliter of nicotine salt e-liquid or three to four mL of freebase nicotine e-liquid. 
  • With that said, cigarettes can come in varieties as weak as four milligrams of nicotine per cigarette or as strong as 28 milligrams per cigarette! 

So, if you’re trying to quit, you may want to look at the nicotine strength of your typical brand of cigarettes and find a vaping product comparable to that. 

Keep Track of Your Nicotine Intake

Between cigarettes and vaping, it is much easier to track your nicotine intake as an e-cigarette user. 

With e-cigs, you can monitor the concentration of nicotine in your e-liquid, and some vapes will even keep track of how many puffs you’re taking for you. It’s also easy to customize your vape’s temperature, voltage, and other aspects to craft the right hit for you.

This can prevent some potentially counterintuitive practices like chain-vaping, which can also burn out the battery and damage the coil. 

With cigarettes, you’re not sure exactly how much nicotine or how many puffs you’re getting from each cigarette outside of the loose range we discussed. Additionally, since smoking takes longer, which usually means smoking the whole thing, you can lose track, zone out, and end up smoking too fast. 

With vaping, it can be easier to stop taking in nicotine once you feel satisfied, while with cigarettes, you might end up smoking the whole thing out of habit, regardless of how much nicotine you feel. 

What Are the Signs of Too Much Nicotine?

When comparing vapes to cigarettes or different vaporizers and e-liquids, monitoring how each product makes your body feel is useful. 

With all nicotine and tobacco products, it's essential to listen to your body; know the side effects of when you’re getting too much nicotine at once.

Here are some signs you may be taking in too much nicotine at once: 

  • Nicotine can commonly cause a loss of appetite. As you take in more nicotine, it also affects your stomach in more painful ways. An excess of nicotine can lead to abdominal cramps, stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting. Be careful to monitor your body and not push it past its limits.

  • Additionally, nicotine can cause an increased heart rate, leading to symptoms like stress, confusion, and headache. If you start noticing any of these symptoms, you might want to slow down your intake.

  • At heavier levels, you can start to feel sweaty, shaky, and experience a lot of dizziness. If this happens to you, try to find somewhere to sit down, calm your mind and body, and take long, deep breaths. 

What Does Nicotine Withdrawal Feel Like? 

As useful as it is to know when you’ve had too much, having too little can be a problem too. Especially for new vapers who may be trying to control a craving for cigarettes or other tobacco products. 

In addition to strong cravings for those products, you may notice some mental and physical effects from a lack of nicotine. Look out for these signs that can mean you may need to up your nicotine intake a little bit: 

  • Restlessness, insomnia, and brain fog can arise from depletion or non-gradual withdrawal from nicotine. If you notice yourself craving more nicotine or taking more puffs than you’d like, you may want to find a higher concentration.

  • While too much nicotine may decrease your appetite, having too little nicotine will cause you to feel more hungry for a while, even if you have recently eaten. This is because your brain is depleted of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.

  • Nicotine is also a stimulant, so you may notice some fatigue or crashing symptoms from a non-gradual depletion, such as confusion, irritability, and melancholy.

If you’re seeking to avoid craving cigarettes or want to wean yourself off nicotine gradually, you may want to look out for the above signs. Those symptoms may mean that you’re moving a little bit too quickly, which can sometimes lead to relapse back to cigarettes. 

Use Nicotine Responsibly

While it may not be an exact science, comparing the nicotine concentration between cigarettes and vape products is useful. 

Whether you’re looking to quit cigarettes or consume your nicotine more moderately, vaping may be a viable option for you. If you decide to try it, you’ll want to pay attention to the nicotine strength in your disposable vape or e-liquid compared to what you’re used to from your cigarette brand of choice. 

It can be easy to overconsume nicotine for new vapers, especially if you’re not used to taking fewer hits or not feeling them in your throat as much. 

Be careful to consume responsibly, and take a gradual approach towards finding the right amount for you. 

California Honey Vapes Is Here For Your Vaping Needs

At California Honey Vapes, we’re proud to offer a variety of disposable vaporizers in various flavors and sizes! 

We have both nicotine and nicotine-free vapes for anyone who may just want something to puff on. Our nicotine-free vapes are great for those trying to avoid cravings or wean themselves down from nicotine dependency. 

Our vapes come in sizes ranging from 1500 puffs to 4000 puffs! We also sell additional batteries and chargers for those who like reloadable cartridges. 

We have a range of flavors for our disposable nicotine vaporizers like Green Apple Ice, Cool Mint, Grape Ice, and Red Bull. Our nicotine-free vapes have many of the same great flavors as well, some notable names including Blueberry Ice, Lush Ice, and Strawberry Ice! 

California Honey Vapes has got you covered whatever kind of disposable vape or battery you’re looking for. Don’t be a stranger! Come through! 



Nicotine delivery and vaping equivalents from vaping a JUULpod | National Library of Medicine

What Vape Liquid Should I Get? | Vaping Facts

How Much Nicotine is in a Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products? | Healthline


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