If you’ve spent any time reading about vaping, you already know the main thing that makes it special: It’s the most satisfying and enjoyable smoke-free alternative to cigarettes. That’s why an estimated 80 million former smokers around the world are now vapers. If you want to know as much as possible about the things that you put into your body, though, you’ll naturally want to learn more about vaping before you make the switch. In particular, it’s likely that you’ll want to know how much nicotine is in a vape compared to a cigarette. In this article, we’re going to answer that question.
So, how much nicotine is in a bottle of vape juice or a disposable vape – and how does that compare to the nicotine content of a cigarette? Let’s start by learning more about what the nicotine strengths of vaping products actually mean.
What Does the Nicotine Strength of Vape Juice Mean?
When you look at a vaping product such as a disposable vape or a bottle of vape juice, you’re going to see a nicotine strength expressed by weight or volume. The strength is expressed in milligrams per milliliter if it’s by weight, and it’s expressed as a percentage if it’s by volume. Nicotine strengths of 20 mg/ml and 2% are approximately equal to one another.
To find out how much nicotine is in a disposable vape or a bottle of e-liquid, you need to multiply the nicotine strength by the volume of vape juice in the product. Here are two examples.
- A bottle of vape juice with a nicotine strength of 20 mg/ml and a volume of 10 ml has a total nicotine content of 200 mg.
- A disposable vape with a nicotine strength of 20 mg/ml and a volume of 2 ml has a total nicotine content of 40 mg.
Now that you understand how to determine how much nicotine is in a disposable vape or bottle of vape juice, it’s time to learn the answers to the questions that brought you here. How much nicotine is in a vape compared to a cigarette, and how many cigarettes are in a vape?
How Many Cigarettes Are in a Vape? Calculating by Total Nicotine Content
To compare the nicotine content of vapes vs. cigarettes, it’s helpful to understand how much nicotine is in a cigarette. According to a study published in 2020, the nicotine yield of a cigarette typically ranges from 0.1 mg to 3.0 mg depending on whether it’s a low-nicotine or high-nicotine cigarette. For this comparison, we’ll go right down the middle and assume that an average cigarette has a nicotine yield of 1.5 mg. With a nicotine yield of 1.5 mg per cigarette, a pack of 20 cigarettes would yield around 30 mg of nicotine. That’s the nicotine yield determined by an automatic smoking machine, which is lower than the amount of nicotine contained in the unsmoked tobacco. Some of the nicotine is unavoidably lost in the smoking process.
So, how does that compare to a vape? Let’s use the Innokin Innobar C1 as an example. This is a closed-system device that stores its vape juice in pre-filled pods. Each pod contains 2 ml of vape juice with a nicotine strength of 20 mg/ml, so one pod contains 40 mg of nicotine in total. Therefore, if you smoke a pack of average-yield cigarettes per day, you can expect each vape pod to last about a day or perhaps a little longer.
What if you use a refillable vape kit and buy your vape juice by the bottle? You can determine approximately how many cigarettes are in a bottle of e-liquid by performing the same calculation. A 10 ml bottle of e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 20 mg/ml contains 200 mg of nicotine, which should provide the equivalent of about 5-7 packs of cigarettes.
How Many Cigarettes Are in a Vape? Calculating by Puff Count
Another way to compare how much nicotine is in a vape vs. a cigarette – at least in the case of disposable vapes – is by looking at the puff counts of the various devices. On the package of every disposable vape, you’ll see a number signifying the approximate number of puffs the device will deliver before it runs out of vape juice. For example, the Innokin Innobar F600 lasts up to 600 puffs, whereas the Innokin Innobar V3 lasts up to 6,000 puffs. The e-liquid content and nicotine strengths of the disposable vapes available to you may vary depending on the region in which you live.
So, how many cigarettes are in a vape if you calculate by puff count? A smoker typically puffs on a cigarette around 10-15 times before putting it out, so let’s be conservative and estimate that puffing on a vape 15 times is approximately equal to smoking one cigarette. If that’s the case, then a disposable vape that delivers 600 puffs is equal to about two packs of cigarettes. A disposable vape with 6,000 puffs, on the other hand, is the equivalent of up to two cartons of cigarettes.
Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll get exactly the number of puffs out of a disposable vape as what’s stated on the box, because the number of times that you can puff on a disposable vape before it runs out of e-liquid will vary depending on how you vape. In practice, you’re not really going to get the equivalent of two cartons of cigarettes out of a high-capacity disposable vape – but this comparison serves to highlight how incredibly affordable disposable vapes are compared to tobacco cigarettes. Learn more about how to make a disposable vape last longer.
Your Body Doesn’t Absorb All of the Nicotine That You Vape
Are you already a vaper? If you are, you’ve probably compared the figures mentioned in this article to your own nicotine usage – and you may have found that a disposable vape or bottle of vape juice doesn’t last quite as long for you in practice as the time frames we’ve described in this article. If that’s the case, there’s probably no need to be concerned because the bioavailability of nicotine is never 100 percent. Some of the nicotine will escape from your body when you exhale it, and some will be metabolized before it reaches your bloodstream.
Cigarettes are specifically engineered to make the nicotine as bioavailable as it can possibly be. They contain chemicals such as pH adjusters and buffering agents that aren’t in e-liquid. Vape juice, on the other hand, just contains pharmaceutical-grade nicotine with no chemical adjustments except for the addition of a mild acid in the case of salt nicotine e-liquid. In other words, the nicotine in vape juice may not be as bioavailable as the nicotine in a cigarette. As a result, you may consume slightly more nicotine when you switch to vaping.
Are you concerned that you might be using more nicotine than you actually need? We’ll conclude the article by exploring that topic.
Are You Using the Right Amount of Nicotine?
If you feel like you’re vaping almost constantly and never really putting your device down, you might be searching for information about how much nicotine is in a vape because you’re concerned that you might be consuming more nicotine than you actually need. In that case, we have some good news for you. If you don’t feel like you’re getting too much nicotine, you probably aren’t. Studies have shown that people who use nicotine naturally adjust their usage to meet their own personal needs. In other words, when you don’t need nicotine, you’ll stop using your device – this behavior is usually automatic.
If you’re still concerned that you might be using more nicotine than you need, though, we’ve provided some specific data in this article that we hope will be helpful in answering your question. Based on how much nicotine is in a vape compared to a cigarette – and how many times you’re likely to puff on a cigarette before putting it out – you now have a much better idea of how vapes vs. cigarettes compare in terms of their nicotine delivery. You can use that information to determine whether you’re using about the same amount of nicotine that you would have used if you were still a smoker.
After reading this article, have you come to the conclusion that you’re actually using significantly more nicotine than you did when you were a smoker? If that’s the case, there’s no need to be alarmed because it’s easy to reduce your nicotine intake if you do so gradually. Vaping makes that especially painless since you can choose the nicotine strength of your e-liquid – and since many vaping devices have built-in puff counters, you can reduce your nicotine intake by as little as one puff per day if you like. In fact, you can even use vaping to help yourself quit nicotine if that’s your ultimate goal.
Hey! Hemok here, a vaping enthusiast with a passion for helping people quit smoking. My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago after smoking for more than 40 years. I do understand that quitting smoking isn't only a physical issue but also a mental one. It's just hard to go "cold turkey". I believe that vaping is one of the best solutions to make the switch only if you do it in the right way, and that's why I am here to share :)