Vaping 101: A Nic Level Look


Words and Photo by Erin Hedrick

In our last adventure we visited a vape shop for the first time, and you purchased your first setup. Half of the battle has been won, but now there’s the other half to face—what to put in your new tank or addy. Needless to say there are plenty of e-liquid brands on the market to choose from, and countless more flavor varieties.

But where do you begin? Let’s say you know the flavor you want, but what about all of those numbers printed on the stickers hugging the e-liquid bottles? What does—for instance—12 mg/ml mean, and how does that compare to analogs? The strength of e-liquid is measured in mg/ml. Theoretically it is possible to determine how much e-liquid you are vaping. However, differences in devices, and the rate at which you vape a set amount of e-liquid, leads to big differences in how the nicotine is transferred to your body. If you drip, 3 mg/ml may give you the same effect that a 6 or 12 mg/ml e-liquid vaped from a starter kit or tank would give you. This is, of course, assuming that you’ve come to the vape side (Star Wars, anyone?) as a result of your desire to quit smoking. If you’ve never used tobacco products, it is important to understand that nicotine is an addictive substance. While we here at VAPE Magazine believe strongly in the power of vaping as a smoking cessation tool, it also can be enjoyed and implemented for reasons other than taking in nicotine. Some people (like me, for instance) enjoy vaping for the flavor. Vaping also has kept me from continually destroying my fingernails (it’s a bad habit I’ve had ever since I can remember). If you’re like me, then you’ll probably find vaping an e-liquid that contains nicotine harsh, and should go with a zero nic juice (0 mg/ml). Zero nic e-liquids serve other purposes too, though many in the industry say that this is the goal of vaping—to slowly wean yourself down the nicotine ladder.

Unless you possess a master’s in a scientific field, it’s hard to nail down an exact nicotine dosage in e-liquid. There are helpful guides on the Internet, and any knowledgeable, experienced person in the industry should be happy to help sort the information out for you, but for those of us that are part of the vaping community for the lifestyle aspect, that’s a little much to take in. While a little experimentation can go a long way, here’s a helpful guide to keep in mind while shopping for your perfect all day vape.

A Nic Level Look 12-18 mg/ml: After speaking with several employees at a nearby brick and mortar shop, I learned that the current belief is that 18 mg/ml is roughly the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. If you’re a heavy smoker that consumes at least a pack a day, then this may be a

good starting point for you. However, it’s easy to inhale more nicotine when vaping, since people tend to hit their mod more frequently than they would an analog.

The professionals I’ve spoken with all suggest starting at a lower level (such as a 12 mg/ml juice) and, if necessary, moving up. It should be noted that these levels of nicotine shouldn’t be vaped with an addy. Atomizers tend to generate a lot more vapor than tanks, so e-liquids with

higher nicotine levels have much more of an impact in an addy than in a tank.

6 mg/ml: This generally is a good starting point for people who’d qualify as moderate smokers, smoking maybe half a pack a day. This also is a good level for people looking to switch to vaping from chewing tobacco.

3 mg/ml: 3 mg nic should appeal to light-to-moderate smokers. This also is the recommended level for dripping. There hasn’t been one person that I’ve spoken with who has recommended vaping above this level if you plan on using a RDA or a sub-Ohm tank system.

0 mg/ml: This is the ideal option for people that want to enjoy vaping with the absence of nicotine, or for people that have been slowly lowering their nicotine intake, and are using vaping now as a habitual action or to keep up the appearance of smoking (Jedi mind trick on yourself).

While the above guidelines are a great starting point, the best suggestion that I, or anyone else, can give you is to experiment. Don’t be afraid to try a few different e-liquids of different nicotine levels to see what you prefer. And don’t let the numbers label you: vape at the level you feel comfortable at. Don’t try to relate vaping to how many analogs you smoked. Let your body tell you where you need to vape at.

Erin is VAPE Magazine’s executive assistant. New to the vaping scene, she loves long walks on the beach, comic book conventions, cats and her Doge RDA.



Newbie A-Z

Technical jargon can be a lot to take in, even for people who are in the know, and as you have probably noticed, there is plenty of it in the vaping world. Here’s a short vocabulary lesson to help get you started!

Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV): An APV usually consists of a bigger battery and features things such as variable voltage or variable wattage. The iTaste 134MX-Z by

Innokin, which I recently bought and am in love with, is an example of an APV.

All Day Vape: The e-liquid that you personally enjoy over any other and can vape on all day long without it getting old.

Box Mod: A box mod is any PV or APV that comes in a box shape and comes in several different wattage selections. Some popular wattage classes for box mods are: 10-30 watts, 50-80 watts and more than 100 watts.

Brick and Mortar (B&M): A physical store that you can buy vape products from.

Clouds: Due to the highly dense water content in vapor, the vapor that is exhaled when smoking electronic cigarettes is referred to as clouds.

Deck: The flat base area where the positive and negative posts sit on an RB A/RDA, which is designed to keep e-liquid off of the battery connection.

Hit: The inhalation of vapor.

Lung Hit: Alternative to mouth to lung hits, lung hits are inhales of vapor straight to the lungs. Usually requires massive airflow.

MG Strength (milligram strength per millilitre:(ml)- This relates to the percentage of nicotine contained within the e-liquid. For

example, 8 mg is 8 mg of nicotine per ml.

Mod: Short for modification. This originally referred to modifying a flashlight or a battery to be used in vaping, but now is commonly used to refer to any vaping device that is not a cigalike.

Pull: Also known as the draw or hit. What the smoker does to get the vapor hit from the e-cig.

Throat Hit: The feeling an e-cigarette smoker experiences when the vapor hits his or her throat. Most desire it to feel like

a cigarette with a full, yet smooth hit.

*definitions gathered from



Newbies Rate Favorite Starter kits

Photo by Erin Hedrick

Just starting out? Our readers give their advice on the kits that rocked their first vape.

When i first started vaping, it was to quit cigarettes, and I didn’t know if it could really help me or not, so I wasn’t in the market to spend a bunch of money. First starter kit I got was an off brand, and it broke quick. I finally ended up getting an EVOD 2 kit with a variable voltage battery. The battery alone made all the difference in the world to keep me committed to it and kicking cigarettes. It’s now been six months since I had a cigarette, and I’m a full-time vaper. I have now graduated to a mod box set. As far as what’s the best kit out there, it’s personal preference. Through trial and error, my preference is Kanger and Sigelei products.

-Brandy Musser Williams-Lucas – Baltimore, Md.

When I started vaping, it was eGo and Vivinova/carto tanks. As for now, I would say the KangerTech SUBOX setup is quite good for a budget starter kit.

-Risyal Redzuan – Malaysia

I work at a shop in Richmond, Virginia, and if it were my choice, I would start everyone on a Nautilus mini and an iStick30. I started on the single-coil setup two years ago, and ended up smoking again because I wasn’t satisfied. All the spinner batteries I bought either broke or the chargers were junk, but once I got my hands on my iStick and Nautilus tank, that was it; I was hooked.

-Aunt Chelle Rayne – Richmond Va.

I purchased Avail Vapor’s Edge vape pen (just a step up from a real starter kit), same thing as KangerTech EMOW. The power supply (battery) lasted a few weeks and went bad, so I ordered that part directly from KangerTech, and it went bad in just a few days. I got another from MistHub this past Saturday, so I hope this one will do better; too much trouble with these batteries, so I would not recommend starting out on this unit, or even getting it for any other reason. I do have a different vape device now (the intent of purchase was to have it as a backup, but I use it more then the vape pen).

-Cliff Hodges – Southwest Virginia

I started with a White Cloud cigalike setup used for nearly six months. One night, no 808 heads. I went to the local Walgreens and bought a Fin pen-type device and used it for a week. I liked the taste and vapor product, high nic 24mg, just what I needed to keep me off the cigs, then a vv device with Ce4, upgraded to Evod vv/vw … loved the Evod tank until I got Naut, paired it with MVP, then MVP 30 watt …Now in rotation I have Aspire CF sub-Ohm, (2) MVP Pro, (2) iStick 30 watts. Atlantis V1, Isub G.. (3) Isub original tanks. Tried building on a Kayfun; OK, but not my cup of tea. Cig free now 19 months. Husband and daughter also vape.

-Patricia Wms-McDonald – St. Paul, Minn.

I started with cigalikes, then Evo 900+1100 mAh batteries with I clears with no satisfaction. Then I got an MVP and a Nautilus, and life changed. Soon I was into tube mods, then 30 + 50 watt boxes, and now unregulated 2+3 battery series boxes capable of upwards to 500 watts. Vaping is now a lifestyle.

-Jon Bummer Markusic – Youngstown, Ohio

I quit with a eGo battery and a ce4— that was almost two years ago. Everyone has a much larger selection now. I would still recommend this to start; it’s cheap and you can upgrade on your way.

-Randi R. Santos – Pennsylvania

MVP 3.0 PRO with the Atlantis 2 is the s**t! Matt Arey – Reading, Penn. has a great setup. They call it the Vista single. Cool part is they have a setup where you get the e-cig and their five top flavors (all 17ml bottles) for only 25 bucks. I just looked it up; it’s called “Vista top five” on their site.

-Jake Kappel – Plymouth Minn.

I started with an eGo but started to smoke again after a few weeks. Several months later, I bought a Guardian e-pipe from SMOK and quit smoking since then. I have now an iStick 50w and several e-pipes and several clearomizers (SMOK, Aspire …). Now, I’m making my e-liquids myself and am busy with rebuildables.

-Eric De Leeuw – Ghent, Belgium

Firstly, I have to say, if you are not willing to quit smoking, nothing can help you. Only when you are determined to quit smoking can the e-cig help. Also, the best starter kit on the market now? I think the CE5 would be like most classic one, but not the best. The EVOD atomizer with the twist battery would be much better than that. But recently, another box mod kit is better. Use a box mod to smoke with the Aspire Nautilus or Arctic—will be great vaping experience.

-Jack Zhang – China



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