Can you get up from vaping
Part 8: Nicotine (for those switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes)
Here I will show you how you, as a switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, can determine the optimal amount and concentration of nicotine in the e-liquid for you and what you have to pay attention to so that the changeover is as easy and withdrawal-free as possible for you.
How much nicotine should be in the e-liquid? This question is not that easy to answer, but in any case there should be enough nicotine that you feel comfortable and that you do not have to suffer from nicotine withdrawal as well. Because for many people who switch to smoking, quitting smoking is already difficult enough - despite the e-cigarette.
I smoked heavily for 30 years and, thanks to the e-cigarette, was completely smoke-free within two days - and with only very minimal withdrawal symptoms. I blame three factors for this:
- I didn't put myself under pressure. My premise was that I want to quit, but if I feel like I absolutely have to smoke, then I can do that.
- I had a decent e-cigarette that worked reliably and made enough vapor.
- I haven't been stingy with the nicotine.
The first point can be argued about. Everyone has to find their own way here, and I've already given you the tools to find the right e-cigarette for you. So there remains the nicotine.
How Much Nicotine is in a Cigarette?
When you smoke a cigarette, you ingest about 2mg of nicotine on average. Forget the information on the packaging ("The smoke from a cigarette contains ..."). These values are determined by smoke machines and completely ignore reality. It also doesn't matter whether you smoke strong or light cigarettes. You ingest a lot of nicotine with both of them. The actual amount of nicotine ingested depends on the strength of the pull and the depth and duration of the inhalation. You have certainly already been able to observe this on yourself, because if you have not been able to smoke for a long time, you then draw the smoke extra deep into your lungs and keep it in there longer. In this way, you can ingest up to four milligrams of nicotine with a single cigarette.
But let's stick to the average value of 2mg nicotine per cigarette and assume that you smoke an average of 30 nicotine per day. In that case, your usual daily intake of nicotine would be around 60 milligrams.
How much nicotine do you take in while vaping?
It's similar with vaping. The longer you draw and the deeper you inhale the vapor, the higher the nicotine intake. Unfortunately, there are few studies on vaping that have looked at nicotine intake (or I haven't found them yet). The little information that I have been able to find in this regard claims that between 40 and 60 percent of the nicotine added to the liquid is ingested when vaping. Looking back on my own experiences with the change, I can emotionally confirm this information. So let's assume that we are taking in half of the nicotine added and blowing the other half into the air without any effect.
Put in relation
If we compare cigarette and liquid, this means that you have to vaporize enough liquid that the total amount of nicotine in the liquid is around 120mg to replace 30 cigarettes.
However, as a vaper you usually behave a little differently than as a smoker. In contrast to the conventional cigarette, the e-cigarette has no end (apart from an empty tank). As a smoker you smoke your cigarette. Very few smokers will only take three or four puffs and then throw away the cigarette. As a result, the nicotine level of a smoker is inevitably subject to constant ups and downs. If the mirror falls below the "comfort limit", then it lights the next cigarette.
The advantage as a steamer
As a steamer, you have a huge advantage, because you can just take a pull and put the device aside. If you do it this way, the nicotine level remains much more constant and usually at a lower level. Still, you feel good because withdrawal usually sets in when the level drops below a certain level. From my own experience I conclude that as a switch you are fine with about 2/3 the amount of nicotine that one consumed as a smoker. With 30 cigarettes that means only 80mg total amount of nicotine in the liquid consumed daily.
However, if you cannot vape at work, for example, and instead rely on a smoking or vaping break, you will not be able to vape as regularly as it would make sense during this time. You have to make do here. One possibility would be to vape liquids with a higher nicotine dose during this time to avoid withdrawal.
How many milligrams per milliliter?
So far so good, but to know how many milligrams of nicotine should be in your liquid, you have to know beforehand how much liquid you will be vaping per day. This in turn depends on the evaporator and the set output. A baking steamer will use significantly less liquid than a lung steamer. Those who steam at 30 watts will also need less than a steamer that creates large clouds at 80 or 100 watts. There are vapers that virtually destroy liquid and others that consume very little. You probably can't say which strain you belong to at the moment. Therefore, in the end, there is only a rough attempt at approximation until one has determined the actual personal need by trial and error.
My recommendation to start is: Heavy smokers choose a liquid with 18mg as a cheek steamer and a lung steamer with 6mg nicotine per milliliter. Moderate smokers choose a liquid with 9-12mg as a cheek steamer and a lung steamer with 3mg nicotine per milliliter. Occasional smokers should try to see if they can do without nicotine at all. Lung steamers that vape with high performance and the associated very large amount of steam should not use more than 3 mg of nicotine per milliliter, even as heavy smokers, and should be in the range of 1 - a maximum of 1.5 mg as moderate smokers.
In my experience, switching from cigarettes is easier if you vape a lot and regularly with a lower nicotine concentration in the liquid, instead of vaping less with a higher concentration. If the desire for a cigarette arises, it has helped me a lot to vape against this desire, to concentrate consciously on the process of drawing and inhaling and to perceive it intensely. However, if the nicotine concentration is set too high, you can over-vaporize yourself. The body gets too much nicotine, causing dizziness and nausea. Don't worry, it will pass very quickly and pose no danger. But if you over-steam yourself before the desire for the cigarette disappears, it is counterproductive.
Differences between smoke and steam related to addiction
Cigarette addiction is more than nicotine addiction. Both inhalation and lung sensation are part of this addiction. Therefore, in my opinion, switching to the e-cigarette is also an easier way than, for example, via nicotine patches or chewing gum, which leave this part of the addiction unnoticed and unfulfilled.
Aside from the fact that with the e-cigarette you inhale vapor instead of smoke and it also tastes different, there is another difference: Nicotine has a calming effect on the human brain. You can achieve this effect by smoking a cigarette as well as by vaping an e-cigarette. If nicotine is absorbed by the brain very quickly - this is referred to as the influx speed - this also creates a special kick in the brain and it is this kick that makes a smoker pick up a cigarette again and again. In the case of tobacco smoke, the speed at which it flows in is extremely high; one speaks of approx. 10 seconds for the nicotine to reach the brain from the lungs. The kick is correspondingly high. There is also this kick with the e-cigarette, but for whatever reason it is significantly lower. Apparently the nicotine from the vapor is not absorbed as well and quickly by the body as from the tobacco smoke. Unfortunately, I have not found any studies on this that deal with it in more detail.
This lesser kick is both a blessing and a curse. If you see the e-cigarette only as a temporary aid to quit smoking and then to be completely free of nicotine and the inhalation of any substances, the lower kick is certainly more helpful. I myself am not (yet) completely nicotine-free, but I can already say that I can overcome steam-free phases much longer and more relaxed than I was able to do as a smoker with smoke-free periods. I would like to say that while I am still addicted, my addiction is now significantly less than when I smoked.
However, the lower kick has a disadvantage when switching, because it will not be possible to completely avoid missing something in the first time. I suspect this is the main reason why some ultimately fail to make the switch.
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