Dear Summit: What Nicotine Level Should I Vape?

Hey there, vape fans! I’m back again to answer your questions about all things vaping.

As the vaping industry grows, devices previously reserved for advanced vapers have become more user-friendly for novice and intermediate vapers. It can also be difficult for former smokers to decide what nicotine level they should select.  Like a dog without a bone, uncertain vapers can feel unfulfilled. Let’s “dig” into some Q&A!

Q: I’m a heavy smoker and I want to start vaping, what nicotine level should I vape?

A: We offer several nicotine strengths to cater to smokers from all walks of life. Some folks have a friendly relationship with nicotine, while others want to phase away from it entirely. A lot of vapers cut back on nicotine because it has an effect on the flavor of the vapor.

24 mg/mL – Recommended to heavy smokers or people who used to chew tobacco. Not advised for sub-ohm vapers and powerful mods.

18 mg/mL – Recommended for mid to heavy smokers. A great level for phasing off cigarette-level nicotine.

12 mg/mL – Good middle ground for moderate and heavy smokers who may be looking to eventually taper down their nicotine strength. Still might be a bit harsh for sub-ohm vapers.

6 mg/mL – Recommended for light to moderate smokers and people using a sub-ohm device.

3 mg/mL – Recommended for those who “socially smoke” or are using a sub-ohm device.

0 mg/mL – For anyone who appreciates pure flavor with no nicotine.

These rules are general, and exceptions can be made. While sub-ohm vaping continues to grow in popularity, most electronic cigarette users still use ego-style and cigalike devices.

Q: What is sub-ohming?

A:  An easy way to identify a sub-ohm vape device is too look at the ohms. Sub-ohm vaping means to vape with an atomizer, that has a coil with a resistance value of less than 1.0 ohms.

Q: I’m considering buying a sub-ohm vaping starter kit, what nicotine strength should I use?

A: Because sub-ohm devices are more powerful than pen style batteries, everything about the vape is intensified. Don’t let that scare you! This also means you’ll get to enjoy more flavor and vapor production. However, the “throat hit” from nicotine and PG will intensify. Throat hit is that sensation at the back of your throat you feel when vaping. We typically recommend using no more than 6mg of nicotine when you sub-ohm.

Q: I have a sub-ohm starter kit and I’m using 3mg of nicotine but the throat hit is still really intense. What am I doing wrong?

A: If you’re currently using a sub-ohm device with 6mg or less of nicotine and you’re still getting an uncomfortable throat hit, it may be time to examine your PG/VG blend. We offer several different PG/VG blends for every vaper’s flavor strength preference.

Mt Baker Vapor Brand Blends





GWAR Fluids Blends



Photonic Solar E Liquid Blends


The PG/VG Ratio for e-juice is used to refer to the amount of PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin) used within a mixture of e-juice. PG contributes to the ‘throat hit’ or harshness felt on the draw of the e-cig and flavor production, where VG is the component providing the vapor or visual part of the exhale.

Also, be sure to check your coil/wick for any imperfections. You’d be amazed at how much a fresh coil and wick can improve your vaping experience!

Remember that when you go sub-ohm, everything about your vape is intensified. So, if are using a high PG blend and make the switch to a sub-ohm device, or even if you’re using a pen style device and you’re feeling an uncomfortable throat hit, you’ll likely want to lower your PG percentage. When using a higher VG blend, which has a thicker quality, you will want to let your e-juice sit in your tank a bit longer before vaping. It’s recommended that a blend of 20PG/80VG or higher is used in sub-ohm devices. For pen style batteries, it’s recommended that you start with a 50PG/50VG blend.

There’s a lot of information to take in when making the switch to vaping or deciding to delve into the world of sub-ohm. Unlike a trip to the vet, cats and people who may not have treats, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Mt Baker Vapor will always be by your side through every step of your vaping journey.

Vape on!


Sandi joined Mt Baker Vapor in 2015. Outside of MBV she loves video games, reading and secretly wishes she was a pirate.

  • Lin says:

    good information yet!

  • Tyler Gilbertson says:

    I’ve been gaping from a box mod and I enjoy it. What juice style gives you the most cloud?

  • Teri Pietila says:

    HI Kenny! I have this notion that I have sub ohm atomizers (BVC for both Atlantis on a 50w eLeaf iStick and 30w eLeaf iStick) I am not a cloud chucked, I have used these devices and MBV awesomeness to quit smoking for over 2 months. But on 1.6 coil I do not go over 13w on the 30w, on a 1.5 coil I do not go over28.5w on the 50w. I currently use an 18 strength nic. But that’s ok, right, because I am not sub ohming? I am so glad this topic was brought up! Please, please, please tell me I am doing it right for my purposes. Thanks!

  • Jay says:

    Question: If I sub ohm at .05 and use a ratio of 20 pg and 80 vg do i need to get extra shots in order to get better flavor? I cut down to .6 nicotine.

  • Kristen says:

    I’m interested in that question as well! ^

    This was very helpful, thank you

  • Kristen says:

    Nowadays do most juices come in the high VG ratios? I would prefer flavor to clouds, so it seems like I would like high PG, but I vape sub-ohm

  • Kristen says:

    What am I “losing” by going 50/50 instead of higher VG. Just the cloud production?


  • evan napolitano says:

    i have been vaping 50/50 pg vg using 12mg nicotine for about two years! My daily vape is extreme ice!! LOVE IT!! Lately, I find that the flavor isn’t really giving that “oompf” throat hit. Should I raise my nic level, or add flavor shots? or should i sniff coffee grounds (from what i hear) thanks everyone!

  • Ken C says:

    Sniff coffee grounds..? I must be picturing it wrong.

  • Kristen says:

    Thanks for your help people!

  • Clint says:

    Hi. I’ve made the switch to vaping. So happy. I would really appreciate some expert advice. As a smoker I smoked 8mg cigarettes app 30 a day. I’ve purchased the Innokin Cool Fire IV sub-ohm.

    I’m wondering what you guys would recommend as a starting point for me in Nicotine level and PG/VG ratio.

    I live in Australia. Your website and liquids are highly recommended. I am so loozing forward to trying all your wonderful juices for many years to come.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Josh Hanna says:


      Congratulations on the switch! I would order a 6 and a 3 mg to start out. I would try the 6 and see how it goes for you. Normally, if you smoke a lot and then switch we start off high to make sure you get what you need.

  • Kurt O. says:

    I quit dipping tobacco 12 days ago and still suffer from lack of amount of nicotine. I am currently using an Innotek iTaste 134 and 24mg nicotine load. I am taking large hits and holding my breath until I feel relaxed after each one. A small background on my dipping tobacco usage: 24/7, even in my sleep. The only time I did not use dip tobacco was when I had a drink or eating. The amount of nicotine I ingested must have been monumental.

    I plan on weaning down to 0mg. I do not know the time between each level of mg. That would be handy information.

    • Corey Gefroh says:

      The amount of time (weeks, months, etc.) you stay on one nicotine level before moving down a level varies from person-to-person quite a bit! So, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Maybe this will help: The iTaste 134 Starter Kit is a lower-powered delivery system. The draw will be tight and you can only draw so much vapor in with each puff. One option is upgrading to a higher-powered device that will give you a lot more vapor with each inhale. This will increase the delivery of nicotine with each puff, and should make you feel more satisfied. This might be the best next step for you personally, since your body is used to having constant nicotine. One of the many great things about vaping is that we can customize the device, nicotine level, and PG/VG blend to our own personalized needs! So, what works for one person may not work for another and it can be a trial and error process until you’re feeling satisfied with your vape. As for when to go down a nicotine level, that will ultimately be up to you and what your body is telling you. Once you feel satisfied with where you are at in the present, you might decide to challenge your body to get used to a lower nicotine level, one step down. I hope this helps, and please do not hesitate to reach out to our Customer Experience Team at support@mtbakervapor.com for more advice!

      • Kurt O. says:

        @Cory Gefroh, yesterday, day 18, I experienced a large drop in nicotine craving. It’s like I broke a fever of some sort. I’m using 18mg and feel the nicotine nagging but it’s not as strong. Thanks for your input and data!

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