The Guide to Nicotine

If you’re new to vaping or are transitioning to vaping from smoking, you might scratch your head and think, What is nicotine? How is it added to vape juice? What dose of nicotine do I need? We’re here to bring some clarity to these questions and bring you up to speed with nicotine.

What is nicotine?

Nicotine is a plant-based stimulant found in tobacco plants. While it is derived from plants, nicotine is a highly-addictive substance and is often found in smoking and vaping products. Crushed nicotine leaves make up some of the ingredients that are present in cigarettes. These leaves are burned and inhaled by the user. Nicotine is also present in vape juices in which nicotine leaves are broken down and pressed into vape juice. When nicotine enters the bloodstream users often will report an increased sense of alertness, improvement in memory and cause you to have a heightened mood within seconds of your inhale from a cigarette or a vape. Nicotine can also cause unwanted side effects like headache, decreased appetite or increased heart rate however every individual can react differently to the drug. Apart from cigarettes and vape juices, nicotine can also be found in other forms such as lozenges, patches, gum, inhalers or nasal sprays.


In the world of vaping, nicotine exists in the form of nicotine shots, nic salts and freebase e-liquids. Nicotine shots are vape juices that contain a set doses of nicotine. Nic shots should always be added to a shortfill vape liquid and should not be vaped alone. If you’ve ever seen a shortfill e-liquid bottle, you’ll find that they contain a fair amount of space. This space allows you to add one or two nicotine shots to your 50ml or 100ml shortfill. If you’re scratching your head wondering why someone would want to add nicotine to their shortfill, they are supplied nicotine-free. This means you have the option to vape your shortfill nicotine-free or you can add a bit of edge with a boost of nicotine. Adding your own nicotine to your shortfills also has its advantages. If you purchase a flavoured nicotine shot, you can customise the flavour of your shortfill. So if you had a vape juice shortfill like Wednesdaze by Dazed, which tastes like mixed berries, and added an Ice Nicotine Shot by Nic Nic, which tastes fresh and icy, you’d end up with a vape juice that tastes like mixed berries with a well-rounded icy finish.


Nicotine salts on the other hand are also vape juices that also contain a concentrated and calculated amount of nicotine but are not added to shortfills. Unlike nicotine shots, nic salts are not mixed with other vape juices and are added straight into your pod or tank. Nicotine salts come in smaller bottles due to their higher nicotine concentration. Nicotine salts are added to mouth to lung vape kits, which are almost always vape kits that feature vape coils above 1.0ohm. Nicotine salts offer a smooth throat hit, which means you won’t get a harsh hit to the back of your throat thanks to how the nicotine salts are produced. Nicotine salts can range from 3mg to as high as 60mg in certain countries. However, the UK regulates the dosing of nicotine with a maximum limit of 20mg.


Freebase e-liquids were the first variation of vape juices to enter the vape market. Most freebases are made up of a 50/50 VG/PG vape juice concentration but on occasion can come in 70/30 VG/PG ratio. Freebase that is higher in PG will give off a strong throat hit (similar to cigarette smoking upon the inhale) when compared to other forms of vape juices. Freebases also come in a variety of different nicotine strengths from 3mg to 18mg. Freebase vape juices in a 50/50 VG/PG ratio are compatible with lower wattage vaping devices and are best suited for mouth to lung vaping as they produce modest clouds. Vice versa, 70/30 VG/PG ratios of freebase produce bold vape juice flavour as well as significant vapour clouds on the exhale. The beauty of nic salts, nic shots and freebase is that you can adjust your dose accordingly if you want to lower or increase the amount of nicotine you receive.

What dose of nicotine do I need?

Your dose of nicotine is dependent on how many cigarettes you currently smoke. Smokers are typically classified into four categories: social, light, moderate and heavy smokers. A social smoker is someone who might have a cigarette whilst out in a social setting. A light smoker is someone who smokes 5 or less cigarettes a day. A moderate smoker is someone who smokes around 11-19 cigarettes a day and the heavy smoker is someone who has 25 or more cigarettes a day.


If you only fancy nicotine whilst out with friends or having a drink, we’d classify you as a social smoker. Social smokers can use nicotine-free options or should use the lowest dosage of nicotine which is 3mg. 3mg should give you a bit of edge whilst also curbing your craving for a bit of nicotine. For the light smoker, we would advise starting out with a 6mg dosing of nicotine. This should be your sweet spot as it should be enough to banish any nicotine cravings. For the moderate smoker, 10mg of nicotine should be used and for heavy smokers, we recommend using 18mg or 20mg of nicotine. These calculations hold true for nicotine shots, nic salts and freebase e-liquids.

How to add nicotine shots to your vape juice

First, work out what nicotine dose you’d like to have. You’ll need a nicotine shot as well as a 50ml or 100ml shortfill. To add nicotine shots to your shortfill, simply remove the short fill lid, pour in your nicotine shot(s), give it a good shake and you’re ready to roll.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our Nicotine Guide and hope it’s brought you some clarity. The world is your oyster when it comes to vaping and your options are endless when it comes to nicotine and creating your own customised vape juice flavours. If you have any questions please do get in contact with our team as we would be more than happy to assist you in your vaping needs.

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