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We all know that nicotine itself is a poison. Yet, we need it in our juice to get that buzz and overall good feeling it creates.
Generally, in e-juice, its represented as 6mg, 12mg, 18mg etc. This means that for each 1 ml of juice, there is 6mg, 12mg, 18mg etc of nicotine respectively. This amount of nicotine in juice can even kill you, if you were to swallow a decent amount of juice. Hence, the warning labels etc on most of our juice bottles.
So, how is it that you can vape this juice with so much nicotine, but would be lethal if ingested in its juice form? Its simple. Most of the nicotine disintegrates due to the heat produced by your coils. So what you are inhaling as nicotine (along with your vapor) is only a fraction of actual nicotine per ml of juice. This is the same with traditional tobacco cigarettes where most of the nicotine in the tobacco is destroyed in the process of burning the tobacco, resulting in only a fraction of nicotine being inhaled. For example, if you are vaping 18mg juice, you may actually only be inhaling around 0.1% of that nicotine (numbers mentioned as reference only, just to give you an idea).
As you increase the level of nicotine per ml of juice, you will be able to inhale more nicotine per puff, hence the higher hit factor of high nicotine level juice in terms of throat hit and buzz. I have seen some e-juice vendors offer upto 32mg per ml, which I think is excessive for a comfortable vape, in my opinion. But this limit is set, as much higher levels could be harmful to your body.
If you've been vaping for sometime now, you would have experienced the health benefits it offers compared to regular smoking. This itself is a choice you would have made after much research and study. Its a known fact that too much of anything isn't good, and hence my research into how I can reduce my nicotine intake.
Yes, you can simply order your juice at 6mg instead of your usual 18mg, but you will not get the nicotine buzz that you are looking for and thats a fact! You will end up excessively vaping your 6mg juice until you get your buzz or might just order your regular 18mg right away or worse, go back to the stinkies! The key to cutting down your nicotine intake is in your atomizer and the way you inhale.
To elaborate, rebuildable tank systems such as the Taifun GT and Kayfun systems allow superior nicotine delivery compared other clearomizer systems such as Protanks, Vivi Novas or Evods. I found that 18mg juice on a Kayfun/Taifun was way too harsh (and just perfect on a Protank) and that 12mg on the Kayfun/Taifun was acceptable. But I settled for 8mg as it had a good balance of throat hit and buzz factor after a few drags. So if I take 20 drags with a Protank with 18mg juice for my ideal vape session, I would still take 20 drags on a Kayfun/Taifun with 8mg juice for my ideal vape. The difference between the 2 sessions was the level of nicotine used, which translates to less nicotine intake.
When you talk about your inhale, many of us are used to the normal mouth-to-lung inhale of a traditional tobacco cigarette. This is how we would vape also, but if you do a straight lung inhale, the nicotine would be absorbed faster into your system as the walls on your lungs are much absorbent than the walls inside your mouth. This will get you to your 'I had a good vape' point much quickly, hence possibly preventing excessive vaping.
If you want to cut down even further, get an RDA. A Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer has superior vapor and nicotine delivery capabilities with lots of air flow to allow you easy direct lung inhales. Its quite difficult to vape anything above 6mg on an RDA for most of us vapers. Learning to use an RDA properly is an art on its own, and I won't have space in here to explain all of it. There are plenty of guides on that subject via YouTube.
I hope this guide will be of some help if you are planning to cut down your nicotine intake.