Nicotine content of a tobacco cigarette
Traditional tobacco cigarettes have varying nicotine contents depending on the brand. Nicotine contents of tobacco cigarettes have trended down over the past 30 years from an average of 1.35 mg per cigarette in 1968 to an average of 0.90 mg per cigarette in 1994. Per brand breakdowns are as follows and are based on a study done by the United States Federal Trade Commission on1206 varieties of domestic cigarettes between the years 1994 and 1997:
- Lucky Strike Regular 1.6 mg per cigarette
- Marlboro Red 1.2 mg per cigarette
- Marlboro Light 0.8 mg per cigarette
- Newport Regular 1.2 mg per cigarette
- Newport Light 0.7 mg per cigarette
- Camel Regular 1.4 mg per cigarette
- Camel Light 0.9 mg per cigarette
- Camel Wide 1.2 mg per cigarette
- Capri Super Slim 0.8 mg per cigarette
- Chesterfield Full Flavor 1.5 mg per cigarette
- Parliament Light 0.7 mg per cigarette
- Salem Regular 1.2 mg per cigarette
- Salem Light 0.9 mg per cigarette
- Basic Regular 1.0 mg per cigarette
- Basic Light 0.7 mg per cigarette
- Kool Regular 1.1 mg per cigarette
- Paul Maul Regular 1.7 mg per cigarette
- Virginia Slims 1.1 mg per cigarette
- Winston Regular 1.2 mg per cigarette
As you can see, electronic cigarette cartridges contain much higher amounts of nicotine because they are not meant to be smoked completely in one sitting. Which nicotine level you choose depends on your personal preference and how you foresee smoking the eCigarette.
In Practice, It Depends on Your Habits
In practice, you can smoke an electronic cigarette as long or as short as you want. So, perhaps the more pertinent question to ask is not how much nicotine each cartridge contains, but rather how you plan to smoke your electronic cigarette. Personally, I smoked Parliament Lights and found the medium strength cartridges (12 – 16 mg) allowed me to smoke for the same amount of time I would with a tobacco cigarette and get the same feeling. I’ve heard from others who used to smoke full-strength cigarettes, such as Marlboro Reds, that the full-strength cartridges are more akin to what they’re used to.
However, if I was looking to spend less time smoking without sacrificing nicotine, I could have purchased full-strength cartridges and only taken a couple of hits during each smoke break. Because electronic cigarette cartridges are not designed to be finished in one sitting, and you don’t have to worry about finishing a full cigarette during each break, you can get a higher nicotine content cartridge and smoke less than you did with tobacco cigarettes and get the same satisfaction.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of which cartridge strength to purchase depends on how you plan to smoke your electronic cigarette. If you plan to smoke the same amount as tobacco cigarettes, you should follow this general guideline:
||Traditional Cigarette Level|
||No Nicotine (Not available with traditional cigarettes)|
||Medium to High (Marlboro regulars for example)|
|Extra High (22mg)
||Stronger cigarettes or smaller filtered|
|Super Extra High (28mg)
We use VG solution as our base across all of our nicotine levels. We also have numerous articles talking about why VG is best in our knowledge-base here!
Since the percentages of ingredients change as the nicotine levels decrease or increase, you will typically find the higher level nicotine cartridges give a more robust throat hit and flavor experience for you to enjoy if you choose to gradually lower the nicotine levels over time.