Until recently, one of the biggest shortcomings of the JUUL was the fact that the pods were only available in one nicotine strength. JUUL pods were about as strong as tobacco cigarettes, and while that might have been great for those who had just made the switch from smoking to vaping, it wasn’t so great for longer-term vapers. With the recent release of lower-nicotine JUUL pods, you now have two options for reducing your nicotine intake while still using a pod system. You can continue using the JUUL and start buying pods in a lower nicotine strength, or you can buy a refillable pod system and start exploring the wide world of bottled nicotine salt juice.
Like traditional e-liquids, bottled nicotine salt e-liquid has always been available in multiple nicotine strengths. Most companies that sell bottled e-liquids offer those vape juices in two nicotine strengths: a lower strength around 20-30 mg and a higher strength around 40-50 mg. With one strength delivering about double the nicotine of the other, that’s a pretty wide range, so confusion can set in easily.
Are You Using the Right Nic Salt Strength Now?
If you’re considering changing your vape juice nicotine strength, the first thing you need to determine is whether you’re using the right strength for your needs already. To figure that out, consider these two pointers.
- Most of the people who buy pod systems are current smokers. A nicotine strength of 50 mg delivers around the same nicotine to the body as a tobacco cigarette, so that’s usually a good nicotine strength to choose when you first switch from smoking to vaping.
- Sometimes, curiosity drives existing vapers to try pod systems because those devices look so convenient and fashionable. If you’re already a full-time vaper – and you aren’t using a nicotine strength in the 40-50 mg range – then you have already adjusted to lower blood-nicotine levels than you’d get from smoking cigarettes. In this case, you’re better off choosing a nicotine salt e-liquid in the lower-strength 20-30 mg range.
A second way to determine whether you’re using the right nicotine strength is by simply listening to what your body tells you.
- With most pod systems, a full pod is intended to last through about one full day of vaping. If you’re going through more than one pod per day – especially if you’re going through significantly more than one pod daily – it’s likely that your needs aren’t being met. If you’re still smoking cigarettes even though you’ve started vaping, it’s a sure sign that your needs aren’t being met. In this case, you should definitely increase your nicotine strength.
- Since it has a more balanced pH than standard e-liquid, nicotine salt vape juice is supposed to be very smooth and easy to inhale. If that’s not the experience you’re having – if you find vaping difficult because you find that the vapor tastes harsh or irritates your throat – the nicotine strength that you’re using is probably too high.
How to Reduce Your Nicotine Strength With Nic Salt E-Juice
Let’s suppose that you’re currently using a device with pre-filled pods, such as the JUUL. At the time of writing, JUUL pods are available in two nicotine strengths: 5% (about 50 mg/ml) and 3% (about 30 mg/ml). So, the first step in reducing the strength of your nicotine salt e-liquid with the JUUL is an easy one: Just buy lower-strength pods.
When you decide it’s time to reduce your nicotine intake further, you have two options. You can either buy third-party refillable pods for your JUUL, or you can switch to a new pod system that’s designed for refilling. It’s a good idea to examine any refillable JUUL pod before buying it; some of them have very small openings and aren’t easy to refill unless you have an e-liquid bottle with a very narrow tip.
You’ll need to start buying bottled nicotine salt vape juice when you begin filling your own pods. Nicotine salt e-liquids are easy to find in strengths down to about 15-20 mg, so you’ll have a pretty big selection of nic salt juices available as you begin dialing down your nicotine intake.
Can I Use My Pod Vaping System to Become Nicotine Free?
Nicotine salt e-liquids with strengths as low as 3 mg do exist, but they aren’t common. As you decrease your nicotine usage, you’ll want to switch to standard (freebase nicotine) e-liquid at some point if you want to continue enjoying a large flavor selection.
When you make that switch, you should pay close attention to the VG/PG ratios of the e-liquids you buy if you want to continue using a pod system. Most pod systems are designed for use with vape juices containing no more than 50 percent vegetable glycerin. VG is very thick, and an e-liquid with a high ratio of VG to PG can clog the small wicks in a pod system. Stay away from any e-liquid with a label like “Max VG.” Those e-liquids are designed for vaping devices with much larger wick openings.
The Last Step in Reducing Your Nicotine Intake
The lowest nicotine strength that most e-liquid makers produce is 3 mg. If you’ve stepped down from 50 mg of nicotine all the way to 3 mg, making the final step from 3 mg to nicotine-free e-liquid may not seem like much at all. In reality, though, your body is going to tell you that there’s a pretty big difference between a little nicotine and no nicotine at all. An easy way to make the transition easier is by mixing two different nicotine strengths to make an in-between strength.
Start by buying a big, empty e-liquid bottle. You can find them online and in well-stocked vape shops. Next, buy two bottles of your favorite vape juice. Buy one bottle with a nicotine strength of 3 mg, and buy another bottle that’s nicotine free. Dump the entire contents of both bottles into your large bottle. Replace the cap on the large bottle and give it a vigorous shake for several seconds. You now have a bottle of e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 1.5 mg. You can continue using that nicotine strength until you’re ready to become nicotine free, or you can mix e-liquids in different ratios to decrease your nicotine strength further.