10ml e liquid, how many cigarettes?
This is the question posed by the new vaper, anxious not to cover his nicotine needs or to vape too much.
The comparison is however impossible as too many parameters such as the absorption of nicotine or the chosen material move away from smoked tobacco.

A 10ml e liquid bottle dosed at 10mg/ml contains 100mg or 1% nicotine.
The nicotine absorbed by a smoker is 1.1 to 1.8 mg at the end of each cigarette.
But nicotine is absorbed very differently between cigarettes and vaping.
As a general rule, a former moderate smoker vaper consumes an average of 2 to 3ml of e liquid per day.

E liquid cigarette comparison

A question very often arises when a smoker embarks on the test of the electronic cigarette:

"10ml of e liquid are equivalent to how many cigarettes?"

This question is not abnormal because the future vaper just wants to know which grammage of nicotine he will have to choose for his e liquid.

But difficult to answer to the truth.

We will still try to guide you by proceeding step by step.

How much nicotine in a cigarette?

On average, a cigarette consists of 0.65 to 1gr of tobacco and contains between 10 and 15mg of nicotine.

A cigarette of the famous red and white brand contains exactly 10.9 mg of nicotine.

The average of light cigarettes is 10.2 mg.

We can therefore assess that a pack of 20 cigarettes contains 204mg of nicotine, or 20x10.2mg.

Of course, this amount is not totally inhaled since it burns.

We can assess the nicotine absorbed by smoker is 1.1 to 1.8 mg at the end of each cigarette.

This indicates that for a pack of 20 cigarettes, you will have inhaled 22 to 36 mg of nicotine.

How much nicotine in a cigar?

The nicotine content of cigars has also been quantified.

It is close to cigarettes with regard to big cigars, evaluated at 15.4 mg per gram of tobacco.

Little cigars and cigarillos contain between 12.5 and 13 mg/gram.

Let us add here the estimate of pipe tobacco which is inferior to cigarettes and cigars with a rate of 8.79 mg of nicotine per gram.

Note that the cigar or tobacco pipe smoker does not smoke in the same way as a smoker of conventional cigarettes.

His aspirations are less deep and he even sometimes does not inhale the smoke at all.

How much nicotine in an e liquid?

A 10ml vial of e liquid dosed at 10mg/ml contains 100mg or 1% of nicotine.

An e liquid dosed at 20mg/ml therefore contains 2% nicotine (or 200mg) while a liquid dosed at 3mg/ml contains 0.3%.

In France (and more generally in Europe), the rate of nicotine has been regulated since 2017.

It is therefore not possible to obtain electronic cigarette vape juice greater than 20 mg/ml.

Your smoking habits

Now that we have determined the nicotine content of the different products, the crucial point to analyze for this evaluation is your personal tobacco consumption.

First of all, we must discuss self-titration.

Indeed, while smoking, each one adapts the dose of nicotine which suits him personally.

This unconscious attitude is mainly reflected in the way he smokes: more or less, more quickly or more slowly, at various frequencies.

And since our body knows very well what dose is sufficient for it, we crush the cigarette or we space the puffs.

In fact, self-titration is our brain's response to the dose consumed and the useful brake on nicotine overdose.

Assuming that each nicotine consumer defines the grammage that is necessary for him, it is difficult to recommend a precise dose for a new vaper.

The challenge is therefore to choose the level of nicotine that will satisfy your smoking habits.

Not enough nicotine and you will quickly turn away from electronic cigarettes due to withdrawal effects, too much nicotine and you will make yourself sick.

Out of habit, the world of vaping offers this tobacco and e-liquid correspondence table:

Ultra light 8mg/ml
Light 11mg/ml
Normal 16mg/ml
Strong 20mg/ml
Unfilter >20mg/ml

But the case is much more complicated because vaping is not smoking.

Nicotine absorption

Most smokers choose a level of nicotine in relation to their tobacco consumption.

However, this is not the right attitude because nicotine is absorbed very differently between cigarettes and vaping.

If we already know that a cigarette contains around 10 to 15 mg of nicotine and that the smoker absorbs around 1.5 mg of it, vaping does not deliver the same level of nicotine as cigarettes.

 Research on e-cigarette has even shown that vaping for an hour does not deliver the equivalent of nicotine from a single cigarette!

In addition, tobacco contains over 4000 additives, some of which have been introduced specifically to strengthen nicotine addiction.

In comparison, an e liquid contains only 4 ingredients, PG, VG, nicotine and flavor.

Nicotine alone does not diffuse at the same speed - which surely explains the lack of effectiveness of nicotine substitutes.

The choice of your vaping device

As the ecigarette has evolved, more and more efficient models have appeared on the market.

And in particular what is called the sub-ohm.

These devices use high performance batteries which allow a consequent production of vapor and thus a more direct action of the nicotine.

If you opt for a sub ohm system, your e liquid will necessarily be less dosed with regard to the production of vapor.

Most users are satisfied with liquids in 6 or 3 mg/ml.


On the other hand, if you have the impression that a 12mg e liquid is more suitable for you, the sub-ohm is not recommended for you.

Remember that the higher you get in watts, the more pronounced the "hit" - the throat tightening as the vapor passes - will be.
And it is not necessarily pleasant when you discover vape.

You will then have to turn to more classic mods, said to be less efficient but sufficient to introduce you to the electronic cigarette using a nicotine level that is specific to you and will allow you to pass your test.

vaping with istick pico

Which level of nicotine to choose?

For information, the world of vape more or less adapts its advice based on the experiences of vapers.

So, a vaping store will usually tell you:

Tobacco consumption


Less than half a pack a day 3mg/ml
Half a pack a day 6mg/ml
Full pack a day 12mg/ml

Keep in mind that this is a generality and that each case is specific.

Over the course of their experience, a heavy smoker can be satisfied with a 6mg e liquid and prioritize the flavors and the vapor.

A small smoker may get frustrated with a 3mg liquid and fail his cigarette test just because he hasn't really filled the nicotine shortage when he quit smoking.
And very often, he will not know the reason for this failure.

The other parameter to take into account is the type of cigarette you smoke.

Each brand is different and the level of nicotine varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

If you smoked half a pack of strong cigarettes, it is possible that a 12mg e liquid is more suitable for you than a 6mg/ml e juice.

The vaping experience

Finally, there you are, you bought your ecigarette kit and you have two liquids to vary a little.

You discover this new universe and are quite taken aback by the efficiency of this "thing".

Don't go too fast and pay attention to your behavior.

  - If you tell yourself that you vape a lot and that you cannot let go of your mod

          → your nicotine level is too low, you are lacking and risk relapse.

Note, however, that it is normal to vape for a long time because the absorption of nicotine is very slow as we have seen previously.

  - If you suddenly have a sore throat, a headache or if you cough every time you take a drag

          → your nicotine level is too high and becomes irritating to the mucous membranes.

Do not give up, opt for a less dosed e liquid - for example go from 12mg to 10mg/ml.
You can also get a neutral base to dilute your e liquid and thus lower the nicotine level.

  - If, while activating your device, you come up against a very hot and irritating vapor

          → your ecigarette is badly adjusted, lower the watts!

Consumption of a vape juice

As a general rule, a former moderate smoker vaper consumes an average of 2 to 3ml of e liquid per day.

A 10ml bottle will last about 3 to 5 days.

So remember to stock up enough so you don't run out at an inopportune time.

Also consider opting for juices with different nicotine levels to overcome any pitfalls.

For example, if you want to start in 12mg, add a liquid in 9mg/ml and another vial in 16mg.

You will be able to quickly overcome a feeling of withdrawal (switch to 16mg) or nicotine overdose (drop to 9mg) by changing the liquid in your tank.

Here it is, it is not so easy to ensure a transition between tobacco and vape but armed with these few tips and by following your intuition, it is a good bet that you will succeed in this step.

Do not hesitate to ask your questions in the comments, we will be happy to help you.


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