Which is better, a high nicotine content but low amount of vapour or a low nicotine content which produces a lot of vapour?
When most smokers start vaping they have a choice, go for a small E-Cigarette (like ours) or a larger vapouriser. It can be hard to choose between the two, but today's news might help.
A recent study from Cancer Research UK suggests that higher nicotine e-liquids might better for you AND they might be more helpful when you are trying to make the switch from cigarettes to vaping!
What’s the Difference Between High and Low Nicotine?
Before we begin looking at this it's important to look at where you commonly find high and low nicotine.
Normally when people want a higher nicotine level they will find themselves using an e-cigarette, while people looking for low nicotine will use a vapouriser. The study also looked into fixed power and variable voltage, and fixed voltage is largely an E-Cigarette feature.
This isn't a hard and fast rule, you can find vapourisers with high nicotine liquids and e-cigarettes with low nicotine refills. Generally though if you are looking for a high nicotine e-liquid then you will normally be using an E-Cigarette.
For those who aren't sure of the difference between E-Cigarettes (or E-Cigs for short) and vapourisers; E-Cigs has more nicotine in the e-liquid, and they only produce the same amount of vapour as a cigarette would produce smoke. E-cigarettes are designed to look and feel like a cigarette, and come with refills that are pre-filled with e-liquid and the equipment is ready to use, so no modification of voltage and no filling with e-liquid etc. Once an E-Cig refill is used up you just unscrew it and put a new one on.
Meanwhile vapourisers have much less nicotine in their e-liquid, but produce more vapour to make up for this. Vapourisers are also much more customisable, with variable voltage batteries (to heat the liquid more or less), lots of replaceable parts and you pour your own e-liquid.
If you see someone with a cloud of vapour around them, and they're holding a large box, that's a vapouriser. If it looks like they are using a cigarette but the tip glows blue, then it is an E-Cigarette.
For the purpose of this blog then we will look at this study as the difference between E-Cigarettes and Vapourisers as this is the most common occurrence between high nicotine/low vapour and low nicotine/high vapour.
Cancer Research's Study
The study was funded by Cancer Research UK, researched at London South Bank University and published in the journal Addiction. It was designed to look at the difference between high nicotine and low nicotine in regards to health and usability.
They divided up the 20 volunteers into two groups, high nicotine users and low nicotine users. Next they measured how many puffs they took, how high the voltage of the device they used and how satisfied they were afterwards.
After a week all the participants were tested for any toxins like formaldehyde and nicotine level.
Each week they switched to a different type of e-cigarette, so over the 4 weeks they had tried a:
- low-nicotine (6mg/ml) device set to fixed power
- high-nicotine (18mg/ml) device set to fixed power
- low-nicotine device with adjustable power
- high-nicotine device with adjustable power
With so few people in this study is obviously not final proof, but it is still interesting to see the difference!
E-Cigarette Users more satisfied vs. Vapourisers
The study found that those using low nicotine e-liquid in their devices puffed more deeply and more often than those using high nicotine e-liquid. But despite puffing more vapouriser users don't get as much nicotine as E-Cigarette users.
The low nicotine group also reported a stronger urge to vape more often than e-cigarette users. The low nicotine didn't satisfy the participants cravings and so they used their vapourisers more. The researchers also noted that vapouriser users had withdrawal symptoms and weren't as satisfied after vaping.
Toxins produced in Vapourisers
Lastly a perhaps most importantly is the issue of the toxins that the study found.
It was found that when vapouriser users increased the voltage they increased the likelihood of toxins, some of which are carcinogens, being produced.
The reason why they would need to raise the voltage is that the nicotine is low, so vapouriser users increased the voltage of their batteries to get the most vapour. We've mentioned this before but the more you raise the voltage the more you heat e-liquid, and the more vapour you get.
With more vapour you get more nicotine, and for many of the test subjects they needed the nicotine. However when you raise the voltage you risk overheating the e-liquid, which makes it more likely you produce something you don't want.
Think of it like cooking, no matter how great the ingredients are, if you turn the temperature up too high and overcook them, you're going to be left with charcoal.
In this case when e-liquid is overheated it can in some cases produce formaldehyde, which is toxic.
However it's VERY important to note that vapourisers are still much better than cigarettes. Even if the vapouriser users turned their batteries up to an insane degree and overcooked the e-liquid, it is still nowhere near as dangerous as cigarettes! The risk is low but not nothing.
To Make The Switch, Try E-Cigarettes
E-cigarette users though have none of these issues. As E-Cigarettes have a lot more nicotine in them the cravings are satisfied easier and for longer. And they are a fixed voltage so there's no option to overheat the e-liquid!
This is because cigarettes are addictive because of more than just nicotine, they use the 4000 other chemicals acting in concert to keep you hooked. It makes sense then, after all making the switch is hard enough, why add a lack of nicotine to it?
Dr Lynne Dawkins, lead author of the study said: "Some vapers might believe that starting out on a low nicotine strength is a good thing, but they should be aware that reducing their nicotine concentration is likely to result in the use of more e-liquid. This obviously comes with a financial cost but also possibly with a health cost. The results of our study suggest that smokers who want to switch to vaping may be better to start with higher, rather than lower, nicotine levels"
So if you are thinking about making the switch, but weren't sure what to go for, when not try one of our high nicotine e-cigarettes? At the moment out starter kits are only £9.99!