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September 25, 2023 3 min read

E-liquids are a fundamental component of the vaping experience, and they come in a wide range of nicotine strengths. Understanding these nicotine levels is crucial for both beginners and experienced vapers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various nicotine levels available in e-liquids, cite relevant studies, and discuss UK legislation on this topic.

Nicotine Levels in E-Liquids

E-liquids are typically labeled with their nicotine content, which is measured in milligrams per mililiter (mg/ml). Nicotine levels vary significantly, and they play a crucial role in determining the overall vaping experience. Here are the most common nicotine levels you'll encounter:

1. Nicotine-Free (0 mg/ml):

  • Also known as "zero nicotine" e-liquids, these contain no nicotine whatsoever. They are suitable for vapers who have successfully quit nicotine or for those who never smoked but enjoy vaping for the flavors and experience.

2. Low Nicotine (3 mg/ml to 6 mg/ml):

  • Low nicotine e-liquids are intended for vapers who want just a hint of nicotine or are in the process of gradually reducing their nicotine intake. They are a good starting point for beginners.

3. Medium Nicotine (12 mg/ml to 18 mg/ml):

  • Medium nicotine e-liquids cater to vapers who are used to smoking light to regular cigarettes. They provide a satisfying nicotine hit without being overly intense.

4. High Nicotine (24 mg/ml and above):

  • High nicotine e-liquids are designed for heavy smokers or those who crave a potent nicotine rush. However, they are increasingly less common due to health concerns associated with high nicotine levels.

UK Legislation on Nicotine Levels

In the United Kingdom, e-cigarette and e-liquid regulation falls under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR). These regulations, as of my last knowledge update in September 2021, impose specific restrictions on nicotine levels in e-liquids:

  1. Nicotine Strength Limit: The maximum nicotine strength allowed in e-liquids sold in the UK is 20 mg/ml. This limit was set to strike a balance between providing a satisfying nicotine experience for smokers transitioning to vaping while reducing the potential for nicotine toxicity.

  2. Packaging and Labeling: E-liquid packaging must be child-resistant, and labels must include clear warnings about the nicotine content and potential health risks. These measures are in place to protect children and inform consumers.

Studies on Nicotine Levels and Vaping

Numerous studies have explored the relationship between nicotine levels in e-liquids and their impact on vaping and smoking cessation:

  1. Nicotine Delivery: A study published in the journal "Addiction" in 2018 found that higher nicotine concentrations in e-liquids were associated with more effective nicotine delivery to users, potentially aiding smokers in quitting traditional cigarettes.

  2. Role in Smoking Cessation: Research published in "Tobacco Control" in 2019 suggested that e-cigarettes with higher nicotine levels were more effective at helping smokers quit or reduce their cigarette consumption.

  3. Reducing Health Risks: A study in the "New England Journal of Medicine" in 2019 indicated that when used as a complete substitute for smoking, e-cigarettes with sufficient nicotine levels could significantly reduce the exposure to harmful tobacco-related toxins.


Understanding nicotine levels in e-liquids is vital for tailoring your vaping experience to your needs and preferences. The UK's regulations aim to strike a balance between offering an effective tool for smoking cessation and protecting public health. If you are a smoker considering vaping to quit or an experienced vaper looking to adjust your nicotine intake, it's essential to consult with knowledgeable professionals and make informed choices about the nicotine strength that suits you best. Always be aware of the most current regulations in your region, as they may evolve over time.