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What it's Like to Vape Without Nicotine

Why do people vape with nicotine-free vape juice and what is it like vaping nic-free juice? The answers might surprise you so read on if you want to find out why zero-nicotine vape juice is popular with some vapers and what it's like to use it.

Why Some Vapers Prefer to Use Nicotine-Free Vape Juice

Not all vapers vape for the same reason. One of the most common reasons is to quit smoking. Another reason is for pure enjoyment. While you're probably not going to find any doctors recommending vaping for reasons like enjoyment or recreation, some doctors recommend nicotine vaping products for smoking cessation. But what happens when a smoker who has switched to vaping decides to remove nicotine from the equation? For some vapers who make this decision, it's a process that entails buying and using lower and lower strength vape juice until the juice that they're using is one that has no nicotine in it.

Is there vape juice with no nicotine in it? Yes. Many vape juices are made without nicotine. Of course, most vape liquids likely contain nicotine, but there are plenty that do not. Typically, the amount of nicotine is printed on the box and the bottle. The amount of nicotine in a bottle of e-liquid is usually indicated in milligrams and/or a percentage.

Here are some examples of how vape companies indicate that their products contain no nicotine:

  • 0MG Nicotine
  • 0% Nicotine
  • Nicotine-Free
  • Zero Nicotine
  • Nic-Free
  • No Nicotine

Despite having a label indicating that no nicotine is present in the vape juice, testing has revealed that some "nicotine-free" vape juices do contain nicotine. The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, investigated vapes sold on Amazon as "nicotine-free" and found that six out of the seven vapes they purchased and tested contained nicotine. Similarly, Australian researchers investigating vape juice sold in Australia as "nicotine-free" found that six out of the ten e-liquids that they tested contained nicotine.

Needless to say, trust is an important factor when considering which nicotine-free vape juice to purchase, as research like the aforementioned investigations has revealed that not all vape companies are worthy of the public's trust.

What it's Like to Vape Without Nicotine

Vaping without nicotine is similar to vaping with it, only the vapour is typically smoother and it has no nicotine to satisfy cravings. When nicotine is added to vape juice, the vapour that it produces when heated by a vaping device provides a stronger throat hit. Without it, the vapour is subdued, so to say, making it noticeably smoother upon inhale and exhale.

The nicotine seems to have little noticeable impact on the actual flavour of the vapour and the throat-hit sensation, although dulled by the lack of nicotine, can still be increased or decreased by the vaping device and the other ingredients used to create the vape juice. As an example, menthol can be added to vape juice to make the throat hit stronger, which can be more desirable for ex-smokers who appreciate the feeling of vapour hitting the back of their throat.

So long as nicotine does not serve a crucial role in helping one quit smoking, its presence in vape juice is unnecessary. As many vapers do enjoy vaping nic-free juice, it goes without saying that there is a place for nicotine-free vape juices in the world of vaping and that it can be, for some, an enjoyable experience, if not more enjoyable than vaping with juice that contains nicotine.

To summarize the experience of vaping nicotine-free juice, it's quite similar to vaping juice that has nicotine in it with the only real differences being a more subdued throat hit and no diminishment of nicotine cravings.

Different Types of Nicotine Used in Vapes

There is more than one type of nicotine used in vape juices. Freebase nicotine used to be what all e-cigarettes used. This type of nicotine is extracted directly from the tobacco plant. Compared to nicotine salt, which has become much more popular since pod vapes and disposable vapes rose in popularity, freebase nicotine tends to be harsher on the throat when vaped and inhaled.

To create nicotine salts, acid is added to the nicotine, lowering its pH level. This allows the vapour produced from vaping juice that contains nicotine salts to be smoother on the throat. Researchers have found that there are at least six different types of acid used by vape juice manufacturers to create nicotine salts used in e-cigarettes.

While many vapers choose salts these days, there are benefits to using freebase nicotine, which include more versatility in which vaping devices can be used. The reason for this is that nicotine salts are not recommended for high-powered sub-ohm vaping devices, whereas freebase nicotine is compatible with virtually all device types.

Understanding Nicotine Strength in E-Juice

Depending on how the nicotine strength on a vaping product like a bottle of vape juice is labelled, you may be looking at a percentage or the number of milligrams per millilitre. Translating one to the other is easy. Here's how you do it:

  • 1% = 10mg/ml
  • 2% = 20mg/ml
  • 3% = 30mg/ml
  • 4% = 40mg/ml
  • 5% = 50mg/ml

In some countries, there is a limit to the strength of nicotine that's legally allowed. In countries where there is no cap, 5% strength is common, particularly for nicotine salt juices like those commonly used in disposable vapes and pod systems.

The correct strength to use depends on what you're accustomed to. If you're a heavy smoker then it seems only logical to assume that you will want to match your heavy smoking habit with a strong vape juice, but that's not always the case. You may need to experiment to find the most suitable strength for your juice.

It's also important to understand that freebase nicotine is harsher on the throat than salt nicotine so you will want to factor this into the strength of the juice you decide to buy and use. If you're confident that you need a high-strength juice then it is likely that you will be most satisfied by a juice that uses salts, as the salts remain smooth at high concentrations.

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