Does the Nicotine Level Affect the Taste of E-Cigarette Flavors?

Last updated on February 14th, 2022

If You’re Wondering Whether Nicotine Affects the Flavor of Your E-Cigarette’s E-Liquid, Here Are the Facts.

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Nicotine Level Does Have An Effect on Cartridge and E-Liquid Flavors!

If you’re buying e-liquids for a vaporizer, vape Mod or vape pen style e-cigarette, you already know that you can choose your nicotine level; but not everyone realizes that nicotine almost always gives you a stronger vaping experience. There’s usually a more pronounced “throat hit”. What’s more, it can alter the flavor.

When I started vaping over six years ago I was unsure which level of nicotine would be right for me. I simply started out with a high level of 2.4%. I was a heavy smoker, so this level worked for me.

Flavor Cartridges and Nicotine Level choices

But How High is High?

Some nicotine levels (like those from VaporFi) are sold as high as 3.6%, similar to a filterless cigarette. JUUL vapes are known for their super-high nicotine content of 5.0%. 

On the lower end of nicotine levels, if you choose 0.6% nicotine or Zero nicotine, the vapor will still produce good volume and flavor. People who were heavy smokers usually have to wean themselves down to this level, although some former smokers feel that the vaping “flavor” experience outshines the need for nicotine and they go with low or zero nicotine.

Why Does Nicotine Affect the Flavors of Your Vaping Experience?

In testing so many different e-cigarette products including different levels of nicotine, I along with the other testers at BECG have learned that the nicotine level does have an affect not only on your throat hit experience, but also on the cartridge or e-liquid flavor.

The difficult part in reviewing nicotine levels is that different brands of e-cigarettes and/or e-liquid manufacturers will give you a different experience. Here’ what we found.

With South Beach Smoke and VaporFi a low nicotine level can make certain flavors more enjoyable.

If you get your e-Juice from Kind Juice, you get a full flavored vape, even a zero nicotine level. T

Reviewing how specific e-cigarette flavors taste will always be subjective. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure so use our review objectively and only as a guide. 

Where To Begin When Choosing Your E-Cigarette Nicotine Level

First, get familiar with how e-cigarettes describe and compare nicotine levels. We’re seeing these more detailed guidelines on most e-cig websites:

  • Very Strong (36mg – 50mg) – Compared to a non-filtered cigarette.
  • Strong (24mg) – Compared to a strong cigarette such as Marlboro Red
  • Full (16 – 18mg) – Compare to a full flavored cigarette such as Benson & Hedges
  • Light (12mg) – Compare to a light cigarette such as Marlboro Lights
  • Ultra Light (6 – 8mg) – Compare to an ultra light cigarette such as Winston Ultra Lights
  • Zero (0mg) – Same great taste – without any nicotine. 

Mixing and Matching Flavors with Nicotine Levels

Some top e-cigarette companies, offer variety e-liquid packs. That’s always helpful for choosing a favorite flavor for your vaporizer, but since they come packaged in one box, you can’t choose the nicotine level for each flavor. That’s a downside for me.

Other popular e-cigarette companies  have Starter Kits in which you can choose 5 flavors PLUS you can choose one of 5 different nicotine levels for each flavor. 

My absolute favorite e-Liquid company, Vaporfi offers a combination of over 30,000 flavors designed for maximum vapor production and Sub-Ohm vaping. It’s recommended that if you are using a Sub-Ohm atomizer, you lower your nicotine level. 6mgs tastes like 18mgs so be prepared for a nice throat hit and major clouds.


What Affects ECig Flavors the Most?

Sometimes your vaping style as well as the nicotine level can affect taste.

Here’s tip we received from VaporFi .

“Rich flavors taste better with a long, savoring draw, while fruity and sweet flavors taste better with a swift yet deep draw.” 

Whatever level you choose, I hope this post helps get you started. Remember tastes are always subjective, and we always appreciate your feedback, so please leave a comment and let us know what you think about how nicotine levels affect e-cigarette flavors.

All E-Cigarette companies mentioned in this article are among the best-selling and have tested their e-liquids for purity. All are diacetyl free as well.  

You May Also LikeWhere to Find ELiquids That Are Diacetyl Free

Happy Vaping!



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    • maha168 on December 25, 2019 at 2:06 am
    • Reply

    Thanks , I have just been looking for info approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the
    best I have discovered till now. However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive about the source?

    1. Thanks for the kind comments. We’ve learned from testing various products and nicotine levels ourselves and from receiving comments on our reviews. We also check out different vape sellers’ websites (some are linked in this post), and read the reviews from others who comment on flavor and harshness relating to nicotine.

    • Kobe Roy on June 10, 2019 at 5:34 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for sharing this information, I really appreciate your work. Keep it up.

    • Holly North on January 23, 2017 at 3:44 am
    • Reply

    Despite the fact smoking is a proven danger to people’s lives, a major population of the world still consists of smokers. Smoking causes damage to almost all body organs and is a major cause of cancer. Many people addicted to tobacco have realized the effects of smoking and have tried quitting.
    E-cigarettes are tobacco-free (and potentially nicotine free). Some people will listen to the scaremongering you read in the newspapers and believe electronic cigarettes are harmful. Before switching to e-cigarettes people should speak to their doctor and also do a thorough research on the product.

    • Frieda Johnson on January 10, 2017 at 1:10 am
    • Reply

    Very nice article informative content thanks we liked it.

    1. Thank you Frieda!

    • Julio on November 14, 2016 at 5:30 am
    • Reply

    Is it true that high vg juice faster burn the coilhead in tank?

    • stail on September 28, 2015 at 2:11 am
    • Reply

    I would like to have some more information on seeping to maximize flavor and maybe a table chart and how much actual flavoring to use?

    1. Hi stail,

      I think you will find this post on “steeping” eliquids helpful – Why Steeping ELiquids Improves Flavor
      Also, more flavor shots means more intense flavor. VaporFi lets you select the number of shots you need. Vaporfi even lets you create your own flavor combinations.

        • stail on October 2, 2015 at 7:48 am
        • Reply

        Thanks for the reply Hillary. That post is really helpful for me. Also I got good help from website “E-Liquid”. Creating own flavor combination is also good technique I believe.

    • Chris_L on September 10, 2015 at 1:03 pm
    • Reply

    In my experience (using a mod and tank set-up), I’ve found that with premium e-juice, the amount of nicotine definitely enhances the flavor. I’m only talking about from 0mg to 3-6mg, as 6mg is the highest I’ve tried in that kind of setup. This was extremely apparent with “Unicorn Milk” and “Boosted” e-juice (two of my current favorites).

      • Andreas E-shisha on October 22, 2017 at 9:46 am
      • Reply

      i Agree with chris the premium e juice types with high nicotine always give the best flavour

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