Over and Under Nic’ing  

One of the many bonuses of vaping is being able to carefully monitor your nicotine intake with a view to gradually reducing it over time. This is particularly easy when using e-cigarettes as all e-liquids are clearly labelled with their specific nicotine content and by using the various available guides online and in vape stores, you can assess which nicotine level will be most suitable to reflect your current tobacco habit. For example, if you are a ten-a-day smoker, you would require an e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 6mg. If you find this is too strong, you can simply swap your e-juice for a 3mg. For a stronger, more satisfying hit, you can move up to 12mg.  

Nicotine Poisoning

It is important to make sure you’re receiving the right amount of nicotine for your particular needs, as too much or too little can have a detrimental effect on your attempts at quitting cigarettes. Too much nicotine in your system can lead to the unpleasant phenomenon of nicotine poisoning, which occurs when you vape too frequently or if you’re using a nicotine strength which is too high. Similarly, if you are unaccustomed to smoking and have not been exposed to nicotine prior to vaping nicotine-containing e-liquid, then you are also at risk from developing nicotine poisoning.  

Over Nic'ing

The effects of over nic’ing can present themselves in a variety of ways, impacting the heart, hormones and digestive system. The initial fifteen to sixty minutes after the body experiences too much exposure to nicotine usually brings with it the following symptoms:  


excess saliva production  

feelings of nausea which lead to vomiting  

stomach ache 

loss of appetite 


headache / migraine  

dizziness and confusion  

anxiety and restlessness 

rapid breathing / increased heart-rate / raised blood pressure



 After this initial shock to the system, the effects of over-exposure to nicotine begin to taper off and make way for the depressor effects which follow. These symptoms include:  


lowered blood pressure and decreased heart rate 

shallow or difficulty breathing 



muscle weakness 

pale complexion  


In very extreme cases of over nic’ing, people have been reported to experience seizuresbreathing difficulties and respiratory failure, and in some cases individuals have even slipped / been induced into a coma.   Over-exposure to nicotine can in some instances be serious or fatal, but this is incredibly rare and often only occurs when a person has exposed themselves to extremely high concentrations of nicotine for an extended period of time, continuing to intake nicotine after the initial symptoms present themselves.   

Under Nic'ing

It is also crucial to avoid under nic’ing, especially when using nicotine e-liquid as a smoking cessation aid, as the effect of too little nicotine can cause you to return to cigarettes in a frustrated bid to calm your cravings.  

The level of nicotine strength you require is generally based on your current cigarette consumption and can be gradually reduced as your cravings decrease. As a rough guide, a 5-10 a-day cigarette smoker would require a 6mg nicotine e-liquid, a 10-15 a-day smoker would require 11mg, 15-20 cigarettes per day would require 18mg and 20-25 a-day calls for 24mg. if you are using the relevant strength for your tobacco consumption, then try moving to the next level up to see if that offers more of a satisfying, sustaining hit.  

Other Factors to Consider

There are however other factors which might contribute to feelings of dissatisfaction when switching from smoking to vaping. If you are using a cheap e-cigarette device from a non-reputable manufacturer, then the device itself is very likely not providing enough power to offer a satisfying throat hit. If you’re looking for a compact, reliable kit you can really trust then try the Vapouriz Fuse, which comes with everything you need to get up and running and requires very little prior knowledge of vaping to successfully operate the device.


The possibility that you might not be using your device correctly may also be a contributing factor in not receiving enough nicotine. Always ensure that the tank is correctly aligned with the battery and the threading is not obstructed or damaged in any way. You might also want to consider the way in which you are inhaling on your device, as vaping tends to require long, deep inhalations as opposed to the shorter and more shallow breaths taken when smoking a cigarette.    

Battery Level

The solution to under nic’ing may also be found in your device’s charge status, as low battery power will lead to reduced vapour production, and as such, less nicotine being delivered to the bloodstream. Try topping up the charge of your device, and if that’s unsuccessful you may find that your battery has reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced altogether.   

Knowledge is Power

In all cases of under and over nic’ing there is a suitable solution which can be employed to help effectively overcome the effects and avoid the risk of it happening again. You should never feel that the only way around this issue is to return to smoking in order to feel relief from your nicotine cravings, so arm yourself with the knowledge you need to be successful in your vaping journey.