Vaping vs. Smoking: How Much Nicotine Is in a Cigarette?

Vaping vs. Smoking: How Much Nicotine Is in a Cigarette?

Many have hailed vaping as a great alternative to cigarettes. In principle, vapes contain the same active ingredient in cigarettes, without harmful chemicals like tar. Cigarettes have a distinct pungent smell that makes their use less acceptable in public. On the other hand, vapes come in different flavors that have made them trendy. Even though the initial price for a vape kit may be higher than a cigarette packet, in the long run, vaping is considered cheaper. Plus, with the numerous brands today, you can get a vape that suits your budget.

One of the biggest advantages of vaping is you can control the nicotine uptake. Many vape devices have a voltage control unit that you can adjust to produce more or less smoke. Some vape devices can also control the puff length, inevitably controlling the amount of nicotine with each inhale.

What are The Effects of Nicotine?

Nicotine is a stimulus that mimics dopamine. Once inhaled, it takes seconds to get to the brain, making the body release neurotransmitters that regulate your mood and behavior. Nicotine also goes to the adrenal glands, which release adrenaline, giving you energy. However, this feeling is short-lived, meaning you must take many continuous puffs to keep the feeling going – which can make nicotine highly addictive.

In fact, some experts insist that nicotine is more addictive than even cocaine or heroin, which makes it incredibly hard to quit. To help with the rehabilitation of nicotine addiction, some experts say that using supplements high in vitamin C and natural diuretics could help. Vitamin C helps by speeding up your metabolism and increasing your energy levels, hence reducing the urge to smoke. In turn, natural diuretics increase urination frequency which helps remove the nicotine toxins faster from your body, cleansing your system and reducing the urge to smoke further.

According to Nexeem, a popular e-liquid manufacturer, the breakdown of products and their nicotine levels are as follows:

  • Cigar: 13.3 Mg-15.4 Mg
  • Pipe tobacco: 30 Mg-50 Mg
  • Hookah: 1.04 Mg
  • E-cigarette: 0.5 Mg- 15 Mg
  • Cigarettes: 5 Mg- 20 Mg

Factors that Determine Nicotine Uptake

As with many drugs, the body reacts to the chemicals at an individual level. Nicotine may affect you differently compared to another person. These factors include:

  • How many puffs: the more puffs you take, the more nicotine you inhale
  • Length of Puff: the longer you inhale, the more nicotine you take
  • Puff hold: the longer you hold a puff, the more nicotine you take
  • Inhale: the deeper the inhale, the more nicotine you take

What Chemicals are Contained in a Cigarette

In general, when you smoke a cigarette, the nicotine is delivered to your body through the smoke burnt from the tobacco. On the other hand, when you vape, the nicotine is delivered to your body through the aerosols found in the vape liquid. It may look like a slight difference, but it has vast differences in the amount of nicotine you consume.

What Chemicals are Contained in a Cigarette

What Chemicals are Contained in a Cigarette? Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash

Cigarettes contain a variety of other chemicals that may harm your body, and some are known to cause cancer.

  • Tar: Tar is the blackish soot by-product that forms when you light and smoke a cigarette. It is created due to the incomplete combustion of tobacco when inhaled. Tar can cause many respiratory issues and contributes to air pollution.
  • Carbon monoxide: is a poisonous by-product created when something burns at low oxygen levels. It is odorless but lethal in large quantities.
  • Formaldehyde: tobacco naturally contains Formaldehyde. When burnt, it releases a foul odor. It is also a leading cause of cancer.
  • Benzene: a chemical found in gasoline
  • Ammonia: a strong-smelling substance used in cleaning products.

What are the Chemicals Found in Vapes?

Since vape juice is artificially made, it contains mainly synthetic chemicals meant to create flavor and vapor.

  • Propylene glycol (PG): Helps produce vapor found in food and medical products
  • Vegetable glycerin: produced by plants and used to produce vapor
  • Nicotine: the active ingredient in vape juice
  • Flavoring: different chemicals offer different flavors. These chemicals include Acetyl Propionyl, Vanillin, and fruit extracts

Comparison Between Nicotine Levels in Vapes Vs. Cigarettes

With a vape, you can control the voltage burning the liquid. The type of coil you use can also influence nicotine intake. Depending on the brand, you can get vastly different nicotine amounts in both cigarettes and vapes.

The question of how much nicotine is in cigarettes compared to vaping is highly subjective. You should ask yourself many questions, such as which is better for blood vessel health. It is up to you to do your due diligence and make the right choice for your health and nicotine needs.

Author: Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a writer and editor with a passion for alternative health products and practices. When they're not outside with their rescue dog, they spend their time exploring local wellness/new age spaces and practicing yoga.

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