A guide to Nic Shots (freebase)
One of the most common question's I get asked is "how many nic shots do I need?" It can be confusing when switching from 100ml shortfill bottles to 50ml and vice versa and I sometimes get customers convinced they are vaping higher amounts because "that's what the other vape shop said". So I've decided to put together a bit of a guide to try and answer a few questions around nic shots.
Of course there's a whole range of nic shot's available these days we have different strengths, Ice shot's, Fizz shot's and of course Salt shot's. The list goes on but in this guide I'll be using Freebase 18mg nic shot's as they are the most commonly used.
What are nic shots?
So lets get started. First off let me answer the question "what are nic shots?". Nic shots are the little 10ml bottles you get when you buy your e-liquid in larger bottles (anything above 10ml). You add the nic shots to your vape juice to create the desired nicotine level. Nic shots are usually flavourless, however freebase nicotine does give you a harsh throat hit, so the more you add the harsher that throat hit is going to be. Also bare in mind that as the nic shots are flavourless you are diluting the flavour of your favourite e-liquid with every shot you add.
Why do I need nic shots?
This is a good question "why do we need to use nic shots?" Well the answer is you don't. There's plenty of people that vape without nicotine, I actually have a few customers that do this. They may have gradually reduced their nicotine or some people just like the flavours (I suppose it's probably healthier than sweets). But, as the main aim of vaping is to provide an alternative to smoking, I suppose the real question is " why do I have to add my own nicotine?" or "why can't I buy my e-liquid with nicotine already in it?" In 2014 the European Union brought in the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) with the aim of regulating the vaping industry.
restrict e-cigarette tanks to a capacity of no more than 2ml
restrict the maximum volume of nicotine-containing e-liquid for sale in one refill container to 10ml
restrict e-liquids to a nicotine strength of no more than 20mg/ml
require nicotine-containing products or their packaging to be child-resistant and tamper evident
ban certain ingredients including colourings, caffeine and taurine
include new labelling requirements and warnings
- require all e-cigarettes and e-liquids be notified to the MHRA before they can be sold
This meant that e-liquid containing the usual strengths 3mg, 6mg etc could no longer be sold in bottles above 10ml. The vape industry needed to react, people still wanted to buy their vape juice in bigger bottles, so the solution was to put the nicotine in a separate bottle and make the customer add the nic shots their selves. Personally I don't think this is a bad thing, it means I don't have to stock different strengths of each flavour and also, if you do your calculations right, it's possible to gradually reduce your nicotine intake by reducing the amount of nicotine you add.
How many nic shots do I need?
So now we get to the burning question "how many nic shots do I need to add to my e-liquid?" Now this depends on the amount of nicotine you require. Most people buying their vape juice in larger bottles mix it to 3mg strength, with a few stretching it to 6mg. If you require strengths higher than this, say 12mg or 18mg then I suggest buying the smaller 10ml TPD bottles.
The simplest thing to remember is that mixing 1 18mg nic shot to 50ml of e-liquid will give you 60ml's at 3mg strength. From here we can work everything out so if you have a 100ml shortfill bottle you would require 2 nic shots to bring it to 3mg. For 6mg you would double the nic shots.
50ml + 1 nic shot = 60ml 3mg
50ml + 2 nic shot = 70ml 6mg
100ml + 2 nic shot = 120ml 3mg
100ml + 4 nic shot = 140ml 6mg
I've put together a little diagram below (please don't laugh, I know my computer skills need some work)
How to add nic shots
Adding nicotine to your e-liquid is simple. You remove the lid's from both bottles, pour in your required nicotine amount and give it a really good shake.