How Many Vape Puffs Equal a Cigarette?

Despite only being in its formative years, vaping devices have done well to build a solid reputation as a safer, healthier solution to smoking. 

While some make the switch to vaping to decrease their consumption of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes, others make the transition to taste dense, flavorful clouds. Regardless of their intent, they all have one burning question in mind—how many vape puffs equal a cigarette? 

Now, let me be honest here. There isn’t a specific evaluation method that can assess cigarettes and vape devices accurately; after all, there are numerous variables at play here. 

For instance, the absorption of nicotine differs from one person to another. 

While some may take small puffs, others may take longer drags. While some may take a longer break between puffs, others may smoke like a chimney. 

Therefore, since it isn’t feasible to determine how many vape puffs equal a cigarette, let’s try to look at things from a different angle. Let’s attempt to discover how a vape juice with specific nicotine strength compares to a set number of cigarettes. 

To do that, we must first identify how much mg of nicotine is found in one cigarette. 

How Much Nicotine Does One Cigarette Have? 

Unfortunately, the nicotine levels in cigarettes vary according to different brands. So, we’ll have to break down the numbers in averages.

A cigarette contains 1 gram of tobacco on average, which translates to around 8 to 20mg of nicotine. Since it is impossible for a person to absorb all the nicotine content in a cigarette, we will use 8mg as our more probable figure. 

How Much Nicotine Strength is in a Bottle of Vape Juice? 

The nicotine strength in a vape juice is measured in milligrams. Now, vape juices are available for purchase at different nicotine levels: 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, and 12mg.

Understandably, light vapers opt for lower nicotine e-juice while heavy smokers opt for higher nicotine e-liquid to get their nicotine fix. 

When analyzing the “mg” figures, you can discover the amount of nicotine found in each 1ml of e-juice. 

For instance, a 3mg nicotine-strength e-juice will have 0.3% nicotine by volume. If we’re to assume that the 3mg e-juice is placed in a 60ml bottle, the vape juice will have (mg x ml) 180 milligrams of nicotine per bottle. 

How Many Cigarettes are Equal to a Bottle of Vape Juice? 

To know this, you’ll first have to check the nicotine strength of the vape juice. 

Let’s take a 6mg nicotine-strength vape juice as an example and assume it’s placed in a 60ml bottle. Now, to determine the total nicotine level per bottle, you’ll have to multiply its milligrams by milliliter. 

We will have (6 x 60) = 360 mg of nicotine per bottle. 

We have concluded earlier that a cigarette, on average, has around 8mg of nicotine. Using simple math, we can deduce that a 6mg nicotine strength vape juice in a 60 ml bottle equates to roughly 45 cigarettes. 

However, we can’t take this analysis simply at face value. After all, cigarettes do contain a whole lot of different chemicals that aren’t best-suited for the body. 

Compared to cigarettes, vape juices have healthier ingredients including vegetable glycerin, a thick, odorless liquid that is usually extracted from palm trees or soybeans. Vape juices also have the benefit of only having a single level of nicotine. 

Simply put, e-liquids don’t have all the contaminants found in tobacco smoke. So, it wouldn’t be totally right to say that a particular bottle of vape juice equates to a specific number of cigarettes. 

How Much Nicotine Strength is Suitable for You? 

Your vape juice selection process must factor in your smoking frequency. To identify the most suitable e-juice for you, assess your dependence on nicotine. 

The guideline below should help clear your doubts and steer you in the right direction. 

  • The 0mg nicotine level vape juice is for you if you’re planning to be nicotine-free.
  • Opt for a 3mg nicotine level vape juice if you are a light smoker and not heavily reliant on nicotine. 
  • The 6mg nicotine-level vape juice is ideal for moderate smokers who used to smoke lighter cigarettes during their smoking days. 
  • Chain-smokers and those who face nicotine withdrawal symptoms on the regular can opt for vape juices with a nicotine strength of 12mg.


Make no mistake, both vape juices and cigarettes consist of different ingredients, chemicals, and compounds. 

Compared to the nicotine ingested through e-liquid, the nicotine consumed through tobacco smoke does have a different impact on the body. Additionally, the chemical compounds found abundantly in cigarettes can also expedite the absorption process. 

Hence, there is a difference in how a body reacts to nicotine intake through both mediums. 

Cigarettes are known to have more than 4,000 different types of chemicals and toxins such as carbon monoxide and tar. On the other hand, vape juices contain far healthier and simpler components. 

Despite being harmful, vaping devices are still considered safer and healthier options. 

To draw a proper comparison between a vaping device and cigarette in terms of puffs/drags would be impractical, near impossible even. There’s no correlation between a cigarette and a vaping device in regards to form and means of ingested nicotine. 

The only way forward is to determine the nicotine you absorb from a vaping device to equal a cigarette—which is exactly what we did in this article.