How Long Does a Bottle of E Liquid Last?

So, you’ve made the choice. You’ve decided that you’re going to quit smoking and switch to vaping. But you’ve got questions. About the liquid. Not how it’s made, because you’ve seen that elsewhere on our site. Not how it tastes, because you’ve read the reviews. But on how much you need. You want to know how long does a bottle of eliquid last? How many cigarettes is a bottle equivalent to? How much do you need to buy?

Well don’t worry, because we’ve got the answers right here. 

How Many Cigarettes is a Bottle of Eliquid Equivalent To?

There aren’t many benefits to smoking compared to vaping. What with the formaldehyde, and the tar, and the skyrocketing risk of lung cancer. But when you smoke, you tend to know exactly how much you smoke. Ten cigarettes a day. Twenty. Half a pack, a full pack, more… It’s just a matter of counting.

With eliquid, it’s a little different. You won’t be marking off little notches on your tank to let you know how much you vape in a particular sitting. So it’s not quite as easy as saying “one bottle of tobacco blend eliquid is equivalent to four packs of cigarettes.”

Instead, we need to do a little bit of what we’ll call back-of-a-fag-packet maths.

Your average cigarette contains around 8mg to 20mg of nicotine. Now the weird thing is, that no matter how strong your cigarettes are, you’ll only absorb 1mg of nicotine from each one you smoke. Probably because setting tobacco on fire isn’t exactly an efficient chemical process.

So let’s say you smoke 20 a day. That means each day, your body absorbs 20mg of nicotine through your lungs, into your bloodstream.

Hang on though. Some eliquids say 6mg nicotine on the bottle. Does that mean a 20-a-day smoker needs three and a half bottles of eliquid every day?

Nope. That’s mg/mL. Or milligrams per millilitre. So your 10ml bottle of 6mg eliquid contains 60mg of nicotine for your body to absorb. Now much like with a cigarette, unless you were to drink a bottle of eliquid, it wouldn’t all be absorbed into your body.

So lets do that maths.

Nicotine in a packet of cigarettes:   12mg x 20 cigarettes = 240mg
Nicotine in a 6mg bottle of liquid:    6mg x 10ml = 60mg
Nicotine in a 11mg bottle of liquid:  11mg x 10ml = 110mg
Nicotine in a 16mg bottle of liquid:  16mg x 10ml = 160mg
Nicotine in a 20mg bottle of liquid: 20mg x 10ml = 200mg

So according to that, with wiggle room for the fact you’ll absorb more nicotine from the vape, a 16mg or 20mg bottle should last you about as long as 20 cigarettes.

If you smoke ten per day, a bottle will last two days or so. But as you switch to vaping over smoking, you’ll gradually taper down the amount of nicotine you need, and find that a 6mg bottle will still last two days or longer, even though you’re getting much less nicotine.

How Much Will You Vape?

The thing is, that maths doesn’t tell the whole story. If it takes seven to eight minutes to smoke a cigarette, and you smoke 20 cigarettes per day, then that’s two hours and forty minutes each day spent smoking.

You probably won’t vape for seven minutes at a time. Or eight. Or even five. Instead of twenty eight minute sessions, you’ll have one or two vaping sessions each hour, lasting two to three minutes.

So you’ll be vaping more often, but spending less time doing it. Meaning that your bottle might last two to three days.

So How Long Will a Bottle of Eliquid Last? How Much Should I Buy?

So, we’ve worked out how much nicotine you’ll get compared to a cigarette, and how long you’ll spend vaping. So now we should be able to give a firm answer to the question “how long will a bottle of eliquid last?”

Well, sort of.

You see, there’s a variable. You.

If you spend all day vaping because you work in the Kik offices, or from home, or you’re retired, you’ll go through more than half a bottle a day. Conversely, if you’re a long-haul airline pilot who’s sitting there for 16 hours waiting for the plane to land in Sydney so you can get outside for a quick vape, you’ll be using much less eliquid.

So even with the maths, we need to be vague. And we’ll say this.

Budget for around half a bottle per day. Buy four or five bottles, and see where you are after a day or two. And follow this rule of thumb for the strength of liquid you need:

Light smoker (less than 10 per day):        6mg liquids
Medium smoker (10-20 per day):             11mg liquids
Heavy smoker (20+ per day):                 18mg liquids

And leave us a comment below. Let us know how much you used to smoke, what strength of liquid works best for you, and how many bottles you go through a day. Maybe we’ll see a consensus!

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