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Getting the mg right - A model

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by , 09-24-2009 at 12:04 AM (7750 Views)
Stopping short of doing the math here, which I'll do if folks insist (but they usually don't), this is the model I'm currently using to estimate e-liquid concentration and amount that approximates our old tobacco nicotine intake.

Here is the total mg of nicotine to vape daily based on the type of cigarettes we used to smoke and how many of them we smoked daily:

1. Ultra lights - 25 mg of nicotine from e-liquid x number of packs per day previously smoked.

2. Lights - 37 mg of nicotine from e-liquid per pack x number of packs per day previously smoked.

3. Full flavor - 50 mg of nicotine from e-liquid per pack x number of packs per day previously smoked.


Example:


Smoking habit: Ultra-light at 2.5 packs/day.

Use the 25 mg figure (above) and multiply it by the 2.5 packs/day (25 mg x 2.5 = 62.5 mg). So according to my model, 2.5 pack/day ultralight smokers will balance their old nicotine habit by vaping 62.5 mg of nicotine per day.

Let's say you habitually vape 4 mL of 15 mg/mL e-liquid. You can find out the mg of nicotine vaped per day by multiplying 4 mL by 15 mg/mL: (4 mL x 15 mg/mL = 60 mg). So you're vaping 60 mg of nicotine/day.

So I estimated that your old smoking habit would be balanced by vaping 62.5 mg of nicotine per day, and you are actually vaping 60 mg of nicotine per day. Pretty close, according to my model, your vaping is in balance with your former smoking.

Of course, if we can go down from our old tobacco-based nicotine consumption, that's probably a good thing, I'm not recommending a level, I'm just attempting to model the balance point between tobacco and vaping empirically.

If folks reading this would look at their old smoking habits versus their current vaping habits, and post a comment to let me know how close their smoking and vaping match up using the figures above, I'd be grateful.

Just find the 1) estimated mg nicotine to vape per day according to this model using type of cigarette and packs/day and compare it to 2) the mg nicotine you actually vape using your e-liquid concentration and daily volume vaped.

Since this is a model, I'm not interested in comments on how I'm wrong. I'm looking to see how this model holds up to reality for those who might comment.

Thanks!

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Updated 09-24-2009 at 12:51 AM by DVap

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  1. Backslash's Avatar
    The calculations appear comparable to my situation:

    Lights(37mg), 1.5 ppd = 37x1.5= 55.5 mg/day analog
    With deviation: 1.5 ppd ± 0.5 ppd = 37-74mg/day

    Vaping:

    1x 10mL bottle every ~4 days @ 24mg/mL:

    10/4= 2.5mL/day x 24mg/mL = 60mg/day.
    With deviation: 2.5±0.5 mL/day = 48-72mg/day.

    At first glance, this appears well within an acceptable margin of error, assuming that 37mg/pack analog light is valid.
    Updated 09-24-2009 at 02:45 AM by Backslash
  2. DVap's Avatar
    thanks Backslash. Actually the first number isn't actual mg/day analog, but the mg to vape using my estimated efficiency factor of 0.4 to account for the fact that vaping seems to deliver the inhaled nicotine less efficiently than smoke. Your actual smoked nicotine was around 22 mg/day.

    According to my model, you've self titrated your nicotine intake via vaping in close balance to your former tobacco nicotine intake.

    I've been studying a body of research that suggests that each smoker generally has a nicotine level that their brain desires, and if you raise or lower the nicotine in their cigarettes, they will tend to decrease or increase their smoking to stay at that level.

    I'm taking it a step further to see if vaping also tends to maintain that same level, and if so, what the delivery efficiency of 1 unit of nicotine via vaping vs 1 unit of nicotine via smoking tobacco is. So far, I've seen a vaping efficiency of 0.4 (40%) vs tobacco for myself, and several others I've discussed this with. Your vaping vs smoking also seems to fit this model.
    Updated 09-24-2009 at 02:57 AM by DVap
  3. Backslash's Avatar
    Doh. Clearly I misread, sorry.

    Wow - I'm surprised I'm not getting head rushes, lol 8-o
  4. DVap's Avatar
    Naw.. even misreading, you calculated it right. If my model is close, you're getting the same nicotine/day that you used to get with tobacco.

    That first number simply means that for a pack of lights (15 mg nicotine), you need to vape 15mg/0.4 = 37.5 mg or (15 mg x 2.5 = 37 mg) to actually absorb the same 15 mg of nicotine.

    To put it another way, in my model, only 40% of the nicotine in your liquid is actually absorbed and sent to your head to make your nicotinic acetylcholine receptors happy.
    Updated 09-24-2009 at 03:04 AM by DVap
  5. firhill's Avatar
    I smoked an average of 38 Pall Mall Orange Pack(I think that's UltraLights) a day.

    I track my e-liquid usage daily(based on quantity and strength purchased versus my present balance) and it has gone from 4.41ml/day (on July 6th) to 4.01 ml/day at the present time. Average strength of liquid is now at 26.90mg/ml.

    These numbers do not include the 1.1ml/day of VG and PG I use for cutting.

    So total nicotine per day is now at 107.91mg...and dropping(slightly) daily

    Since I started out purchasing only 36mg liquid, I suspect that daily average will continue to drop as the majority of liquid on hand now is 24mg..except for the unflavoured 36mg I still use.

    Hope this helps.
    Updated 09-24-2009 at 04:27 AM by firhill
  6. firhill's Avatar
    Edited previous post
  7. DVap's Avatar
    Thanks firhill.

    38 pall mall orange (yep - ultralight - I smoked 'em too cuz they were cheap and burned longer than most) per day would be balanced by about 48 mg of nicotine vaped per day under this model. You're at around 108 mg vaped.. so you're got the model beat by better than 2:1.

    When I quit analogs entirely back on Sept 12, my vaping shot up to the current 4 mL/day. I decided 24 mg was a good level (similar to your current level) to keep the analog thoughts at bay.

    I was buzzing daily and then on the 17th (last Thursday) I found myself dizzy and nauseous. I'd vape a lot before going to sleep, and I was having a lot of very weird dreams nightly.. totally bizarre stuff.

    I'm still at 4 mL, but I've dropped the liquid from 24 mg down to 6 mg. Seems low for the model (37.5 mg predicted for liquid intake, only 24 mg vaped). But then I only smoked my analogs about 2/3's of the way down, and if I take that into account, then I'm right on the mark for the model.

    I'm no longer buzzing all day long and no more nausea or bizarre dreams.. and no thoughts of "I want an analog".

    So I was vaping at around 4X my tobacco intake (according to model) before I cut down (explains the buzzing, nausea and weird dreams).

    In your case, either:

    1. my model doesn't work for you, or
    2. You could drop to 12 mg, still vape 4 mL/day, and use half as much liquid.

    Thanks again for the input!
    Updated 09-24-2009 at 07:36 AM by DVap
  8. firhill's Avatar
    DVap,

    I'm pretty sure the answer is #2 above. I think I'm like you as I don't notice any appreciable difference when vaping 12mg Vs 24mg..the Scotsman in me is just too damn cheap to "throw away" all the 36mg and 24mg liquid I still have.

    For me, I really do believe the habit/addiction is 75%-80% physical.

    I need to get some flavouring to cut everything down to 6-12mg and I'm pretty sure that will still suffice.

    I subscribed to this blog as I did your great thread on the nicotine and I'll continue to update my numbers if and when they change noticably.

    In the meantime...keep up the good work as I always look forward to reading your awesome and informative posts.

    Thanks
  9. DVap's Avatar
    Thanks firhill. The nicotine thread has kinda evolved into a vaping technology thread in the sense that it seems to touch on a lot of different topics, the common link connecting them being the opportunity to use long strings of scientific sounding words.
  10. sasa99's Avatar
    I don't think your model is accurate, and I've commented about it in a post I made today in this forum. (I cannot post the link to my post (you need 15 posts before the site moderator lets you post links in your comments) so if you want to see it just search the forum for sasa99. But someone else will probably post the link soon.
  11. DVap's Avatar
    I don't myself know that it's "accurate". The model relies on empirical observations and a lot of assumptions. It's been at least useful for some as a starting point.

    The whole of the question is far from simple. Factors vary by individual, with some needing more of the tobacco combustion products than just nicotine, such that NO amount of nicotine, however high, is enough.. because for some, it's about far more than nicotine.
  12. Quix's Avatar
    Just found your blog, DVap.
    Way cool all this work you've done.

    Can attest that used to smoke 1.5 packs of "lights" a day comfortably, (tho had hauled that down by might and main to 3/4th of a pack right before finding vaping)... and am currently just a little buzzed but very happy not to be smoking by vaping 2.5ml of 24mg per day.

    Looks like my natural comfort level is back up near that 1.5 pack range!
  13. DVap's Avatar
    Thanks Quix. If nothing else, it provides a ballpark estimate of where one might start on nicotine level in their eliquid. I think if I were to repost my thoughts on the topic today, I'd recommend starting low and increasing until satisfaction is obtained. Of course, there are still those who can't get satisfaction from any level of nicotine liquid alone, and this brings us to the whole arena of other tobacco alkaloids and the fact that different brains have different mechanisms of addiction.
  14. croman67's Avatar
    I did the math before I found this and I think its right, or at least it agrees with my way of thinking! lol
    I smoked 1-2 packs of Marlboro Light 100's so I used 30 cigs as an average:
    ML 100's have 1.2 mg x 30 = 36 mg/day
    I'm comfortable smoking 2 ml of 18 mg juice a day.
    2 x 18 = 36
  15. Bigham1's Avatar
    Well your formula is true in my case. I smoked 2.5 pacs a day of lights. Now I vape 3mils a day of 30mg.
  16. Olde One's Avatar
    Thanks for posting this in your blog. I have a friend who's about to jump on the ecig bandwagon, and we've been trying to figure out what strength to start him on. He's at half a pack to a pack of Pall Mall lights, per day.
  17. DVap's Avatar
    Hi Olde One..

    18 mg eliquid might be a good starting point, and adjust up or down from there. The volume vaped per day will work hand in hand with nicotine level to determine the daily intake. Just remember, ecigs don't give the rapid blood nicotine spikes that analogs do, the absorption is slower, but the nicotine levels will rise significantly through the day.
  18. firhill's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by firhill
    I smoked an average of 38 Pall Mall Orange Pack(I think that's UltraLights) a day.

    I track my e-liquid usage daily(based on quantity and strength purchased versus my present balance) and it has gone from 4.41ml/day (on July 6th) to 4.01 ml/day at the present time. Average strength of liquid is now at 26.90mg/ml.

    These numbers do not include the 1.1ml/day of VG and PG I use for cutting.

    So total nicotine per day is now at 107.91mg...and dropping(slightly) daily

    Since I started out purchasing only 36mg liquid, I suspect that daily average will continue to drop as the majority of liquid on hand now is 24mg..except for the unflavoured 36mg I still use.

    Hope this helps.
    FWIW........ I'm now at 6.25ml-6.5ml/day and use a total of 48mg-50mg/day.
  19. OregonYeti's Avatar
    I was smoking 18-20 cigs a day, Camel 99 lights (blue). Based on advice I got in a couple other conversations, I started with 18 mg strength, and I'm vaping about 1 ml a day. Doing this, I had no problem giving up on tobacco cigs right away, which surprised me.

    In other words, if I'm reading the original post correctly, I'm only using about half as much as is recommended here. Am I very addicted to nicotine? You bet. I quit smoking cold turkey some years ago, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done.
  20. WVvet's Avatar
    I think your estimates are pretty darn close to accurate. I smoked similar to your original model and although I started high at 24 mg nic, within a few months I had to cut down to 18 mg. Been happily settled in at that for some time now. I'm not a math wiz but I would use your numbers if I was helping someone find their sweet spot.
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