Skip to content

Vaping With or Without Nicotine: What’s the Difference?

There is no denying the fix that tobacco smokers get from taking a drag from a cigarette. Imbibing nicotine once you are addicted to it evokes a relaxing feeling that many vapers also look for when vaping, especially those who are weaning themselves off smoking. 

Some call it the nicotine hit, some call it the nicotine buzz; whatever you want to call that sensation, nicotine is at the centre of it. Of course, it is possible to vape without nicotine, but what’s the difference and is the nicotine element in e-liquid really that bad for you in the long run?

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is a stimulant that is derived from tobacco. As a stimulant, it increases activity in a person’s nervous system, leading to feelings of alertness and excitement. Users generally feel energised upon consuming nicotine.

Since nicotine is derived from tobacco, it is generally consumed through smoking. However, it can also be taken in the form of nicotine patches and gums. Vapers also have the choice to consume it through different e-liquids that have varying levels of nicotine content. 

Additionally, nicotine has a controversial reputation. Much of this image is tied to its relation to tobacco. Because of all the harmful effects of tobacco smoking and how nicotine is inherent to the practice, the stimulant is believed to be harmful in and of itself by many. 

The dangers of smoking were first spotlighted in the 60s and 70s by medical institutions and public health advocates. Nicotine was guilty by association. As recently as 2015, the Royal Society of Public Health found that 90% of the UK public believes that nicotine is harmful.

Is Nicotine Really Harmful?

It is an indisputable scientific fact that nicotine is highly addictive. Like other addictive chemicals, nicotine’s pleasurable effects are reduced when the body starts to build a tolerance for it. Users then need to consume more of it to achieve the same levels of pleasure as the previous highs. It is a major reason as to why tobacco smokers find it incredibly hard to quit. Paired with all the toxic elements in cigarettes, nicotine is unsurprisingly thought of to be just as harmful. 

Recognising nicotine’s addictive properties, it is only fair to evaluate it separately from the poisonous results of tobacco smoking, as nicotine is also consumed in other forms. 

Nicotine by itself is not cancerous nor does it increase the risk of getting cardiovascular disease in users. An academic study conducted by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco outlines this, stating that no evidence links nicotine with cancer. The World Health Organisation via the European Code Against Cancer also echoes this statement by saying that nicotine by itself does not cause cancer.

While nicotine does increase heart rate and results in elevated blood pressure, these are side effects that are similar to that of caffeine consumption. Nicotine poisoning can happen, but it would take consuming an inordinate amount that is not present in cigarettes, patches, gums, and e-liquids.

In short, nicotine is not harmful the way tobacco smoking is. It is addictive, has mild side effects, and it does not cause fatal diseases. 

nicotine alternate

The Benefits of Vaping With Nicotine

One of the great things about vaping is the choices available to customise your experience. One such choice is being able to vape with or without nicotine. 

If you choose to vape with nicotine, you can expect the following:

1. It makes quitting smoking easier 

Vaping is one of the best ways for smokers to quit the habit. The act of lighting up a vape device, putting it to your mouth, and puffing away are fairly similar to smoking. Of course, it’s the nicotine content in the vape juice that ultimately makes the transition from smoking to vaping easy. 

Being able to get the familiar nicotine buzz from inhaling and exhaling with a vape sidesteps the intense physical and mental withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting cold turkey. 

If it’s nicotine addiction from smoking that needs to be controlled, there are e-liquids that have different amounts of nicotine. A nicotine addict can slowly work their way down from vape juices with high nicotine content to e-liquids with low nicotine content. 

2. It’s easier to feel the throat hit 

One of the distinct joys of smoking that vaping captures is the strong feeling at the back of the throat from taking a drag. This is commonly known as the “throat hit.” 

The strength of this visceral effect is largely determined by the amount of nicotine you will consume. Cigarettes have a lot of nicotine, so the throat hit is significantly strong and comes quick. E-liquids with high levels of nicotine can match the effect, but even e-liquids with less nicotine can produce a noticeable throat hit compared to nicotine-free juices.

3. It’s easier to regulate your vaping habits 

Many vape enthusiasts vape for the physiological pleasure that they feel from doing it. This sensation can be attributed to the aforementioned nicotine high. 

When vaping with nicotine, reaching that high comes much faster than vaping without nicotine. As a result, those who vape with nicotine don’t have to vape as much and as long as those who are vaping nicotine-free. 

Vaping less, of course, leads to the very practical benefit of saving more. E-liquids won’t run out as fast, reducing your regular spending on replenishing empty bottles. Also, vaping devices won’t be under as much stress from frequent use, leading to longer lifespans.

There is still a looming concern over the long-term effects of e-liquids. Not having to consume as much today can turn out to be extremely beneficial in the future when there is more data on how vaping affects people’s health.

The Benefits of Vaping Without Nicotine

Vaping without nicotine, on the other hand, has the following advantages:

1. You can’t get chemically addicted

Not everyone who gets into vaping is a smoker. There are people who are interested in vaping that have never had any nicotine in their lives. 

Nicotine-free e-liquids give those beginners the option to avoid the potential problems of becoming addicted to nicotine. Vaping is more welcoming in that regard, as those who don’t find it enjoyable can quit safely without picking up a chemical dependence. 

For smokers-turned-vapers, especially those who are attempting to completely overcome their nicotine addiction, nicotine-free e-liquids present a final goal that they can work toward without sacrificing the hobby. 

2. You will have a smoother vaping experience 

Nicotine does not have a particular taste. However, it does have the negative side effect of diluting the flavour of the e-liquid it is mixed with. 

Vaping without nicotine results in a more pronounced flavour in the vape juice. You can then focus on the richness and texture of the e-liquid you are vaping. Also, newbies won’t have to experience the gag reflex that vaping with nicotine can induce. 

By vaping without nicotine, the experience is freed from the need to get that harsh throat hit. The act of vaping itself as a pleasurable hobby becomes the main selling point.

3. You can focus on enjoying the creative and social aspects of vaping

Vaping has grown to become a lifestyle with a number of subcultures that are not just about getting the nicotine buzz. 

In the world of cloud chasing and the competitive vaping scene, participants actively avoid using e-liquids with nicotine to perform better. Practising for such events requires a lot of vaping, and nicotine-free e-liquids are a must to avoid feelings of nausea. 

As mentioned earlier, some vaping beginners who have no experience smoking and have zero exposure to nicotine. Being able to vape without nicotine allows them to join vaping communities and enjoy socialising over the hobby while not having to worry about the harsh effects of vaping with nicotine.

The Freedom of Vaping

The negative image of nicotine mostly comes from its association with tobacco smoking. With vaping, however, the downsides to nicotine are mild. The only exception is the potential for addiction, and even then, it is to a relatively harmless chemical unless taken in very large doses. 

On the other hand, nicotine itself isn’t essential to vaping, and vaping without it also has its host of advantages. That being said, if you’re switching to vaping to quit smoking then cutting out the nicotine from day one is likely to see you return to the fags, so we’d recommend weaning yourself onto lower nicotine levels over time, in order to make the transition to zero nicotine vaping successful.

Fortunately for vapers, you’ll have the freedom to decide whether you want to vape with or without nicotine and enjoy the benefits of either option. 

If you’re a beginner and you need help with choosing your first e-liquid, whether you want it with or without nicotine, feel free to send us an email at or call us at 01179 669309.

Related Posts

E-Juice Steeping Guide
March 20, 2020
E-Juice Steeping Guide

E-juice flavour doesn’t stay constant over time. In fact, letting it age a little—in a way not dissimilar with that...

Read More
How to Store E-Liquids
February 20, 2020
How to Store E-Liquids

Drawer Title

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Welcome to our site

Age Verification

You must be 18 or over to purchase products from this store.

Come back when you're older

Sorry, the content of this store can't be seen by a younger audience. Come back when you're older.

Similar Products