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What is Nic-Free Vaping?

Vaping is so closely associated with nicotine that many can’t even conceive of nic-free e-liquid products. However, products with zero nicotine have been around for as long as vaping has existed and have gained popularity with every new generation of innovative products. Now, more than ever, big-name brands are offering popular flavors in nic-free options that allow vapers more freedom to regulate their nicotine intake.  

In this article, we’ll answer some questions about nic-free vaping: What are nic-free products? What are their benefits? Why would anyone bother to vape nic-free liquids?

Once you find out more about them, nic-free products can change the way you think about nicotine. By subtracting nicotine from the equation, vapers can experience liquids in a whole new way. Instead of having that extra nicotine kick in the liquid, these liquids are about packing as much flavor as possible into each puff.

Nic-free vaping products are pretty self-explanatory. They contain zero nicotine. In the vaping industry, they’re known as the “0mg” option. They come in the form of bottles of e-liquid or in refillable pods.

Like nicotine-infused liquids, nic-free liquids include a combination of vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), as well as flavoring. With nicotine vaping products, the liquid nicotine is suspended in VG and PG. Nearly all e-liquids use a combination of VG and PG as a base solution, and without liquid nicotine, that just means only VG, PG, or flavors are contained in the e-liquid.

At first glance, 0 nic products might seem counterintuitive, since a majority of vapor liquids contain nicotine and most vapers prefer nicotine. Additionally, vapor products have been marketed and widely used as an alternative to cigarettes, which has made nicotine and vaping even more connected in the eyes of the public.

However, some vapers prefer 0 nic juices because they offer a way to more precisely regulate nicotine intake. This can be beneficial for vapers who want to taper down on their nicotine usage for cessation purposes. (Nicotine has been proven to be a highly addictive drug with potential health effects.)

Let’s look first at how nicotine intake can be regulated through closed system devices for the purposes of transitioning from cigarettes. Closed systems include either disposable non-refillable pods, while open systems comes with refillable pods or tanks.

For the most part, no-nic options are for open systems with refillable pods or refillable e-liquid. For example, the bigger vaping brands have developed a three-tiered standard for flavored pods with 2.4 percent nic (24 mg/ml), 1.2 percent nic (12 mg/ml), and 0 mg. Not all companies have adopted this model, however. By contrast, some cigalike/pod mod models have been getting more popular using much higher nicotine concentrations of 5 percent (50 mg) nic, with only a handful of 3 percent options and no nic-free options.

With flavored e-liquids in refillable open systems, the process of nicotine cessation can involve tapering down from, say, 5 percent nic to 3 percent, and then mixing it down to eventually dilute the liquid to less and less nicotine until you are ready to go all the way down to zero nic.  

What that means is vapers can mix nicotine-free juices with others containing nicotine to dilute the level in every puff until nicotine is no longer present in the juice. For vapers who want to quit nicotine altogether, this is the most regulated way to taper off. However, this doesn’t stop vapers who have fully tapered off nicotine from still enjoying vaping. For some, the act of holding a device, taking a draw from it, and exhaling visible vapor mimics the ritual of cigarette smoking enough that they say it keeps them from going back to cigarettes.

Another benefit of 0 nic liquid is that it delivers a smoother flavor than juice with nicotine because it eliminates the bitterness and "throat hit" associated with nicotine. The absence of nicotine also means more options for blends because there's only three ingredients rather than four, meaning more room for potential flavors to be added. This can be important for vapers who are concerned primarily with getting as much flavor as possible, and vapers who enjoy cloud competitions. That’s because no nicotine means a larger proportion of other ingredients that help make bigger, puffier clouds.

When it comes to vaping, 0mg nicotine options have oft-overlooked benefits. Nicotine has a long history of being associated with vaping and for a lot of non-vapers, the idea that vapor products could be missing the one thing that it’s known for seems unthinkable.

However, nic-free options can be a great way to personalize your vaping experience and achieve your ultimate vaping goals.  

Reasons to choose nic free e-liquid:

  • More flavor
  • Bigger clouds
  • More options to overcome nicotine addiction by tapering off incrementally

Reasons not to choose nic free e-liquid:

  • Most vapers like nicotine in e-liquid
  • Nicotine withdrawal can be difficult and can potentially lead to relapse of smoking

In summary, nic free e-liquids are a:

Great Choice for:

  • Ex-smokers and vapers working to break their nicotine habit
  • Cloud chasers
  • Flavor purists

Bad Choice for:

  • People just switching from smoking
  • Anyone at risk of relapsing to smoking if they don't get their fix
  • Those who enjoy the throat hit of nicotine

Check out Breazy’s vast library of vaping resources here.