“How many puffs are in a cigarette?”
If you’re interested in making the switch from smoking to vaping, it’s natural that this would be one of the first questions you’d ask. That’s especially likely if you’re shopping for disposable vapes because disposables are always marketed as having the capacity to deliver a certain number of puffs. That number doesn’t really mean anything, though, unless you know how many puffs are in a cigarette. Once you know the answer to that question, you can begin to understand how long a disposable vape should last.
On average, there are 10 puffs in a cigarette, and you’ll usually take those 10 puffs over the course of about five minutes before putting the cigarette out. That, however, is only the beginning of the story. As you’re about to learn, you can’t necessarily think of a vape and a tobacco cigarette as being equals on a puff-for-puff basis. It’s also unwise to think of a disposable vape’s puff count as a guarantee because there are many reasons why a device might not reach the exact number of puffs specified on the package.
Reading this article, you’re going to get the whole story. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a much better idea of how many vapes you need to buy in order to get through a week, a month or whatever your goal might be. You’ll also know the answer to another very important question: How much vaping is too much?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though, let’s discuss one of the important realities of cigarette smoking.
Why the Nicotine Delivery of a Cigarette Can Vary
If you’ve been smoking long enough, you might remember a time when tobacco companies were able to put labels like “Light” on their products to indicate cigarettes that were lower in tar or nicotine delivery. Lower-yield cigarettes still exist, but one of the reasons why cigarette makers are no longer allowed to use the “Light” label is because those types of cigarettes tend to work much differently in practice than they do in clinical trials.
The fact that low-yield cigarettes have perforated filters is one of the biggest reasons why many public health officials consider the term “Light” deceptive. When you smoke a cigarette with a perforated filter, the perforations are supposed to dilute the smoke by introducing fresh air into the mix. When the cigarette is analyzed with a smoking machine, the perforations work as intended. In practice, though, the perforations often don’t work because a human smoker will cover them with his or her fingers.
This phenomenon was illustrated in a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The researchers who conducted the study examined the smoking patterns of five individuals and found that they inhaled up to five times the volume of smoke measured by a smoking machine. Among the five smokers, the average smoke volume inhaled per cigarette varied from 495 to 2,127 ml even though all five people smoked the same brand.
Given all of this information, you can see that there’s very little reason to even bother looking up how much nicotine is in a given brand of cigarette because the real-life results will be completely different from what was found with a smoking machine. You’ll only end up being frustrated because the volume of smoke that you inhale from a cigarette will probably be much more than what was measured in a lab.
How Many Puffs of a Vape Are Equal to a Cigarette?
If you already vape, you might be reading this article because you’re concerned about the possibility of vaping too much and want to know how many times you should be puffing on your device in order to equal the satisfaction level you’d get from smoking a cigarette. The answer is that you should puff on a vape about the same number of times that you’d puff on a cigarette. As we mentioned earlier in the article, that’s about 10 puffs on average.
Rather than focusing on the number of times that you puff on your device during a vaping session, you should concentrate on the nicotine strength of your device or vape juice in order to ensure that you’re getting the same satisfaction on a puff-for-puff basis that you’d get from smoking a cigarette. The good news here is that if you’re using a disposable vape, you’re already covered because most disposables have a nicotine strength of 50 mg/ml or 5 percent. That strength is used specifically because it’s the ideal nicotine strength for a small vape and allows the device to provide about as much nicotine per puff as a cigarette.
If you’re using a larger vaping device such as a pod system, you may find that your device works best with a lower-strength e-liquid. That’s completely normal – the more vapor your device generates, the lower your nicotine strength should be. As long you’re using the right nicotine strength for your vaping hardware and for your personal needs, you should find that puffing on a vape the same number of times that you’d puff on a cigarette – which is usually about 10 – will provide the same level of satisfaction.
How Many Puffs Should a Vape Have to Equal a Pack of Cigarettes?
If you usually puff on a cigarette 10 times before putting it out, you should find that a disposable vape with a capacity of 200 puffs will be approximately equal to a pack of cigarettes. Therefore, a disposable vape that delivers 2,000 puffs should be roughly equal to a carton of cigarettes. As you’ve probably seen when looking at the disposable vapes here at VapeJuice.com, it’s common these days to find disposables that deliver significantly more than 2,000 puffs and can therefore potentially provide the equivalent of multiple cartons of cigarettes. As you can probably imagine, that means switching to vaping can help you save an enormous amount of money. Before you buy an 8,000-puff device and assume that it’ll last a month, though, there’s something important that you need to know about disposable vapes.
Why You Can’t Always Trust a Disposable Vape’s Puff Count
As great as it would be if disposable vapes always lasted 8,000 puffs or even more, the fact is that disposables often don’t reach their advertised puff counts in practice. There are many reasons for that, but the most common reason is because people sometimes take very long puffs when vaping. When a manufacturer says that its device will last a certain number of puffs, that claim is made with the assumption that each of your puffs will last about a second. It’s common, though, for people to puff more deeply than that when they vape.
Suppose, for instance, that a given disposable vape has an advertised capacity of 4,000 puffs. That sounds like an enormous number because 4,000 puffs could be the equivalent of up to two full cartons of cigarettes. Let’s imagine, though, that your average puff length is four seconds rather than one. In that case, you should actually expect a 4,000-puff disposable vape to deliver more like 1,000 puffs – about the equivalent of five packs of cigarettes. That’s still an impressive capacity, but it means that you’ll probably use the device for about five days rather than multiple weeks.
Until you know exactly how long a disposable vape lasts you on average, it’s a bad idea to buy a single device and expect it to use it for a specific number of days before replacing it. While you're still getting to know your personal vaping patterns, it’s always wise to buy more vapes than you think you’ll actually need. That way, you won’t be tempted to break down and buy a pack of cigarettes if your last device runs out of vape juice unexpectedly.
How Much Vaping Is Too Much?
One of the reasons why you might want to know how many puffs are in a cigarette is because you want to be certain that you’re buying enough disposable vapes or vape juice to last the amount of time that you need them to last – but that’s not the only reason. You might also want to know the answer to that question because you’re already a vaper and are concerned that you’re using more nicotine than you actually need. So, how much vaping is too much?
The good news is that you generally don’t need to worry about consuming too much nicotine if you vape because most nicotine users handle self-titration on their own without the need for outside intervention. In other words, you stop vaping when you no longer need the nicotine.
If you’re concerned that you’re vaping too much, though, one of the most important things to remember is that you should always put your vape down and keep it out of reach if you don’t actually need the nicotine. If you’ve puffed on your vape about 10 times, you’ve approximately had the equivalent of a cigarette. Feel free to continue vaping if you’re not satisfied – but if you’re no longer craving nicotine, you should put your device down for a while until your cravings return. That way, you’ll only vape when you really need to.