You’ve got your short fills, but how much nicotine do you need to add? Learn all about short fills and the right nicotine level for you, then use our short-fill calculator to find out how strong your short fill will be once you’ve added your nic shots.
If you’re entering the exciting world of short fills, you probably have a bunch of questions. What are they? How much nicotine do I need to add? But I’m used to vaping 18mg — surely it won’t give me the nicotine rush I need, right?
We’ve combined all the frequently asked questions we get about short fills and compiled them into this blog post. Use the jump links below to get the answer to your question.
What Are Short Fills?
A short fill is a bottle of e-liquid, but there are a couple of key differences compared to the e-juice you might be used to. The first, and most immediately noticeable, is that these bottles are usually significantly larger than the small 10ml bottles of e-liquid you’ve probably been vaping until now. The second key difference is that these bottles aren’t filled with liquid to the top — they’re literally “short filled”.
You might have 25ml of e-liquid in a 30ml bottle, 50ml of juice in a 60ml bottle or even 100ml of e-liquid in a 120ml bottle.
Don’t worry, you aren’t being done out of extra juice, because this zero-nicotine juice is designed to be diluted with nicotine.
What Are Nicotine Shots?
Nicotine shots, or nic shots, are 10ml bottles filled with pure nicotine — usually 15mg, 18mg or 20mg. As there are no other ingredients, nic shots are flavourless and designed purely to be added to short-fill e-liquids. An 18mg nic shot added to 50ml of nicotine-free e-liquid will give you 60ml of 3mg liquid, but as you start dealing with smaller or larger short fills and higher or lower concentrations of nic shots, it can get confusing how much nicotine you’ll end up with, and fast. That’s why we developed our short-fill calculator — so you can work out exactly what your nicotine concentration will be once you’ve filled your short-fill bottle.
How Do I Add Nicotine Shots to a Short-Fill Bottle?
When you first get your short fill, you’re probably keen to top it up and get vaping straight away. Fortunately, adding nic shots is easy. Unscrew the lid of your short fill just as you would when topping up your tank with a new bottle of juice. Like any e-liquid bottle, this will have a nozzle for dripping your e-liquid into your tank. To fill your short fill, this needs to come off. Press your nail under the nozzle tip and apply some pressure to lift it up. This can often be the trickiest bit, but once you’ve done it, you’re halfway there!
Assuming you’re adding a single 10ml nic shot to a 60ml bottle, all you need to do is unscrew the cap on your nic shot and squeeze the nicotine into your short fill. When your nic shot is empty, your short fill will be full to the top and you’ll have 60ml of e-liquid (almost) ready to vape.
Push the short-fill nozzle back onto the bottle so that it’s firmly in place — you don’t want to later squeeze the bottle and have the cap come clean off! — and give it a good shake to make sure the nicotine mixes with all the juice. Leave your bottle to settle for a bit after shaking (around 10 minutes), and you’re ready to top up your tank and start vaping.
Pro tip: Before emptying your nic shot into your short fill, take the nozzle top off of the nicotine shot too. This will give you more mileage when squeezing the bottle. With some short-fill bottles, you’ll be able to just turn your nic shot upside down, pop it in your short fill and let the nicotine drip into the bottle, avoiding sore fingers from constantly squeezing the nic out of your shot. Once you’ve emptied your nicotine into your short fill, don’t forget to shake it and let it sit before filling your tank.
But what if you have a 60ml bottle (filled with 50ml of nic-free e-liquid), and you want 6mg of nicotine, not 3mg? For this, you’ll need two 18mg nic shots, so you’ll also need to empty some of your no-nic e-liquid out of your short fill to accommodate the extra juice. Empty 10ml of your short-fill (an empty 10ml e-liquid bottle is perfect — make sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned and dried it) and now you have 40ml of nicotine-free juice ready for you to add 20ml of nicotine.
If you’re having trouble working out how much liquid and how many nic shots you’ll need to achieve your desired nic strength, keep scrolling for our short-fill calculator.
What’s the Max Nicotine Strength I Can Get with a Short Fill?
Technically, you could achieve a high nicotine concentration by emptying more of your juice and adding more nicotine shots, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
The more e-liquid you empty, the less flavoursome your vape will be once you’ve added your nicotine, but there’s another trade-off: the higher the nicotine concentration, the more likely you are to overdose.
It’s important to note that while addictive, nicotine is relatively harmless, but if you vape too much too quickly, you might feel lightheaded and even nauseous. This usually isn’t a problem even when vaping 20mg consistently, but the vape kit you’re using could mean you don’t need as much nicotine in your short fill as you think…
I Vape 18mg E-Liquid — Will a 3mg Short Fill Satisfy Me?
You might have been vaping 18mg or even 20mg in your vape kit for a while. Vaping has helped you stop smoking, but now you’re interested in short fills, and you’re wondering if jumping down from 18mg to 3mg is just too big a leap.
First, it’s important to consider the short fill you want to try and the device you want to use it with. Some short fills are suited only for use with sub-ohm devices. These short-fill bottles usually have a VG to PG ratio of 70/30 or 80/20, resulting in larger vape clouds. When vaped at a low resistance, your device will heat more liquid at a hotter temperature, producing more vapour. When you inhale this vapour, your body will absorb more nicotine. Just as vaping an 18mg e-liquid in a sub-ohm tank would likely give you an unpleasant nicotine rush (as well as potentially damage your device), going any higher than 6mg with your short fill is likely to produce the same results.
Can I Only Use Short Fills with a Sub-Ohm Device?
You might have seen 70/30 or 80/20 short fills high in VG and only suitable for vaping at a low resistance. But if you don’t want to buy a new vape, invest in coils and change your vaping style (sub-ohming is more suited to direct-to-lung vaping), the good news is that you can get 50/50 short-fill bottles perfect for use with your starter kit, pen or pod mod.
Remember that if you’re vaping at high resistance and low temperature, you won’t absorb the same amount of nicotine compared to vaping a high-VG short fill with a sub-ohm device. If you’re currently vaping more than 6mg of nicotine and you want to use 50/50 short fills, we’d advise gradually decreasing your nicotine concentration so that you’re not making a huge jump or, alternatively, using nic salts shots, which, like nic salts e-liquid, deliver a purer, more intense nicotine hit.
So Why Vape Short Fills When I Can Buy Pre-Mixed 10ml Bottles?
There’s a simple answer to this question: you save money! Sure, buying a short-fill bottle up-front will cost you more because you’re getting 25ml, 40ml, 50ml or even 100ml of no-nic e-liquid. Once you’ve added your nic shot(s), you’ll have 30ml, 60ml or 120ml of juice to vape. Let’s say you have a 100ml bottle of e-liquid topped up with two 10ml nic shots — you have 120ml of juice. Divide the price of that short fill by 12, and you’ve got the cost of 10ml. Compare that to the usual price you pay for a tiny 10ml bottle — see what we mean?
And with multi-buy discounts available across the majority of short fills in our range, you can save even more. But there’s another benefit to vaping short fills over pre-mixed bottles. Have you ever been vaping on the go, topped up your juice and then realised you have none left? With a larger bottle, you have more than enough e-liquid to last you the entire day and then some — in fact, a short-fill bottle could easily last you a week, even if you vape heavily. When you opt for a short fill, you have more liquid to last you longer, it’s that simple.
The Short-Fill Calculator
How to Use Our Short-Fill Calculator
Using our short-fill calculator is easy. Answer these three questions:
- How much e-liquid?
- How many nic shots?
- What’s your nic shot concentration (nic shot mg)?
You can also enter the VG/PG ratio of your short fill or nicotine shot to find out the VG/PG ratio of your short fill once you’re done. These boxes are optional, so if you aren’t sure just leave them blank!
Once you’ve answered these, either by typing your answers into the fields or using the handy plus and minus buttons, click “Update Result” and you’ll see the e-liquid strength and the bottle size you need.
Let’s run through an example to show you how it works.
You have 25ml of nicotine-free e-liquid. You want to add a full 10ml nic shot with a nicotine strength of 18mg. The bottle size is 30ml, so to add a full nic shot, you know you’ll need to empty 5ml of your e-liquid to accommodate the shot. Type “20ml” into the “how much e-liquid?” field (note: this should always be the amount of no-nic liquid in your short fill, not the size of the bottle), “1” into “how many nic shots?” and “18mg” into the “nic shot mg?” field. Update your result and our short-fill calculator will tell you that a single nicotine shot in your 30ml bottle will give you a nicotine strength of 6mg.
Let’s say 6mg is a bit too high for you, and you want to knock it down to 3mg. Instead of adding the full 10ml nic shot, you decide you only want to use half (5ml). Type “25ml” into “how much e-liquid?”, “.5” into “how many nic shots?” and “18mg” into “nic shot mg?”. When you update your result, you’ll see that topping up your short fill with half a nic shot will give you a nicotine concentration of 3mg.
If you’re using 20mg or 15mg nicotine shots, the same principle applies. Adjust your nicotine strength and play with the e-liquid and nic shot fields to find your sweet spot. If 6mg is too much, for example, but you want a little more nicotine than 3mg, adding a 10ml 20mg nic shot to 40ml of e-liquid will give you a sweet 4mg of nicotine.
Have you used our short-fill calculator and you now want to shop some short fills and nic shots? At the Electric Tobacconist, we stock a wide range of high-VG and 50/50 short fills for your vape, available in a wide range of flavours.
Spend £10 or more site-wide for free and fast shipping in the UK.