Which E-Liquid is Most Like Cigarettes? 

Often, when adult smokers switch to alternatives to smoking, like vaping, some want a similar experience to that of cigarettes they’re used to. Of course, the best thing any smoker can do is to quit tobacco and nicotine use entirely, but for those who don’t quit, less harmful alternatives to smoking are a better choice than continued smoking. 

Is there a vape that tastes like a cigarette, and do e-cigarettes smell like cigarettes? If you want to know the answers to which e-liquid tastes most like cigarettes, or which vape devices give an experience most like cigarettes, you’re in the right place. There are a few different factors that determine the similarity in experience, and we’ll go into them all below, from the flavour and strength of the e-liquid to the device itself. 

Different Vape Devices and Similarities to Cigarettes 

There are all sorts of different vapes on the market, so it makes sense that some may be more like cigarettes than others.  

For example, pod mods are fairly easy to use and look similar to cigarettes, as you only need pre-filled pods containing e-liquid – there isn’t the hassle of trying to refill a tank with e-juice. You’re able to snap cartridges or pods in place and replace them when you’re done with them. 

Vape pens are also similar to cigarettes. However, they differ from pod mods in that they have a tank which you’ll have to refill with e-liquid yourself rather than simply snapping in new pods or cartridges when required.  

What also makes these smaller devices such as vape pens and pod mods similar to the ritual of smoking is the way you inhale from them. They are generally inhaled mouth-to-lung (MTL) as opposed to direct-to-lung (DTL). 

MTL vaping feels more ‘tight’ than DTL vaping, delivering a similar throat hit to the one produced by smoking a cigarette, and there’s less vapour produced. MTL vaping involves drawing vapour into your mouth for a few seconds, holding it there for one or two seconds and then opening your mouth and breathing the vapour into your lungs, before exhaling. 

It’s also worth mentioning cigalikes here. The first generation of e-cigarettes more closely resemble cigarettes than other devices. Some of them are disposable, but other models use pods, like pod mods, so that the cigalike itself can be reused. 

Which Flavour E-liquid is Most Like Cigarettes? 

Perhaps this might sound like a slightly obvious question – the e-liquids that are most similar to cigarettes are tobacco flavoured e-liquids. Tobacco flavoured e-liquids are just one option of many, however. There are hundreds of different flavours out there, from the unconventional to other flavours like mint and menthol. 

Even just considering tobacco e-liquids, there is a lot of choice out there, and you may try a few different products before you find one that suits you.

Just make sure, if you’re using a vape where you’re required to refill the e-liquid yourself, that you’re keeping your device clean. If you tried a different flavour before filling the tank with a tobacco e-liquid, you don’t want the taste from the first liquid to remain. Of course, this will affect the vape experience, particularly if you want it to be more like the sensation of cigarettes. 

Which Strength E-liquid is Most Like Cigarettes? 

As well as e-liquid flavour, e-liquid strength should be considered if you want to know which liquids are most like cigarettes. E-liquids come in a variety of different strengths to suit a wide range of vapers, and the strength of e-liquid you go for might be dependent on the number of cigarettes you’re used to smoking. 

Some e-liquids have a rather low nicotine strength, like 3mg, while others can be as high as 20mg. Someone who smoked up to five cigarettes a day before switching might find 3mg to be a good option, offering a similar level of satisfaction and a similar sensation, while someone who used to be a heavy smoker might use 20mg vape juice to get the same sensation -  but it all comes down to personal preference. 

What About Heated Tobacco? 

Like vaping, heated tobacco is another alternative to smoking that adults might consider if switching from smoking.  

Heated tobacco products, also known as heat-not-burn products, heat real tobacco instead of burning the tobacco like cigarettes. This is different to vape devices, which heat e-liquids. A heated tobacco product like IQOS comprises two parts: the IQOS device and HEETS tobacco sticks. HEETS sticks contain real tobacco leaf, and one lasts for roughly the same amount of time as a cigarette, providing cigarette-like satisfaction too.*  

You should now have a better idea as to which e-liquid is most like cigarettes, and which vape devices offer an experience closer to smoking a cigarette too, but if you’d like to know more about switching to alternatives to smoking,  you can check out our guide here

*3-month clinical studies conducted in US and Japan with 160 adult smokers each under real conditions (ambulatory) 

vape juice poured into a vape

What Is In Vape Juice?

Wondering what is in vape juice? Find out exactly what’s in vape juice & e-liquid and why those ingredients are used in this guide.

Read article

image of person holding cigalike

How to Choose an E-Liquid Flavour?

Are you switching from smoking to vaping? Confused on what e-liquid/vape juice flavour to choose? Check out our guide on what to expect.

Read article

man vaping

Do E-Cigarettes Smell Like Cigarettes?

Does Vaping Smell Like Cigarettes? We answer your questions around Vaping and whether using a Vape produces any odour.

Read article


All  Heated Tobacco    Vaping    Smoking Alternatives    Benefits    News    Laws & Regulatons    Mythbusting    Technology & Research    FAQs & Facts    IQOS & HEETS      Guides  

Learn about heated tobacco
Learn about heated tobacco

What is heated tobacco?

Try IQOS for £10
Try IQOS for £10

Try now for 14 days

Discover the benefits of IQOS
Discover the benefits of IQOS

Why switch to IQOS?