Understanding mAh For Electronic Cigarette Batteries


The “mAh” rating on e-cigarettes can be very puzzling for Vapers who are unfamiliar with electrical terms of measurement. In reference to vaporizer batteries, most people assume that a higher “mAh” rating indicates a more powerful battery. This is generally true, but calculating just how much life a vape battery actually has is a bit more complex.

What Is mAh?

The term “mAh” is a measurement in milliampere-hours of a battery’s electrical charging capacity. More simply, it’s a unit of measurement that indicates just how much electrical power an item like an e-cigarette battery will provide over a one-hour period. For instance, a vape battery that carries a 1000 mAh rating can provide 1000 milliamperes (which is one amp) for an hour until its energy is drained. A 3000 mAh-rated battery provides an hour of electricity delivered at three amps. Generally the greater a battery’s mAh number, the longer it can hold a charge, and the more durable it will be over time.

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Calculating Battery Life With mAh

To determine the life span of an e-cigarette’s battery, you’ll need to use an Ohm’s Law or battery life calculator, which can be easily found for free online. Key in the mAh number of any e-cig battery into the “energy consumption” or “power use” field and click the “calculate” button, which will give you an estimate of how long a battery is supposed to work in hour units. If you don’t have an really large battery, it’s likely that you’ll come up with a decimal figure such as .187.

This number can then be multiplied by 3600 to arrive at the total time in seconds you can expect your electronic cigarette battery to last, or how many seconds it will produce hits. Using the value mentioned earlier of .187 hours, you arrive at 673 seconds of total battery time.

Coil Resistance and Its Relationship to mAh

One very important element that affects just how long a battery can operate in-between charging is whether you’ve got a low or standard resistance coil (commonly called an “atomizer”) that your battery is powering. Resistance in this case indicates the electrical resistance occurring inside the battery’s cells as it produces electricity.

With standard resistance atomizers, the electricity streams from the battery into the coil at a controlled pace. With low resistance or sub-ohm atomizers, electrical currents are capable of streaming without restriction into the vape coil, meaning that the battery’s energy is drained at a quicker pace.

How noticeably this impacts a battery’s performance in-between charging will depend on the battery’s mAh value and the resistance levels of the coils it uses. This is an aspect that will vary among each unique pairing of battery with atomizer.

Standard resistance ratings usually fall between 2.2 and 2.6 ohms, while low resistance coils will typically range from about 1.5 right down into sub-ohm levels.


Jim H

I started vaping in January 2011 and haven't had the desire to smoke a traditional cigarette since. It inspired me so much that I created this website to help others like me who want to quit smoking. I hope you enjoy the site and please leave a comment.