Vaping. You may have heard about it from your friend, your brother, your uncle, or your kids. They may have said something along the lines of, “Seriously, you just need to try it”, or “It’s something you would really enjoy”.
If that is the case, or if you are just looking to try vaping off your own recommendation, then this guide aims to make that first vaping experience an easy and satisfying one.
Let’s start with the basics. Vaping is defined simply as the process of inhaling a vapour from a vape device or e-cigarette.
This process imitates smoking a regular tobacco-filled cigarette but has much less health risks associated with its use.
Vaping is one of the most effective ways of kicking the habit and is a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Although you may be keen to switch to e-cigs, it can be difficult to know where to start as there are so many different vaping options available.
In this article, we look at how to get started as well as giving you some useful tips to improve your vaping experience.
What is a Vape and How Does it Work?
A vaping device (usually shortened to a “vape”) is a hand-sized electronic device that works to produce a non-harmful vapour that can be inhaled by the user.
A vape is often used by those who suffer from a nicotine addiction as a way to try and limit their daily intake of nicotine.
In this way, a vape functions in a similar way to a nicotine patch but provides the user with a more controllable and pleasant experience and an experience that provides a much more familiar feeling for those who are used to smoking cigarettes.
Every vaping device functions in essentially the same way. Each device has a power source that charges a coil.
This coil then quickly heats up and vaporises the e-liquid contained within the atomizer (a small tank) of the device.
The vapour then travels upwards to the mouthpiece of the device and emerges as a stream of vapour that the user can then inhale.
The power source within a vaping device (usually referred to as the “mod”) often comes from a lithium battery. The size and form of these batteries dictate what the vaping device is classed as.
Classifications include tube mods, e-cigarettes, pod vapes and box mods. Modern vape mods have a varying range of features, often including the ability to control the temperature of the vape device.
Each vape mod has a specified level of power. These power levels are generally used to guide users on which vaping device is suitable for them. Generally speaking, the lower the power level is, the easier it is to use.
Low power mods (used in e-cigarettes and pod vapes) require absolutely no prior vaping experience. They are the perfect place to start as there are often no confusing additional features, and the devices are often extremely easy-to-use.
Medium power mods require some experience as they are often used in devices with additional electronic functions such as adjustable power.
High power mods should only be used by those with extensive vaping experience as the batteries used within can get extremely hot and could cause serious harm if the user does not have up-to-date knowledge on battery safety.
The vapour that is emitted from the device is created within the atomizer/tank. This component contains a coil, usually made from metal, and a wick that holds e-liquid.
When the user presses the activation button on the device, the metal coil heats up and vaporises the e-liquid absorbed onto the wick.
This vaporised e-liquid then travels to the mouthpiece of the device, where it appears as a vapour cloud resembling smoke.
There are several key atomizer types:
Prefilled atomizers can only be used once as, as the name suggests, these atomizers come already filled with e-liquid and cannot be refilled.
Refillable atomizers, on the other hand, can be used many times and can be refilled with various e-liquids. These refillable atomizers can often be found to use replaceable coils as well, meaning that they can be used indefinitely.
Finally, a rebuildable atomizer is one that is wholly user-created. The user manually installs the coils and wicks within the atomizer, getting a truly customisable experience.
How to Start Vaping?
When buying your first vape, do not be afraid to go simple and sweet. The last thing you want is to be intimidated by your first device.
The first step should be purchasing a basic starter kit. These starter kits usually come in four primary categories: Pod vapes, e-cigarettes, AIO’s (all-in-ones) and disposable e-cigarettes.
All of these options are valid for beginners as both prefilled and refillable options are available.
Once your chosen starter kit has arrived, simply follow the instructions that come with the device. Usually, these instructions include diagrams that should help guide you.
The next step is finding the right e-liquid. Simply choose the flavour that most appeals to your palette and then choose the desired nicotine level.
The nicotine level dictates the concentration of nicotine found within the e-liquid.
Generally speaking, higher nicotine concentrations (12mg-60mg) are usually used with lower power devices, and lower nicotine concentrations (0mg-6mg) are used with higher power devices.
How to Inhale a Vape?
Inhaling may seem like a somewhat daunting experience; an incorrect inhalation can lead to an unpleasant first time.
Essentially, there are two main types of inhalation: the mouth-to-lung technique and the direct lung technique.
The mouth-to-lung technique is often used in conjunction with smaller vape devices.
First, draw the vapour into your mouth, hold it there for just a few seconds then open your mouth and gradually breathe the vapour in. After you feel the vapour in your lungs, exhale slowly.
Direct lung inhalation is ideal for larger vaping devices. The process is very simple, just draw the vapour into your lungs immediately whilst inhaling and then exhale after only a second.
There is one last inhalation technique named the “cigar puff”. This technique sees the user puff the vape as though it were a cigar.
Whilst this is technically not truly an inhalation technique, it can be an effective way to consume the nicotine of the e-liquid.
What are the Advantages of Vaping?
Vaping brings many benefits over smoking traditional cigarettes. Some of the greatest advantages include:
- No unpleasant lingering smoky smells
- No ash to make a mess
- No carbon monoxide released
- No tar content
- No unpleasant smelling breath
- A choice of nicotine levels to suit the user’s preference
- The option to opt for nicotine free e-liquids
- Lower cost over the long-term
- A huge selection of different flavours from traditional tobacco to fruit or exotic flavours
How Do I Know if Vaping is a Good Choice for Me?
You may already have tried quitting smoking once or more in the past and failed.
Whether you tried going cold turkey, using patches, chewing nicotine replacement gum or trying some other kind of nicotine replacement therapy, these methods don’t work for everybody.
The good news is that vaping is around 95% less dangerous for the health than traditional smoking and therefore is a great alternative for those who are trying to give up the habit.
What Equipment Do I Need to Get Started?
Although there is a wealth of paraphernalia that you may want to consider buying eventually if you enjoy vaping, at first you should just invest in a basic starter kit.
These include all of the essentials that you need to get started with vaping, and some even include a free e-liquid, although you may need to purchase this separately.
Some of the more complex equipment such as box mods are most suited to experienced vapers as they can be difficult and potentially dangerous for novices to handle, therefore you should wait until you have been vaping for a while before buying one of these devices.
What Can You Vape?
Besides the aforementioned e-liquid flavours and types, vaping devices can be used with cannabis products.
However, cannabis concentrates commonly have their own specified types of vaporisers.
Alternatively, multi-use vaping devices can be used as they are designed to be used with both regular e-liquids and cannabis concentrates.
It is important to note that no other chemical products should be vaped besides the ones mentioned within this article.
No syrups, oils or cooking products should ever be put into a vaping device and inhaled.
There are 3 Different Kinds of E-Liquid
- High VG liquids – these smooth liquids produce a larger amount of vapour but less flavour
- High PG liquids – these carry plenty of flavour and give a good throat hit but with a reduced amount of vapour
- 50/50 liquids – these contain a roughly equal amount of VG and PG for the best of both worlds
It is only be experimentation that you will discover which you prefer. You can read more about e-liquids here.
Do I Need to Maintain My Vaping Equipment?
Once you have bought a starter kit, you will only have to replace two parts of your equipment. These are the coils and the e-juice.
When you refill the e-liquid you simply unscrew the lid of your tank (or clearomiser), tilt it slightly and pour the e-liquid into the tank.
When you do this, it is vital to steer clear of the middle chimney’s hole as otherwise you will end up inhaling e-liquid which is very unpleasant.
You then screw the lid back on and you are ready to begin vaping. Replacing the coil is also easy, and is necessary once the vapour begins to reduce and the flavour starts to become more burnt or less noticeable.
To do this, you unscrew the tank’s base, unscrew the coil and throw it away and screw the new one in place.
It is important that you allow the e-juice to soak thoroughly into the new coil’s wick before you begin vaping again.
Remember that you will also need to recharge your battery frequently. This can take around 3 hours, however you should never leave your battery charging for long periods or overnight as this can result in a shorter battery life.
Further reading about vaping:
Check out our top-rated vape pens here.
Check out our top-rated box mods here.
Check out our top-rated vape tanks here.