Beginner’s guide to Vaping

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the term given to using an electronic cigarette or personal vaporizer. Someone who uses traditional tobacco cigarettes is a “smoker” and they “smoke” cigarettes, someone who uses an e-cigarette is a “vaper” and they “vape” their e-cigarette or personal vaporizer.

What is an E-Cigarette or a Vaporizer?

E-Cigarettes or Personal Vaporizers are a device that gives us an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes by heating an “e-liquid”. First invented in 2003, they have recently started to get popular around the world. Today, there is a massive selection of vapor devices available ranging from the humble e-cigarettes to high wattage advanced personal vaporizers. Many of the vapor devices today are commonly referred to as “Mods” which is short for modified or modifiable.

Anatomy of an E-Cigarette

1. Device

  • Main Function – To take the power supplied by the battery and deliver it to the atomizer
  • Come in a large variety of colors and shapes often dependent on their specific uses
  • May look like a traditional cigarette, a pen, a tube or a box
  • Higher end devices could also have additional features like a touch screen

2. Battery

  • This is the most crucial part of the device.
  • Function – To supply power
  • Some devices use a non-replaceable internal battery (built-in) while others use one or more replaceable rechargeable high drain batteries

3. Atomizers

  • This heat resistant part houses one or more resistance wire coils and its wick(s) often with some form of a reservoir to hold e-liquid
  • There are many different styles, atomized cartridges (obsolete), Cartomizers, Clearomizers, Rebuildable Tank Atomizers, Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers, Hybrid Atomizers (rebuildable dripping tank atomizers and Genesis Atomizers)

4. Coils

  • These are small pieces of resistance wire that are made into a coil shape resembling a spring
  • The type of wire used, the diameter of the coil and the number of wraps, all affect the coil’s resistance.
  • Its resistance is what determines the amount of electricity it will need to power it and the amount of heat it will produce
  • Coils are commonly made from Kanthal and NiChrome and more recently Nickel and are considered to be the safest to use for vaping.

5. E-Liquids

  • Also known as E-Juice
  • It’s a solution consisting of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), food flavorings, and sometimes nicotine
  • Comes in a variety of PG/VG ratios and nicotine strengths
  • Most cigarette smokers switching to e-cigarettes will start using high nicotine juices and move towards lower strength juices over time. It is common for most people to start out using strengths as high as 18mg/ml (heavy smokers as high as 24mg/ml) but often will soon switch to 12mg/ml e-liquids for their improved flavor (as nicotine content drops flavor increases)
  • We do not recommend the use of e-liquid with a nicotine strength above 18mg/ml. In fact, we recommend using the minimum nicotine strength needed to sate your nicotine cravings because as nicotine content is decreased flavor is improved.
  • Advanced users using devices that produce more vapor will typically use lower strength nicotine because when more vapor is produced and inhaled, the overall nicotine concentration stays the same. The need for higher nicotine concentrations is exclusive to devices producing smaller amounts of vapor. Those using advanced devices will typically favor liquids in 3mg/ml or 6mg/ml

6. Wicks

  • Made from various materials including cotton, twisted silica cord, eko-wool, ceramic, and stainless steel mesh
  • Carry e-liquid to the coils. Wicking material acts as delivery method e-juice from the tank directly onto a coil itself, where it is vaporized.

Types of Devices

1. Basic Devices

Basic vaping devices include cig-a-likes and closed pod system devices

Some of its features are –

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Low vapor production
  • Very low on battery capacity
  • Disposable Cartomizer
  • E-Liquid prefilled i.e. non-refillable
  • Low Hit

These basic vaping devices are no longer popular and have been replaced by Intermediate devices which offer better features without being much expensive. We neither recommend them as users generally do not enjoy them (as they are not able to produce the required hit) and give up on the first step in their vaping journey.

2. Intermediate Devices

Intermediate devices are best suited for beginners to begin their vaping journey as they are generally simple to use

Some of its features are –

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Medium vapor production
  • Generally, they have a good battery capacity
  • Refillable with E-Liquids
  • Wide range of E-Liquids to choose from (variable flavors, nicotine strength, PG/VG Ratio)
  • Available with disposable coils and refillable tank or disposable and refillable tanks
  • Available in many styles and colours
  • Many intermediate vaping devices also come with safety features like child lock

3. Advanced Devices

Advanced devices are suitable for users who already have a very good knowledge of vaping. Someone who understands and has a working knowledge of Ohms Law and Joules Law, and the risks involved with rebuildable devices. Someone who is knowledgeable and respectful of vaping and battery safety.

These devices are also referred to as “mods” or “modifiable” because many of its components are modifiable to suit different vaping needs.

Some of its features are –

  • Expensive than Intermediate Devices
  • Comes with adjustable power options
  • Modifiable components allowing flexibility
  • Can produce very high vapors or clouds
  • Comes with varying battery capacity from medium to very high
  • Refillable with E-Liquids
  • Wide range of E-Liquids to choose from (variable flavors, nicotine strength, PG/VG Ratio)
  • Rebuildable Atomisers
  • Long lasting with proper usage
  • Difficult to maintain and involves risks of injury if wrong components used
  • Also available with advanced features like built-in display, touch screen, and others.
  • RECOMMENDED FOR BEGINNERS only when used under the supervision and guidance of an expert vaper

Now that you know the basics of vaping, you can go forward with purchasing your first setup. Use our buying guide to make the right purchase decision.

Beginner's Buying Guide

Or if you would like to know the benefits of quitting smoking and switching to vaping, we have a wonderful post just for you.

Why vaping is better than smoking?

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