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The Beginners Guide To Vaping

Well done on taking the first step towards kicking tobacco in favour of the far healthier, much more fun and enjoyable pursuit!

Starting out as a ‘newbie’ to the wonderful world of vaping can be really confusing, as it takes no time at all when casually researching the topic to invariably stumble across an online article or forum jam-packed with technical jargon and assumed prior-knowledge. This can understandably make it seem a little daunting to some, so in this guide we’re going to explain and discuss everything there is to know to help newcomers understand the basics in plain old layman’s terms.

What Are Electronic Cigarettes?

Guide To E Cigs & VapingContrary to popular belief, the technology for electronic cigarettes in some form or other goes back quite a few decades. The early pioneers faced the problem where their technology wasn’t really strong enough to provide the power or flavour to match cigarettes, and also that culturally the world really wasn’t ready for it yet.

Roll on until the late 00’s and there become real breakthroughs, with e-cigs becoming genuine options for nicotine replacement therapy. In a few short years, we now have devices and products that are converting literally thousands of people every day towards vaping, so realistic and pleasurable it has become.

Can Vaping Help Me Quit Smoking?

100% yes it can, after all, most smokers who want to quit say that they no longer enjoy the negatives of smoking (stench, cost, social awkwardness, death) but would miss the process of inhalation and the buzz from the nicotine. Even a budget level entry device or pack from a reliable manufacturer can now accurately deliver a great kick, packed full of flavour and vapour without any negatives.

There Must Be Some Negatives To Vaping!

Honestly, no. E-Liquids are readily available in 0% nicotine formats, and most former smokers gradually reduce the nicotine content of their e-liquid over time to taper off their addiction. This can be done gently and avoid any of the nasty withdrawal cravings that are associated with going ‘cold turkey’ or through expensive and ineffective nicotine replacement patches and gum. Vaping keeps people occupied with a pleasurable activity, delivers nicotine in a safe manner and is far cheaper than tobacco smoking too.

Is It Easy To Get Started?

Absolutely! There’s a whole sub-market of vape starter kits made by great companies who strive to emulate tobacco as far as possible to help newcomers make the switch. Likewise, there’s masses of resources online comprising guides, advice, and most helpful of all – reviews.

Most often people will start off with a low end entry level product to see if they get along with it, then quite quickly graduate to something a little higher performance. Now is a great time to start out because high quality products are becoming cheaper too, thanks to the competition generated by a growing market combined with rapidly improving technology.

How Electronic Cigarettes Work:

The Battery

The Battery

Everyone gets carried away when selecting their first vape kit with selecting flavours, and as exciting as that is the battery is the most important initial component.

Quite simply, this is because in vaping no battery is born equal, and to generate decent and reliable vape you need to have the power behind it. This is why there’s a much higher success rate for people quitting smoking effectively with vaping when they opt for a mid-range vape pen rather than a cheap cig-a-like. These devices will have a better battery that can in turn serve better tanks = awesome deep hitting vape!

It’s important to know the limits of your battery for as you grow in confidence with vaping there’s a decent likelihood you may start to get interested in the more advanced options. A decent battery will be needed for subsequent progression, so starting out with a good solid purchase will likely save in the medium/long term too. As a side note, always check compatibility between batteries and tanks – it’s easy to check online or through the literature that will accompany each component.

The Liquid Carriers/Containers

The Liquid Carriers/Containers

Cartridge, Cartomizer or Tank – basically in that order of advancement.

Cartridge based systems have the advantage of absolute reliability (decent vape each time) and being extremely easy to use and maintain; the downside being that cartridges are often manufacturer dependent and can be more expensive.

Cartomizers take user applied liquids and are affordable, capable of a satisfying vape when properly configured (they can get messy and inconsistent, especially cheaper lines).

Tank vaping is a superior experience, again using e-liquids but with a variety of power, temperature and coil/atomizer settings that can depend upon the device be absolutely mind-blowing!

E-Liquids

E-Liquids

There’s thousands upon thousands to choose from so finding one (or a dozen) that suit your tastes can be hit and miss so check out review sites that voice the opinions of other users. E-Liquid is safe, comprised entirely of ingredients used in day-to-day food manufacturing combined with flavouring and nicotine – and liquid with more than 4 ingredients should generally be avoided.

On this note, it’s always important to use a genuine quality vendor when buying e-liquids, not only because you can be sure that they’re safe but also because they will deliver a better taste and vape. Just because a liquid claims to be made in the UK or USA shouldn’t be taken that the ingredients were sourced from those countries!

Look instead for reliable and professional companies who have a long track record of producing great products (in-particular look for reviews that praise excellent customer service – if they deliver this then they’ll care about what’s inside their products too).

V2 Cigs are an excellent example of a reputable company doing its bit to deliver genuine quality e-liquid made from the best ingredients from pure sources. V2 take real pride in their transparency and this is reflected in the deliciousness of their e-liquids too, many of which regularly score top marks for customer satisfaction!

Dry Herb & Wax Vaporisers

These are specialist products that don’t use e-liquid to create vapour but instead use an internal heating system or ‘oven’ to warm herbs or wax. They provide a great alternative to people who enjoy herbs via shisha or similar water based systems yet would like the portability and convenience of a personal vaporizer.

Especially popular in the US as cannabis has recently become decriminalised in many states, in the UK many people use dry herb vaporizers for enjoying lavender, chamomile, mint and many others as a feature of personal aromatherapy.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s a very few super-elite multi-purpose devices out there that use multiple interchangeable components for e-liquid, dry herb and wax. As can be imagined these are very high end (and often out of stock) because they simply offer the best vape experience going!

The Varieties Of Different Vaporizers Available

Hopefully by now you will have realised that while there are all sorts of options and varieties of personal vaporizers available, they tend to all fall into certain categories – which conveniently makes them considerably easier to compare!

In this section, we’ll have a look at the six key types of product and what the user can expect from them.

Cig-Like E Cigs

Cig-Like E Cigs

Cig-Like E Cigs are very popular with those who are both in the process of quitting smoking and also quite new to the vaping experience. Often these are best purchased in ‘starter’ kits as they can include a lot of cartridges (usually single use) and spares (batteries) that offer a decent saving in the medium term. Cig-like E Cigs have come a long way in recent years – where once they were a pale imitation of a tobacco cigarette, the better models today are as good as a vape pen.

Another appeal of Cig-like E Cigs is that they are really easy to use – literally charge it up, screw in a cartridge and you’re off. They’re reliable, consistent and act and feel like a tobacco cigarette in the hand.

Vaporizer Pens

Vaporizer Pens

Vaporizers can range wildly in quality and really need to be bought with care. When purchased from a decent producer and well maintained they are a great way of enjoying an inexpensive yet decent quality vape, the downside being that they can be fiddly and frustrating if they leak.

The plus side is that they allow for great freedom – replacement parts are very cheap and they allow total freedom to enjoy any e-liquid going. Fresh components and occasional clean outs are essential with these, and can be a little too much hassle for some.

Dry Herb Vaporizers

Dry Herb Vaporizers

Worth re-mentioning from the consumer aspect although we went into detail above about performance, these are fantastic devices for the right people! They tend to err towards the expensive end of the market because in the UK at least they are still quite a niche product and are largely US imports, yet compared to water based vape systems they’re unbelievably superior.

Always look for models that allow for as wide a range of temperature as possible as some herbs toast better at different heats. A good tip is to look for low start-up times, as usually this is a decent indication that the machine is high powered and with strong safety and circuit protection.

E Cig Tank Kits

E Cig Tank Kits

Tanks are a considerable step up from vaporizers as they typically allow for much more user control over their vaping experience. Good quality examples of these will be in the upper-middle tier when it comes to price, and their (inexpensive) components will need to be changed occasionally.

The payback is a much better vape as tanks allow for different levels of intensity and vapour production according to personal preference. Internally they have high-class coils that can deliver intense and full-bodied flavour far beyond lower level products.

Having found a suitable e cig tank system many vapers settle at this level of satisfaction, as it is relatively straightforward after a little practice and delivers a more enjoyable experience than even a classic tobacco smoke.

Box Mods

Box Mods

Super-high performance devices capable of amazing levels of power, this is where vaping steps into its own world! Often resembling over-sized lighters, box mod devices work with a tank attachment to deliver masses of power that is beyond all but the most elite electronic cigarettes. This leads to potentially massive volumes of vapour and huge hits of flavour and impact.

Especially popular with sub-ohm vaping (where settings are configured alongside a suitable tank to deliver vast plumes of vape) these aren’t necessarily for everyone but are mind-blowing to experience.

Box Mods can become expensive (although there are some great mid-range min options out there) and will almost always require extra outlay on batteries and tank, as well as getting through plenty of e-liquid and spare coils/wicks etc.

RBA, RDA & RTA’s

RBA, RDA & RTA’s

RBA, RDA and RTA’s are great examples of the sometimes inaccessible jargon that surrounds premium vaping, but it helps even beginners to understand the principles as they are fantastic when done correctly. Each of these refers to a method of ‘re-buildable’ tank or atomizer, which relates largely to the supply of liquid to the tank. In a nutshell these are:

RBA: Re-Buildable Atomizers – a catch-all term for this advanced practice.

RDA: Re-Buildable ‘Dripping’ Atomizers – considered the ‘purest’ form of vaping this method involves no tank of excess juice, just a small quantity to flood the atomizer and coils. This obviously needs regular recharging when used for any duration (ever dozen or so draws) but fans consider it the best vape method going. One for the purists!

RTA: Re-Buildable ‘Tank’ Atomizers – as suggested these use a tank that feeds the atomizer and coil to keep it permanently fully charged up. The plus side is that it’s much more convenient than RDA, however it’s not quite as spectacular a vape.

Hopefully this beginners guide will have ironed out a few questions and helped straighten out a few perceptions about the joys of vaping!