Vaping is taking off today. People are using it to get off nicotine addiction entirely or simply cut down. If you’re looking to get into vaping but don’t know your pod from your mod, take a look at our guide to get you started.
How do vapes work?
A vape device can come in lots of different forms, as you will soon see, but the three main components that don’t change are: the battery, coil, and liquid. The battery feeds power to the tank base, which heats the coil, which in turn converts the liquid into vapour for you to inhale.
Pen or tank?
Let’s start with the simplest decision: what do you want to hold in your hand? Vape pens can come in many shapes and sizes. Maybe you want something elegant and sleek like Mouth-To-Lung devices, or do you want something bulky that will hold a lot of juice, both of the e-liquid and energy variety? Or maybe you want a tank, that will offer the biggest experience either in flavour or nicotine hit?
Do you perhaps want to make quitting smoking as seamless as possible, so would prefer something that looks like a cigarette? Cig-a-likes look like traditional cigarettes and are designed to simulate the sensations and actions of smoking.
Or maybe you want the simplest thing to handle: a pod kit. Buy a bunch of replaceable cartridges, stick a pod on one and puff away with minimal interference. They’re small and discreet and hassle free. No need to change coils or fill with e-liquid.
Mouth-To-Lung devices are designed to give a tighter draw and have refillable pods for whatever flavour you feel like in the moment.
Similar in concept to a shisha, sub-ohm devices allow you to inhale directly into your lungs, and are therefore catered towards the advanced vapers, along with their use for making an enormous plume of vapor.
Tanks come with their own set of specifications. Do you want an RDA or RTA? Don’t panic. It’s simply the atomizer and a difference of applying the e-liquid to the wick. An RDA prompts a fresher taste by dripping e-liquid and immediately being consumed by the vape. An RTA is the same principle but it is combined with a traditional tank so there is no manual component. Your wick is instead submerged in the e-liquid.
Batteries are especially made for vape pens and can be bought from vape shops for anywhere between £7 and £15. Superior Vapour in Cardiff sells long-lasting batteries for as low a price of £4.99. You will have to buy a charger to go with them and plug them in like any other rechargeable batteries. Battery chargers can cost between £5 and £25.
Made up of mainly propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, with some flavouring and nicotine tossed in for good measure, e-liquids are what make the vaping experience different from smoking.
Smoking areas are alive with the smell of a fruit salad thanks to all the flavours available to vapers. Outside of fruit, flavours are available like custard, menthol and even tobacco, which can be handy if you’re struggling to let go of traditional cigarettes.
You can also choose the strength of e-liquid based on your needs. Maybe you just like a small hit, or you’re a social smoker? Maybe you are looking to quit entirely, but don’t fancy a cold turkey experience full of withdrawal and cravings. If you buy a variety of strength of e-liquid and gradually lower the dose of nicotine, you’ll find that your body is eased into quitting.
On the other end, those of you needing a stronger hit can look at Nic Salts, which offer strengths going up to 36mg and deliver them quickly. Branded as a way to get one big hit and get on with your day, it’s the working man’s vaping method.
Mods are the same principle as gaming mods: build on what’s already there. There are mods for controlling temperature, safety cut-offs, sub-ohm capabilities, faster charging and LED displays are just some of the mods available. Shop around and see what you fancy.
Once you have your vape pen, you’ll need to look after it. Coils and cotton need to be replaced on most bigger models than pods. A tub of cotton can cost from £3 to £7, while coils can cost between £8 and £15 and need to be replaced every 1-4 weeks. Think about changing it when your vape tastes burnt or your vape pen starts gurgling.
If you’re a true beginner, think about looking into disposable e-cigarettes, also called Puff Bars, that you can throw out once they’re empty, but if you’re serious about vaping, hopefully this guide has helped you make a lot of confusing decisions before you take that sweet-smelling drag.
Image Credits: Vaporesso