This is it. You’re ready to vape. You’ll buy some kit, power it up with your favorite vape juice and be ripping fat clouds in no time.
Well, maybe not exactly. Vaping isn’t complicated, but there are some things that you need to know about if you want to avoid embarrassment and accidents.
There are different types of e-cigarette
While it is tempting to call all the devices e-cigarettes or vapes, there are important distinctions between product categories.
Disposable e-cigarettes like those made by Blu and NJOY are easily available from gas stations, but they aren’t very powerful. Cigalikes and pen mods are a bit more substantial, but they won’t satisfy everyone.
It’s when you graduate to a vape mod that vaping gets more fun. These larger devices give bigger clouds and they let you change the hardware and alter wattage or temperature output to suit your preferences.
Mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung devices
Another important distinction to make between e-cigarettes is mouth-to-lung vs direct-to-lung devices.
It is important to distinguish between these categories because it means you have to inhale slightly differently.
With mouth-to-lung devices like disposable e-cigs, cigalikes and pod vapes, you draw the vapor into your mouth before inhaling. It’s similar to smoking so is often preferred by newer vapers. Direct-to-lung devices like box mods produce airier vapes and are inhaled directly into the lungs.
You might cough the first time
A survey of 600 vapers from E-Cigarette Direct revealed that 57% of vapers admitted to coughing the first time they tried it. For most people, this is just a temporary effect, with 93% of experienced vapers reporting that they no longer cough.
There are lots of reasons why people may cough when vaping. Some people have a sensitivity to propylene glycol (PG) while others don’t have the correct technique.
Remember that many people develop a cough when they quit smoking, so your cough may be nothing to do with vaping.
You may not be allowed to vape indoors
Vaping is getting more regulated at federal and state level.
Last year, New York became the 11th state to ban vaping in areas where tobacco smoking is already prohibited, such as in enclosed workplaces, bars and restaurants.
Other localities have their own rules on vaping and some bars, restaurants and workplaces may choose to ban the use of e-cigarettes alongside tobacco alternatives.
Choosing nicotine strength
Along with flavor, nicotine strength should be one of the key considerations when it comes to choosing e-liquid.
Nicotine strength refers to the amount of nicotine per milliliter of juice. If you are a former smoker, you should judge nicotine strength based on how much you smoked.
People who haven’t smoked before should choose 0mg/ml e-liquid. Light smokers should try 3mg/ml and regular smokers might want to try 6mg/ml. If you are a heavy smoker then 12 or 18mg/ml e-liquid may be for you.
Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are the two primary ingredients in most e-liquids. Each bottle of e-liquid will have a PG/VG ratio which affects an e-liquids thickness and flavor.
VG is thicker than PG and it needs to be heated more, so you will normally need a box mod device for high VG e-liquids. High VG e-liquids also tend to have less nicotine in them and e-liquids with a higher PG content often deliver a sharper throat hit that former smokers crave.
Coils need replacing from time to time
Coils are heating elements in atomizers and they need replacing every few weeks or so. You know that a coil needs replacing because it will start to taste burnt.
For sub-ohm tanks, vape coils are easily available online and in bricks and mortar vape shops and they are quite affordable.
For some atomizers, like rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDAs) and rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) you can use wire and wick to create your own coils. Building coils tends to be for more experienced vapers.
You need to handle batteries safely
Some devices have internal batteries that can’t be removed. But other devices have external batteries that you can swap out and recharge externally.
These batteries can be dangerous if you don’t look after them properly.
To prevent accidents, make sure you purchase batteries from a reliable supplier. Don’t carry them loose in your pocket, get a carry case or keep them inside your vaporizer. If the plastic around your batteries starts to wear down, make sure you throw them out responsibly and get a new set.
Vaping is fun
Don’t take vaping too seriously, especially when someone wants to draw you into an argument about the relative pluses and minuses of vaping (trust me it will happen).
Remember that you started vaping for a reason and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. And don’t be afraid to have fun with vaping. Pick out the wildest vape juice flavor you can find, chat to other vapers at work and in smoking areas and attend vaping conventions. It’s all good fun.