A Beginner’s Guide to Vaping
Vaping is something that has been growing in popularity in the UK over the last few years, and with good reason. For those trying to quit smoking it is a great way to cut down on smoking and have less dependency on nicotine. Vaping is also seen as a healthier alternative to smoking for those who don’t want to quit and it is also something that is cheaper than traditional cigarettes.
However, it is a little more complicated that simply walking into a store and picking up an e-cigarette. Here is our beginner’s guide to vaping that will help to understand what vaping is, how e-cigarettes work and what is the best vaping set-up for you.
What is vaping?
According to the dictionary – Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapour that has been created by an electronic cigarette or vape device. Though this is true, to us, vaping described like this seems a little underwhelming. Vaping isn’t just an act of inhaling vapour; it’s a life-changing decision.
What are the advantages to vaping?
When we say that vaping is a life-changing decision, we’re not overselling. Here are just as few of the benefits that vaping offer:
- Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, e-cigarettes and vape devices don’t.
Tar, carbon monoxide, butane, arsenic and a lot of other chemicals are all found in cigarettes and inhaled when you smoke traditional cigarettes. The e-liquids that are used in e-cigarettes are made from non-toxic propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine, flavourings and nicotine.
- The Smell
The smell of cigarette smoke, the residue it leaves on your skin, your clothes and your home is one of the most repulsive things about smoking. With e-cigarettes, you don’t have this problem. The vapour doesn’t leave the residue that cigarettes do, you won’t smell of cigarette smoke and they won’t yellow the tips of your fingers either.
- The savings
The savings with e-cigarettes can be huge. Based on smoking 20 cigarettes a day, you can save up to £275.50 per month, which works out at a possible saving of £3,325.60 a year. Of course it you can invest a lot of money into vaping with the different mods that are available, and you can save even more money if you are trying to quit and reducing down how much you smoke.
- Second-hand smoke
Whether you are walking down the street, standing in a public park or sitting around the children in your family, second-hand smoke is something that you can’t avoid with traditional cigarettes. With e-cigarettes, however, there isn’t an issue. The vapour you breathe out very quickly dissipates in the atmosphere and does put the health of the people around you at risk either.
- Public Health England
Public Health England has said that “vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking” regular cigarettes.
The different flavours of traditional cigarettes are very limited, but with vaping, there are hundreds of different flavours to choose from.
Though you can get disposable e-cigarettes that you throw away after use and the tips of e-cigarettes need to be replaced, there isn’t the same amount of litter that is generated when smoking traditional cigarettes. The cigarette butts that are thrown out of cars dropped on the ground or thrown into rubbish bins still smouldering are a thing of the past.
What are the different vaping options available?
There are lots of vaping options out there, from small, lightweight e-cigarettes, to bigger and bulkier models, but really there are two different types that you need to know about – the closed system e-cigarette and the open system e-cigarette.
These types of e-cigarettes are sometimes known as cig-a-likes. They’re long and thing devices that do not need to be taken apart to refill them. The heating element is internalised, it can’t be taken apart, making them easier to refill as you just unscrew the old cartridge and screw in the new one.
Closed system e-cigarettes have two parts to them – the cartridge and the rechargeable device. The cartridge is sealed and has the e-liquid already inside it and ready for use. The rechargeable device heats the coil and turns the e-liquid into vapour.
This type of e-cigarette is a bigger and bulkier vaping device. It isn’t a disposable unit so you can you use it over and over again, however that are more removable parts. These types of e-cigarettes are sometimes known as vape pens. They are comprised of a mouthpiece, a clearomiser and a rechargeable device.
The mouthpiece is obviously the part of the vape pen that goes in your mouth and you use to inhale the vapour through. The clearomiser is the part of the vape pen where the e-liquid is held. The mouthpiece can be unscrewed from the clearomiser so that the e-liquid can be refilled by the user. The rechargeable device works the same as it does on the closed system e-cigarette.
What about Mods?
Though you can vape by just using the open and closed system e-cigarettes, there is a way that you can create something that is a little more unique to vape with. That’s where Mods come in. Mods are also known as Advanced Personal Vaporizers or APVs. Mods are generally something that are used by vapers that are more experienced and know what it is they are looking for in a vaping device. Beginners can find themselves making a huge investment in something that they aren’t sure is really for them if they go straight to Mods when they start vaping.
How do e-cigarettes work?
Simply put, e-cigarettes work by heating the e-liquid in the device which converts it to vapour. The vapour is then inhaled.
In a little more depth, e-cigarettes work like this:
- The rechargeable unit, which is sometimes called the battery, is turned on. This is done by a button on the side or motion sensors on the mouthpiece.
- This turns on the heating element inside the cartridge, tank or clearomiser.
- The heating element heats the e-liquid.
- The e-liquid turns into a vapour which can be inhaled through the mouthpiece.
How can I charge it?
In order for the e-cigarette to produce vapour, the rechargeable unit needs to be, well, charged. A lot of e-cigarette products can be charged using a USB cable, but other e-cigarette products will require a charging pack. Generally, e-cigarettes take an hour to three hours to charge. They will recharge quicker if they are plugged into a mains socket instead of a laptop. E-cigarettes should never be left to charge for longer than necessary as this can cause the battery in the rechargeable unit to degrade.
How do I refill it?
If you are using a closed system e-cigarette, then you just buy a new cartridge, unscrew the old one from the rechargeable unit and screw the new one into place. Using an open system you will need to have chosen the e-liquid that you want to use and wait for the clearomiser to run out before you refill it. You unscrew the clearomiser from the mouthpiece and gently squeeze the e-liquid into the clearomiser. Just be careful not the overfill it.
How do I store it?
If you store your e-cigarette properly then it could mean that it works for longer. E-cigarettes should be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. This can make it quite difficult to find somewhere to store it as you also don’t want it to get damaged or dirty. If your e-cigarette does look dirty, then you can use a cotton bud to clean off any dirt that is on the outside or is inside your vaping device.
What are e-liquids?
E-liquids are the fluids that are used in e-cigarettes to create vapour for you to inhale. They are available in a number of different flavours as well as different strengths of nicotine.
They are made from either vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol. Most e-liquids will contain both of these ingredients, but one will generally be more dominant than the other.
Propylene glycol is used more commonly than vegetable glycerine as it provides a greater flavour intensity and because it is thinner than vegetable glycerine, it is easier to clean the clearomiser. Vegetable glycerine can clog up the clearomiser if it isn’t regularly cleaned but is noted as providing thicker vape clouds.
What are the different strengths of e-liquids?
E-liquids come in a range of nicotine strengths. Some are nicotine free whilst others are much stronger than others. E-liquids are measured in percentages. The percentage will tell you how much of the e-liquid is made up of nicotine. The maximum strength for an e-liquid is 2%.
How can I get started?
If you are interested in getting into vaping then you can get started with one of our starter kits here.