Considered a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, vaping is quickly winning over many smokers and ex-smokers alike. It’s no secret that proper vaping can take a bit of research and learning, even for people who’ve been long-time smokers. E-cigarettes, or vapes, were designed with ex-smokers in mind. Their purpose was to deliver inhaled nicotine, like cigarettes, but without the tobacco and nasty chemicals.
What is vaping?
The act of vaping itself is the inhaling of vapor from an e-cigarette or other vaping device, which is typically battery-powered and has a cartridge filled with a flavored liquid containing nicotine. When activated, the vape turns the liquid, or e-liquid, into a vapor that is then inhaled.
What do you need to start vaping?
We always recommend doing your research independently or within a vape shop to get the best fit for you, especially if you’re joining the vaping community as an ex-smoker.
Types of devices
When you start shopping for your device, you’ll come across three main categories of e-cigarettes: disposables, pen mods, box mods, and mechanical mods.
1. Disposable e-cigs
Disposable e-cigarettes are the cheapest, easiest, and most widely available vaping devices. These are roughly the same size as cigarettes and are usually the first types of vapes smokers choose to try. They’re either all-in-one units that are disposed of when dead, or units that have replaceable cartridge tips that contain e-juice, the wick, and a heating element. While they’re cheap and convenient, they are also pretty weak on vapor and the batteries don’t last very long.
2. Pen mods
Pen mods are made up of the same basic components as disposables but are usually larger and feature swappable components, such as tanks, coils, and tips. Pen mods are more powerful than disposables and produce more vapor and flavor. They also are rechargeable and usually take a USB cord rather than insertable batteries.
3. Box mods
Like pen mods, box mods give you the option to customize your device by changing the tank, coil, and other hardware. They’re larger than disposables and pen-style devices, but they contain a large battery (or multiple batteries) and additional wiring and circuitry to make for a more powerful hit. In addition to more powerful hits, they also typically come with a variety of more advanced features than the more basic devices, such as displays and the ability to change your temperature and wattage. Box mods tend to be much more expensive and require regular maintenance.
For those looking to get into vaping but not sure where to start, we recommend checking out our beginner-friendly Smok mods and kits. Each kit is different so you can create your own vaping experience, from convenient vape pens, such as our Vape Pen 22 kit, to our battery-free G-Priv 2 kit, featuring a full touch screen. Once you’ve chosen your mod, it’s time to choose your other components. We have a massive collection of Smok tanks, pods, and coils for you to choose from, such as the popular and lightweight TFV16 Lite Tank.
In addition to the mod, there are several other components you’ll need before you can complete your vape setup, such as your atomizer and a tank for your e-juice. You’ll need to know what kind of vaping experience you’re looking for and which components work with your specific mod.
1. Sub-ohm tanks
Sub-ohm tanks are the most popular option for all-in-one vaping and fit many of the beginner-friendly mods commercially available. They screw directly into the vape unit and contain a replaceable coil unit filled with acotton wick. The tank is filled with juice that soaks through the coil unit and into the wick, then comes through the mouthpiece as vapor. Sub-ohms are convenient and easy to use, and also tend to produce a large amount of vapor and flavor.
Coils are easy to find in any vape shop or online store and are very affordable. You’ll need to switch them out every few weeks, depending on the amount you vape, so it’s a good idea to keep a few on hand. They’re typically categorized by the type of metal they’re made with, such as steel, nickel, and titanium. Each type of coil has a standard temperature and wattage range they can be used with, so it’s important to know exactly which coil you need for your device.
Most mods come with the ability to swap out batteries rather than needing to plug the unit in to charge. The most popular type of battery for vaping is the 18650, which needs to be purchased at a vape shop or online store.
This tends to be the most difficult decision for beginners because there are literally thousands of flavors and options to choose from. We recommend sampling some flavors to see which you like best, and then determining the level of nicotine you’ll need based on your previous smoking habits.
Nicotine levels: The most common nicotine strengths are 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, and 18mg, but some manufacturers do produce higher strengths.
0mg nicotine levels are, of course, nicotine-free juices. These are good for nonsmokers who don’t have a need for nicotine.
3mg nicotine levels are for light smokers who want to try vaping or for those trying to ease their nicotine consumption, and are the lowest levels available before going nicotine-free.
6mg nicotine levels are the typical starting point for regular smokers and is one of the most popular nicotine levels.
12mg nicotine levels are made for heavier smokers and gives a harsher throat hit, so it’s typically not recommended for first-time vapers.
18mg nicotine levels are for chain smokers who need a lot of nicotine, but tend to result in less flavor overall.
How to vape
Now that you know what vaping is and what to look for in terms of hardware, let’s get to the fun stuff: how to start vaping.
If you’re coming to the vaping community as an ex-smoker, you’re probably accustomed to taking quick, short drags and possibly even chain smoking. With vaping, you’ll need to learn to take long, slow draws and allow time between hits for the device to cool down.
Before your first draw, you should warm up your coil by quickly inhaling into the mouth of the vape. This is called a “primer puff” and allows your coil to warm up to temperature before taking the full heat from the battery.
As we mentioned, learn to take long, slow draws from your vape rather than quick, short ones. Take the vapor into your mouth, hold it for three to five seconds, and then inhale it into your lungs. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, the nicotine from vaping can be absorbed into your body via mucus membranes in your mouth and nose, in addition to via your lungs.
With tobacco cigarettes, the nicotine usually hits you within the first eight or so seconds after the inhale. With e-cigarettes, however, absorption occurs more slowly and can take up to thirty seconds for you to feel the effects. Although it takes a bit longer, it’s easy to get used to after a few hits.
And that’s it! You’re now ready to begin your vaping journey. For more information on vaping and to view our full line of vaping devices and accessories, check out SMOK official store or visit a Smok authorized retailer near you.