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How to Vape - The Ultimate Guide
If you spend a decent amount of time on the internet, you have probably come across vaping. It is trending right now, with seasoned vapers showing off their flashy devices and thick clouds of vapour. Whether you’re considering vaping as a new pleasure or you’re a smoker looking for an alternative, this guide will help you understand vaping better and give you a chance to get started like a pro.
What is Vaping?
Although the by-products of vaping and smoking appear the same (smoke), the two are vastly different. Vaping is the act of inhaling vapour (which looks like smoke) from a vape device or an electronic cigarette.
On the surface, vaping looks similar to smoking, but it has fewer harmful effects. For vaping, you need a vape device and vape juice which sometimes can contain nicotine depending on what you choose. As a vaper, you get to select the amount of nicotine you want to vape by choosing a vape juice with the corresponding concentration of nicotine.
What is a Vape?
A vape is one of the essentials you need to start vaping. It is a handheld device used by vapers to produce vapour. The vape has a mechanism that vaporises the vape juice to create the thick clouds of vapour you see vapers exhaling.
The first vape devices looked like a cigarette and were released around 2000 and made their way into America and Europe by 2007. Over the years, the design of the vape device has changed to look like a small box, or a pen and various other shapes in between depending on the type of device you choose. But the basic functions of the device have remained the same.
How Does a Vape Work?
At first glance, vapes look like complicated devices. But they are rather simple to operate. They comprise a battery, a heating element (often a coil) and an atomizer.
The user uses the vape by inhaling the vapour through a small mouthpiece. Once the device is activated, the battery powers the coil, which heats up and vaporises the liquid that falls onto the hot coil. It is a complete system that works together.
There are various types of vapes on the market that suit different levels of users. Regardless of the kind of vape you choose, the functionality is the same, but the features vary. Some have more fancy features than others, while others are pre-packed and come without any buttons. The latter is perfect for beginners who want a no-frills, hassle-free vaping experience.
Parts of a Vape Explained
As already mentioned, vapes have three primary parts that get them to function correctly. These are;
The power source
Vape mods draw their power from a battery. Usually, this is a lithium-ion battery. Depending on the power, design and requirements of the device, the type and shape of the battery can come in various forms and sizes.
More advanced mods that come with adjustable watts and other power features require more powerful batteries. The more powerful the battery, the easier it is to use the device and often, in the right hands, the experience is often better.
But not all vapes are high-powered. Pod vapes, vape pens and e-cigarettes are low-powered devices. They usually have a small, at times rechargeable battery without adjustable power. These are perfect for beginners who might not want to vape as much.
The atomizer is loosely called the vapour source. It is where the vapour is produced before travelling up the mouthpiece into the mouth and lungs of the vape. The atomizer is at times called the vape tank.
It is a self-contained chamber that is electronically connected to the vape mod. It has a resistant heating element and absorbent wick, saturated with e-juice. When the vaper takes a hit, the coils heat the liquid from the wick, instantly making smoke-looking vapour.
The primary role of an atomizer is to hold e-juice. Some hold more than others, depending on the type of device. Although they serve the same primary functions, there are different types of atomizers, which include prefilled, rebuildable, refillable and refillable with replaceable coils.
There are different types of atomizers that are often bought separately from the vape mod. You need to remember that the atomizer has to be compatible with the mod to function correctly.
How to Vape
Now that you know a little about the gadgets, it is time to take your first vaping lessons. Although it is tempting to buy a fancy device, it is best to start with something simple that will allow you to focus on getting your technique right and is easier to use.
Step 1: Buy a simple vape kit. It might not be the most elegant device you purchase, but it will get the job done. Starter kits are affordable and allow you to find the vaping experience that works for you slowly. There are different types of starter kits in the market. If you’re a complete newbie, disposable vapes are the best option for you. You can then upgrade slowly as you get used to the experience.
Step2: If you don’t purchase a disposable vape, you will need to purchase the vape juice for your kit. There are tonnes of flavour and nicotine concentrations to choose from. You should understand how the composition of each type of vape juice will affect your experience and the performance of the device. For starters, you can go for a balanced 50/50 blend.
What are PG and VG?
The PG and VG composition are one of the essential considerations when buying vape juice. Propylene Glycol is responsible for throat hits and is often likened to smoking. PG has a thin consistency.
Vegetable glycerine is a derivative of vegetable oil. It has a thick consistency and produces large amounts of vapour. Every vape juice features these two ingredients in different concentrations. Whether you prefer throat hit or vapour production, you can select a vape juice with a higher concentration of either PG or VG. If you’re not sure, a 50/50 blend should suffice.
The PG/VG ratio affects more than your vaping experience. PG is better suited for MTL vaping, while VG e-liquids are predominantly used in sub-ohm kits because of their thick consistency. For new vapers, the standard 70/30 PG/VG ratio is perfect for the MTL vaping kits.
What is nicotine strength, and how much do I need?
Besides the PG and VG, you will also need to consider the nicotine concentration of your vape juice. Nicotine concentration is the amount of nicotine contained in vape juice. If you're a former smoker, you might need a higher nicotine concentration, but for new vapers that don't want nicotine, there are nicotine-free vape liquids as well.
How to Inhale
Once you have all your tools, you can prepare for your first inhale. There are two ways to inhale from a vape device.
The first is mouth to lung. This works great for smaller vapes that have high resistance coils and use high nicotine. Using this technique, you draw the vapour into your mouth and hold it with your mouth closed, then open your mouth and breathe the vapour into your lungs, then exhale.
The second method is direct-lung. It works great with larger vapes with low resistance coils and low nicotine vape juices. With this method, you draw the vapour directly into your lungs and exhale the vapour almost immediately.
How to Avoid Dry Hits
Dry hits are dreaded in the vaping world. Unfortunately, every seasoned vaper goes through their share of dry hits for various reasons. You can save yourself the nasty experience by preventing dry hits using the following tips.
- After filling your tank with e-liquid, give a few minutes to let the coils soak through. Take a few “primer puffs” before vaping properly. Taking primer puffs means drawing with the device turned off to draw the liquid into the coils.
- Pace yourself when vaping. Don’t vape too frequently because this can overheat your coils leading to dry hits.
- High PG e-liquids can cause harshness for some vapers. If you’re constantly finding your throat on fire, you can adjust your PG/VG ratio for a better experience. To this end, opting for a vape juice with higher VG content is more preferable.
- Always make sure you have enough e-liquid in your tank. If the levels of the juice is too low such that the cotton holes are visible, you increase your chances of damaging the coils and vaping dry hits.
As with anything new, your start to vaping can feel strange and often confusing. This is usually because most people overthink it and are too aggressive when buying vaporisers. By opting for a simpler device with minimal technology and features, you can focus on getting your vaping right and then upgrade your device as your vaping improves. Luckily, most disposable and vaping starter kits are affordable, so you don't have to worry about spending too much at the beginning of your vaping journey.