Vaping is becoming increasingly popular as a way for people who enjoy nicotine to “smoke” without exposing themselves to the tar and toxins in cigarettes. A lot of former smokers now use electronic cigarettes instead of smoking the traditional way, and there are a huge number of young people who are vaping without ever having touched a regular cigarette. If you are interested in learning how to vape, this guide will help you to get started.

What are Personal Vaporizers?

A personal vaporizer is a small, battery powered device that will provide the user with metered doses of nicotine, to be inhaled, by vaporizing some wax, e-liquid or “juice”. The e-liquid or wax is often flavoured, and there are some very interesting and unusual flavours on the market, which is one reason why so many people have made a hobby out of vaping.

There are some people who simply purchase disposable e-cigarettes which taste just like normal cigarettes. Those people have no interest in learning how to vape using more complex devices, and are interested in e-cigarettes purely for the fact that they are more socially acceptable, may often be smoked in areas where traditional cigarettes are forbidden because of the fire or health and safety risk, and because it is thought that they are less of a health risk too.

Electronic cigarettes tend to come in three parts. Those parts are the battery, the atomizer and the cartridge. The battery is usually a rechargeable one that is built-in to the device and can be charged via a plug or via a USB cable. The atomizer is the part which contains a heating element, and the cartridge is the part that contains the juice. Sometimes the juice is refilled from a bottle and sometimes the entire cartridge is replaced with a new, proprietary cartridge that is sold by the maker of the device.

Getting Started

If you are just learning how to vape then you should look at buying one of the user-friendly, easy to refill vape kits. Save the more sophisticated kits until you have decided whether you truly enjoy vaping and you know what sort of features and options you want from your vape kit.

In a basic electronic cigarette, the cartridge is a sealed device that you can change to top-up with fresh liquid or to change the flavour that you are smoking. When the cartridge is screwed in to the electronic cigarette, the filter will make contact with the bridge that connects to the atomizer. The cartridge filter will have absorbed some of the e-liquid, and will continue to soak up more and more liquid as necessary. The bridge will absorb some of that liquid through capilliary action, and it will transfer into the reservoir, ready to be smoked.

When the cigarette is switched on (something that is usually done by repeatedly tapping a button on the cigarette – newer models do not have a single-tap activation, for safety reasons), then it is ready to be smoked. Inhaling on the e-cigargette will pull the liquid from the reservoir into the atomizer pot. The pot contains a wick, which soaks up the liquid, and then the liquid will be vaporized by the coil that surrounds the wick. The coil reaches very high temperatures so this all happens very quickly, and it will cause the liquid to vaporize and pass through the mouthpiece, where you inhale it.

Is Vaping Like Smoking

When you are learning how to vape for the first time, one thing that you are likely to notice is that vaping does not feel the same as smoking. Most smokers take short, hard puffs, while vaping tends to work better with longer drags. To get the best experience out of smoking an electronic cigarette, you should try to do a longer, more controlled pull of four or five seconds. This will get you a nice big cloud of flavourful vapour.

Choosing What to Smoke

Depending on the type of electronic cigarette you have purchased, you will have several options for what to smoke. Most electronic cigarettes are designed for people to use with propelyne glycol based e-liquids. This type of liquid vaporises quite easily, and will give you a good, satisfying drag. Start with a small order of a few different flavours and try them all until you find something that you like. Note that propelyne glycol tends to produce a small amount of sweet vapour.

If you do not like propelyne glycol’s taste, or you are allergic to it, then you may want to try some vegetable glycerine based juices. These tend to have less sweet flavours, but they produce more vapour. Some electronic cigarettes do not burn vegetable glycerine as well as they do propelyne glycol, however, so you may want to check with the manufacturer to see what types of liquid they recommend.

Another thing to look at is the nicotine content. You can get vapors with no nicotine in them, and there are liquids that have as much as 4.8 percent nicotine – although these are quite hard to find. The average amount of nicotine is somewhere between 2.4 and 2.6 percent. The amount of nicotine that you should use will depend on how much you used to smoke. If you smoked just one pack of traditional cigarettes per day, or less, then you will most likely not need anything more than 1.2 percent nicotine for your e-liquid. One option, if you are refilling your nicotine via a bottle, is to buy stronger nicotine concentration liquids, and then water them down with zero nicotine liquid of the same flavour until you find a balance that suits you.

One thing that you should remember is that while there are some relatively plain eliquids, none of them will be an exact replica of a real cigarette, because they would lack the flavour from the combustion. If you want something that is similar to traditional smoking then menthol is the best bet. Most people find that they will enjoy a lot of different flavours and that experimenting with the hundreds that are on the market today is a huge part of the fun for them.

Whatever you do, store your eliquids carefully. Keep them out of direct sunlight so that they do not lose their flavour, and use them before their expiration date. Keep them well out of reach of children, too. The bright colors and strong smells can be very appealing to children, and they may try to drink the liquids, or at the very least smell and handle them. Concentrated nicotine can be toxic – especially to a young child. Store the liquids in a locked medicine cabinet so that they do not accidentally find them. When you handle the liquids yourself, take care not to get any on your skin, and if you do spill some, rinse it off immediately. Getting it in your mouth or eyes could be very unpleasant.

Smoking vs Vaping

Some people swap between smoking and vaping depending on the occasion. Vaping tends to be far less expensive than smoking, but still offers a great experience because the juice/liquid comes in so many flavours. What some people do is make vaping a day-to-day activity and then only smoke high quality cigars, cigarillos or cigarettes in social circumstances, to make them an experience to be enjoyed, rather than an expensive thing that is nothing more than a threat to their health and a drain on their cash.


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