Sub ohm vaping produces larger volumes of vapour, due to the style of vape kits used. To support this, vapers are required to use an inhalation method known as Direct To Lung or DTL vaping. This method is different than how most people people smoke a cigarette (although not all). When you smoke, you generally use a Mouth To Lung or MTL inhale. This describes the process of breathing smoke into your mouth and then carrying it into your lungs before exhaling. Direct To Lung vaping, as the name suggests, involves carrying smoke or vapour deep into the lungs in one inhalation before then exhaling. In effect, the main reason that sub ohm vaping is not recommended to new vapers is because it involves a style of inhaling they’re probably not used to. If you’ve just made the switch to vaping we’re going to recommend a person picks a starter vape kit that will help them replicate how they smoke, this makes the transition far easier.
All of that being said, there may come a point where you want to experience a higher volume of vapour and use a lower nicotine strength, this is when sub ohm vaping becomes a viable option. Through the course of this guide we’ll be giving you all the information you’ll need to make the transition to sub ohm vaping.
This is an important question, we’d never recommend a sub ohm kit to anyone who isn’t comfortable with the idea. Sub ohm vaping is for advanced vapers who have an understanding of how a vape kit works, and more importantly are going to be comfortable using a more advanced style of vape kit. If you’re a first time user, sub ohm vaping isn’t generally for you. Increased set-up, maintenance, and most importantly - higher vapour production.
As you probably already know, a coil is the metal heating element found in tanks and pods, they heat e-liquid turning it into an inhalable vapour. But what you might not have known, is that they don't all heat e-liquid at the same speed, or create the same amount of vapour. Both heating rate and vapour production are decided by a coil’s resistance. A coil’s resistance is measured in Ohms.
To put it simply, a coil with low resistance can be used at a higher power level and will produce more vapour. A coil with higher resistance will accept a lower power output and will produce less vapour.
Any coil that rates below 1.0 Ohm in resistance is known as a sub ohm coil, they are low resistance coils that will produce more vapour.
When it comes to sub ohm vaping traditionally a working knowledge of Ohm’s Law was very important. But now with the growing number of prebuilt coils and regulated devices, the process of sub ohm vaping has been greatly simplified. However, it’s always good to have some knowledge in your back pocket.
Ohm’s Law describes the relationship between your battery and coil, expressed as V = I x R, where Current (I) and Resistance (R), dictate the applicable Voltage (V). so in order to use your vape kit safely you’d have to perform this calculation for yourself.
Luckily, things are much easier now. A coil’s resistance will now be clearly labelled on the side of the coil itself, for example, 0.4 Ohm or 0.4Ω. As well, in your user manual or again on the coil itself, manufacturer’s will also print the advised power range, normally in Watts (W) instead of the classic Volts. What this means is that you can choose a wattage that perfectly suits your coil, without fear of mistakes.
That being said if you’re using a rebuildable atomiser or an unregulated vape device, a full understanding of Ohm’s Law is absolutely Vital. It’s vital because unregulated / mechanical vape kits contain no chipsets or extra hardware to regulate the performance of a battery, so there’s no margin for error. The worst case scenario is an overloaded battery that will explode, it is unfortunate, but it has happened many times before.
Sub ohm vaping, like all types of vaping, is still considered 95% less harmful than smoking. There are no additional ingredients in the e-liquid (just generally more VG) or changes to how your body processes the vapour. It’s simply the case that there’s more vapour.
To better moderate vape products including those used for sub ohm vaping, products must be tested, listed and tracked. The listing and tracking is carried out by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) to ensure that only products that meet rigorous standards are available to vapers.
A kit is more than just the coil it uses, a sub ohm vape kit has a number of features to support the coil. It is these features that lead us to only recommend sub ohm kits to more experienced vapers.
The biggest difference between a sub ohm kit and a starter kit is the amount of power they provide, sub ohm coils will require a greater amount of power to heat e-liquid to the point it turns to vapour. So you can expect a higher wattage output.
As sub ohm kits are intended for advanced users, manufacturers use them as an opportunity to create new output modes and function that advanced vapers can get to grips with. Multiple output modes such as Temperature Control are a staple of sub ohm kits. When used properly they offer a more custom experience but can be confusing for new vapers.
To support a higher wattage output, sub ohm vape kits will often use removable, rechargeable batteries. These batteries will need to be charged independently of the device and require more knowledge to use safely.
To experience sub ohm vaping to its full extent, you’re going to need an e-liquid that can create larger amounts of vapour. Thicker e-liquids are the best option, these are e-liquids that have a higher level of VG - 60% VG or higher to be precise. This is because VG produces less of a throat hit when vaped and as sub ohm kits produce more vapour, you’re going to want a smoother throat hit. To ensure consistent wicking and avoiding the possibility of a dry hit, you may need to try a few different thicknesses. As a general rule, we would recommend a 70% VG / 30% PG e-liquid for optimum performance.
You will also need to consider the nicotine strength of the e-liquid that you're using, because a sub ohm kit creates a greater amount of vapour by heating more e-liquid at a faster rate, it also means you will ingest more nicotine. This doesn’t make sub ohm vaping anymore harmful, but this does mean you’ll experience a harsher throat hit. To counter this we always recommend using an e-liquid that is lower than a 6mg nicotine strength.
There are plenty of options when it comes to sub ohm vape kits. To help make picking easier, you can check out our guide on the best sub ohm kits.