Short Beginner’s Guide To Vaping

What Is Vaping?

Vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking that has been designed for adult smokers looking to quit or cut down. Unlike cigarette smoke, e-liquid vapour does not contain any of the harm-causing carcinogens or tar that are linked to multiple diseases including cancer and strokes. Instead, vaping offers a convenient way to satisfy a nicotine craving without resorting to cigarettes and has helped thousands of people across the world stop smoking.

What Is A Vape Kit & How Do They Work?

A vape kit is made up of three main components:

  • A battery unit - provides power
  • A tank or pod - holds e-liquid
  • A coil - heating element found in a tank or pod

When you activate your vape kit the power from the battery is used to heat the coil, the coil then vapourises the e-liquid. Once the vapour is created it is inhaled via the mouthpiece.

What Is E-Liquid?

E-liquids are made up of four main ingredients, these are VG (Vegetable Glycerine), PG (Propylene Glycol), flavourings, and usually nicotine - though you can get e-liquids that do not contain nicotine.

VG and PG are commonly used in both food and pharmaceutical products and are considered extremely safe. In e-liquid, they are used as the ‘base ingredients’ and comprise the major part of e-liquid. They have two main roles. Firstly, they create the visible vapour you see, which emulates ’smoke’; secondly, they ‘carry’ both the flavour and nicotine in the vapour.

VG and PG do have some different properties though. PG is a thinner liquid, produces less vapour but more of a throat hit. VG, on the other hand, is thicker and produces more vapour but less of a throat hit. So, e-liquid manufacturers will use different amounts of each depending on the type of kit the liquid is intended for and to support different vaping styles.

What Are The Different Styles Of Vaping?

The term ‘vaping style’ refers to the way you use a vape kit, particularly how you inhale. There are two main vaping styles: Mouth To Lung (MTL) and Direct To Lung (DTL).

MTL vaping is where you inhale vapour into your mouth and then breathe it into your lungs before exhaling. This vaping style is very similar to how most people smoke a cigarette and MTL kits will create a small amount of vapour to accommodate this style. MTL kits are often the first type of kit you’ll use and are generally very simple, requiring little maintenance.

DTL vaping describes a style where you inhale vapour directly into your lungs without holding it in your mouth first. This style is not generally how most people would smoke a cigarette, but some do. DTL kits create a lot more vapour than MTL kits, so they can support a DTL inhale.

Apart from this increased vapour production, these kits often feature advanced modes. These modes allow you to customise the kit’s performance to suit you. Common options include Variable Wattage (controls power output) and Temperature Control (sets a max temperature). These modes require a bit of practice to get used to and the learning curve often means they’re not always the ideal choice for a beginner.

Getting Started

Getting started with vaping is very easy, it mainly comes down to picking the right combination of e-liquid and kit. These are generally purchased separately, however, if you’re looking for everything all in one place we offer a range of bundle kits that contain both.

Choosing A Vape Kit

There’s a large range of vape kits to choose from, offering options for every vaping style and budget. They can be split into two wider categories: prefilled and refillable. Prefilled vape kits arrive filled with e-liquid and are recognised as the simpler option. Refillable kits give you the opportunity of pairing your kit with an e-liquid of your choice, at the same time they require a bit more maintenance.

Prefilled Kits

Disposable vapes are by far the simplest type of vape kit available, they arrived filled with e-liquid and require zero maintenance. Available for around £3 - £5, they are a very low-cost introduction to vaping. They come ready to use straight out of the box, and when the e-liquid runs out you simply replace it with a new one. This means no charging and no refilling, making this kit very easy to use. Although cheaper than cigarettes, they’re not the most cost-effective option over time compared to other styles of vape kit, but, they are extremely easy to use and convenient.

If you’re looking to save more money without sacrificing simplicity, prefilled pod kits are a popular choice. Similar to disposable options, they come with pods that are filled with e-liquid. But, rather than replacing the entire kit, you just replace the pod. With a wide range of flavours and nicotine strengths available, they’re easy to use and maintain. You will of course have to remember to recharge the battery.

Refillable Kits

When it comes to refillable kits or open kits, there’s a wide selection to choose from. Refillable pod kits continue to be a go-to option for vapers, especially beginners. They’re as simple to use as the prefilled options, the difference is you’ll have to fill and refill the pods yourself. But, this will actually save you money as a bottle of e-liquid will almost always be cheaper than several prefilled pods or devices. You also have access to a much wider range of flavours and strengths.

Aside from refillable pods, there’s also a huge selection of open tank kits. These are kits that feature a glass tank and use replaceable coils rather than a pod. Popular options include vape pens as well as vape starter kits and box mod kits. They will require the most amount of upkeep, but they’re also the cheapest to use. You’ll fill the tank with e-liquid and when the time comes you’ll be required to change the coil.

When Should I Replace My Coil Or Pod?

When you notice a deterioration in flavour or a drop in vapour production it’s time to change your coil or pod depending on your kit. Pods tend to last around 5 - 10 refills, coils will last one to two weeks depending on how heavily they’re used.

Need Help Picking A Kit?

If you’re looking to get the lowdown on the best kits from each category, we’ve created our top ten buying guides to help:

Top Ten Prefilled Pods
Top Ten Refillable Pod Kits
Top Ten Vape Pens

Choosing An E-Liquid

Once you’ve picked your kit it’s time to choose your e-liquid. If you’ve gone for a prefilled kit most of the work has been done for you and you’ll only have to select a flavour and nicotine strength (which we’ll cover below). For refillable kits, there’s a little more thought involved. But, don’t worry, it’s not hard!

Which VG/PG Ratio Works Best With My Vape Kit?

MTL kits have a lower power output and will have to be used with a thinner e-liquid that contains 50% PG or more as they require less power to be vapourised. These e-liquids also create less vapour for the perfect MTL vape. As a starting point, a lot of vapers go for a 50/50 e-liquid, but you can experiment with PG levels to find what’s right for you. The more PG in a liquid the less vapour it produces, it will also deliver a stronger throat hit.

If you’ve gone for a DTL or sub ohm kit, you’ll need an e-liquid with a higher VG content as they produce more vapour, also e-liquids that contain too much PG can be harsh on the throat. A 70% VG e-liquid is a good option to start with.

What Nicotine Strength E-Liquid Is Best For Me?

The best nicotine strength will be based on how many cigarettes you smoke or used to smoke. The table below offers a good starting point, but everyone is different. If your cravings aren’t satisfied try a higher strength. You may need to go down to a lower strength if you start suffering from headaches or experience nausea. It’s always important to experiment and find what’s right for you.

What Are The Different Types Of Nicotine In E-Liquid?

Nicotine type can be just as important as strength. Freebase nicotine is the standard nicotine used in e-liquid. Unless it states otherwise if an e-liquid contains nicotine you can assume its freebase. It creates a noticeable throat hit that’s similar to a cigarette. The higher the strength, the stronger the hit.

But, a lot of vapers want to experience a smooth throat hit, it is for this reason that nic salt e-liquids have grown in popularity. Not only smoother, nic salts are also absorbed faster to quickly satisfy cravings. Finally, there are hybrid nicotine e-liquids that offer the best of both worlds. You’ll experience a throat hit that’s slightly stronger than a standard salt nic but still offers faster absorption.

What’s The Best E-Liquid Flavour?

There are lots of flavours to choose from, with over 3,500 options at Vape Club, picking the right one can greatly improve your chances of success with vaping.

When it comes to flavour there are two schools of thought. The first is that vapers will go for blends that taste familiar, with tobacco and menthol e-liquids remaining a popular choice as they replicate a cigarette. Alternatively, a lot of vapers have experienced more success by picking something completely different to a cigarette and gravitate towards fruit or dessert flavours.

Either way, it’s rare that you’ll get it right the first time and vape flavours offer you plenty of opportunities to experiment. It’s also important to remember that your tastes will change over time and if you find yourself getting bored with a particular type of flavour you should try something new.

Summing Up

The key to success in vaping lies in finding a kit that has an inhale you like, along with a compatible e-liquid that has the right nicotine strength to satisfy cravings and a flavour you can vape without getting bored of. Sort these and you can easily make the switch. If you’re struggling to find what works best, or for more information, please get in touch with our Customer Service team.

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