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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.

"E-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking" - Public Health England*
*Evidence Review Of E-cigarettes And Heated Tobacco Products 2018

What Is A Vape Kit & How Do They Work?

Made up of three main components - a battery, a tank/pod, and a coil - your vape kit turns e-liquid into vapour by heating it up. Here's what each specific part of your vape kit does:

  • Pod or Tank: Holds e-liquid and your coil and allows for a steady stream of e-liquid to reach your coil.
  • Coil: A combination of wire and cotton that soaks up e-liquid and heats it up into vapour.
  • Tank Base: Acts as the link between your coil and battery and allows power to travel to the coil.
  • Firing Button: Every push completes the circuit that causes your battery to power up and heat your coils.
  • Battery Unit(Mod): Your kit's power source, the energy it produces is used to heat your coil and e-liquid.
vape kit anatomy illustration

What Is E-Liquid?

E-liquids are made up of four main ingredients 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 act as the 'base ingredients'. The nicotine is there to satisfy cravings, while flavours stop your e-liquid from tasting plain.

V G Vegetable Glycerine

A thicker liquid that's used in e-liquid to create vapour. The more VG in your e-liquid the larger amount of vapour it will create. VG also delivers less of a throat hit.

P G Propylene Glycol

A thinner e-liquid that better carries nicotine and flavour. A higher amount of PG in your e-liquid means reduced vapour production. PG also creates a stronger throat hit than VG.

A combination of VG and PG is used to ensure your e-liquid creates visible vapour and can carry both flavour and nicotine. Different levels of both are used to support different vaping styles and kinds of kits.

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 Mouth To Lung

MTL vaping feels more like a cigarette. A Mouth To Lung inhale is when you inhale vapour into your mouth, breathe it into your lungs, and then exhale.

DTL Direct To Lung

DTL vaping is used with kits that produce a lot of vapour. A Direct To Lung inhale is when you inhale vapour straight into your lungs, without holding it in your mouth, and then exhale.

MTL vape kits are normally very simple and are often the recommended choice for beginners, as they'll require little or no maintenance and feel more like a cigarette. Common examples of MTL kits include disposable vapes, pod kits and vape pens.

DTL vape kits or sub ohm kits tend to be a little more complex. They often feature advanced output modes like Variable Wattage and Temperature Control, used to customise your kit's performance. Their complex nature 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

1Disposable Vapes
Disposable vape illustration
  • No Set Up
  • No Maintenance
  • Inhale Activated
  • Range Of Flavours
  • Less Eco-friendly
  • Expensive Over Time

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.

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2Prefilled Pod Kits
Prefilled Pod Kits illustration
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Same Puff Count As Disposables
  • Less Waste Than Disposables
  • Inhale Activated Options
  • Pod Needs Replacing Regularly
  • MTL Vaping Only

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.

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Refillable Kits

1Refillable Pod Kits
Refillable Pod Kits illustration
  • Cheaper Than Prefilled Kits
  • Less Waste Than Prefilled Kits
  • Refillable & Rechargeable
  • MTL & DTL Options
  • Needs Regular Refilling
  • May Need Coil Changes

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.

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2Open Tank Kits
Open Tank Kits illustration
  • Cheapest to Run
  • Most Eco-Friendly
  • Refillable & Rechargeable
  • MTL & DTL Options
  • Requires Most Maintenance
  • Can Be Complex

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.

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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:

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.

Daily Cigarettes Nicotine Strength
5 - 10 3mg - 6mg
10 - 15 6mg - 12mg
15+ 12mg - 20mg

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.

Need Help Picking A Vape Juice?

If you're looking for a direct recommendation for vape juice, then you should check our top ten e-liquid guides. They cover the best kind of e-liquid for every kit and even the best flavours.

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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