The Ultimate Guide to Vaping for Beginners
When you make the bold decision to stop smoking and start vaping, you are likely to face challenges choosing vaping devices and vaping juice. On top of that, vaping jargon will confuse you, and you might end up feeling lost. There are a lot of vaping devices on the market and deciding what to buy is challenging for every newbie. Finding the right vaping juice and vaping devices can give you the kind of satisfaction you get from smoking and ultimately help you quit. You will also enjoy the added benefit of a variety of flavors to choose from. This article demystifies everything you need to know for a smooth transition.
What to expect as you switch from smoking
As you switch from smoking to vaping, you will experience some symptoms as your body adjusts to your new lifestyle. Here’s what to expect:
The urge to cough is a common symptom for most people who quit smoking. Smoking causes a build-up of tar and mucus on your lung tissues. Vaping e-juices, even those that have nicotine, do not contain tar. Hence, the blockage in your lungs starts to clear. Coughing is an indicator that your body is cleansing your airways.
Headaches are a sign of nicotine withdrawal. E-juices contain different strengths of nicotine, so you do not have to stop immediately. Starting at a level that is close to what you were consuming and minimizing it with time helps a lot with quitting. However, even if you use e-liquids that have nicotine, you will still experience headaches due to a change in how your body absorbs the nicotine.
Smoking decreases the rate of blood circulation in your brain and body. As a result, less oxygen reaches certain areas as your body tries to conserve it for essential organs. When you start vaping, constriction of blood vessels stops and more blood and oxygen starts circulating, which leads to dizziness and lightheadedness.
A small percentage of the vaping community reacts to PG (Propylene Glycol) which is one of the ingredients used to make e-liquids. If you react to it, minimize it and go for more VG (Vegetable Glycerine) instead.
Overview of different devices and juice blends
There are a plethora of vaping devices on the market. Choosing among them is quite a challenge especially if you do not know the first thing about vaping. Here are the devices you will come across:
These are the earliest designs of e-cigarettes. Cigalikes mimic the look and feel of cigarettes, hence the name. They are the smallest types of vapes available. Cig-a-likes are pocket-friendly, easy to use, safe, and durable. On the downside, they have poor battery life and weak vapor/flavor production.
Vape pens are the most popular starter kits. They have thicker batteries and refillable tanks, so you do not have to keep buying pre-filled cartridges. Compared to cig-a-likes, they have improved vapor production and better flavor.
Box mods resemble cigarette packets. They come with more power than vape pens and cig-a-likes. With box mods, you can regulate the amount of power/wattage that you use to heat your e-juice. Box mods are used to power up the tank that holds the e-juice. They have a capacity of up to 220W. The best wattage for beginners is 20W-50W. Though they go up to 220W, most vapers do not go above 100W.
Mouth to Lung vape tanks (MTL)
MTL vape tanks were the first tanks on the onset of vaping. Their purpose was to stimulate the experience of smoking a real cigarette. MTL tanks require a two-step process. Basically, you inhale vapor into your mouth before taking it to your lungs. This process is similar to sucking on a straw. MTL tanks are hard to find, although companies have started rebuilding them.
These are standard vape tanks that support Direct Lung vaping (DL). They have pre-made coils with an e-juice capacity of 2ml to 6ml. Sub-ohm tanks have coils with a resistance of less than 1 ohm (ohm is the SI unit of electrical resistance). These tanks are suitable for cloud chasers because they produce more flavor and dense clouds. DL vape tanks handle thick e-juices better because they have bigger air flow and larger juice holes. Less viscous liquids leak in these tanks. For sub-ohm tanks, it is advisable to use e-juice which have a high VG ratio.
These are also DL vape tanks, which are rebuildable. This means that they have a deck where coils can be installed instead of using premade ones. RTAs are made for advanced vapers and aren’t very good for beginners.
E-juice refers to the liquid used in e-cigarettes to produce vapor and stimulate smoking. They are made with four ingredients:
Propylene Glycol (PG): this is a runny liquid used as the base that suspends flavor and nicotine in e-juice. PG gives vapers throat hits similar to those you experience when you smoke a cigarette. It carries flavor very well, and when overheated, it makes your e-juice taste burned. Some vapers are allergic to PG
Vegetable Glycerine (VG): this is also a base used to suspend nicotine and flavor. Unlike PG, it is thick. Also, it is organically made from vegetable oil. It does not produce throat hit. Instead, it produces clouds. If you use it in large ratios, you will get dense clouds. VG does not carry flavor as well as PG does.
You can find different blends of PG/VG juice, in different ratios. Huge ratios of PG will give you throat hit while huge ratios of VG will produce clouds. E-juice can be found in a range of flavors such as cereal, menthol, tobacco, dessert, or fruity flavors. Try different flavors till you find the one that you like best.
What devices should you start with?
To Start, you need:
A vaping device: a vape pen of a vape mod
A tank or pod: this is where you put the vape juice. A tank or pod is transparent and sits on top of the vaping mod. It contains an atomizer, which heats up the vape juice.
Buying the things mentioned above separately is challenging because you have to ensure that they fit each with other. Therefore, when starting out it is advisable to buy a starter kit. In starter kits, you will find a mod, a tank, and some coils.
When starting, you need to decide if you want to use a box mod or a vape pen. You can find beginner box mods with a wattage of 20W-50W. Box mods have batteries which last longer than those of vape pens. They are great for producing clouds, and they give better flavors than vape pens. It is important to note that not all box modes come with atomizers. For some, you have to buy the atomizer separately. As a starter, you should decide between these two based on your tastes and preferences.
What nicotine levels?
Nicotine is addictive, and as a new vaper, you can opt not to use it. Nicotine level in e-juice is measured by the number of milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid. So, if you find 11mg/ml, it means that there are 11 mg of nicotine per ml of e-juice. The levels used by most companies are:
- 0mg = None
- 1mg - 11mg = Low
- 12mg - 16mg = Medium
- 17mg - 24mg = High
- 25mg or more = Extra High
You switch to vaping because you want to quit, so make sure that you do not choose e-juices with very high levels of nicotine. Start with a level lower, but closer to what you were smoking, and downgrade step-by-step until you quit.
Best way to switch
For your transition to be smooth, you have to make the right choices
To avoid hard-hitting withdrawal symptoms, start with a certain level of nicotine and keep downgrading till you reach 0mgs as indicated earlier.
Try a range of e-juices to find the one that helps you hit the sweet spot. Also, try different flavors and find the flavor that works best for you
Most e-juices mix PG and VG. The ratio you pick should depend on the results you are seeking. For great throat hit, use e-juices with high proportions of PG. If you want to make dense clouds, use high VG. For an equal experience of both try the 50/50 PG/VG ratio. This ratio is the best for beginners. It helps you decide which one between throat hit and clouds you want most.
Positive mental attitude
Finally, maintain a positive mental attitude. Do not keep thinking that not smoking is hard. You will be tempted to go back to smoking. Make sure you avoid going back. Also, do not view vaping as an alternative to smoking. Look at it as a recovery process, and you will make huge progress.
With this guide, you can quit smoking and enjoy the different experiences that vaping has to offer. On top of that, this guide will help you to make the right choice, reduce the amount of nicotine you take, and live a great life in the long run.