Vaping for Beginners: 13 Questions Every New Vaper Wants Answered

Vaping is fast catching up as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but many people who want to explore vaping tend to look at it as merely a more high-tech or complicated way of smoking tobacco. When it comes to vapes, misconceptions abound, largely because of the misnomer “e-cigarettes.”

In fact, vaping devices are not cigarettes and have a completely different nicotine-delivery mechanism. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, read on to learn more about vaping and how it differs from regular smoking.

What is an e-cigarette?

A term fast losing favor with the vaping community, e-cigarettes (or vaping devices, vapes or vape boxes), are a replacement for cigarettes that do the same job—that is, deliver nicotine through inhalation—but through a much safer and sophisticated process.

Vaping products are shaped like a pen, powered by batteries. They have several components that work together to vaporize a specialty liquid which contains nicotine in concentrated form.

What is the one key difference between vapes and conventional cigarettes?

The biggest difference between vaping pens and cigarettes is that, unlike cigarettes, vapes don’t produce harmful smoke laden with toxic chemicals. Because there is no combustion (burning of tobacco leaves) and therefore no smoke, vaping is considered a much safer alternative to smoking.

In addition, vapes don’t produce the repulsive odor associated with smoking. There is some smell from flavoring, which is far more bearable than the smell of burning tobacco leaves.

What is an e-liquid?

An e-liquid is a liquid made of four ingredients—Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), food-grade flavoring and nicotine. Both PG and VG are organic compounds that act as carrier bases for delivery of nicotine and flavors into vapor, which is then inhaled by the user.

Every vaping device has a small tank to store the e-liquid.

Which is a better carrier between PG and VG?

Between the two, PG is a better carrier of nicotine, but it produces less amount of vapor. VG, which is thicker than PG, is not as effective in carrying nicotine and flavorings, but it produces more quantities of vapor.

Many premium e-liquid manufacturers use a 50-50 PG/VG ratio to get the best of both worlds—high nicotine delivery and sufficient vapor production. Products with other ratios are also readily available to cater to varied preferences.

What is an atomizer?

A vaping pen produces vapor via an atomizer, which houses the coil that heats up and converts liquid into vapor. The atomizer also contains a wick to transport the e-liquid from the storage tank to the coil.

The atomizer is connected with a battery that provides it the power to heat the coil. Advanced e-cigarette models come with detachable atomizers to allow seasoned users to use multiple flavors through the day.

What are the other components in a vaping pen?

Aside from the atomizer, a vaping device has a charging port, a mouthpiece for inhaling vapor and an on/off switch. Higher models come with features such as temperature and power control and LED screen.

What makes vaping safer than conventional smoking?

There are several benefits to vaping, which is why more and more long-term smokers are switching to using vaporizers to get their daily nicotine fix.

  • Vapes don’t contain any tobacco
  • The user is not exposed to toxic smoke or tar
  • Safer to use around children and the elderly
  • Safer to use in places where cigarette smoking may be prohibited
  • E-liquids come in different strengths to suit all levels of smokers
  • Liquids come in a variety of palatable flavors
  • Nonsmokers can enjoy vaping with flavorful zero-nicotine e-liquids
  • It is an effective and sustainable way to wean oneself off smoking

Are e-cigarettes less addictive than regular cigarettes?

Several studies have indicated that vaping is much less addictive compared to regular smoking. Researchers have found that those who vape are much less dependent on the habit, have less intense cravings, can stay without vaping if needed (when in a restricted area, for example), and don’t see themselves as nicotine addicts.

These and several other findings support the use of vaping devices over cigarettes for those who have been trying to quit for years without success.

What is the best way to choose one’s first vape?

If you’re a beginner at vaping, it would be wise to buy a reasonably priced vaping device of good quality, as buying the cheapest model could put you off vaping for good. Once you’ve learned the basics and find vaping to be good substitute to chain smoking, you can move on to fancier, high-end vapes.

Look for features based on your usage. For instance, you can choose vapes with built-in or removable batteries and fixed and removable atomizers. When buying your first vaping device, it’s best to stick with a basic functional model.

How should one choose an e-liquid?

The quality of your vaping liquid is the second most important factor that will make or break your vaping experience. For an unrivalled vaping experience, buy only the best e-liquids from a trusted brand, such as the high quality e-liquids from Red Vape made from the finest hand picked natural ingredients.

You will need to try a few different flavors to find one that works best for you. Remember that you can choose from a variety of flavors and PG/VG strengths. If you don’t want to consume nicotine, go for e-liquids with 0mg nicotine content.

What is the right nicotine strength for a light smoker switching to vaping?

Vaping liquids come in a variety of nicotine strengths—0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg and more. If you’re heavily into smoking, choosing a low-strength product will not give you the satisfaction you’re looking for, which will make you crave cigarettes even more.

While there is no ideal dosage, it is recommended that a heavy smoker should begin with an 18mg liquid and gradually reduce the nicotine level down the line. Light smokers should stick with 3mg liquids. If you’re a nonsmoker curious about vaping, 0mg nicotine liquids are your best choice.

Should I quit smoking altogether once I start vaping?

That does not usually work for most people who’re used to smoking several cigarettes a day.

Instead of trying to take a giant leap, take baby steps by replacing some of your daily cigarette use with vaping. If you’re determined to give up smoking, you will be able to make a complete transition in three to four weeks.

Vaping is increasingly being considered an effective way to quit smoking gradually, as it allows serious smokers to wean themselves off cigarettes slow and steady. A gradual swap will be much more sustainable and will have little chance of failure.

Do vapes require a lot of maintenance?

As with any device, the more you care for your vaping instrument, the longer it will last. Cleaning your vape pen is important to avoid mixing or dilution of flavors and to optimize vapor production.

Rinse and clean your vape tank every time you want to use a new flavor. Clean the vape coil regularly and replace damaged or overused coils.  Giving your vape device a thorough cleaning every few weeks will prolong its life. In addition, ensure that your vape tank is neither completely dry nor overflowing with liquid.

Avoid exposing your e-juices to extreme temperatures, and store your device and liquids in a safe place, away from reach of children and pets. Regular maintenance and upkeep will eliminate the need to discard your vape pen sooner than you should.