Making a fundamental change in something that you do many times per day – and have possibly done for many years – is never easy. That’s especially true when it comes to switching from smoking to vaping, because smoking has become so ingrained as a constant part of your life that you probably barely think about it at all. You simply light up when you feel like it; it’s like a reflex.
When you hear some people talk about vaping, you’d think that making the switch was simply a matter of dropping your cigarettes and picking up your new vape – and now you’re a vaper, right? Instinctively, though, you must know that learning how to vape isn’t quite that easy. A vaping device, after all, is a gadget. It’s not a simple consumer product like a cigarette. As you’ve already figured out, the only way to have a good experience with your first vaping device is by learning how to vape properly – and that’s where this article is going to help. It’s time for a little Vaping 101. Reading this guide, you’re going to learn how to vape.
How to Choose the Right Vaping Device
If you haven’t bought your first vaping device yet, you’ve no doubt noticed that there are many different places where you can buy one. In fact, you’ve probably seen plenty of vaping products at your local supermarkets and convenience stores – the same places where you currently buy tobacco products.
As a new vaper, you'll have the best experience with a small refillable pod-based device.
Now, why would vape shops exist if you can get all of the best vape gear at the gas station? The answer, as you probably guessed, is that you can’t buy the best vape gear at the gas station. Convenience stores and supermarkets do sell vaping devices, and while those devices do provide an easy way to find out what vaping is like, they’re poor choices for long-term use for two reasons.
- The e-cigarettes at supermarkets and convenience stores use pre-filled pods rather than pods you can fill yourself. There are hundreds of different e-liquid flavors on the market today, and you can use any of them if you own a refillable vaping device. If you use a pre-filled vaping device, however, tobacco and menthol are the only flavors you can buy. Without variety, vaping can get old very quickly.
- If you use a vaping device with pre-filled pods, you’ll spend a lot more money per day than you would if you owned a refillable vaping device and purchased your vape juice by the bottle. Using a refillable vaping device costs significantly less than smoking. Using a device with pre-filled pods, on the other hand, costs about the same as smoking.
With those things in mind, we strongly recommend buying a refillable product such as a pod vaping system as your first vaping device. Even if you don’t care at all about the cost savings, you will definitely care about the fact that you can choose from hundreds of different e-liquid flavors instead of just two.
Your first vaping device doesn’t need to be anything expensive or fancy. In fact, it’s usually in your best interest to buy something inexpensive as your first vaping device because the more costly devices are often designed to work best with lower-nicotine e-liquids. When you’re switching from smoking to vaping, you don’t want a low-nicotine e-liquid – you want something that provides the same satisfaction as a cigarette. A small, inexpensive pod system is a great first vaping device.
How to Choose the Right Vape Juice
The next step in learning how to vape is choosing an e-liquid that’ll be a good fit for you – and when you buy your first vape juice, there are two features that you’ll need to consider: the flavor and the nicotine strength. The short answer here is that, if you’re using a small refillable pod vaping system as we recommend, the right e-liquid for you is almost certainly nicotine salt vape juice.
The reason why nicotine salt vape juice is ideal for new vapers is because it allows a small vaping device to deliver the maximum amount of nicotine per puff. Using a vaping device that produces small clouds – and pairing that device with an e-liquid that maximizes the amount of nicotine in those small clouds – is the way to ensure that your first vaping experience feels as close to smoking as possible. You’ll feel the same type of throat hit that you do when you smoke, and you’ll also feel the same nicotine rush.
When you shop for vape juice, you’ll notice that most makers of nicotine salt e-liquid sell their products in two different nicotine strengths. The high strength will be somewhere in the range of 40-50 mg/ml, and the low strength will be around 20-25 mg/ml. We suggest starting with the higher strength unless you’re a very infrequent smoker.
Nicotine strength, of course, is only half of the equation when you buy vape juice. The other half is flavor. Taste is subjective, so the best advice we can give you here is that it’s wise to grab at least a few different flavors of e-liquid when you buy your first vaping device. It’s a good idea to grab a tobacco or menthol vape juice based on the type of cigarette you smoke, but you should also try a couple of sweet or fruity flavors. Most people who vape actually prefer e-liquids that don’t taste anything like cigarettes.
How to Set Up Your Vaping Device
To set your new vaping device up, you’ll need to do two things. You’ll need to charge the device, and you’ll need to fill the pod.
Most vaping devices have USB charging ports, and a new vaping device will always include the necessary cable. To charge the device, simply connect it to your computer. An LED will light up to let you know that the battery is charging. When the LED changes to green or turns off, the device is done charging. You’ll usually need to charge the device once per day.
Most vape pods have side- or bottom-mounted filling holes. You’ll see the hole when you lift the pod out of the device; the filling hole is usually covered with a silicone stopper. Lift the stopper with your fingernail and add e-liquid to the pod until the pod is nearly full. Don’t overfill the pod, because that’ll cause leaking. After filling a new pod for the first time, let the wick rest for several minutes to absorb the e-liquid before you begin vaping.
How to Vape
Now that you have your new vaping device completely set up, it’s time to vape – and the good news is that this is the easy part. Most small pod systems have airflow sensors, and they’ll generate vapor automatically when you puff. So, to vape, all that you need to do is puff on the mouthpiece of your device.
If your vaping device has a fire button, you can also vape by puffing while holding the button. A few vaping devices have both automatic and button-based firing. If that’s the case with your device, you can try both activation methods and see what you prefer. Automatic firing might feel a bit more like smoking a cigarette, but manual firing will produce bigger vapor clouds.
The most important thing to remember when learning how to vape is that you should always puff gently when using your vaping device. The level of air pressure that you should use when vaping is significantly lower than the air pressure that you’d use for smoking. If you use too much air pressure, you’ll force e-liquid out of the pod and into your mouth.
How to Maintain Your Vaping Device
Owning a vaping device means that you’ll need to maintain it like you would any other electronic device – and to do that, you’ll need to do three things. You need to keep your device charged, you need to keep the pod filled, and you need to replace the pod or atomizer coil periodically. You already learned how to charge and fill your vaping device when you set it up for the first time. You should expect to do both of those things at least once per day. When your device stops producing vapor, it’s time to charge the battery – and when the level of e-liquid in the pod starts to get low, it’s time to refill the pod.
After you’ve used the pod for several days, it’ll be time for a new atomizer coil. You’ll know it’s time to replace the coil because you’ll start to notice a “burnt” flavor when vaping. If your device doesn’t have a replaceable atomizer coil, you’ll simply throw the entire pod away and start using a new pod.
If your pod does have a replaceable atomizer coil, at least one new coil will be included with your vape kit. You’ll need to buy new packs of pods periodically. When you remove the pod from your device, you’ll see the atomizer coil at the bottom of the pod. Pull the old atomizer coil out when the pod is empty. Push a new coil in and refill the pod. Don’t forget that when you’re using a new pod or atomizer coil, you always need to fill the pod and wait several minutes before you start vaping.