First Time Vaping? What to Expect
Vaping is slowly growing its presence in society as more and more users are discovering the benefits of these smoking-alternative devices. At first, people didn’t know what to think about vaporizers. Were they safe to use? What about second-hand smoke? Would they be allowed in public places? Today, safety regulations on the devices themselves and laws pertaining to where vaporizers can be used have shaped vaping into what it is today. While there are still some details to iron out, as with any new product, vaporizers have evolved into safer and highly efficient methods for inhaling your favorite substances.
Not only are there dozens of companies that supply vaporizers, e-juice, and other vaping accessories, but there are thousands of products to choose from on the market as well. It’s not as easy as buying a pack of cigarettes and lighting up on your way home. It can be confusing for first-time vapers to know which device is best for them or what e-juice to get. This guide will provide a basic overview and some pointers to help any newbie navigate the complex world that is vaping.
For starters, you will need a pen to match your product needs. Are you primarily interested in vaping e-juice, or will you need a device that can handle dry herb or concentrates? Most vaporizers can only handle one or two different types of product, so it’s important to filter your choices based on what you will need. Next, there are a few different styles of vaporizers to choose from once you have narrowed down the product compatibility options.
- Pens. Vaporizer pens are usually slim, and some even resemble traditional cigarettes. Those transitioning from cigarettes to vaporizers tend to prefer e-liquid vape pens because they are easy to use and wield during a session. Although they may not hold as much product at a time as other styles, they are perfect for a quick single session and are easy to transport. Many vaporizer pens come with a charging cord or backup batteries, so users don’t have to worry about their battery depleting before their next session on-the-go. There are also options available for those seeking single session dry herb vape pens or oil vape pens.
- Pods. For many experiencing their first time vaping, filling the tank with e-juice, trading out coils, and priming a wick can be intimidating. Pod systems take all of the complexity away and allow for simple transitions when it’s time to change the pod. Pods contain the coils, wick, and juice so users don’t have to mess with anything when switching flavors or replacing the tank. To make the pods last longer, users can refill most designs with the same flavor of e-juice up to five times. Besides that, it’s pop in and go!
- MODs. When vapers are more comfortable with their pens and pods, they may desire more customizability in order to achieve denser clouds or hotter vapes. This is where MODs come into play. MOD is short for “modified” device, and these are what vapers use when they want more range in their settings options. Some MODs allow for precise temperature regulation, while others come with varying power output to create sub-ohm vapes. Some MOD designs look like any other round vaporizer on the market, but many sub-ohm MODs are unmistakably boxy in shape.
- Flavor. What turns many people on to vaping is the variety of flavor options available. Dessert and fruity flavors are highly popular, but most shops also carry traditional menthol flavors as well. Everyone will have their preference, and you many even find new favorite flavors through experimentation. When changing flavors in your vaporizer, always make sure to thoroughly clean your device between refills or you may experience ghost flavors affecting your next hit. Some combinations aren’t so bad, while others will totally ruin your fresh batch. Stick to closely related flavors and slowly transition from one extreme flavor to the next to avoid any unpleasant tastes.
- Nicotine Levels. Like flavoring, the perfect nicotine level will vary from person to person. Those transitioning from heavy smoking may find that higher nicotine levels are comparable to the cigarettes they were used to. Moderate smokers will want to start off in the 6-12 mg/mL range. Occasional smokers usually start off between 3 and 6 mg/mL for their e-juice. What’s great about having control over the nicotine present in your e-juice is that you can slowly decrease the amount if you are wanting to curb your habit or quit smoking for good. There are even 0 mg/mL e-juices for those finding it hard to let go of the physical act of smoking but have eliminated the cravings.
- PG vs VG. First-time vapers will also notice different PG to VG ratios for many types of e-juice. PG stands for Propylene Glycol and VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin. Both are used to carry the nicotine and flavorings, and most e-juice contains a 50/50 blend of the two. Sub-ohm vaporizers work best with higher VG concentration, but most other vaporizers use 50/50. Pod systems also use their own type of e-juice, so users should take care of compatibility before using a random or borrowed selection in their devices. Read more about e-juice and what’s in it here.
When purchasing new coils or batteries for your device, you will want to understand how they can both affect the power levels, especially for MODs. Batteries supply the power and coils tone it down to acceptable levels through resistance. Too much power flowing through, or too weak of coils, and your device could overheat or even explode! Best practice is to stick with the battery type and coils that came with your device, and don’t experiment with different parts unless you understand Ohm’s law first. Otherwise, you could be in for some dangerous vaping. Some MOD kits come with a variety of parts to experiment with that are safe to use with the device. These allow for more customization without sacrificing safety. For more information on Sub-Ohm vaping, click here.