Vaping for Beginners 2018 Ultimate Guide
It is becoming more and more common: the sight of someone using a vaporizer to consumer an e-liquid containing a mix of nicotine and flavoring ingredients. But there are still a lot of people who have never tried vaping, including millions of smokers who rely on tobacco products for their nicotine intake.
Switching to vaping is not hard, but it helps if you are familiar with the basic concepts of vaping. It also helps to know what you can expect if you are currently smoking, and then switch to vaping. That’s why we have produced this introductory guide to vaping. Let’s start with a little background on vaping.
How the Vaping Industry Evolved
A Prelude to Vaping as We Know It
You might be surprised to know this but in doing the research for this vaping for beginners guide we found that the real origins of vaping lie in Ancient Egypt, with evidence indicating that Egyptians used hot stones to vape herbs. Some people would also say the Indian shisha was another precursor to vaping, in spirit at least.
However, the first person who came up with the idea of an e-cigarette is Joseph Robinson who in 1927 started developing his idea, which ended up as a real patent – if not a mass-produced product. In 1930 a patent was issued for, what was called, Joseph Robinson’s “Electronic Vaporizer”. His product never reached the mass market, but was likely an important stepping stone.
The Commercially Viable Vaporizer – That Never Made It to Production
In 1963 Herbert Gilbert developed what he called his “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette”. It was a battery powered device which provided the basic roadmap for all future electronic cigarettes, with almost every device currently in use using all of the basic parts that Herbert Gilbert prototyped in 1963.
Mr. Gilbert attempted to market his device, but failed at the time despite developing many practical prototypes. In an interview he suggests that many of the manufacturers he showed it to chose to wait until the patent expired, only to file their own version as a patent. He also suggested that tobacco companies did their best suppress the ability of his healthier alternative to cigarettes. Sadly, the Gilbert vaporizer never made it into mass production.
Commercial Success: The Cig-A-Like
Around the 2000’s the first generation of e-cigarettes started appearing. These were called cig-a-likes, and looked close to actual cigarettes in appearance. These devices were very basic and only consisted out of a battery and a cartomizer. There was a choice of disposable products, or products which could be re-filled.
One person to note here is pharmacist Hon Lik who is credited with some for inspiring the first e-cigarette. In 2006 his employer, the Ruyan Group, helped him to introduce the new invention to the world via mass production. His innovation was triggered by the death of his father, who passed away after a battle with lung cancer.
Moving On: Vape Pens
As vaping became established more and more providers came up with interesting ways to improve the vaping experience and to try and improve using a vaporizer more and more, to a point similar to using a traditional cigarette. Vape pens were one of the resulting improvements and are still incredibly popular on the market.
A vape pen carries many improvements, including the ability to use a cartridge made from any one of a choice of many e-liquids. Overall the more developed devices were longer lasting and far more customizable. E-liquids also moved on, with an abundance of flavors and a range of nicotine concentrations developing over time, all to enhance the vaping experience.
Customization: The Ultimate Vaping Experience
Many industries which become fully developed spawn custom scenes, as fans of a technology often enjoy the ability to customize and experience to their own requirements. So too with vaping, and the presence of MODs in the marketplace is a natural outcome from the popularity of vaping. MODs brought more options to vaping, including extremely long battery life, temperature controls to tune the vaping experience plus safety features that can go above and beyond mass-produced products.
Coils and tanks are also part of the increasingly popular vaping customization scene. Tanks not only improve capacity but also allows users to carefully control the airflow which is yet another way to modify the flavor of the vape, and the amount of vapor being produced. Coils can provide the user with a way of adjusting the temperature to a fine level while also offering control over the resistance of the coil, and the resulting amount of vapor produced.
The Future of Vaping
Clearly vaping is still a fast-moving industry, with sales increasing enormously year on year. Any big industry experiences changes and one of the most challenging changes vaping will undergo over the years is increasing regulation. Vaporizers are not currently highly regulated, and everyone from the FDA to individual states and various countries around the world is thinking about plans to exercise more control over the industry to try and ensure safety.
Hardware is still advancing, with many people who switch from smoking to vaping often jumping straight into more advanced forms of vaping such as mods, sub ohm coils, and cloud chasing. Chances are that advanced, custom hardware will become increasingly easy to use, requiring less knowledge for customization.
Vaping terminology is like a language in its own right and can present an overwhelming challenge for traditional smokers and everyone else who is new to vaping. In this guide to vaping, we include the most important terms you should know to get into the world of vaping. Now that you know a little about the history of vaping you should go over the description of these terms to help you follow the rest of the guide. At the end of this article, you will find a listing of more obscure, technical terms.
Air needs to flow through the atomizer in an effective manner for vapor to be made and then to be inhaled into your lungs. For this reason, every atomizer needs an efficient porting mechanism that allows for this flow, and many of the devices used today include an adjustable airflow. With an adjustable airflow, you can modify the amount of air that flows through the atomizer, which makes it much easier for you to inhale the vapor, and which also produces an increased amount of vapor. Adjustable airflows typically work with a type of rotating sleeve that allows for easy and convenient adjustment.
You need to know what an atomizer is because this is the most crucial component of your vaporizer. Typically, an atomizer consists out of a tube that is small and which includes a coil. Whenever you activate the power that feeds the coil it heats up, in turn producing vapor out of the e-liquid in the container. There is usually some cotton wrapped around the coil which helps to absorb the juice and aids in vaporizing the e-liquid.
You can choose from two types of vaporizers: some come with a built-in battery, which cannot be changed, and others come with removable batteries. Vaporizers with built-in batteries will typically come with a charging cable so you can recharge your device when you need to. On the other hand, some vaporizers come with removable batteries which you can buy separately and simply swap out when you need to, with no need to worry about recharging.
Pay attention to the battery rating, because you want your battery to last sufficiently long for you to avoid the need to recharge or replace it too frequently. A battery rating is usually indicated in milliamp hours or mAh. Higher rated batteries will simply last longer, so keep this factor in mind when you shop around. Another factor you should watch is the amperage rating as this determines whether a battery is compatible with a particular MOD, with batteries ranging from 10A (amps) up to 35A.
Box mods make it easier to enjoy advanced vaporizer features without doing too much tinkering yourself. You can find box mods in the shape of a box or a cylindrical both of which allows varying features, including the addition of batteries, setting of variable voltage and wattage and even a supplementary tank. Beware that a box mod is not compact and may detract from the elegance of a smaller device. The functionality you enjoy in a box mod is in part determined by which chipset the box mod employs, some of which can allow very fine calibration of vaping variables.
You don’t have to use an off-the-shelf vaporizer: there are a lot of options for you to build your own deck. You can choose from a range of custom kits, including RDAs (rebuildable dripping atomizers) and RTAs (rebuildable tank atomizer). Building your own unit really gives you the opportunity to customize your vaping experience, with an RDA known to produce more intense and purer flavors but some vapers who know their stuff prefer the taste of an RTA – although these can be more tricky to build.
If your e-cig doesn’t use a tank, it will use a cartridge which is attached to the mouthpiece, and which houses the e-liquid. Cartridges are disposable and can easily be swapped for different flavors.
Some cartridges combine the liquid container and the actual atomizer, these are known as cartomizers. Instead of holding on to the atomizer part as a durable item, you can make use of a disposable cartomizer if you prefer the convenience. The combined device both holds the liquid and vaporizes it.
If you were wondering what they key component of your vaporizer is, it is this: the coil. A coil typically consists out of a compact tube which contains two leads, one negative, one positive, effectively making contact to the battery on the one side while on the other side making contact with the e-liquid.
Coils are also known as the atomizer head and are wrapped so that resistance can be raised and lowered. As the number of wraps increases, the resistance increases – fewer wraps and the resistance is lower which allows for increased wattage use. You can choose from a range of materials including Kanthal, Ni200 which is made of nickel and stainless steel.
Compared to your atomizer automatically rationing the e-liquid for you, dripping can be described as a manual method where you manually drip e-liquid into your device. It offers you increased control over how e-liquid is used and can result in thicker smoke which is more flavorful. However, incorrect use of dripping can expose users to large doses of nicotine so it is a technique that should be used by more experienced vapers only. Dripping typically requires that you manually assemble a coil including the cotton, with priming also required.
Vaporizers come in many shapes and forms, but the type many people will recognize is the vaporizer that very closely resembles a cigarette: the e-cigarette also known as the e-cig. E-cigarettes contain all the essential components of a vaporizer in a slim, compact form factor including the liquid tank and atomizer.
E-liquid is what fuels your vaporizer, and every e-liquid typically contains a blend of nicotine, chemical compounds to transfer the nicotine and flavorings. Your e-liquid is converted into vapor, and the type of e-liquid you choose has a big effect on what your vaping will taste like to you. You also have a choice of nicotine strengths when you pick an e-liquid.
Many people use vaporizers or e-cigarettes which are made industrially on a manufacturing line, but some people prefer to use a custom kit or to build their own vaporizers. These are called mods, and mods generally offer additional features which help you customize your vaping experience.
Nicotine needs a delivery mechanism, and one of the two basic liquids which help nicotine reach your body through the vaping process is propylene glycol, also known as PG. Propylene glycol is used to transfer many different substances and is deemed to be safe for human use. In practice, you will also find propylene glycol in inhalants used in medicine, including those for asthma users, amongst other treatments. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to propylene glycol but this is rarely dangerous, with only a throat the feels scratchy as the main side-effect.
In the world of custom vaporizers, there are two types of devices that are particularly interesting, one being the rebuildable tank or RTA and the second being RBAs or rebuildable drippers. For both of these, the user can disassemble the vaporizer into its component parts, maintain it including changing the coil if necessary, and re-assemble the vaporizer.
Instead of regularly disposing of your vaporizer, RTAs and RBAs are made to be reusable and will last a for a very long period of vaping if you maintain the components parts correctly. The main difference between the two lies in the fact that RTAs have a large tank, whereas an RBA has a smaller tank for dripping.
This technical-sounding term also has a simple technical definition: it involves any vaping where the atomizer coils have a resistance that is lower than 1 ohm. In turn, what that means in practice is that you get more vapor out of your device because the resistance of the coil is lower. Some people also think that sub ohm vaping produces more flavor, while others simply like seeing a room filling with vapor. It is worth noting that sub ohm vaping should be done with great care as it can put stress on your device, and there is also a risk of personal injury. It is not a vaping for beginners approach by any means.
The temperature of your coil affects a number of aspects of the vaping experience, including the quantity of vapor which is produced as well as the taste of your vape. For this reason, many companies which make the more advanced vaporizers choose to include temperature controls, so you can manually change the heat settings of your device.
Keep in mind that the heat setting of your coil will interact with the other features of your device, including the type of e-liquid you are using. Some advanced vaporizers come with pre-set temperature settings made to match, for example, a choice of nickel or titanium wiring.
This is a simple one: vapor refers to the gassy cloud that is emitted from your vaping device.
A vaper is the user of a vaping device, whether it is a custom vaporizer or a mass-market e-cigarette.
Of the two materials in e-liquid that function as a base for nicotine, vegetable glycerin can be considered the second one. Also known as VG it is made mainly of plant oils, it can often have a sweet taste. There are benefits to using vegetable glycerin over propylene glycol, it is in part reputed to produce less of a throat hit than propylene glycol. For this reason, it is increasingly mixed into blends, with “Max VG” blends getting increasingly popular.
Vaping and Etiquette
Learning about vaping etiquette is an important first step for beginners. Because vaping does not release tobacco smoke the way a cigarette does, many people are uncertain of what the right approach is when it comes to vaping around others. Cigarette smokers will know that smoking can be an irritant to others, but not everyone appreciates the fact that vaping can also be an irritant to many people. Just because you love the flavor you are enjoying does not mean everyone else feels the same way, and etiquette is an important lesson in the journey when it comes to vaping for beginners.
When You Don’t Need to Be Concerned
When you vape in your own home you don’t need to worry about etiquette: there is little risk you will annoy anyone else. Vapors cannot travel very far, so it is extremely unlikely your neighbor will notice your vaping, whereas smoking a cigarette inside your own home can easily be noticed by neighbors if they live in close proximity.
It is a similar situation in wide open spaces: because your vapor won’t travel far you do not really run the risk of annoying anyone. This changes once an open space is filled with people. For example, in a crowd, other people can be in close enough proximity to notice the emissions from a vaporizer. Just use your common sense.
Enclosed Places and Transit
Vaping in an enclosed space is a big no-no. This includes areas such as movie theatres, where a thick cloud of vapor will not be welcomed. Even in restaurants, you are discouraged from vaping as it can interfere with the eating experience of other diners. Some venues may allow vaping, but you should not assume that this is the case and city and state rules can vary widely. You are safer stepping outside if in doubt.
Currently, the laws on vaping on public transport is not fully developed, but it is strongly against social etiquette to vape when you are on a bus or on a train. You will definitely not be allowed to vape on an aircraft.
Children and Pets
Though vaping does not pose the same health risks to children as smoking does, many people would discourage you from vaping around children. Indeed, there are some concerns about the substances released in vapor, so you may want to think twice before you vape around your children. There are no proven health risks, but there are some unknowns. Secondly, some people feel it sets a bad example.
The nicotine in e-liquids are poisonous to pets, so keep your pet away from spills. Be aware the propylene glycol can be harmful to cats, so take care not to smoke too close to your cat, or to release a lot of vapor in an enclosed room when your cat is in the room too.
Switching from Cigarettes? Here’s What You Can Expect
It is very common for people to switch from traditional cigarettes to vaping. E-cigarettes are an elegant alternative to tobacco and do not carry the same health risks. It is a switch which carries a commitment, and you may need to really focus to make the lifestyle change. But many people strongly prefer vaping over smoking in the long run. Here are some things you should keep in mind when you make the switch.
Your Body Will Notice the Difference
You will come across the many positive health experiences you will benefit from when you read the many vaping guides around the internet. One of the first things that will happen is that the amount of oxygen in your blood will increase because you are no longer consuming carbon monoxide via the act of smoking. Within a day you will also find that your lungs start clearing out debris and mucus, leading to improved breathing.
It will take some time to see real results, but after six months or so you will find that many of the issues you experienced due to smoking go away. For example, coughing and wheezing will become much less of a problem as your lungs continue the healing process. The long-term effects of switching are significant: statistics suggest that after five years your risk of a heart attack could halve.
A World of Flavors
Switching to vaping also brings another wonderful benefit: a world of flavors. This benefit comes in two shapes. First, because the amount of chemicals you consume is dropping rapidly, your palate will improve as your tongue gets cleared of chemical build-up. So expect everything you eat and drink to be more flavorsome than before.
Second, vaping in itself involves a range of flavors. You can pick from e-liquids that suit many different tastes, with vape juice ranging from raspberry menthol through to watermelon, and much more. Many vapers enjoy experimenting with different flavors, but there are traditional tobacco flavors too for those who prefer to stick to something familiar.
You Have to Think About Maintenance
As pointed out elsewhere in this guide, maintenance is an essential part of the vaping process. Yes, you can purchase disposable e-cigarettes, but this only gives you a taste of what vaping is truly about. To enjoy the full flavor of the vaping experience you should think about buying more durable vaporizers, or even about a MOD or other customization of your vaping experience.
However, you have to plan a good maintenance routine for your non-disposable devices, otherwise, you will not enjoy the full vaping experience for very long. This can come as a surprise to people who are used to smoking a cigarette and disposing of it, you will need to become accustomed to cleaning and maintaining your device instead.
A Chance to Save Money
Vaping can be a very economical experience, especially if you opt not to use disposable vaporizers. E-liquids are not expensive and if you regularly maintain your device you can keep using it for a very long time. Smokers will know that the cost of cigarettes is very high, especially in states and countries where the taxation on tobacco products is fierce.
In fact, many people switch to vaping from smoking not only for the health benefits but also because they hope to save a lot of money through vaping. Of course, the health benefits of vaping also lead to saving money: with fewer potential health conditions your healthcare cost, in the long run, will be cheaper if you choose to vape, compared to the healthcare costs for smokers.
Your Health and Safety
Managing Your Nicotine Intake
One of the best things about vaping is that it enables you to manage your nicotine intake in a way you simply cannot do with an ordinary cigarette. We are all aware of how addictive nicotine is and vaping is a fantastic way to help you reduce your reliance on nicotine, while still enjoying some of the comforting habits of smoking. In this vaping for beginners guide, we illustrate to you how you should go about managing your nicotine intake.
Know Where to Start
Depending on how much and what you are smoking your body will be used to a certain level of nicotine consumption. You should know that every different e-liquid that you will use in your device has a different level of nicotine, with some manufacturers offering levels of 0 mg to 6 mg while others offering much higher nicotine levels of up to 30 mg. You need to experiment to see which level is a baseline level for you, a level which your body is comfortable with. Only then can you slowly start stepping down the dosage to ever smaller levels.
Equipment Is Key to Managing Nicotine Levels
As much as you can monitor your nicotine intake by looking at the mg content of your e-liquid, you need to be aware that the actual vaping equipment you use also has a big effect on how much nicotine your body absorbs. A basic device will have one effect, while an advanced sub-ohm device will have a different effect – you will definitely get more nicotine in your body with the latter, as any sub ohm vaping guide will explain to you. If you are used to one device you need to be aware that switching to a different device will affect your nicotine intake. Read up on your new device and adjust the mg level of your e-liquid to compensate.
What to Do When You’re Nearly At Zero
There are fewer options when you reach e-liquids which have very low mg content. There is a bonus however: at low mg levels many manufacturers offer a much wider range of flavors, so you have more experiences to choose from. You might be limited to a choice of 6 mg, 4 mg or 2 mg. If you’re at 2 mg and you want to go even lower you do have the option of dilution.
Self-dilution is the way you would go about reducing a 2 mg e-liquid to a 1 mg or a 0.5 mg e-liquid. For some people, these very small steps may be important in the journey to achieving zero reliance on nicotine. One way to do this is to buy two bottles of the same liquid: one with a 2 mg nicotine level and one with a zero level. Mixing these will result in a 1 mg nicotine level overall. However, beware of the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin content when you are mixing, as you want to only mix e-liquids with the same consistency.
Remember that in the process of adjusting your nicotine intake you need exercise patience. Your body will adjust to a change in nicotine dosage in time, provided the change in dosage is small enough and that you allow enough time for the adjustment to take place. Don’t cut your nicotine intake further if you have not provided enough time for an adjustment to be made.
Important Facts About Dripping
Some vapers will deny it, but there are safety considerations you should take into account when you practice dripping. This is not to say that dripping is inherently dangerous, but there are more risks involved in vaping if you drip, compared to a more controlled release of e-liquid. These are the main points you need to keep in mind.
Dripping Does Not Need to Be Dangerous
The potential trouble that arises with dripping is the fact that you are manually in control of the dosage. However, the mere fact that a user has manual control of an experience does not mean that the experience needs to be hazardous. Effectively the only difference you will notice between dripping and the more traditional means of vaping is the fact that you are adding the liquid on your own, manually, instead of being served measured quantities by the device. As long as you are careful as you drip, there is no danger.
Watch Where You Drip
It’s not only the dosage you need to be aware of, it is also your device. Taking care when dripping is an all-round good idea as you do not want to end up dripping on component parts of your vaporizer which are sensitive to liquids. When dripping, avoid messing on parts such as the batteries or flooding the atomizer. Always focus on getting the drip exactly right, aim for the coils with as much accuracy as you can.
Don’t Vape If You Accidentally Drip on Your Batteries
Accidents can happen and you may accidentally drip on your batteries. If you see any smoke from your batteries or fumes you should cease using your vaporizer immediately. Batteries can fail for other reasons too, including over-heating or physical damage to the actual battery case.
You Can Drip and Still Use Your Usual Mouthpiece
There is a myth about dripping which is completely incorrect: dripping does not mean you inhale vapor directly from the coil. Dripping simply means you manually put the liquid on the coil, but you still inhale the resulting vapor through a mouthpiece. Besides, coils are very hot and you will injure yourself if you touch it directly. A mouthpiece is an essential protection mechanism which prevents you from touching a blazingly hot coil.
Dripping Is Unhealthy for You
There is nothing inherently unhealthy to dripping. As previously explained, you are in control of how much you drip and if you manage the dripping correctly you simply have more control over how your vaporizer behaves. You should never use dripping to overdose on nicotine, but this is not the reason most vapers choose to drip.
Vaping and Insurance Premiums
Smokers will know that they are always charged higher premiums over a range of risks, including life insurance and health insurance. This is due to the adverse health outcomes that smoking tobacco products have. Nicotine in itself does not pose the same dangers, so vapers should not be evaluated in the same way as cigarette smokers when it comes to insurance premiums.
From an insurance perspective, vaping should obviously reduce mortality and morbidity risks. Because no tar enters your lungs, a whole range of risks is reduced including future lung problems and various cancers. Unfortunately, the insurance industry does not recognize the reduced health risks of vaping.
Vapers need to declare themselves as smokers when they apply for insurance as not doing so can invalidate insurance policies and an insurer may turn around and invalidate a claim. Even though some statistics say that 95% of the health risks of smoking are removed when vaping, insurers are not yet budging and in most cases will only ensure you as a non-smoker if you have been free of all forms of nicotine for at least 12 months.
Chargers and Batteries: Safety
Your vaporizer needs a power supply, which is typically a battery. Some devices have batteries that are simply disposed of and replaced when they are used while other vaporizers have batteries which can be recharged. There is an important safety aspect around the power supply of your vaporizer, as incorrect voltages and currents can lead to a malfunctioning unit which in turn can lead to personal injury.
How to Check Compatibility
It can be tricky to match your device to a suitable charger, as you have to keep an eye on voltages and currents throughout. You want to make the right match too as overloading a battery can in rare cases lead to an exploding battery. The best place to start is to use the charging unit which was supplied by your device. A manufacturer will always correctly match the charging unit to the power requirements of the device.
Batteries typically have a rating range, so a charger which fits this range should ordinarily work just fine. Voltage is an important factor here as too high a voltage can cause a runaway current which will lead to damage to your device. Some chargers are labeled as smart which means that they can sense which device is connected to them, and supply the right current.
But even these are restricted to certain ratings so make sure the unit can apply a suitable charge before you attempt to use them. You don’t need to be too concerned about amperage: an amperage that is not suitable will simply lead to a long charging time, so though it is better to get a suitable amperage on your charger, it won’t damage your device if it is not perfectly correct. On the flipside, you should always check a battery wattage guide for compatibility.
Keep Your Charging Safe
Common sense suggests that even if you are using the manufacturer supplied charging unit you should not let it charge unattended. Batteries that show signs of overheating by, for example, being excessively warm to the touch is the first indication of trouble. Likewise, if a charging unit is very hot to the touch, you should be concerned that something is wrong.
One important point of charging safety is the charger itself. Even if you get a charger which is perfectly matched in ratings, you need to be sure the charger meets other important safety criteria. Extremely cheap units may not have undergone the necessary safety checks so you shouldn’t buy a charger from just any supplier just based on a low price.
Instead, buy a slightly more expensive charger from a reputable dealer. That way you don’t run the risk of exploding chargers, or a malfunctioning charger which can damage your vaporizer. The risk of poorly designed chargers is a problem for electronic devices of all sorts, and you should be watchful of the risks you run with a charger for your vaporizer.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Vaporizer
It is crucial that you maintain your vaporizer, especially if you have a custom-built unit. Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life of any vaporizer, and if you’ve built a custom MOD you should also plan to regularly take it apart and cleaning it. This includes removing any vapor material residue, plus inspecting the unit for damage or signs of trouble. A vaporizer which is maintained well will not break down prematurely and will help sustain a flavorsome vaping experience. In our vaping for beginners guide, we explain the most important aspects of cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning Vape Pens
It is not only advanced, custom vaporizers that need maintenance. Even reusable vape pens need regular maintenance, and anyone who has moved up from basic disposable e-cigarettes can easily forget that they need to maintain vape pens to ensure a long life. There are many components which need maintenance, including the coils and wicks though these are really consumables, and will need regular replacement anyway.
The lack of maintenance will over time reduce your vaping experience, even with a basic vape pen. So, if your coils and wicks are past their useful life you will find that the flavor produced by your pen will deteriorate, and this often prompts people to change these consumable parts. However, your vape tank also needs cleaning as chemical residue can taint any fresh e-liquid you pour into the tank. E-liquids do break down over time and they will accumulate as a layer in your tank. A buildup of these e-liquid compounds can also break down plastic components and e-rings over a period of time.
How To Maintain The Individual Components Of A Vaporizer
Cleaning the vape tank is easy. You simply need to fill a bowl with warm water and then insert the tank and its components into the bowl. Make sure you have thoroughly emptied the tank beforehand. If your tank is really dirty you could use a couple of drops of dish detergent to help the process along. After washing, dry the tank and component parts with a towel, and leave for a further ten minutes to air dry so that you don’t mix any water droplets with your e-liquids.
Any guide to vaping will highlight to you that vape coils are a different matter. There really is no easy way to clean a vape coil, and you run the risk of burning them out if they do get wet. The best advice for a vape coil is simply to replace it, and to consider it as a consumable material: the more you vape, the more regularly you need to change your coil. Changing the coil is easy, however: first, remove the tank from your device and discard the liquid. Second, unscrew the old coil and screw in the new coil. Then re-attach the tank.
Keeping Your Dry Herb and Concentrate Vaporizer Clean
You will find that your dry herb vaporizer typically comes with a cleaning tool, and there is a reason for this: herbs are not liquids, and they are more likely to accumulate as gunk in your vaporizer. It is even more important to regularly clean out dry herbs from your tank, compared to the cleaning requirements of a liquid container.
There are similar issues with concentrate and wax vaporizers though they are not as difficult to maintain as a dry herb vaporizer. But with both of these, you need to be aware that regularly cleaning the tank clean is crucial. Secondly, and this counts for dry herb vaporizers too, the entire path from the tank through the atomizer and the mouthpiece needs more regular maintenance than is the case with vaporizers which use e-liquids. So, you will need to disassemble and reassemble your unit more regularly and make sure to thoroughly clean every part.
Cleaning the Exterior
It’s not hard to keep the exterior of your device clean, but it is still important to help protect the look and feel of the unit. Also, as your lips are touching the device, you should keep the mouthpiece clean and gunk free to avoid a buildup of germs. It is simple to clean the exterior: wiping it down is just fine, though you could consider using an antibacterial wipe to clean the mouthpiece.
Over a long period of time, you will notice a build-up of grit in the controls of your device. A cotton swab or toothpick is a good tool to clean these areas, and you do need to clean your control buttons as too much of a build-up can eventually result in buttons becoming stuck.
Things to Remember When Cleaning Your Device
Never rush through the process of drying component parts. Even if you have thoroughly dried with a cloth, make sure you leave the components to air dry for a period of time to make absolutely sure there are no remaining water droplets which can cause a short circuit or other types of trouble.
Be careful which parts of your vaporizer you submerge in water: some parts should only be wiped. In most cases, it is fine to submerge the tank, but make sure it is safe to do so before you do it. Some component parts such as the coil should never be submerged.
Never skip on maintenance because it is too inconvenient. If you don’t maintain your vaporizer you will simply find that your vaping experience becomes poorer over time. Worse, your vaporizer will not last as long as it otherwise would have.
Advice New Vapers Should Ignore
As much as vaping is now an established industry, it is still a young industry. It is also an industry that is developing quickly, and for this reason, there is a lot of opinions about vaping. Combine this with myths and untruths, and new vapers can struggle to find their way around vaping. There are some points of advice that are often given to new vapers, which they would be wise to ignore. We list a few of those below.
Buy a Very Powerful Device
There are many different ways to enjoy e-liquid and many first-time vapers are tempted to go all-in and buy the most elaborate vaporizer in the market. We suggest that you don’t, at least not at a vaping for beginners level. The best way is to step into vaping slowly, starting with a quality refillable unit so that you can get used to the experience. Once you have vaped for a while you will get a better idea of which aspects of vaping you enjoy the most. A good store will be able to advise you on the best entry-level vaping devices.
Building Your Own Coils
It is true that you can get an enormous amount of control over your vaping experience if you go ahead and build your own coils. Experienced vapers enjoy this aspect of customization, and also like the cost saving aspect. New vapers should think twice before going down this route however as it is a technical exercise that requires some knowledge. Not only do you need to thoroughly understand Ohm’s law to safely build your own coils, you also need patience as building coils can be time-consuming. Don’t let this advice ruin your first vaping experiences.
Always Carry Spare Batteries with You
No vaper ever wants to run out of power, but carrying batteries in your pocket can be a dangerous exercise. Batteries are live chemical products and are sensitive to the physical conditions they are kept in. If you keep your batteries in a jacket pocket, left in the sun in the back of a car window, you are looking for trouble.
Instead, learn to build an estimate of when your vaporizer is going to run out of power and replace the battery when you estimate it is going to need replacement. Also, keep spare batteries in a safe, cool, dry place in your home. You should avoid leaving batteries in a charger as the charging cycle is a volatile process, always remove batteries which are charged from a charging device and store the charged batteries somewhere cool.
Maintenance Is Not Important
E-liquid is a chemical compound which will leave a residue throughout your device as you use it. The residue will be small upon first use, but with repeated use, there will be a buildup, it is unavoidable. For your vaporizer to last long and to continue giving an optimal experience you need to regularly maintain it. Earlier in this article, we gave full steps to help you along, don’t let any vaper tell you that maintenance is not important.
Moving On: Custom Builds
Whether you are new to nicotine or switching from smoking, you should start off with basic, pre-built devices. Yet many vapers are attracted to the idea of customizing their vaping experience, often encouraged by vaping guides, and for good reason. You can get a more flavorful taste and a bigger hit of nicotine, and also enhance the appearance of your device when you customize it. Others simply enjoy having a bigger tank and larger battery to be able to enjoy extended vaping. Here are some of the steps to a custom build.
Why Mods Are Popular
At first, mods were simply used to extend the existing vaporizer technology. So, mods were used to increase tank size or for sub ohm vaping. Nowadays mods are more of a statement: a mod can be aesthetically appealing, in comparison to the rather subdued look of many vaping pens. Your custom vaporizer could have a large screen, accents that are colorful and even carbon-fiber panels on the sides.
What You Can Customize
Many of the customizations involve the look and feel of your device. In fact, a lot of people customize extensively without actually changing the way their device operates. You have a lot of options here, ranging from colored sleeves though to removable side panels which can be regularly changed depending on your mood.
Be creative when you source your customization, the internet is an excellent source for great ideas and suppliers with unique products. Whether you want a light-saber look-alike or something completely unique, rest assured, you can achieve it if you are a little resourceful. One option is to go for a printed shell with a custom design, this ensures no-one else has a device that looks like yours. Big spenders can even consider luxurious vaporizers with real-wood finishes and other luxury hallmarks which can really set your device apart.
Keep in mind that customization is not just about the visuals: you can customize the vaping experience in itself, including taste, nicotine intake and much more. Though this requires some technical knowledge, don’t let that put you off – you should simply make sure you read up on the technical requirements of customization, and proceed with care and caution.
Customization and Safety
Always remember that vaporizers are still lightly regulated, and this also goes for the customization market. At the same time, you are inhaling vapor from the device so there are areas where your health could be at risk. Your pre-built device should contain the necessary safety features, so when you customize you need to avoid anything that will involve tampering with the effectiveness of these safety features.
Research any customization thoroughly, and watch out for any problems other users have reported when they tried the same mod. Common sense is important too, and make sure you don’t attempt anything you are not familiar with. For example, sub ohm vaping is not an appropriate method of vaping for beginners, especially if you have no understanding of the topic. As with any customization route, a specialist sub ohm vaping guide is a better place to start.
Technical (And Not So Technical) Terms
Here is a guide to some of the other terms you will hear experienced vapers use. Like we said in the glossary, vaping is its own language. This list delves deeper into vaping lingo.
This refers to a tank connection type, in fact, the most common type of connection on an advanced vaporizer.
The correct term for a more advanced vaporizer. APV stands for advanced personal vaporizer, PV stands for personal vaporizer.
A short way of saying atomizer.
Take a break to vape.
Also shorthand, CART stands for cartomizer.
One of the original vaporizers, the “cig-a-like” looks a lot like a traditional cigarette.
Creating a big vapor cloud is one of the fun aspects of vaping, and also motivates a lot of vapers to modify their devices. It can be a competitive art form, with cloud monsters or chasers specializing in creating big and impressive smoke clouds.
DTL or direct to lung is when the vaper inhales directly into their lungs, which can feel a bit like taking a hit from a helium balloon.
An interesting vaping technique, where each draw takes between three and six seconds, with the user slowly drawing the vapor. It is reported to be an enhance vaping experience.
Dripping is becoming more and more popular, and a drip tip is something which helps the vaper to drip e-liquid onto their device.
Every vaper has a different priority. Some like big vapor clouds, the cloud chasers, while the flavor chasers look for the intensity of flavor and try to find recipes for interesting e-liquids.
This is a risk with many devices. When flooding happens the user accidentally floods the air passage of their device with e-liquid. It should be avoided, but it is not a common occurrence if you know how to use your device.
A vaping term referring to vapers who take their gear a little too seriously. Vaping is an interesting pastime and a lot of people like to collect different vaporizers, and to customize.
Beware a coil that gets too hot. Often caused by a short, a hot spot is a section of a coil which feels hotter than the rest. You can have trouble vaping if this is the case, with your coil snapping also a possibility.
A measure of the power of your battery, short for milliamp hours.
Also known as mech mod, or the mechanical mod. These are vaporizers that do not have any pre-installed circuitry or even a battery. It is a good base to build your own device from which you can then tailor to give you exactly the experience you are looking for.
Mouth to lung vaping is similar to using a cigarette. You don’t inhale straight into your lungs, instead, you hold the vapor in your mouth for a period of time before you inhale through to your lungs.
Not unique to vaping culture, a NOOB or n00b refers to someone who is inexperienced with vaping – or new to any culture, for that matter.
Ohm is a measure of electrical resistance. The lower the resistance in your atomizer, the more current flows through, and the more vapor is produced.
Some advanced vaporizers have display screens showing settings including volts, watts, and ohms. These are often OLED displays, short for organic light-emitting diode.
A group of vapers that prefer a classic, cigarette-like experience. Purists try to design their vaping experience to resemble smoking as closely as possible.
A regulated mod regulates the voltage of the battery as a safety precaution, including controlling wattage, ohms and voltage.
Watch out for spitback, when liquid spits back into your mouth while you vape. If you tamper with your vaping setup or technique you run the risk of spitback.
It is a good idea to put a maximum temperature on a custom coil, and a TC or temperature control helps you set a peak temperature, which is great for safety. A coil that overheads can be dangerous so you should be careful when you adjust your TC.
Experienced vapers can do really interesting tricks with their vape clouds. It requires practice, but a trickster can create all sorts of figures including ghosts, dragons and O’s similar to those smokers can make. It requires a lot of practice and a vaporizer that is set up correctly.
You can build up a resistance to some e-liquids, and this is known as vape tongue. When you experience vape tongue you will experience a reduced taste when you vape. Switching liquids will help as the resistance will eventually fall away.
This is the amount of power which goes from the battery to the coil. You should always check a vaping wattage guide to make sure your battery is compatible as the wrong wattage can cause malfunctions or damage to your coil.
A wick is made of cotton and is the part of your vaporizer which absorbs the e-liquid, regulating how much is let through to the coil.