MAKE THE SWITCH.
Want to start vaping but don’t know where to begin? Let us make things a little easier for you in this section, helping you choose the right products to help kick-start your journey to a new, smokefree you. Think of this section as the ultimate guide to all things vape.
SKIP TO A SECTION BELOW.
This guide was set up to aid smokers who want to make a change in their lives for the better and say goodbye to cigarettes and start vaping. Before we break down the nitty gritty of all things vape and e-liquid to get you started on your journey to making the switch, we want you to know that we are with you every step of the way. It’s not going to be easy (nothing good in life is) and there will be plenty of challenges to overcome but it can be done – trust us on that one.
5 THINGS EVERY NEW VAPER NEEDS TO KNOW.
#1 THERE IS AN E-CIG OUT THERE TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS.
The first device you try may not be the one best suited to your individual needs, but that doesn’t mean you should scrap the idea altogether. Think of it as you would normal cigarettes, everyone has their own preferred brand that they smoke – the same principle applies to e-cigarettes (different strokes for different folks). If you feel the device you start your journey on isn’t doing the trick, try again with a different kit based on suggestions from staff in your local vape store.
#2 YOU MIGHT EXPERIENCE RELAPSES.
Some people take up vaping and never look near a cigarette again, others not so much. Remember that you are trying to change a habit you may have had for years, so don’t be hard on yourself. If you do for whatever reason cave and have yourself a cigarette, it’s not the end of your journey – it just means something needs changed, perhaps changing to a different strength of e-liquid or nicotine type. We’ll explain more on this later.
#3 DON'T CUT YOUR NICOTINE DOWN TOO QUICKLY.
Over the years, we’ve came across a lot of ex-smokers who try to cut down on their nicotine in-take too quickly which is counterproductive. We recommend that it’s better to start with a high strength and to remain at that strength until all cigarette cravings are completely gone and then slowly reduce. It’s also worth pointing out something a lot of people get confused – nicotine (albeit extremely addictive) is not the harmful compound in cigarettes. The combustion of tobacco is what causes cancer and other illnesses.
#4 YOU WILL EXPERIENCE SOME COUGHING AT FIRST.
If you are concerned about coughing having switched to a vape, don’t be alarmed. This is absolutely normal. Most smokers when they try vaping for the first time inhale the vapour (which can feel ‘thicker’) from an e-cig much like they would a cigarette which causes coughing from a change in the sensation. Most cases of coughing pass within a few days of picking up vaping.
#5 VAPING IS VAPING, SMOKING IS SMOKING.
The harder you puff on a cigarette, the more smoke you get. However, the same rule does not apply to an e-cigarette! As there is nothing lit or burning your e-cig needs some time to produce the vapour. We recommend you take long, slower and steady puffs to ensure you get the best vaping experience possible.
#1 E-CIGARETTES ARE 95% LESS HARMFUL THAN TOBACCO.
#2 E-CIGARETTES ARE 'THREE TIMES' MORE EFFECTIVE THAN NICOTINE PATCHES AND GUM.
#3 VAPING IS MUCH CHEAPER THAN SMOKING TOBACCO.
You’re about to find out how exactly much you can save below
#4 E-CIGARETTES DO NOT PRODUCE TAR OR CARBON MONOXIDE.
#5 OVER A MILLION PEOPLE HAVE STOPPED SMOKING SINCE THE COVID PANDEMIC HIT BRITAIN.
HOW MUCH MONEY COULD I SAVE BY SWITCHING?
IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. SWITCHING TO AN E-CIG WILL PUT SOME MORE CASH IN YOUR POCKET.
E-CIGARETTES: A BREAK DOWN
WHAT IS AN E-CIGARETTE?
“An e-cigarette is a device that allows the user to inhale nicotine in vapour form, rather than smoke. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and don’t produce tar or carbon monoxide (two of the most damaging constituents in cigarette smoke). E-cigarettes work by heating a solution (e-liquid) that typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine, and flavourings.” – NHS Smokefree
THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE.
One thing that can be daunting for people who are new to the vape realm is the overwhelming amount of choices you have in terms of hardware. When choosing a device, much depends on that persons understanding of e-cigarettes. We would always recommend to consult a member of staff in your local vape store to make sure you find the best device and e-liquid set-up for your individual needs. Check out our stockist tracker map to find out where you can get some solid advice through one of our partner stores.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF E-CIGARETTES?
There is no one style fits all when it comes to vaping devices. Every e-cig comes with its own pros and cons and if you feel this section is getting a bit advanced – then you probably would be best to start vaping with a simpler device.
These basic e-cigs look very similar to their tobacco counterparts and are very simple to use. They tend to be disposable or rechargeable with very small batteries.
Devices that are shaped like a pen or a small tube. They have a small tank to store e-liquid and coils can be replaced. Their rechargeable batteries last longer than cigalikes.
Compact, rechargeable devices that are often shaped like usb sticks or a pebble. They operate with both pre-filled and refillable e-liquid pods. Very simple to use and easy upkeep.
Come in all shapes and sizes and are generally the largest device option. Refillable tank, longer lasting batteries and allows users to vary their power settings.
POD VS REFILLABLE E-CIGS - WHICH ARE BEST?
ADVANTAGES OF POD E-CIGS
- Replicates the sensation of smoking very closely.
- Discreet, compact and more portable.
- Ease of use and easy to maintain.
- Ideal for beginners making a start in vape.
ADVANTAGES OF REFILLABLE E-CIGS
- More cost effective long term solution.
- More choice of settings.
- Come in different styles.
- For the more advanced vaper.
E-LIQUIDS: TYPES AND HOW TO CHOOSE.
WHAT IS IN E-LIQUID?
E-Liquids (a.k.a e-juice or vape juice) is composed of three (sometimes four) key ingredients. Propylene glycol (PG for short), vegetable glycerin (VG), flavouring and if you choose it – nicotine. Each of these ingredients plays a big role in your vaping experience.
VEGETABLE GLYCERIN. (VG)
A thick, sweeter liquid that provides vapour production. It’s also smoother on the inhale than PG. Also used in a variety of items such as soap, toothpaste and caramel.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL. (PG)
An odourless liquid that carries the flavour of your vape juice, it also replicates the “throat hit” you’d expect from traditional cigarettes. PG is also used in items such as ice cream and food enhancers to deliver maximum flavour.
Flavouring varies massively across e-liquid products. There is a huge range of taste combinations out there for you to try out. It’s purpose is to give users an enjoyable taste experience. Tobacco, fruits, sweets, desserts and menthol are the main flavour types.
The final ingredient (and optional of course), the active ingredient that you find in cigarettes. Generally the people making the switch to vape require some nicotine in their juice. The strength of nicotine on the bottle is how much nicotine you get per 1ml of juice.
TYPES OF NICOTINE.
You’re probably thinking that nicotine is just nicotine, right? Well, it’s not just as simple as that – there are two types of nicotine that form part of e-liquids across the market, Freebase Nicotine and Nicotine Salts (commonly known as ‘Nic Salts’ for short). These two nicotine types offer quite different experiences to their users – we’ll explain further below.
The more common form of nicotine (which has been around since the 1960s) and can be found in replacement therapies (gum, patches), cigarettes and traditional e-liquids. Freebasing is achieved by converting nicotine from its naturally occurring ‘salt’ state into its base ‘pure’ form. It’s a way of increasing potency without increasing the dose.
Just to be clear, this is far from the stuff you keep in your cupboard – and it DOES NOT make your e-liquid taste salty or increase your sodium intake. In chemistry terms, a salt is made up of a chemical reaction where there is a positive charge and a negative charge. Nicotine found in tobacco leaves can only be found as a salt composition – which are then chemically modified to create freebase nicotine. The mad scientists behind nic salts had a theory that nic salts could be (if chemically altered in a certain way) used to deliver higher nicotine levels without giving the user a rash throat hit.
WHICH NICOTINE TYPE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
- Contains Benzoic or Citric Acid
- Is absorbed faster into the bloodstream
- Is smooth at high doses
- Can’t handle high flavour complexity
- Suited to mouth-to-lung vaping style
- More expensive by volume
- Suitable for high nicotine strengths
- Ideal for new vapers, or mixed users
- Well suited to pod devices
- Less liquid needed for comparable nicotine hit
- Slow oxidation means longer shelf life
- Contains no additives
- Has a slower absorption rate
- Is harsh at high doses
- Can handle high flavour complexity
- Suited to mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung vaping styles
- Less expensive by volume
- More suited to low and medium nicotine strengths
- Suited to vapers with lower nicotine requirements
- Higher power devices needed for maximum vaporising
- More liquid needed for comparable nicotine hit
- Faster oxidation means shorter shelf life
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR NICOTINE STRENGTH.
Picking a nicotine strength is quite simple – it really boils down to how many cigarettes a day you used to smoke. The nicotine strength you prefer may change over time the longer you are vaping. We will break down the various outcomes below as a guide to help you when choosing your preferred nicotine strength below:
Social smokers should go for a low nicotine option such as 3mg. This is often the final step for people who have quit smoking and don’t need much of a hit anymore. You can also get 0mg juice if you simply enjoy the feeling of vaping with no further cravings to satisfy.
Light smokers (less than 10 a cigs a day) should opt for a 6mg nicotine option. This strength (6mg) is still considered on the lower end of the scale and suits those who enjoy vaping regularly and still require a little bit of a nic buzz.
If you average up to a pack a day – you should go for a 12mg e-liquid strength. This is an ideal place to start for first-time vapers as it helps substitute the amount you would get from traditional cigarettes. Thus keeping your cravings at bay.
Finally, the heavier smokers out there should aim for the maximum strengths available – 18mg (or 20mg depending). These strengths are for the smokers out there with a serious habit who require a higher dosage to be properly satisfied.
WHY THE RIGHT STRENGTH IS IMPORTANT.
When using a vape as a quitting aid, it’s really important that you select the correct nicotine strength. This will ensure you are getting an adequate nicotine hit to satiate your cravings, whilst also not over-doing it and finding the effects too strong.
HOW DOES THE BLEND OF VG/PG WORK?
Like we mentioned above, VG produces the vapour and the PG serves to carry flavour in e-liquid. The kind of blend you’ll want in terms of VG/PG ratio will depend on a couple of things – the personal vape experience you are after and the device you choose. The two most popular ratios available on the market are 50:50VG/PG and 70:30VG/PG (there are other variants but let’s keep things simple for now).
Ideal for: Beginners who start vaping who are after a feeling similar to that of smoking tobacco (stronger throat hit) with plenty of flavour and less vapour.
Ideal for: More experienced vapers who prefer a milder throat hit and want to produce bigger clouds of vapour (ideally with a sub ohm vape kit).
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