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A guide to vaping for starters

A Guide To Vaping For Newbies

A starter guide to someone who has just moved to Vaping or thinking to switch to Vaping.

Since smoking cigarettes for more than two decades, I finally managed to kick off this bad habit four years ago. It wasn’t a straight path for me and faced many twists and turns on the way. Most of the ex-smokers will tell the same that quitting smoking is not easy, but with sheer determination and a bit of support, it is doable by all.

With determination, it is also very important to choose the right means to successfully quit smoking. These means come in many forms but the most popular ones in the UK are NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) and Vaping. 

Vaping is gaining its popularity in many folds. According to a report of BBC, number of adult vape users has increased from 5 million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018. Market research group Euromonitor has estimated this figure to reach 55 million by 2021.

So, what is this vaping which is so much discussed in the smoking community? If I were to answer this question in simple word, I would say vaping is turning a liquid called E-Liquid or E-Juice into vapour which is drawn in like smoking cigarettes and exhale out in order to enjoy a specific flavour or to reduce the craving for nicotine. Among many reasons, one of the reasons vaping is gaining popularity over smoking is due to that it is less harmful, and this is also mentioned in the UK’s NHS’s website Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking

Is Vaping Safe?

Vaping with nicotine is an addictive substance and cannot be considered safe for everyone. If you are pregnant, below 18 years or do not smoke, it is strongly advised to avoid vaping. However, there are countless ex-smokers who have moved to vaping and have not reported any health-related issues after starting to vape. Many research groups and UK Government bodies like NHS considers vaping as considerably 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes. 

The safety aspect of vaping can be looked at from two perspectives.

Safety Relating To Health: Before taking up vaping it’s better to check with the doctor whether any underlying condition can get worse due to vaping. It is a good idea to know the ingredients of the preferred e-liquid and inform the doctor. If one is unsure about the ingredients, he/she can ask the retailer who can help. MOST IMPORTANTLY, one should only vape the e-liquid that is tested and regulated by government bodies like MHRA, UK and never modify/mix e-liquid with any substance that is not tested with the e-liquid in question. Any legit E-Liquid sold in the UK will follow the EU TPD guideline and must have submitted to the UK’s MHRA. Details of submitted e-liquid can be found on the GOV.UK website under “Notified products for Great Britain and Northern Ireland“. It is advisable to check whether your e-liquid is in the list or not. If it’s not in the list, ask your retailer to give you the MHRA Product ID for that particular e-liquid.

Safety Relating to the Vaping Device: Most of the reputed brand devices/hardware (Except some Mechanical devices or Mechs which should only be used by experienced vapers) come with lots of built-in safety features like overheat protection, low resistance protection, etc and these devices are mostly safer to use. However, if the device is modified or used in a way not specified by the manufacturer, it may be unsafe to use. One should always avoid using fake devices or brands that are not well known. To use the hardware safely, one should strictly follow the manufacturer’s guidance relating the use of the coils in the vape tank/pods, batteries and charging. 

Can I quit Smoking?

The most important thing needed to quit smoking is determination. Vaping and NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) Products will help in calming one’s craving for a cigarette, but before taking up these means of quitting cigarette one have to absolutely make his/her mind to avoid or totally abandon cigarettes.

As reported by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in their article “In 2019 around half as many Britons now vape as smokers and the majority are ex-smokers” There were 3.6 million vape users in 2019 which is almost half of 7.2 million smokers and the majority of these vape users are ex-smokers. So, referring to these figures, I will say quitting smoking is possible for anyone with the help of Vaping.

Quitting smoking is not easy but with sheer determination, right advice and correct means, one can do it. A lot of people started vaping but went back to smoking due to lack of determination. Once smoking is stopped, there should be no excuse for a cigarette. Once one moved to Vaping or NRT, he/she should not have a single cigarette. After adopting NRT or Vaping, if someone gets a more frequent craving, he/she should take a more frequent puff of vape or increase the nicotine level. First few months are uphill but once this has passed most likely you will be free from smoking.

What is needed to start vaping?

Image showing Innokin Kroma A Kit, Vaporesso XROS POD Kit And Diamond Mist E-Liquid

To start vaping, two things are needed. The hardware, which is often referred to as vape kit/e-cig/electronic cigarette/vape pod kit/vape mod kit/vape pen kit. The 2nd thing is E-Liquid often called E-Juice / Vape Juice / Vape Liquid / E Liquid and comes in either plastic bottles or in pods/capsules. Vape POD Kit is more popular among new vapers as this is simple to use and easy to replace the pod when e-liquid runs out. Though latest POD Kits now comes with PODs that can be refilled. A Cost-effective way of vaping is using a Vape Mod Kit/Vape Pen Kit that comes with a tank which can be re-filled using e-liquid from a plastic bottle.

Choosing the Right Hardware And E-Liquid 

When someone moves to vaping, ideally a starter kit is most suitable. The kit can be a starter mod kit or starter pen kit or starter pod system. These starter kits/system comes with everything you need and requires minimal to no knowledge of selecting settings like wattage and temperature. After Vaping for a while the user can move to a more advance vape device where he/she can set preferable wattage/temperature and select different vape tanks. 

Vaping Hardware: Vaping hardware can be a starter kit (Vape pen/mod/pod Kit with no option to change power/temperature) more suitable for new vapers or intermediate kit that allows changing settings like power/temperature or advanced Kit (Mech or Mechanical mod that often uses customized vape tank) that is more for the highly experienced users who know how to build coils and have a good understanding of the relationship between power, Voltage, Resistance and Temperature. All vaping kits comprise of 3 parts. Mod/Battery, Tank/Pods that holds the E-Liquid and Coils/Atomizers that resides in the tank/pods and that heats up the e-liquid to produce vapour.

Vape POD Kits With E-Liquid in PODs: Most first-time Vapers starts with Vape POD Kits as there is nothing to do except pressing a button or drawing-in (breath-in through the mouth) to start puffing. When the liquid runs out, the user can take out the pod from the device by just pulling out and replacing with a new one by just pushing it back. There is no need to worry about what resistance of coil or what PG of E-liquid suitable for the device. It’s very convenient but can be more expensive for daily use than the kits that require filling E-Liquid from a plastic bottle and the vaping coils can be replaced. Though for day to day use this kind of kit is expensive but buying the kit is much cheaper. The initial kit depending on the brand can be priced between £6-£25 and the replacement E-Liquid filled PODs can be priced at £3-£5 and each POD may last 2-4 days depending on the usage.

Starter Vape Pen Kit And Starter Vape Mod Kit: If the user wants to go for something cheaper for day to day use, he/she can start with starter vape mod kit or starter vape pen kit which comes in a price range between £15 and £50 and refilling E-Liquid can cost as low as £1.00 per 2ml bottle. Both mod kit and pen kit has a rechargeable battery often called mod and a tank. The tank can be replaceable or fixed. The tank houses the E-Liquid and a Vape Coil often called an atomizer that heats up the e-liquid to release vapour. The vape coils in the tank is replaceable and may come in different resistance. Each coil will last between 3-14 days depending on the usage and may priced between £1-£4 depending on the model of the tank and bundle offer. Take advice of the retailer to find out which coils are suitable for your chosen kit. Another advantage of Vape mod/pen kit is that you have larger choices of E-Liquid Flavours and based on the resistance of the coil you can produce smaller vapour like a cigarette or large cloud. Coils with resistance value of 1.0 Ohms or above will produce small vapour and used with E-Liquid with VG Value of less than 50%. Coils with less than 1.0 Ohms often referred to as sub-ohms coils produce a larger cloud and more suited for higher VG E-Liquid.

E-Liquid

Choosing the right E-Liquid is the most Vital part that determines the success of cutting down a cigarette or quitting it altogether. New Vapers who just moved to vaping gets a more frequent craving for a cigarette and at this stage choosing the right E-Liquid will satisfy the craving more effectively. In most cases, people taking up vaping for the first time uses higher Nicotine (12mg or above ) e-liquid but may gradually reduce to lower value according to their taste preference.

Many times using an E-Liquid may cause Health issues and if a new symptom appears the user should stop using the e-liquid and consult the doctor. Some people may often develop mount ulcer which often goes away by changing the e-liquid’s VG/VG ratio or by changing the vape kits or changing to Direct To lungs from Mounth To Lungs or vice versa.

Most of the UK made E-Liquid sold in UK are listed with MHRA and follows a very strict UK Government Guideline. Before choosing an E-Liquid one should check the details on MHRA part of GOV.UK website.

E-Liquid comes in hundreds of flavours and different nicotine strength. Currently, in UK a nicotine strength of 0 to 18mg is very common but there are some products called Nicotine Salt that may have the value of up to 22mg and these salt liquid is more effective in nicotine delivery. Higher nicotine may satisfy the craving for cigarettes more quickly but may give a bit of sensation called throat hit in the throat. In this case, user may consider moving to lower nicotine strength and lower PG value.

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