Start Vaping - What You Need To Know
First of all, congratulations if you have reached the point where you are ready to give up cigarettes and start vaping instead. Your health and your wealth will thank you for it. We look at what you need about vaping and what kit you need and offer a few top tips to get you going in the right direction.
Vaping Devices: Exploring Different Types and Options
With its wide array of flavours and customisable options, vaping has become a favoured choice for many individuals seeking to satisfy their nicotine cravings. One of the key factors contributing to the appeal of vaping is the availability of various vaping devices.
Cig-a-likes are compact and lightweight devices designed to resemble traditional cigarettes. They are an excellent choice for beginners due to their simplicity and ease of use. Cig-a-likes typically consist of a rechargeable battery and a disposable cartridge containing e-liquid. These devices offer a discreet vaping experience but limited battery life and options.
Vape pens are slightly larger than cig-a-likes and are often the next step for vapers looking for more customisation. These devices feature a rechargeable battery and a refillable tank to hold e-liquid. Vape pens provide longer battery life, adjustable power settings, and a wider range of flavour choices. They are a popular choice for intermediate vapers seeking a balance between portability and performance.
Pod systems have gained significant popularity in recent years. They consist of two main components: a small battery and a replaceable or refillable pod that contains the e-liquid. Pod systems offer a satisfying vaping experience with minimal maintenance. They are known for their convenience, compact size, and high nicotine delivery. Additionally, pod systems often utilise nicotine salt e-liquids, which provide a smoother throat hit.
Box mods are larger, more advanced devices suitable for experienced vapers who enjoy customising and controlling their vaping experience. They feature a box-shaped design with a rechargeable battery and advanced features such as variable wattage, temperature control, and customisable settings. Box mods offer extended battery life, sub-ohm tanks can be used for increased vapour production, and compatibility with various coil types.
All-in-One (AIO) Systems:
AIO systems combine pod systems' convenience with box mods' performance. They are compact, user-friendly devices that integrate the battery and tank into a single unit. AIO systems offer versatility, often allowing users to switch between MTL (mouth-to-lung) and DTL (direct-to-lung) vaping styles. These devices suit beginners and experienced vapers seeking portability and functionality.
Understanding Nicotine: Making Informed Choices
Nicotine, a naturally occurring chemical in tobacco plants, is commonly associated with cigarettes and other tobacco products. However, with the rise of vaping and e-cigarettes, liquid nicotine has become an important topic of discussion. This section delves into key information about liquid nicotine, enabling you to make informed choices.
What is Liquid Nicotine?
Electronic cigarettes or personal vaporisers use liquid nicotine, e-liquid or vape juice. It comprises a combination of ingredients, including nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and flavourings. The nicotine concentration in e-liquids can vary, allowing users to choose different strengths depending on their preference or nicotine dependency.
Liquid nicotine is available in various strengths, typically measured in milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml). The most common concentrations include 0 mg/ml (nicotine-free), 3 mg/ml, 6 mg/ml, 12 mg/ml, 18 mg/ml, and higher. Understanding the nicotine level of the e-liquid you use is crucial, as it directly affects nicotine intake and potential dependence. Beginners or individuals aiming to reduce their nicotine intake may opt for lower concentrations, while heavier smokers might start with higher concentrations and gradually decrease over time.
When using e-cigarettes or vaporisers, the liquid nicotine is heated and transformed into an aerosol, which is then inhaled. Upon inhalation, nicotine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, reaching the brain within seconds. This fast-acting delivery method contributes to the addictive potential of nicotine.
While liquid nicotine is often seen as a less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco products, it is essential to recognise potential health risks. Nicotine is an addictive substance, and regular use can lead to dependency. Additionally, some studies suggest that nicotine may adversely affect adolescent brain development. Pregnant women and individuals with certain medical conditions should exercise caution and consult healthcare professionals before using liquid nicotine products.
Given the concentrated nature of liquid nicotine, proper handling and storage are crucial. It is important to keep e-liquids out of the reach of children and pets, as even small amounts can be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin. When handling e-liquids, gloves and avoiding contact with eyes or open wounds are recommended.
Making Informed Choices
Understanding key information about liquid nicotine empowers individuals to make informed decisions about its use. By being aware of nicotine levels, absorption rates, potential health risks, and safety precautions, users can mitigate potential harms associated with vaping or using e-cigarettes. Regularly reviewing the latest research and consulting reputable sources can enhance knowledge and aid responsible decision-making.
Why Giving Up Smoking Is A Great Idea
If you’re already ready to throw away your lighters and matches and walk away from tobacco smoking, you probably already know a fair bit about why it’s a good idea. Smoking kills. Short, sweet and to the point. The World Health Organisation has been very clear on the damage that can result from smoking, including premature death.
Health reasons aside, smoking is a costly habit, and these costs look set to continue to rise annually. Vaping has been significantly cheaper over time, despite slightly higher start-up costs. These are two very good reasons why giving up smoking is a very good idea.
What Is Vaping?
To start vaping, you need to know what it is and how it differs from smoking. Many of these chemicals have been classified as toxic by the WHO. An e-cig uses a lithium battery to heat e-liquid to produce flavoured vapour.
The e-liquids used within the tank of an e-cigarette include a base liquid, a mix of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), flavourings and nicotine. There are different ratios of VG to PG and different strengths of nicotine available, including zero nicotine e liquids. None of the ingredients used with e-liquids causes issues like those in tobacco cigs does.
Proper Vaping Techniques: Inhaling, Exhaling, and Cloud Production
To fully enjoy the vaping experience and optimise cloud production, it's crucial to understand and employ proper inhaling and exhaling techniques.
When it comes to inhaling while vaping, there are two primary methods: mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct-to-lung (DTL).
MTL inhaling mimics the sensation of traditional smoking and is commonly preferred by beginners. To perform an MTL inhale:
- Take a slow and gentle draw from the mouthpiece, allowing the vapour to collect in your mouth.
- Once the vapour is in your mouth, pause to savour the flavour and let it settle.
- Slowly inhale the vapour into your lungs, drawing it in gently.
- Hold the vapour briefly in your lungs to allow for nicotine absorption.
- Exhale the vapour slowly and steadily through your nose or mouth.
DTL inhaling is characterised by inhaling the vapour directly into the lungs, creating larger and denser clouds. To perform a DTL inhale:
- Take a deep, quick draw directly into your lungs, bypassing the mouth.
- As the vapour enters your lungs, you can experience intense flavour.
- Exhale the vapour immediately and forcefully through your mouth.
Mastering proper exhaling techniques enhances both cloud production and the overall vaping experience. Consider the following techniques:
To create impressive vapour rings, also known as "vape rings" or "O's," follow these steps:
- Take a slow, controlled vapour draw into your mouth without inhaling it.
- Form your lips into an "O" shape, positioning your tongue at the back of your mouth.
- Push a small puff of vapour forward by lightly tapping or flicking your cheek muscles.
- Use your mouth and throat muscles to shape the rings and adjust their speed and size.
To maximise cloud production, try the following tips:
- Increase airflow: Adjust your device's airflow settings to allow more air to pass through, resulting in larger clouds.
- Lower nicotine levels: High nicotine concentrations can hinder cloud production, so opt for lower nicotine e-liquids if cloud chasing is your goal.
- Experiment with high VG e-liquids: Vegetable glycerin (VG) produces thicker and denser vapour clouds than propylene glycol (PG).
Time For Change
Public Health England is not the only group looking to push vaping forward and make it easier for people to access. Some MPs have jumped on the bandwagon to agree with proposals that will see vaping allowed at work, on trains and across other methods of public transport, and more. The Science and Technology Committee has warned that banning vaping in the same way that smoking has been making vaping “less attractive”, which makes people less motivated to switch from smoking to vaping.
Current Vaping Legislation
Right now, smoking falls under the 2007 Go Smoke-Free legislation. This means it's illegal to smoke indoors at work, on public transport, in cafes, bars, and numerous places. This clampdown on smoking has changed public perception and improved the health of the UK.
There is one very important point to consider: VAPING IS NOT SMOKING.
Vaping is not included in the Go Smoke-Free legislation. However, it is up to individual building and business owners, including those who transport services, to allow vaping on their premises/ in their vehicles. This means that it's not legally banned, but it's also not allowed to occur in various places, which makes the switch from smoking to vaping less attractive.
Start Vaping With The Right Kit
When you first start vaping, you need a basic starter kit and a handful of e-liquids. A starter kit will have everything you need apart from e-liquids (some do, though) for around £20 - £25. It's slightly more expensive than a packet of twenty cigarettes, but it’ll last much longer.
Once you’ve received your kit, make sure that you read all of the instructions included. That way, you can set your e-cig up correctly and maximise your first vaping experience.
Starter E Liquids
There are so many e-liquid flavours to choose from, not to mention different strengths and base types. Don’t let this overwhelm you, though. Don’t feel like you need to buy in a hundred and one e liquids. You only need a handful. Choose flavours you know or suspect you will like with something different for variety. Menthol and tobacco-flavoured e-juice tend to be popular choices. Perhaps add something fun and fruity, a dessert-like vape if you have a sweet tooth and consider the drink flavours too.
Choose your nicotine level with care. Match up the nicotine you usually have in your tobacco cigarette or lower. If you are unsure, start lower and work up until you find a level that works for you.
What about base type?
There are different types of e-liquid. Those with more VG (Vegetable Glycerin) are called high VG e liquids. These are smoother and offer a thicker, fuller vapour. Glycol is thinner, known for clarity, and tends to be harsher.
Mix and match if you’re still unclear about which of these e-liquids is the best choice. When you start vaping, half of the fun is in the experimentation.
Top Five Reasons People Move Over To E-Cigarettes
Vaping has become increasingly popular as it is a cleaner smoke than tobacco cigarettes. This forms the baseline for most decisions to move from tobacco to e-cigs; however, it is not the only reason.
E-Cigarettes Are Not That Different
While vaping is very different to tobacco cigarettes in terms of not containing the hundreds of dangerous and cancer-causing toxin chemicals (as proven and reported on by the WHO - World Heath Organisation), their use is very similar. They are mostly held the same way, smoked the same way (inhaled and exhaled), and some models look the same.
Reports that have followed studies into people giving up smoking have found that outside of nicotine consumption (nicotine is highly addictive), many crave the ritual of smoking, the habit of having something in their hand and lifting it to their lips etc. This is why many who choose e-cigarettes and work their way down to 0mg of nicotine in their e-liquid or e-juice continue their vaping habit as it is familiar, comfortable and still highly enjoyable.
Vaping Works Out Cheaper
Everyone is looking to save money, and extras such as smoking are often considered unnecessary expenses. Rather than quit smoking altogether, as many simply don't want to, they opt for the cheaper alternative. At the same time, the start-up costs of vaping are higher than the start-up costs of tobacco smoking (a starter kit generally starts at just under ten pounds).
The ongoing running costs of vaping work out considerably lower than smoking tobacco cigarettes, generally speaking as much as seven or eight pounds per packet of twenty cigarettes for a mid-range brand.
The costs of tobacco smoking are also rising rapidly, with additional taxes adding to their price. At the same time, e-cigarettes seem to be becoming cheaper, with great deals and different ranges, so e-smokers may tailor their vaping enjoyment to their budget.
E-Cigarettes are More Socially Acceptable
Tobacco smoking is most definitely not a friendly habit, especially in mixed groups where there are non-smokers. In recent years, overwhelming evidence has proven beyond doubt that tobacco smoking harms health and the health of those who passively come in contact with it.
With this information being widely known and understood, smoking around others who don't smoke is seen as negative.
On the other hand, E-cigarettes do not contain the cancer-causing chemicals tobacco cigarettes do, don't coat people's clothes, their homes and the area around them with an unpleasant smell, and aren't seen as unsociable.
While most e-smokers have taken their e-cigarettes outside / away from others within an enclosed area to smoke, vaping is not tarred with the same brush as tobacco smoking. Not leaving ash, cigarette butts or packaging debris in their wake like tobacco cigarettes is another plus point for this type of smoking alternative.
It is expected that vaping will become regulated in the same way that smoking is in future, in line with Smoke-Free regulations; however, few believe that this will again force negative comparisons between the two types of smoking as the evidence speaks for itself regarding which is proven harmful and as such which is the more pleasant and more popular choice for many.
E-Cigarettes are New, Shiny and Exciting
When smoking, you usually have your choice of a few key brands and perhaps menthol and similar alternatives. When vaping, you have access to a wide range of device types, accessories, and a vast number of flavours, and you may also customise your vaping experience further by choosing what nicotine level you wish to use, as many e-liquids come in varying strengths down to omg.
While tobacco smoking has been around for a very long time and is an established form of smoking, many have moved over to vaping to enjoy not only the variety that it offers but so that they may enjoy the more up-to-date/modern smoking experience.
Many consider vaping more friendly as friends and colleagues discuss and compare flavours, strength types, and available accessories.
E-Cigarettes are Cleaner
As before, e-cigarettes do not contain tar or dangerous chemicals or produce the harmful gases and by-products that tobacco cigarettes do. For this reason, many are choosing to move to vaping to enjoy cleaner smoke.
Retailers and manufacturers aren't legally allowed to claim that vaping is a healthier choice as the government and legislative powers do not feel enough studies into vaping have been undertaken over a long enough period to prove this. Despite this, most smokers decide between the two types of smoking for themselves.
Vape retailers won't tell you that their products are healthier. However, they can disclose exactly what their products contain, which makes quite the difference compared to tobacco cigarettes' list of ingredients and chemicals.
E liquids, the liquid used within the e-cigarette to produce a vapour which may be inhaled and exhaled, typically contains the following:
- A base liquid of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin (or a mixture of the two), both of which are used in food production as well as in several other non-toxic manufacturing processes
- Flavourings (often natural flavourings, the ingredients for which are disclosed by the retailer/manufacturer)
- Nicotine (in varying strengths).
However, the list of chemical tobacco cigarettes container may be much more eye-opening, which is why many decide to switch smoking types.
Connect With The Vaping Community
If you are ready to start vaping, one of the best advice we can give you is to connect with the vaping community. Social media pages, groups, forums, and more are full of vaping enthusiasts.
We’ve always found the community very welcoming to vapers at all stages of their e-cig adventure, whether you are a new starter or someone who enjoys advanced vaping. These contacts are perfect for those looking to broaden their understanding of everything and enjoy getting to know like-minded people.
Is Vaping A Fad?
Look at shell suits and loom bands. We think e-cigarettes are here to stay.
Don’t get us wrong. Vaping has evolved incredibly quickly. This means that the e-cigarettes from ten years ago, for example, look very different to the mods and more that are regularly seen today.
Vaping will continue to evolve as new technology comes along, and e-cigs will look very different. Indeed, we expect that they will not only be around, they will be more popular than ever. Here is why.
Smoking is Still a Threat
Individuals have been smoking for many, many years. In some places, smoking is part of the national culture. Attitudes to smoking will not change overnight. Even now, with WHO classifying ingredients in tobacco cigarettes as toxic and having the potential to cause cancer, many people still light up. Despite hundreds of research papers and reports and millions of pounds spent on anti-smoking, pro-health marketing campaigns, people still smoke tobacco cigarettes.
Though adult smokers have dropped significantly recently, the battle against harmful tobacco smoking is nowhere near won. Vaping offers a valid, enjoyable, healthier alternative to a habit steeped in history and tough to break.
Long Term Safety
By long-term safety, we refer to Public Health England publicly announcing that they believe vaping is at least 95% healthier than smoking. At least ninety-five per cent. What this means is that it is not 5% harmful. Studies haven’t taken vaping research long enough to tick that last box. As do many health professionals, charities and scientists, we fully expect vaping to be deemed 100% safe and healthy.
How does this stop vaping from being forgotten? Vaping is enjoyable, preferable to smoking in every way, and is more affordable long term. With studies eventually proving vaping to be as healthy as we all know it is, there is no reason for anyone not to vape, especially once the long-term benefits have been proven.
Smokers switch from tobacco to e-cigs because it’s healthier and costs less long-term. They stick with vaping not because they should pay for their health. They continue to vape because they enjoy it.
One of the most appealing factors about vaping is that you can customise your vape in so many ways, from choosing from hundreds of e-liquids to countless devices, mods, accessories and more. If something is consistently enjoyable and moves with the times quickly enough to keep things interesting, there’s no way that it will become another soon-forgotten fad.
Rumours and Risks of Vaping
What About Popcorn Lung
This is a question we hear a lot. Popcorn Lung is a condition some factory/production workers contract after working with high levels of diacetyl. This chemical was commonly used to give foods a butter-like flavour, such as popcorn.
A study showed that a few e-liquids contained diacetyl, enough to start a media storm and result in panic. Following the media attack, many e-liquid producers using diacetyl in their e-liquids (a very small number of manufacturers compared to the total number) ceased producing any e-liquids containing diacetyl.
This action was taken to ease the public mind, despite the “link” between Popcorn Lung and vaping being tenuous at best. Only fifty-one e-liquids out of the many thousands of e-liquids tested contained minute amounts of diacetyl, and to date, not one case of popcorn lung has been attributed to vaping.
If you have any concerns make sure you buy your e-liquids from a reputable supplier, such as ourselves, to receive e-liquids which clearly show the ingredients contained. You won’t find any diacetyl in any Go Smoke-Free e-liquids. Indeed, you might find it difficult to track down an e-liquid that does contain it!
Vaping and Addiction
First, it is important to remember that vaping is an alternative to tobacco smoking and the recommended alternative for those wanting to walk away from it, which is highly addictive and harmful to health.
Studies show that young people smoking just one cigarette are much more likely to smoke full-time in the future. Just one. This has made many people look at the reasons for tobacco smoking addiction differently, as clearly, the “blame” can’t be held solely at nicotine’s door after just one cigarette.
People get addicted to smoking for many reasons, not least because of the physical habits associated with smoking. Studies show that hand-to-mouth actions, the relaxation associated with smoking and the social aspect are all habits contributing to smoking addiction.
Vaping is an alternative to smoking, offering a hand to mouth, relaxation, a draw instead of a drag, and so on. However, vaping also offers the opportunity to reduce the amount of nicotine used gradually, offering vapers a nicotine-free vape when they are ready for one.
This makes switching over even more attractive and allows vapers to take control of their hobby proactively. It is easy to see why vaping has become recognised as a highly effective cessation option for those wanting to quit harmful smoking yet still wanting an enjoyable hobby.
Is vaping addictive? Nicotine certainly is, and this is something that vapers may now control.
The Cost of Vaping
You can pick up a packet of cigarettes for roughly £10. Your starter kit might cost anywhere from £10 onwards. Once you’ve lit up a cigarette, it has gone. You’ll buy another £10 pack and another. The same outlay with vaping can last for a long time and teh kit only has to be purchased once.
Again, with vaping, there are consumables to consider, i.e., replacement parts and e liquids. You would expect this to make vaping much more expensive. However, over a longer period, most find vaping significantly cheaper/more affordable than smoking.
How much vaping costs depends on how much you vape and how often you choose to upgrade your device; however, yes, most would agree that as well as being healthier, vaping is also cheaper than smoking.
Exploring Vaping Etiquette: Respectful Vaping in Public Spaces
While it provides a potentially safer option for individuals who wish to satisfy their nicotine cravings, it is important to understand and adhere to vaping etiquette, especially in public spaces. By practising respectful vaping, we can create a harmonious environment and ensure the comfort of those around us.
Awareness of Surroundings:
One of the fundamental principles of vaping etiquette is being aware of your surroundings. Before vaping in a public space, take note of your surroundings and assess whether it is an appropriate location for vaping. Always be mindful of designated vaping areas and follow any specific regulations or policies that may be in place.
In situations where you are unsure about the acceptability of vaping, it is courteous to seek permission from those around you. This is particularly important in enclosed spaces like shared offices, public transportation, or restaurants. Respect the preferences of others and refrain from vaping if they express discomfort or if it violates any rules or regulations.
The vapour produced while vaping can be intrusive to those nearby, so it is crucial to minimise the amount of vapour released. Consider using devices with adjustable settings to lower the vapour output. Exhaling the vapour in a controlled manner, such as directing it towards the ground or away from people, can also help mitigate any potential disturbances.
Be Mindful of Odour:
While vaping produces less odour than traditional smoking, certain flavours or e-liquids can still have a distinct scent. It is important to be mindful of the odours that may accompany your vaping experience. Opt for flavours less likely to be offensive to others, and refrain from vaping close to individuals who may be sensitive or allergic to certain scents.
Dispose of Waste Properly:
Responsible vaping also includes proper disposal of waste. Dispose of used cartridges, batteries, and other vaping-related waste in designated bins or recycling facilities. Avoid littering or leaving vaping paraphernalia behind, as it creates a negative visual impact and reflects poorly on the vaping community.
Promoting awareness and education about vaping etiquette is essential in fostering a respectful culture. If you encounter someone unaware of vaping etiquette, politely and constructively educate them about the considerations and best practices. Sharing knowledge can contribute to a more inclusive and understanding vaping environment.
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