If you’re based in the UK, you’re one of the luckiest new vapers in the world. With increasingly tight regulations in the US and vaping being totally illegal in some countries not everyone can pick up an e-cigarette when they fancy. Here, we’re incredibly accepting of the cloudy phenomena.
Did you know that someone attempts to quit smoking every 80 seconds in the UK? Vaping is a great way to help quit smoking and with over 3 million existing vapers, you’re in good company if you’re ready to make the switch. Even PHE England have come out in support of vaping with research stating it’s 95% safer than conventional smoking. With vaping, you don’t even need to go to the off license for a late night pack of cigarettes, you can order everything from an online vape shop to avoid the hassle. There’s a little more to vaping than just lighting up, so we’ve cleared up some of the basics.
Vaping – Where To Start
First and foremost, the strength of your e-liquid is the key factor in giving yourself the best chance of swapping cigarettes for vaping. Too strong and you can get put off because it hits too hard, too weak and you won’t get enough of a hit to defeat the cravings. If you’re a heavy smoker, e-liquids with nicotine salts are highly recommended. They deliver the fastest hit possible and come in higher concentrations than regular liquids, typically in a 20mg strength. Nic salts are the kind of e-liquid used in the super-hyped up Juul pods too.
If you’re a moderate or lighter smoker, you’re better off using something slightly more mild. E-liquids range massively in the strengths available from a super-light 3mg or 6mg for social or occasional smokers, up to a heavier duty 12mg or 18mg for the realm of 15-20 cigarettes a day smokers. To get just the right one, your best bet is to get a personal recommendation when you shop. Or, you can order a couple and test them to find which one works best for you.
You really need to know your liquid before you look at kits. Nicotine strength aside, different juices work better in different devices. The reason being that liquids don’t just come in different strengths but also different compositions of ingredients. They’re made up of two main components, PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin) and they’re typically displayed in a ratio format like 50:50 or 70:30.
PG gives more of a punchy throat hit, so higher PG liquids combined with stronger nicotine are popular with heavy smokers. They give a feeling comparable to that of a conventional cigarette and a moderate level of vapour making them a more stealthy option. High PG liquids are ideal for carrying stronger nicotine levels and are made to be used in lower powered devices.
If you pick an e-liquid higher in VG it’ll be thicker and sweeter, you’ll also get a more mild throat hit and more cloud. Typically, liquids with more VG (70% and above) come with a lower nicotine level. These vape juices are used in more powerful e-cigarettes as they take more heat and wattage to vaporise.
If you’re starting out, opting for a pod kit or pen vape is typically your best option. As mentioned, once you choose your liquid you’ll be better set up to choose your device. The most simple way to look at it is that with nic salts, high nicotine liquids or high PG liquids you’ll more than likely want a pod kit. If you have a lower nicotine level and more VG (or just want more clouds and a more mild throat hit) you’ll be better off looking at a vape pen.
The main difference and reason behind this comes down to two things – power and how you vape. The pod kits on the market are lower powered so they match well with high strength nicotine liquids. This means you get just the right amount of nicotine, not too much vapour and a cigarette like draw. Pod kits are often refillable so you can use a variety of nic salts or high PG liquids in them, though there are options that come with single use, pre-filled pods too.
Vape pens are typically larger, have more battery power and therefore can handle higher VG liquids. They’re a great option for people who were lighter smokers and don’t want to use a high nicotine level. This option comes with a refillable tank meaning you can change your nicotine strength or flavour whenever you like.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Once you’ve covered the basics of getting your nicotine strength, PG/VG ratio and device right you can start to really enjoy vaping and experiment with flavours. With vaping, one of the best advantages is the range of e-liquids available. If you’re unsure where to start here, you can always opt for a traditional tobacco or menthol flavoured liquid. Most new vapers these days though, even the ex-smoking ones, go for fruit or dessert options. The best way to figure out what you like is to try a few flavours until you find something that’s just right.