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What Is Vaping?
Ahhh, vaping. Vaping used to be something only the hipsters did, but nowadays, you can find it pretty much anywhere and in many forms. Vaping devices used to be something that was only found in convenience stores and gas stations (remember Logic pens?), but is now incredibly complicated and intricate, thanks to the creation of mods, tanks, nic-salt pods, and so much more. There are many ways to vape, but they’re all used for one purpose: producing vapor in either large puffy clouds (known as cloud-chasing) or discreet puffs (usually with nic-salt liquids). Before we get into the technicalities of all that is vaping, let’s take a look at what vaping is.
VAPING: WHAT IS IT?
We’ve talked about e-liquids, kits, nic-salts, and vape pods in some of our previous posts, but now it’s time to return to our roots and discuss what vaping actually is. Vaping is defined as, “inhaling vapor from an electronic device.” Vaping is very similar to smoking, but is perceived as being less harmful. The long terms of vaping have yet to be documented or proven, but there are several benefits of vaping instead of smoking (which we’ll discuss further in the article). Vaping can be done by using several vaping devices: a vape kit (tank and mod), vape pen, or nic-salt vape pod.
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF VAPING?
The initial purpose of vaping was for smokers to cut down on their nicotine content and gradually wean themselves off nicotine. The devices were limited to pen-style mods and the flavors weren’t all that great. In recent years, vaping has exploded into a tight-knit community of users who all have different stories on why they got into vaping. Some people wanted to stop spending so much money on packs of cigarettes, while others wanted to cut down on how often they smoked. Still others wanted to smell better and others wanted an easier way to get their nicotine fix without stopping for smoke breaks throughout the day. A great thing about vaping is that you can slowly reduce your nicotine level all the way down to 0 mg, whereas all cigarettes have a high amount of nicotine and can’t be downgraded to lower levels. Vaping also mimics the hand-to-mouth action of smoking, so instead of trying to quit smoking using patches, creams, or going cold-turkey, you can wean your body off gradually.
WHAT KIND OF VAPE DEVICES ARE THERE?
When vaping was first invented, it was designed to look and feel like a traditional cigarette: long and slender, with a mouthpiece and a power button instead of using a lighter. As vaping advanced, new devices were invented. One of the most common vape devices is the box mod and tank. Although they’re popular, they’re bulky and often heavy, making it difficult to travel with them (unless you don’t mind having a sagging back pocket!) or carry them around in a bag. This is not to discourage you from using them, but rather to make you aware in case you get one! Box mods are excellent for producing huge clouds of smoke and often deliver strong flavor. Fun fact: the term “mod” comes from the earliest form of vaping where vapers could “modify” their devices to produce more power. Box mods can be operated in several in either wattage mode or temperature control mode, but it’s best to start out with wattage mode since that’s the easiest. Most mods come pre-programmed in wattage mode and pre-packaged coils state the best wattage to be used at.
The box mod is powered by one or two lithium ion batteries, but there are some mods that use three or four batteries. These batteries are specifically designed for box mods, so don’t go throwing in regular AA batteries and think your vape will work. Instead, use 18650, 20700, 21700 type batteries, but make sure the type of battery is correct for the device you’re using. Some mods can use all three types, but 18650 batteries are the most common. The batteries are rechargeable and can be charged either by using a microUSB cord or a separate vape battery charger. The tank is made up of a base, a coil, and a top. The coil is screwed onto the base and then screwed into a glass tube that attaches to the top of the tank. The entire tank is then screwed onto the box mod, which you can then fill up with your e-liquid. The cotton within the coil soaks up the e-liquid, and after priming the coil, you set the desired wattage and take your first inhale. Coils don’t have a set vape life. Depending on how often you vape, your coil can last you anywhere from a few days to a month and half!
The vape pen and nic-salt pods are extremely similar devices, but they all have one common factor: they produce vapor that is similar to the smoke that is produced in smoking. E-liquids are available in literally every flavor you can imagine, either mass produced by a company or created right in your own kitchen! Most e-liquids contain nicotine but you can still buy e-liquid with 0mg of nicotine if you’re just looking for flavorful clouds. The choice is yours!
WHICH DEVICE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
If you’re looking for low powered devices, you can check out pod devices (JUUL pods), vape pens (Logic), some AIOs (all-in-ones), and e-cigarettes. You don’t have to have any experience, and many of these devices activate by simply inhaling. Once the e-liquid is gone, you can either throw them away and buy a new one, or simply insert a new juice pod into the device. It comes with a built-in battery that you can recharge with a wire and is usually preset to one wattage level that doesn’t (or can’t be) adjusted. And since they’re so small, you can literally put it in your pocket and forget about it. If you’re looking for something with medium to high power, you can check out higher grade AIO’s, box mods, tube mods, and mechanical mods. You’ll need to have a good bit more experience, usually from someone who already has one. These mods have external batteries that should be carefully handled and externally recharged. These mods come with adjustable power ranging from 50-200W, so you should check the coil to see how high you can set your vape to. If you’re wanting to take your vape with you, you’ll need to have large pockets because these things can get bulky. You’ll also want to make sure your device is off before you toss it in your bag or purse, or you can risk the firing pin being triggered and you’ll wind up with a burnt coil or even an exploding vape!
VAPING: HOW TO DO IT
The more simple your device, the simpler it will be to use. This isn’t to say that simpler devices are inferior, but rather, they’re easy to use and get used to before you advance to more difficult setups. Each vape kit comes with its own set of instructions that are extremely helpful in figuring out how to work your device. Diagrams and pictures are common in these instructions, which can be helpful when first unboxing your device. If you can’t understand the instructions or your device didn’t come with instructions, Google and YouTube are great to check for further clarification.
Once you’ve got your vape device, it’s time to fill up your tank! Vape juices come in all sorts of enticing flavors, so you’ll want to get a few types to figure out your flavor profile. My favorite e-liquids are the fruit e-juices, but you can check out desserts, tobacco, menthols, and sweets as well. It’s a good idea to start out with small bottles until you know what you like, either 30mL or 60mL bottles. You’ll also want to decide your nicotine level, depending on your preferences. You can check out our article here to figure out what nicotine level is right for you.
Once you’ve filled up with juice and checked that your device is fully charged, it’s time to take that first hit! Assuming your coil is primed, you should start on low wattage to gradually break in the coil. Inhalation technique is key here and it’s very different from cigarette or marijuana users. If you inhale too sharply or hold it in too long, you may be reduced to fits of coughing or develop a headache due to the swift rush of nicotine to your system. Vaping from box mods is usually a smooth inhalation and immediate exhalation, just like breathing. This results in a large plume of smoke that is often referred to as the cloud-chasing method. If you’re using pen style mods or nic-salt pods, you’ll want to take a firm inhale, hold it for a few seconds, and then gradually release it. The clouds produced using this method are light and wispy, so if you’re wanting a discreet method of vaping, this is the type of vaping you can do indoors without attracting a lot of attention.
And there you have it! This is by no means an exhaustive review, but just an introduction into the vast world of vaping. Vaping is constantly changing and new devices and flavors are being created every day. Nicotine salts and pod mods are growing in popularity and are more easily acquired in convenience stores and gas stations, whereas box mods are usually found in vape stores that sell devices, accessories, and e-liquid all in one place. No matter which method of vaping you end up choosing, the vast majority of these devices are for nicotine delivery. If you’re not satisfied with one device, you can always switch to another type. And as always, if you have questions on any type of vaping device, you can always reach out to us via phone or email. We’d love to share our experiences with you and look forward to hearing from you! Check out our next review where we dive into some of our most popular e-liquid flavors!