WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.
Smoking a vape, also known as vaping, is a relatively straightforward process, but for newcomers, it can seem daunting. With the growing diversity of vaping devices and the jargon that comes along with them, getting started might feel overwhelming. If you’re either a novice looking to get into vaping or an enthusiast seeking to refine your skills, this guide is for you.
Before you take that first puff, it’s essential to understand what you’re holding in your hand. A vaping device may look simple from the outside, but it’s a culmination of some well-thought-out engineering. Here’s a breakdown of the essential components that make up most vaping devices.
Battery: The battery is the lifeblood of your vape, providing the necessary power to heat the coil. They come in various forms – built-in rechargeable batteries, removable batteries, and even disposable ones in the case of single-use vapes. Understanding your battery’s capacity , usually indicated in milliampere-hours (mAh), can give you an idea of how long it will last between charges.
Tank: The tank is where your e-liquid resides. It’s essentially a small reservoir that feeds vape juice into the coil as you take a puff. Tanks can be refillable or pre-filled, depending on the type of device you have. Refillable tanks offer the advantage of using any e-liquid you like, allowing for a broader flavor experience. Pre-filled tanks, often found in pod systems or disposable vapes, provide convenience but limit your flavor choices to what the manufacturer offers.
Coil: The coil is where the magic happens. It’s a spiraled wire that heats up when you activate the device, turning the e-liquid into vapor. Coils have varying resistances, indicated in ohms (Ω), which can affect the amount and temperature of the vapor produced. Lower resistance coils typically generate more vapor but may consume more battery power, while higher resistance coils create less vapor but are more battery-efficient.
Mouthpiece: This is the part you’ll be most intimate with – the mouthpiece is where you draw the vapor into your mouth or lungs. It may seem trivial, but the design and material of the mouthpiece can impact your vaping experience. Some are narrow, designed for a tight, cigarette-like draw, while others are wide-bore, suited for deep lung inhales.
Some vaping devices integrate these components into a single, unified unit for simplicity and convenience. These are often referred to as ‘all-in-one’ systems or pod vapes. They’re generally easier to use and maintain, making them a popular choice for beginners or those looking for a hassle-free vaping experience.
Before you can delve into the pleasures of vaping, there’s a bit of setup required. Think of it as pre-flight checks before taking off; only here, the journey is a flavorful cloud of vapor. Here’s what you need to know to get your device ready for action.
Charging: Power Up for the Experience
A device with a drained battery is a vape that’s going nowhere fast. Always ensure your device is fully charged before use. Connect it to a charger, usually via a USB port. Most modern devices feature an LED indicator that will notify you once the charging is complete. Make it a habit to charge your device when you’re not using it so you’re never caught off guard.
Filling the Tank: Your Choice of Flavor
For vapes with refillable tanks, filling them up is the next step. Unscrew the tank from the device and open it to access the reservoir. Pour in your choice of e-liquid, taking care not to overfill or get any liquid in the central tube, as this can lead to leaking or gurgling noises during use. Screw the tank back onto the device, and you’re good to go.
Priming the Coil: The First Flavorful Step
If you’re using a device with a refillable tank, it’s crucial to prime a new coil before using it. Priming helps saturate the wick with e-liquid, preventing unpleasant dry hits. To prime, simply add a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the exposed cotton on the coil. Wait for a few minutes to let the liquid soak in. This small step makes a big difference in your vaping experience.
Adjusting the Settings: Tailoring the Experience
Once your device is prepped, you’re almost ready to vape, but there’s still room for personalization. Several settings can be tweaked to suit your vaping style.
Power/Wattage: Dial in Your Preferences
Some devices come with adjustable power settings, usually denoted in watts. Higher wattage levels will produce more vapor but can also lead to quicker coil burnout. On the other hand, lower wattage offers a cooler vape and extends coil life. Experiment to find your sweet spot, but start at a lower setting and work your way up to avoid damaging the coil.
Airflow: Control Your Draw
Many vaping devices feature adjustable airflow controls. Tightening the airflow will simulate a cigarette-like draw, which is ideal for those looking for a mouth-to-lung experience. Loosening the airflow, on the other hand, makes the draw airier and is better suited for direct lung inhales. Fine-tune the airflow to match your inhalation style for the most satisfying vape.
Prepping your device may seem like a chore, but it’s a vital part of the vaping experience. Proper setup ensures that you get the most out of your vape, both in terms of flavor and vapor production. So take those few extra minutes to get everything just right.
Once your device is primed and your settings are tailored to your liking, you’re ready for the main event: the actual vaping. This stage is where your preparation pays off, allowing you to experience the full range of flavors and sensations that vaping has to offer. Here’s how to go about it.
Turn on the Device: Most vaping devices come with a five-click lock system for safety. To turn your device on, quickly press the power button five times in succession. You’ll typically see an LED indicator light up or a small screen display come alive, signaling that your device is ready for use. To turn it off, simply repeat the five-click process.
Taking a Puff: Now, you’re ready to take that much-anticipated first puff. Hold down the power button as you draw vapor into your mouth through the mouthpiece. There are two primary methods of inhaling vapor.
Direct Lung: In this method, you inhale the vapor directly into your lungs. This style usually produces a greater volume of vapor and is preferred by those looking for a more intense experience.
Mouth-to-Lung: Alternatively, you can first draw the vapor into your mouth and then inhale it into your lungs. This method generally offers more flavor but produces less vapor. It’s a favorite among those who prioritize taste over cloud size.
Choose the method that suits your personal preference and enjoy the ride.
Exhale: Once you’ve taken a puff and experienced the flavors and sensations, it’s time to exhale. Release the power button and gently exhale the vapor. Depending on your device and settings, you might produce a small, flavorful cloud or a large, dense one.
The act of vaping is a personalized experience, shaped by your choice of device, e-liquid, and settings. But the basic steps—turning on the device, taking a puff, and exhaling—remain the same across the board.
Don’t Dry Burn:Dry burning, or holding down the power button without drawing vapor, can be detrimental to your device. It can result in what’s known as a ‘dry hit,’ which is not only unpleasant but can also burn out your coil. The taste of a burnt coil is far from pleasant and can ruin your vaping experience. Always make sure you’re drawing from the device when you’re holding down the power button.
Battery Safety:No Loose Batteries: Carrying batteries loose in your pocket can be a safety hazard. Metal objects like keys or coins can cause the battery to short-circuit, leading to potential burns or even explosions. Always store them in a protective case.
Use Recommended Chargers: Always use the charger that came with your device or a manufacturer-recommended charger. Using a cheap or incompatible charger can risk damaging the battery, reducing its lifespan, or worse, causing it to malfunction.
Cleaning Your Tank
Your tank holds your e-liquid and is where it gets transformed into vapor. A clean tank ensures a pure flavor profile, free from the residue of past e-liquids. Most manufacturers provide specific cleaning guidelines, so always check those first.
Disassemble the Tank: Take your device apart, detaching the tank from the mod and disassembling any removable parts.
Rinse and Soak: Rinse the tank components in warm water. For a deep clean, soak them in alcohol, such as isopropyl, but make sure to rinse thoroughly afterward.
Dry Completely: Make sure all components are completely dry before reassembling and refilling the tank.
Coils have a limited lifespan and need to be changed regularly to maintain optimal performance. A burnt or old coil can produce a bad taste and reduced vapor production.
Detecting a Spent Coil: If you start to notice a burnt taste or if the e-liquid flavor seems ‘off,’ it’s likely time to change the coil.
Removing the Old Coil: Make sure the tank is empty or nearly empty. Unscrew the spent coil and dispose of it responsibly.
Installing the New Coil: Screw in the new coil, making sure not to overtighten. Prime the coil by adding a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the cotton wick. This will prevent dry hits.
Breaking In: Fill the tank with e-liquid and allow it to sit for several minutes to soak the new coil. Start with low wattage and take short puffs to break it in.
Regular maintenance isn’t just a chore; it’s an integral part of vaping that enhances both your device’s lifespan and your overall experience.
Vaping is a relatively simple activity that offers a wide range of experiences tailored to meet individual preferences. The key is to start slow and get to know your device, and from there, the possibilities are endless. From choosing flavors to experimenting with advanced devices, each step of your vaping journey is an opportunity for new discoveries.