Welcome to the world of vaping! We are excited to have you join the community of 13 million people within the United States.
There is a lot to cover here, so let's dive right in!
Walking into a vape shop can be daunting. There are a lot of different products, a lot of different price points, a lot of information overall. Let's start with YOU!
The first thing that needs to be determined is what you are currently doing. Are you smoking cigarettes? Cigars? Chewing? Chantix? Nicotine gum? Where is the starting point for a vape shop to help you.
With that, we need to determine the following:
1. How heavy of a user are you? Example: I smoke two packs of cigarettes a day.
2. How long have you been using "X?" Example: I've been smoking for ten years.
3. What brand/product do you use? Example: I smoked Marlboro Menthol 100s.
Once that has been determined, we can start looking into devices.
What size device do you want? Do you want something that works more like a cigarette? Has a digital screen? Takes batteries? How large do you want it to be?
This is where the first difficult decision is made. Going into a vape shop and seeing what is comfortable for you is important. There are a lot of different devices on the market, which makes this part so difficult.
There are a few things to consider here:
1. How big is the device?
2. How long is the battery life?
3. Does it take external batteries?
4. Does it charge internally or externally?
5. How much e-liquid does it hold?
6. How are the coils replaced? How much are the coils?
Once these factors have been considered, that is when you would pick your device. There will be a whole blog on terminology shortly, so don't worry if you don't know what the difference is between internal and external batteries, or what coils are. That information is coming soon!
Once a device has been chosen, it's time to look at e-liquid. E-liquid has a lot of different variants, so let's break a little bit of that down.
The first variant is the vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol ratio. This is usually signified as "VG/PG" levels. Depending on your device, you may want to consider a higher "VG" ratio. Typically, higher VG levels are used for higher-powered devices.
Now onto the hard part, nicotine. Determining a nicotine level can be tedious, because usually you don't know what works until you've purchased it.
Most shops carry a various amount of nicotine levels, ranging from zero milligram (0mg) to fifty milligrams (50mg). Some shops have this in percentage form as well, such as 0.00% and 5.0%. These mean the same thing. Check out the chart below!
Nicotine in milligrams (mg)
Nicotine in percentage (%)
Nicotine is relevant to the device. If you get something small, you could run an 18mg (1.8%) and be okay, but if you get something larger, you may need to start at 6mg (0.6%). The more powerful the device is, the less nicotine you need.
Finally, flavors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken away the ability to try flavors for free. There is a small fee associated at most shops to try flavors, but that will vary from each vape shop. There are tons of flavors with tons of companies. You may want something like a tobacco flavor or a menthol flavor, but maybe you want a fruity flavor or a dessert flavor. You won't know until you've tried some flavors and found what works for you.
There is a lot to it, but I also want to put some generalized information out as well on safety and usage of your device.
1. Do not charge any devices that take two or more batteries via USB. Purchase a battery charger and charge your batteries outside of your device. If you device doesn't take batteries, or only takes one battery, you may charge USB.
2. Do not let your batteries hit any other metal. These batteries are made from Lithium Ion, and can vent when in contact with other metals. If you need to transport your batteries, ensure there is no metal in the pockets (change, keys, etc.). Battery cases are also a viable option.
3. Do not leave you device in your vehicle. Extreme heat can cause e-liquid to leak out from your tank, and your batteries could vent from the heat. Extreme cold could cause your e-liquid to freeze.
4. Do not charge your device on a computer/laptop. Only use a wall adapter or car charger.
5. E-liquid will change color over time. This process is called steeping. The longer it sits, the darker the e-liquid will get. There is nothing wrong with your e-liquid, although the flavor may change over time.
I hope this gives you some insight on purchasing devices and e-liquid!
Congratulations on trying to stop using traditional tobacco products!