Part One: Introduction To Vaping
What Is Vaping?
Vaping is basically the nickname for the action of using an E-Cigarette, or a “Vape” as it’s more commonly known as. Like when you have a cigarette it’s called smoking, so when you use a vape, it’s called Vaping. Get it?
I’ll explain more detail on how to vape properly a little further on in this article.
History Of Vaping And The Evolution Of Vaping Devices
Vaping has somewhat evolved in leaps and bounds over the last decade. This widely comes down to the fact that Technology in itself has evolved, and with this, the technology involved in Vaping has gone along with it!
But did you know that the first E-Cigarette was actually designed way back in the early 1920’s, when Joseph Robinson filed a patent for his design of an E-Cigarette, but unfortunately nothing came of this.
Other designs were patented and floated out over the years, but no to avail or success sadly, but in 2003, the “Godfather of Vaping” Hon Lik made himself known and revolutionised E-Cigarettes and Vaping.
Hon Lik, a Pharmacist from China, had sadly watched his father succumb to Lung Cancer which was caused by years of heavy smoking, and wanted to make a difference to the world and stop more people from enduring the same pain that his father went through, as well as himself having to sit by and watch his father deteriorate over time.
In 2004, Hon’s company Ruyan rolled out E-Cigarettes onto the consumer market and it wasn’t long before they started exporting them to the USA and Europe and this is where Vaping really started gaining traction.
Part Two: Vaping Devices
Types Of Vaping Devices
As mentioned, Vaping Devices have evolved quite significantly over the years, and they’re much more advanced and also moderately complex than what the first ones were like back in the early 2000s!
There’s several different “types” of vaping devices out on the market now, and I’ll explain the properties of each, but to put it simply, they all do pretty much the same thing, which is deliver nicotine and create vapour!
Pen Style Vape – This is reminiscent of the first devices that were patented by Hon Lik. A simple slim line vape device that doesn’t have variable wattage, and is essentially a no fuss no frills vape device!
Vape Mod – This is a larger device, that normally comes with the mod part, either internal or external battery, and then a tank attached separately. These devices normally have variable wattage settings.
Pod Vape Device – These are one of the latest vape devices models to come on to the market, and proving to be very popular amongst new as well as seasoned vapers. They vary in shape and size, but most of them are relatively small and discreet, and tend not to have a variable wattage setting.
Disposable Vapes – The newest and latest craze, or fad, of the Vaping world over the last two years or so, and that’s Disposable Vapes! These are simple and straight forward devices that come prefilled with vape juice and are self contained units, powered by a small lithium ion battery. And when either the battery runs flat or the vape juice runs out, the device is then disposed of, hence the name!
Components Of A Vaping Device
This is the heating element of a vape device, and essentially like what the heart is to a human body. If it’s not looked after properly, your vape won’t function properly! This is what heats the vape juice up to turn into vapour, which is inhaled and where the nicotine is delivered to keep those cravings at bay!
This is where your coil is housed as well as where you put the e liquid as well. Some vape devices will have tanks, where as pod systems have “pods” which is where the name comes from. It’s important to look after your tanks/pods and keep them clean, which I explain further on in this article.
Obviously your vape isn’t going to work if it doesn’t have power and this is where the battery comes in! Some devices have internal batteries, and can be charged via USB, but bigger devices will take external batteries which provide more power and longer lasting battery life. It’s important to use a battery charger for these.
How Vaping Devices Work
The primary job of a vape device is to vaporise the e-liquid housed inside the tank so that it can be inhaled and deliver nicotine to your system and the vapour is exhaled.
The e liquid will soak into the cotton wick of the coil, and when the power button on your vape device is pressed, this will send a signal to the battery to then begin heating the coil up. And when this is heated up, it will begin to vaporise the e liquid that is on the cotton wick.
The vapour is then inhaled and exhaled, and the process of this repeats every time you want to have a vape. Pretty simple and straight forward!
Are Vapes Safe?
Providing you get your vape device from a legitimate source, such as a dedicated online vape shop or bricks and mortar vape shop, you should be buying a genuine authentic vaping device.
Of course, with anything electronic, there is some risk involved with battery safety etc, but all the big name brands will put their products through rigorous safety testing before releasing onto general sale.
The horror stories you see in the media of vapes exploding are normally those that have been acquired from a non reputable seller who may have cheaply imported them from overseas where the safety checks haven’t taken place and made cheaply as possible to be sold as cheaply as possible.
Always buy everything vape related from a genuine trusted and dedicated vaping retailer!!
Part Three: All About Vape Juice
What Is Vape Juice
Vape Juice, E Liquid, Vape Liquid…it’s called loads of different names but whatever it’s called it means the same thing basically! Vape Juice is what’s put into a vape tank/pod and is what is vaporised to produce vapour and well as deliver nicotine to your system as well.
It’s specially formulated using key ingredients detailed below, and comes in so many different flavours now, people really are spoilt for choice when it comes to flavour options!
The Ingredients Used In Vape Juice And What Each Ingredient Does
Vape Juice is made up of three primary ingredients, as well as a fourth but it’s a variable depending on if you want it included in your vape juice or not!
- Propylene Glycol (PG) – This is what creates the throat hit effect when you inhale the vapour.
- Vegetable Glycerine (VG) – This is the thicker liquid that gives the vape juice a thicker or thinner consistency. The higher the amount of VG in vape juice results in bigger vape clouds being produced. It also helps bring out more flavour from the concentrates used as well
- Flavour Concentrates – If you’re wanting a flavoursome vape juice, then chances are this is going to be included in your bottle of vape juice. Different concentrates are used to make different flavours, and a lot more than meets the eye are used in some flavours!
- Nicotine – This is the variable ingredient I mentioned, as not everyone will want this in their vape juice! But this is what’s crucial to have included in your vape juice if you’re wanting to quit smoking but still have a dependency on Nicotine.
Nicotine Levels & Variations
If you have Nicotine in your vape juice, there are many different Nicotine levels and variations available which have been specifically created to cater to a persons nicotine needs, as not everyone will have the same and some will require more nicotine than what others do!
The different levels of Nicotine strengths available will relate to how many cigarettes you smoked in a day previously, and it’s absolutely crucial that you get the correct Nicotine strength for you as this will determine whether vaping will be a success for you as you need to be getting enough nicotine to keep away from smoking cigarettes!
This is a low strength vape juice and would be suitable for someone who was a very light smoker of 5 cigarettes a day
This nicotine strength is best suited for someone who was a light smoker still, but smoked up to 10 cigarettes a day.
This nicotine strength is best suited for someone who was a mid range smoker and smoked up to 15 cigarettes a day.
The nicotine strength is the highest Freebase available and is recommended for people who smoke 20 plus cigarettes a day
Arguably the most popular vape juice amongst vapers today, and for good reason to!
These are made in a different way to Freebase, where a weak acid, normally Benzoic Acid, is added into the mix to neutralise the pH levels in the Nicotine and make it a lot smoother on the throat when vaping it, which opens the door for people to use a higher strength like 20mg and it not kill their throat.
Part Four: Vape Juice Flavours And Why They’re Important
Why Vape Juice Flavours Are Important
Like pretty much everything in life, we have to enjoy it if we’re going to keep doing it, and vaping is no exception to this. And the biggest thing that will keep you enjoying it is finding yourself a vape juice flavour that you really enjoy and will continue to use.
Finding a flavour you like is one of the most fun things about Vaping, the options are pretty much endless now with so many options available and flavours to try. Finding a flavour you enjoy will keep you wanting to continue to vape, and remove the temptation of going back to smoking cigarettes as that’s the last thing we want!
How Flavoured Vape Juice Can Help Make Quitting Smoking Easier
Carrying on from the above, flavoured vape juice really can make quitting smoking a much easier process as having a flavour you enjoy will keep you using it and distract your brain from thinking about cigarettes.
The biggest thing I can recommend is picking a flavour that’s far away from tobacco, as this will stop the temptation. Some people will use tobacco flavoured e liquid and there’s nothing wrong with it, but I don’t know many people who actually smoke because they enjoy the taste of tobacco so getting away from the taste would be a good thing!
Surveys conducted among adult vapers have shown that flavoured vape juice keeps them from wanting to revert back to smoking, so it’s important that these remain available to everyone. Unfortunately this isn’t the case in some countries as they’ve initiated flavour bans for vape juice which has seen a stark rise in smoking rates, very counter productive!
Part Five: Vaping Techniques And How To Vape
Mouth To Lung vs Direct To Lung Vaping
There’s two different styles of Vaping and that is Mouth to Lung (MTL) and Direct to Lung (DTL) They may sound similar but actually are quite different from one another, and I’ll explain both;
Mouth To Lung – This style of vaping resembles the act of smoking as closely as possible to the real thing. You draw the vapour into your mouth, and it’ll hit your throat, like what a cigarette does, and you hold it in your mouth before exhaling.
Direct To Lung – This style of vaping differs from MTL where you inhale the vapour directly into the lungs, with no holding it in or anything, and you then exhale it. This style of vaping is most commonly associated with bigger sub ohm vaping kits and sub-ohm vaping itself.
How To Prime A Coil
This is a really important step in ensuring that your coil life lasts as long as it should, and you don’t ruin your coil as soon as you put it in your device, because once you ruin a coil, there’s no restoring it!
Priming is the name for what you should do to your coil before putting it in your tank and using your vape. To prime it, simply put a few drops of vape juice on the exposed parts of the cotton on your coil, this gives the cotton a head start on becoming saturated with vape juice.
When you put the coil in the tank, fill your tank up with vape juice and leave it alone for a good 10 minutes. This is so the vape juice can fully absorb into the cotton of the coil, and saturate it fully.
This means when you go to have a vape, your coil will be primed and ready to go and you won’t ruin it!
Maximizing Your Coil Life
It’s really important to respect your coils as it’ll end up costing you a fortune if you don’t. You can maximise your coils life in several different ways and I’ll explain how;
- Don’t Use Overly Sweet Vape Juice – “Coil Killers” is the not so affectionate nickname for overly sweet vape juices, simply for the reason they will absolutely kill your coils if you over do it with them. Try your best to stray away from them if you want optimal life span from your coil
- Use The Correct Wattage – If your vape has a variable wattage, then make sure you’re using the correct wattage range for your coil in your tank or pod. You always get a recommended range to use, and it’s essential you stay between these numbers so that you won’t burn your cotton of the coil as it’ll be ramping up too quick
- Prime It Properly! – As stated above, priming your coil and letting the juice soak in it for long enough is absolutely essential if you want your coil to last. Don’t be too keen to have a puff as soon as you put a new coil in, just be patient.
Part Six: Vaping Safety
This is a continuation from the earlier segment about vapes being safe, and battery safety is one of the most important things to pay attention to as if you don’t the consequences of negligence for battery safety could be disastrous.
Always charge your vape with the lead that came with it in the box. Nearly all vapes will come with a usb charging lead, and if it does then use it!
Do not use a phone charger plug to charge your vape. The reason is that they are fast charge chargers, and are designed to charge phones quickly and will run far too much power through for your little vape battery. This will affect the cells in your vape and also likely cause it to heat up which could result in combustion.
And if you use external batteries, keep them in good condition and make sure that the wraps of the batteries remain in tact without any rips or nicks in them. Exposed batteries could lead to combustion and likely disaster so keep an eye on the condition of your battery wraps!
Cleaning Your Vape Tank
It’s important to ensure that your vape tank is clear of any dirt/debris. This can easily get in there if you keep your vape in a pocket or a bag for example.
If you do spot anything in there that shouldn’t be in there, simply disassemble your vape tank and give it a good clean, either by running it under warm water, or submerging it in cup of warm water to soak, then dry it off and put it back together.
After all, whatever is in your tank is prone to being inhaled by you, so you don’t want to be inhaling dirt and pocket fluff really!
Vape Juice Storage And Expiry Dates
All vape juices will have an expiry date, or in our case at Vape69, we put a Produced on Date (P.O.D) on all of our bottles, and the recommended time frame from this is around 2 years.
Vaping out of date or “expired” vape juice is completely fine, and is not harmful. The difference of vaping this compared to non-expired vape juice is that the flavour may be a bit more muted, or the nicotine might be a bit harsher than normal as it may have started to turn. Not harmful, just may not be pleasant!
Another thing to note is storing your vape juice properly will help extend it’s life as well. Keep the lid on your bottles at all times, and store it in a cool and dark area like a drawer or cupboard for example. Keeping it in a warm place or direct sunlight will affect the consistency of your vape juice, and the heat can lead to your vape juice becoming spoilt and not vapeable.
Part Seven: Vaping And Your Health
Can Vaping Affect Your Health?
As promised at the start of this blog, I’m going to discuss in detail in this section about how Vaping can affect your health, and not to spoil anything, but it can affect it in a very positive way!
“Vaping is 95% safer than smoking”
Public Health England – 2016.
Cigarette smoke is known to contain over 6000 different chemicals, and at least 70 of these chemicals are toxic and carcinogenic meaning they can cause cancer to a person. Cigarette smoke is what people are willingly inhaling and ingesting and putting themselves at huge risk of contract diseases like Cancer, or heart/lung disease as well as breathing illnesses like Asthma or COPD.
While Vaping does involve inhaling, there has not been any reports of Vaping being related to someone getting cancer, or responsible for deaths like what smoking is. Some of the same chemicals in cigarettes are found in vapour produced from an E-Cigarette, but in such miniscule volumes compared to cigarettes, they’re not considered dangerous.
Vaping can only help improve your health and lower your risk of contracting one of the aforementioned deadly diseases linked to smoking, and I’ll explain how in this next section…
Vaping & Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things that a person can do, and it really isn’t an easy task, I’m not going to sugar coat it! But it is absolutely doable, and the thing that can make this as easy and seamless as possible is a trusty E-Cigarette!
And I’m not just saying this, as studies have been conducted looking into people using different Nicotine Replacement Therapy options in an effort to quit smoking. And these ranged from an E-Cigarette with nicotine vape juice, nicotine free vape juice, conventional nicotine replacement options like nicotine patches or nicotine gum, or taking medication that involved no nicotine at all.
The results were pretty unanimous and showed that people who used an E-Cigarette, even without nicotine in their vape juice, found it easier to quit and continued to abstain from smoking cigarettes for longer than a 6 month period.
Vaping is the closest thing to replicate smoking a cigarette without actually having to smoke one, and they’re absolutely the best thing to use if you’re wanting to quit smoking for good!
We come onto the topic of Nicotine and this is arguably the biggest thing that people have misconceptions and false beliefs over and that is whether or not Nicotine is actually harmful or not. And to clear this up, no, Nicotine is NOT harmful.
There’s a common misconception that people have and that’s Nicotine is one of the harmful and cancer causing chemicals produced in cigarette smoke and in actual fact it is not. There hasn’t been any proven evidence to show Nicotine to be harmful or have any sort of cancer causing properties should a person ingest it on a frequent basis.
Instead what it does have is highly addictive properties, which people will form an addiction for very easily and this addiction is a hard one to get over. But it is possible, and that can be done by opting to use an E-Cigarette and gradually ween yourself down on Nicotine so that you don’t have such a dependency on it.
But as mentioned, Nicotine isn’t harmful so if you wanted to continue on the same strength vape juice for however long (like I have) then so be it, it’s better than smoking!
Regulations on Vaping Around The World
If you didn’t already know, we actually have it pretty chill here in the UK when it comes to vaping regulations when comparing to other countries around the world. Sure, the TPD regulations were introduced back in 2016 that kind of put a hinderance on Vaping to some people, but it’s still manageable and we don’t have any other restrictions in place.
Some countries have stringent restrictions on Vaping put in place that are seriously impacting the vaping community, and forcing people back to smoking because they can’t gain access to Nicotine vape juice, or even flavoured vape juice other than tobacco or mint.
Australia is a prime example. For the last two years there’s been consistent restrictions put in place over the time period with Nicotine vape juice being banned from general sale and only obtainable via a pharmacy with a valid prescription from a GP. This hasn’t panned out well, as only 1% of GPs in the whole country are able to issue these prescriptions and vapers have been left in limbo not able to gain access to what they so desperately need to stay away from smoking cigarettes.
And further restrictions are set to be imposed later this year which pretty much spells the end of recreational vaping in Australia, a very sad state of affairs for the Aussie vaping community.
Stretching over to the USA, and the vaping laws and regulations differ from state to state, but several have imposed “flavour bans” which mean that no vape juice flavours can be sold other than tobacco or menthol/mint flavours. Plain and boring basically! This was done to stop vaping being so appealing to the younger generation, but instead it’s just caused a massive problem to adult users of E-Cigarettes not being able to access vape flavours they rely on to stop smoking, and reverting to black market sellers or sneaking it in from neighbouring states that do not have a ban in place.
And going further afield and to the more extreme end of the regulations, countries in Asia like Singapore & Thailand have completely outlawed Vaping and class it as a crime, and anyone caught vaping or even with a vape device could face a lengthy spell in prison…which really isn’t an ideal place to land from what I’ve read!
References & Resources
Below are links to evidence based facts and studies that I have referenced within this article. These are reputable and genuine sources of information that I will only ever use in all of my articles/blogs.
- E-Cigarettes: An Evidence Update 2016 Gov.UK
- Cochrane Update Showing E-Cigarettes Are Effective Quitting Tools 2021
- Nicotine Does Not Cause Cancer – Cancer Research UK