By switching from smoking tobacco cigarettes to vaping, you have already come a long way on your journey towards feeling healthier and having more money to spare, but by learning more about vaping you can have an even better and more satisfying experience. Unfortunately the learning curve can be quite intimidating at first for most newcomers and this is largely because we are spoilt for choice thanks to the vast array of e-cigs available- not to mention all of the technical jargon used to describe them- which can get really confusing if you’re new to vaping. It is important that you don’t ever despair- some smokers do turn their backs on vaping after their first attempt because they make very simple mistakes which could have been avoidable with just a little bit of knowledge and understanding. In this article, I am going to look at some very common mistakes that people who are new to vaping seem to make time and time again. All of them are very easy to fix and once you have sorted them out, you can continue to vape with confidence!
I’ll be using some terminology in this article that newcomers to vaping may not be familiar with, so if you come across a term you don’t know, you can look it up in the Vapable.com Vaping Dictionary!
Poor quality e-cigs are probably the single biggest cause of smokers giving up on vaping. With the vaping industry growing so quickly, many manufacturers are hopping onto the e-cig bandwagon and unfortunately, some of them produce poor quality products which give the rest of the industry a bad name. People who are new to vaping don’t really know what to look for in an e-cigarette, which means that many of them are left buying blind, and a great number of newcomers get ripped off in the process.
The first purchase for many people might be a cigalike- an electronic cigarette that closely resembles a tobacco cigarette and even has an LED which lights up when the user draws on it. These are usually sold at supermarkets or petrol stations and for many people these are the way into vaping. They quickly realise how poor and ineffective they are and unfortunately some of them may then return to smoking- I know, because that’s exactly what I did! Cigalikes have insufficient amounts of e-liquid to satisfy a smoker and what’s more, their battery life is poor.
Others may begin their journey by purchasing a refillable tank system, which is much better than a cigalike, but do make sure that you invest in a good kit, not a cheap one from a market stall that might have dodgy, dangerous batteries, or poor quality, bad tasting e-liquid that leaks out from a poorly fitting tank.
2. Using the Wrong E-Liquid Mix
There is much more to finding a good e-liquid than just the flavour. E-liquid is made of two separate liquids; propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine.
Propylene glycol (PG) is a thinner liquid which gives e-cig vapour more of a throat hit, which helps when you’re switching because it feels more like inhaling tobacco smoke. Vegetable glycerine (VG) is a thick, gloopy liquid which produces larger clouds of vapour.
When you are new to vaping, it’s important to work out what mix ratio of PG/VG works best for you. Some people find PG far too harsh on their throat and find that high VG mixes are much smoother, whereas others prefer high PG mixes. It’s best to start out vaping a 50%PG, 50%VG mix and see how you get on with it- you can then experiment with other e-liquids with either higher PG or VG, depending on how harsh or smooth you prefer your vapour to be.
Another common mistake made by new vapers is deciding on the right strength of nicotine eliquid. Too high and it will seem harsh but too low will be unsatisfying. Again, a little experimentation will be needed before you find your sweet spot. As a rough guide to nicotine strength we recommend:
- Heavy smoker – 20 or more a day-18mg
- Medium smoker 10-20 a day- 12mg
- Light/social smoker – up to ten a day-6mg
3. Not Understanding Batteries When You’re a Newbie
It goes without saying that a battery is a vital part of an electronic cigarette and it is absolutely essential that you have a basic understanding of how batteries work so that you can make the right purchase, as well as having some knowledge of battery safety (which is such an important topic, we cover it in a separate article).
Not all batteries are the same- some are designed to last longer than others before they need to be recharged. The electrical capacity of a battery is measured in mAh, which stands for milliamp hours- in other words how long it will last between charges. The bigger the mAh, the longer the battery can power your e-cig. If you use your e-cigarette a lot, you should go for a battery with a mAh larger than 1300 to get a full day’s vaping, but people that don’t vape regularly could get by with a 650 mAh rating. Generally, the higher the battery’s capacity the more expensive it will be, but it may be worth it in the long run because it avoids the inconvenience of recharging as often. It is also a good idea to have a spare battery to use as a back-up in case you find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck without a charger.
4. Not Priming a New Atomiser Before Using It
The more you use your e-cig, the more the atomiser will wear out. Eventually this will make your e-cig give less vapour and the flavour of the e-liquid will begin to taste poor. Everyday vapers using normal atomisers can expect their atomiser to last around two weeks before it needs replacing, but heavier vapers might find they need replacing more regularly. Fortunately, atomisers are easy to replace and are fairly cheap, but before you start vaping with a new atomiser it is important that you prime it first before you start vaping. If you forget to do this, you will burn the wicking material and get a horrible burnt taste plus a harsh sensation on your throat (known as a dry-hit).
Priming an atomiser is simply just a case of making sure that the wicking material is thoroughly saturated with your e-liquid before you start vaping. To do this, follow these steps:
- Drip a small amount of e-liquid into the juice holes of the atomiser, wait for it to soak in and then repeat it once more.
- Screw the atomiser onto your tank and fill it up with e-liquid.
- Leave the atomiser for 5-10 minutes to allow the wick to fully soak up the e-liquid.
- Gently suck on the e-cig without the power on. This should draw out any bubbles of air that might still be trapped in the atomiser.
- Go ahead and take your first drags with the power on.