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It’s now over eight years that I’m completely free from my addiction from those little cancer sticks.
I’ve seen people start vaping for many different reasons. Some friends started vaping just because it looked cool and they felt out of place when vapers would group together and vape. Vaping was interestingly a factor in peer pressure.
Others tried vaping to gain the health benefits of non-smokers such as whiter teeth and smoother skin. But the majority of vapers I know started vaping because they want to quit smoking and have a longer life through a better and healthier lifestyle.
Honestly, I had no intention of quitting because as a smoker, I enjoyed the daily routine of smoking with my morning coffee. Smoking and coffee was Batman and Robin for me. I thought I had no issues with breathing and could still play physically challenging sports.
One day, a friend passed me his personal vaporizer (PV) and asked me to give it a try. So I puffed on it and tasted yummy sweet strawberries!
I was hooked instantly!
The next day I bought my own pen type e-cigarette and then after a few painful weeks of withdrawal symptoms, I was finally free from smoking and vowed to myself to never light up another cigarette ever again.
Years of self-inflicted damage is not very evident unless you quit smoking. My idea that smoking didn’t have an effect on me was wrong. I was able to taste food again and was able to breathe better.
So why start vaping?
I do not recommend vaping to non-smokers and young adults that are just plain curious. But vaping is an effective way to stop the nasty smoking addiction and being clearly aware of this fact will lead you to a richer vaping experience.
Because you are reading this now, you are in the right place. The biggest mistake a newbie vaper could make is not asking questions. Vaping can also be considered as a social activity and joining online forums or local vape groups is a must to gain much needed encouragement if you are having trouble kicking that bad habit.
There is a wealth of resources available on Facebook and YouTube, and these vapers do this to help out fellow vapers. These videos are informative and very entertaining as well. I get a kick out of watching their weekly uploads.
Be reminded that vaping is continuously evolving and is constantly changing so always keep that in mind when taking in advice.
This guide is created in a way to remove all the complexities of vaping because there is a really steep learning curve to absorb it all in.
Vaping is complicated, but let’s simplify it here. We don’t want to scare you off by teaching you how to ride a bicycle and then a 1000cc motorcycle in just one day!
This journey takes time and I hope this guide will help break in the basics in a friendly and casual way.
To become a vaper, you only need a few simple things.
This powers your vaporizer and can be as small as a Zippo lighter or as big as smart phone. The most common ones are the 1800 series batteries that fit inside a holder or mod.
The 1800 series batteries are about as tall as your little finger but a bit chubbier. They are more powerful than your mom’s flashlight batteries and holds a charge much longer.
A vaper normally has a pair of these and always keeps them charged ready for action. A vaporizer can hold up to three batteries depending on the brand and design of the device.
The atomizer (which we sometimes call an “atty”) has a coil inside that heats up to vaporize your E-liquid. These coils are usually made of special wire called kanthal. Think about a miniature car suspension spring, they look similar.
To soak up the e-liquid, there is a piece of cotton inside the coil so that there is a continuous supply of e-juice when you are vaping.
There are two common types of atomizers, a dripper and a tank.
A dripper needs to receive a few drops of e-liquid before the cotton dries up. Thus, it’s called a dripper atty. A vaper using a dripper atty will have a bottle of e-juice handy and needs to place a few drops of e-liquid to keep the cotton wet.
A tank atomizer holds e-liquid inside the atomizer and lets you vape without the need to drip. This is definitely more convenient for a beginner vaper and is usually the atomizer included when you purchase a E-cigarette kit.
Electronic juice or vape juice is the liquid that is vaporized by the atomizer into flavorful vapor.
E-juices have three components: Glycerine, Flavoring and Nicotine.
The glycerine, specifically vegetable glycerin gives off the huge cloudy vapor, flavoring gives the e-juice its taste and the nicotine gives you a throat hit (the scratchy feeling on your throat when inhaling the vapor).
As taste is subjective, finding your favorite juice is very important if you want to continue vaping.
Always look for well-known e-juice manufacturers that use the best ingredients.
I’ve deliberately omitted complex terms such as temperature control, ohms, volts, wattage, resistance, nickel and titanium wires, Pg/Vg ratio and all other terms that you will also naturally learn as we go along.
Smoking involves the burning of tobacco material to produce smoke. Vaping on the other hand vaporizes e-liquid to produce vapor. To smoke, you need a cigarette and lighter. To vape, you need to have a battery, atomizer and e-juice. Hope everything is clear so far.
This is probably the most frequently asked question for everyone who wants to start vaping. The devices we were using a few years back pales in comparison to the features and power of the devices we have today.
Consider yourself lucky! You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars for your vaporizer set up; the price of vaporizer kits have gone down, while retaining great quality.
Here are some factors to consider for your first vaporizer:
How much are you willing to spend?
The initial purchase of your first vaporizer will be the most costly part of vaping. But when you break things down into a span of a few months, vaping is still cheaper than smoking.
Vapers commonly have two or three devices and atomizers as they become enthusiasts and want to experience the many different sides of vaping.
If you suddenly see yourself in this situation, then it will be an expensive hobby for you.
Consider other basics such as a decent charger and a continuous supply of e-juice for your daily needs.
Smaller setups are easier to carry around and fits comfortably inside your pocket. These however have less battery life and only allows you to vape in a shorter amount of time before recharging your battery.
Bigger is not usually better as a three-battery setup is very heavy and carrying it in your pocket gives you an uneasy bulge akin to a pack of cigarettes. But a bigger vaporizer has battery life that lasts for several days.
Vapor or Flavor:
A vaper will lean towards bigger clouds or better taste. As you will discover in the near future, different set ups will allow you to chose one over the other.
My recommendation on your first vaporizer is a complete kit within a reasonable budget of $100 to $150, has a single battery setup for portability and then a tank atomizer for convenience.
There are hundreds of choices available, but for a first-time purchase, I’d point you to a local vape shop so that you can handle and get the feel of several devices before taking your pick.
You can add an additional atomizer and several e-juice bottles later on. My first kit lasted only two months before it died but these new kits are known to last for several years and still perform well if not abused.
Make sure to check out reviews on YouTube before committing to a purchase. Weigh the pros and cons of each device, because soon you will become inseparable from it like your phone and wallet.
The more you know, the more you questions you’ll have. This is good.
Within a few days, you will start experimenting with different settings on your device and you will find your sweet spot.
Hopefully the withdrawal symptoms go away quickly as you wean yourself from those cigarettes. Find motivation from your family and get moral support from vapers around the world.
Remember that vaping is a harm reduction tool and is not the same as fully quitting smoking and vaping altogether.
You are in for a fun adventure, a flavorful one at that! Each experience is unique and as long as vaping keeps you off those cancer sticks, you have our 101% support.
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