Your Comprehensive Guide to Vaping
Table Of Contents:
Vaping is a revolutionary past time, a hobby, and an alternative to smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Vaping has taken the nation, and the world, by storm in the last several years. Finally, we have a technology and a product that allows us to engage in a hobby that’s fun and entertaining. We finally have something we can do to create relaxation and happiness. At long last and after many failed attempts into this arena, we have something that can permanently free us from the horrible grips of tobacco addiction, be it in the form of cigarettes or in the form of chewing tobacco.
So why vape? Vaping is just healthier. That’s the common denominator of why vaping exists, and that was the initial idea behind the creation of vaporizers, though now the technology and the products have created a following that includes far more than just ex-smokers, but people who also just want to vape for the sake of vaping. Using vaporizers is a much healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, and it is a fun pastime too
Cigarettes are immensely bad for the human body, and the damages that they do go far above and beyond the mainstream lung damage and risk of lung cancer that they create and that we hear about all the time. Truthfully, there are 599 additives put into your generic cigarette. Once a flame is applied to a cigarette and it is lit up, those additives activate and create 4,000 chemical compounds of their own from the combustion. Some of these chemicals include as high of risk items as:
- Carbon Monoxide
- Nitrogen Oxides
- Hydrogen Cyanide
In addition to that, there are at least forty-three different carcinogens that are currently released in mainstream smoking and second-hand smoke that we know about, though more are found every single year. Not only does vaping have no smoke or combustion-related ill effects, vaping only involves about four different ingredients, not 4,000. These ingredients are simply:
- Propylene Glycol (polyethylene glycol, or vegetable glycerin specifically)
- Certain kinds of flavoring deepening on the juice
- Water (good old fashioned h3O)
From the get go and in the long run too, vaping is a revolutionary and immensely more healthy and sensible recourse to smoking, all hobby bonuses and past time enjoyment levels aside.
The History Behind Vaping
Vaping hasn’t been around for a very long time, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t created a little bit of its own history in that short time. Because of the skyrocketing interest in vaping and it’s over all popularity, the subject and the technology has changed a lot in the last few years to make it more successful and efficient. Many have loved it. Some have spoken out against it. All of this together has made quite the history for it.
Vaping actually started in the 1960s. Well, at least that’s when electronic cigarettes were first invented. But they didn’t really take off as the technology wasn’t quite there yet to make them as efficient and as effective as they are today, and like the yoyo, the gigapet, and those old “wheels in your shoes” fad, the idea died out pretty quickly. Vaping began to take the nation by storm just a few years ago. The technology, the science, and the practical art form behind vaping have changed a lot in a short time.
We finally have the technology, (and have had it since about 2008), to work scientific and technological wonders with vaporizers. Nowadays vapers know just how reliable the vaping industry is now, and they have the ability to create their perfect mod and are more than prepared to spend their days doing just that as not only a way to avoid smoking cigarettes, but also as a hobby too. The world was not ready for such genius in the 1960’s, but one thing is clear, there is no stopping the vape life now.Definitions: Know Your Vape!
The best way to have a great vaping experience is to understand the subject matter very well. The first place to start is to learn the terminology of vaping. It’s a pretty simple concept really and there aren’t that many words to learn, but it’ll make a difference if one knows them:
- Atomizer: The atomizer is the heart of your vaporizer. The atomizer is the key part in your vaporizer that turns the actual liquid juice into its water vapor form. It does this by heating a special coil that is in contact with the filler material containing the liquid form of the juice.
- Cartomizer: A cartomizer is more of a historic piece. It was the old atomizer. It serves the same basic purpose, and it can be found in old e-cigarettes that actually look exactly like real cigarettes. A cartomizer can be packed with a material known as “poly-fill”, which is an artificial filler, and which basically serves the same purpose as vaping juice.
- Clearomizer: Clearomizers are often the beginner’s choice in vaping. They serve the same purpose as an atomizer, and they are very easy to use. Clearomizers also have the excellent benefit of being completely see-through. The user can see how much is left in the tank at any one time.
- Coils: Another crucial, rudimentary part to vaping, the coil is that little bit of vital wire that is used to vaporize the e liquid by creating an electrical circuit that passes through the liquid and the filler material. The coil is usually made up of either Nichrome or Kanthal wire.
- Dripping: Here again we see the customizability of vaping. A lot of vape enthusiasts just use a vaporizer that has a cartridge that holds their liquid. Drip vaping is different. This method is done by adding a few drops of pure e-liquid directly into the atomizer chamber itself instead of using a cartridge of some kind. This method has been proven to be the one that gives the best vapor quantity and flavor quality by far but of course takes the added time restraint of always having to, “drip” one’s vape.
- Juice: Juice is just another name for the e-liquid, which is simply the actual water-based liquid that contains the nicotine, the flavoring, and the glycerin necessary to vape.
- Kanthal: Mentioned above, Kanthal is a type of wire used to make a coil. Kanthal is considered to be the best wire for people who want to modify and adjust their own vaporizers to meet their needs.
- Ohm: This is just how electricity is measured, and is a generic term. However, it has a lot to do with vaping as ohms are used to measure how much work the vaporizer is doing to produce vapor. A lower number ohm indicates lower resistance and therefore the faster heating of a coil.
- RDA: This stands for Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. Rebuildable atomizers vary in design as they are intended to be adjustable and modifiable by those who purchase them. Some RDAs have fabric wicks, while some use mesh and Kanthal combinations. Rebuildable atomizers are meant to save on cost and be readily fixable and also changeable so that the owner can adjust his or her vaporizer as his or her tastes change.
- RTA: This stands for a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. This is the exact same concept as an RDA, but for a cartridge/tank version of a vaporizer, not a dripping atomizer as is the case with an RDA.
- Wick: The wick is the conductor in a vaporizer. It’s the crucial piece of material that allows the magic to happen. Wicks are used to essentially deliver vaporizer juice to the coil itself. Most atomizers use a wick that is made from silica cord. They can come in other forms that are better suited for other vaporizers like steel mesh, fiberglass, cotton, and even ceramic materials.
Types of Vaping
There are lots of different ways to vape, and different people will make their own choices on how best to engage in this hobby. The different types are there because people have different tastes, so the technology of vaping has changed and adjusted and evolved to create many different sub-classes of vaping to suit anyone’s interests.
RDA Vape vs. Tank Vape
This is the first question on anyone’s mind who is interested in getting into vaping. Do I go with an RDA vape or a RTA vape? These are the two main distinctions of the types of vaping. The RDA vaping technique allows for more customization, bigger vapor clouds, and better quality flavor, but it requires more maintenance and hands-on time spent with the vaporizer too. One will also have to carry his or her juice around with the vaporizer too. An RTA is also customizable too to a degree, and though some say the quality of the actual vaping isn’t quite as good, there is only about thirty percent the amount of maintenance needed on these vaporizers than what is needed for the RDAs. One will have to make their own decision based off of personal interests and overall time to hand.
Sub Ohm Vaping
Sub Ohm vaping is all about bigger vapor clouds and more intense flavor. Considered to be more of an advanced form of vaping, people who vape at, “sub ohms”, rig their vaporizers to produce vapor at less than one ohm, hence the name. With sub ohm vaping, aficionados will get a bigger cloud and more of the juice flavor in their mouths, but the sensation will not be quite the same as smoking a cigarette is, which is for many the reason why vaping is begun. Cartomizers/Above Ohm Vaping
This is the flip side of sub ohm vaping, and it was the first type of vaping to enter the marketplace. Sub ohm vaping is a newer trend, and is therefore grabbing a lot of attention. Using a cartomizer and an, “above one ohm” system on an RDA or a RTA will produce something that is a lot more like smoking a cigarette. Even with the popularity that sub ohm vaping has garnered, cartomizer and above ohm vaping is still very popular as it mimics smoking cigarettes, which is a lot of the reason why most vapers are vaping to begin with.
Which One is Best for Me
It all comes down to personal preference. Do you want bigger clouds? Do you want something that resembles smoking a cigarette? Do you want something customizable? Do you want something that is low maintenance? Most vaping companies will advise you to start with something simple and easy to maintain as your first setup. First of all, you need to find out what you like in vaping and what you don't like. A basic, simple starter’s kit can do just that for you. Then once you have some vaping experience under your belt you can start making choices on which direction you want to go in.
A Guide to Vaping Essentials and Where to Get Them
A vaporizer has a lot of essential components, and because the hobby is so user-friendly and customizable, most of these components can be swapped out and replaced with other brands and other modifications, all to fit the owner’s personal tastes. Listed below are all of the major components of vaping and where to get them:
- Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs)
Here we have the meat and potatoes of a vaporizer. Take a good hard look at your options for your RTA, as this is the base component of your unit that everything else will build off of.
- Rebuildable Drip Atomizers (RDAs)
Often thought to be the veteran’s choice in vaping, RDAs offer more quality per hit, but more maintenance per hit too. These should also be studied closely and compared back and forth with other options. Keep in mind for RTAs and RDAs that it might not be a bad idea to check out your local vape shop, as it can be tricky to compare and contrast several options of such key components without having someone to provide a second opinion.
Mods are defined by the type of vaporizer machine itself chosen by the enthusiast. With how much interest and success has come about from the vaping market, there has been a resulting flood of different types of mods.
- Mech Mods
Mech mods take customization to the next level. Mech mods are generally speaking of variable voltage and variable wattage both and have loads of other customizable features.
- Variable Wattage Mods
Variable wattage mods are great because they can change the voltage and strength of the device with the click of a button, ideal for a vaporizer that is shared by a couple, or for someone who desires different strengths of hits at different times.
An essential supply item for any vape enthusiast, cotton is the gateway between the electric powers of your vaporizer and your e liquid.
Coils are another essential supply item for any vaporizer. These too are very customizable, depending on the person’s preference.
- Pre-made vs. DIY
A big choice that many vape enthusiasts face is whether or not to buy a pre-made vape or to buy the individual parts themselves and put something together. It is generally recommended for beginners to buy a pre-made set up, whereas more experienced vape lovers often choose to have their second vaporizer to be a custom built one.
Another crucial element to vaping, your wire is what conducts the electricity output sent to your coil from the battery.
Often thought to be the best kind of wire out there, Kanthal wire is a do it yourself vaper’s favorite type of wire. It is thought to be the best quality and to produce the best overall output.
- Temperature Controlled Wire
Temperature controlled wire is simply higher quality wire. When vaping first became popular, vaping enthusiasts had a lot of trouble getting their wire to last for more than a few dozen hits before it had to be replaced. When electricity runs through something enough, (unless it is prepared for such an occurrence), it eventually gets burned out. Witness your phone charger that needs replacing after just a few months or so. Temperature controlled wire is made to last.
This Ni200 just means nickel wire. Some vapors prefer it over chrome, titanium or iron wire. It produces different effects dependent upon which vaporizer it’s in.
Titanium wire is actually still relatively new on the market, (but it has been successful), and is used in many sub-ohm tank coil heads to achieve a safer level of temperature control for the user.
- Stainless Steel
Due to its relatively low cost, wide availability on the market, and the simple if groundbreaking fact that it can be bought in multiple gauges, (more options for true modifiers), stainless steel wire provides the true vape enthusiast with almost literally endless combinations of different vaping wires.
When it all comes down to it, your battery is one of the most important parts of your vaporizer as it is your battery that powers it all and brings the magic of vaping to life. Just like all other aspects of vaping, batteries are totally customizable and adjustable. Different battery types, sizes, and brands are available, but only certain batteries will fit with certain mods, so you have to do your research before you go out and purchase one.
Typically, the three main types of batteries that you will see the most are ICR (LiCoO2 or LiCd), IMR (LiMn), and Hybrid. The advice is to pick the vaping mod you like the most, and then to do research on what kinds of batteries work with that selection, and go from there.
The great thing about vaporizer batteries is that they are rechargeable. Goodness knows we’d go broke from buying batteries if they weren’t. It might not seem like it, but you should take your time picking a charger for your batteries. Of the several chargers available on the market to vapers everywhere, it is usually agreed that the best and safest chargers are known as, “smart chargers”. Smart chargers usually offer a wide plethora of features such as multiple charging modes, various safety features like over-voltage protection, and last but not least over-discharge protection.
Your wall adapter is an important part of your hobby and enthusiasm as a vaper too. It is the component that actually supplies power to your battery charging unit. These can be bought in varying qualities, so make sure you find one that will supply the right amount of power to your charger.
E liquids, also called, “Juice”, are one of the most important components to vaping. It is the fuel that feeds the vaping machine. They are so customizable and so modifiable and there are so many different types of vaping juices out there that one could write an entire book about them and, as more types and flavors of juice get added each year, one would have to write a second edition of that book as soon as the first one was finished.
In more ways than one, the e-liquid that you end up putting in your mod is actually more crucial to the quality of your experience than your mod itself is. E-liquids and juices should be researched more than all other components, as there are so many different styles and brands out there. A lot of people are now going with organic vape juices to avoid the chemical aspect of traditional vape juices, essentially making the whole vaping experience even healthier than it was before.
- E-Liquid Flavors: There’s almost a different flavor of e-liquid for every vaper in this country. There are thousands upon thousands of different flavors to pick from. What’s more, different brands’ version of the same flavor will often taste different. For example, Crazy Vapors watermelon flavored e-liquid might taste quite different from Liquid Barn’s watermelon flavor. To find the right flavor for you, first concentrate on the quality of the brand's liquid itself and try a few different brands till you find one that you like. Then start experimenting with that brand’s different flavors.
- How They’re Made: E-liquid is so simple and so harmless and so safe it kind of takes beginners a minute to process it. In fact, a lot of people make their own juice and why not? It’s easy and e-liquid is simple. All that goes into e-liquid are a few simple chemicals, (all of which are totally safe for human consumption and they are used in cooking too), a very small amount of nicotine, (some vape enthusiasts smoke juices that don't have any nicotine in them), and water.
- Ingredients: E-liquid is made by combining at the most, five different components. These are: VG (Vegetable Glycerin), PG (Propylene glycol), Flavor, Nicotine, and distilled water. The VH makes up about sixty to seventy percent of the chemicals in you juice, the PG makes up about ten, the flavor is about ten, nicotine is anywhere from zero to three percent, and of course water is what all of this is dissolved in.
- 100% VG (PG-free) e-liquids: The more research that is done on pure VG vaping the more popular this method becomes. This might be the new face of e-liquid. It is more natural, (vegetable glycerin has very little additives and chemicals), it is easier on the body, and it often hits better.
- Organic Vape Juice: This takes 100% VG e-liquids to the next level. Many people started vaping to quit smoking because vaping is healthier right? What if it could be even healthier? Vaping opponents have had a lot to say about the chemicals involved in vaping. Now, there are hardly any chemicals in e-liquid to begin with, but organic vape juices take the health aspect of vaping to an even higher level. The best organic vape juices are actually USDA approved and are made in the U.S. Organic e-juice is still pretty new, but as the technique improves and advances it will probably take over all types of juice to make vaping an even more desirable alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Wicking Your Coil
The term, “wicking”, is defined as:
“The chemical process of osmosis where-in more concentrated fluid moves to an area of lesser concentration in an effort to find equilibrium in the given area that it resides in.”
Ever spill water on a paper towel and watch the water travel throughout the towel with no help from gravity or exterior forces? Same idea for vaping. To, “wick a coil”, simply means to add e-liquid through the drip method right into your coil and to soak your cotton or other filler with the e-liquid. This has to be done once every few hits or so, and the technique used varies depending on the mod being used.
The benefit to wicking your own coil means a stronger hit with bigger clouds and more flavor; the downside is the constant maintenance of having to do this. Most true vape enthusiasts do it, others who vape to avoid cigarettes prefer RTA mods that just allow them to add a large amount of juice into a tank that lasts them quite a while, hence negating the need for wicking.
How to Vape, and the Various Inhalation Techniques
One of the most commonly asked questions is, “So vaping sounds great, but how does one actually do it?” Just like with anything else, there’s a right way to vape, and a wrong way to vape. In fact, there are several right ways, and a few wrong ways. The two, basic, main ways of taking a hit off of your mod when vaping are known as Mouth To Lung (MTL), and Direct Lung Inhale (DLI). You'll get a different result with each technique:
- MTL vaping is mostly regarded as being very similar to smoking a cigarette. This is done like it sounds, you start by take the vapor into your mouth and savoring it there before inhaling it into the lungs.
- DLI vaping is more readily compared to that of the hit from a shisha pipe or bong instead. In this method, you draw the vapor straight down into your lungs, much like you would if you were breathing in deeply or sucking the air from a balloon. When vaping is done with this method the dense vapor quickly fills the lungs and skips the mouth for the most part.
Cleaning your Device
For a final note on vaping, this eBook wouldn’t be complete without a little data on how to clean your equipment. Vaporizers can get dirty pretty easily and as they are delicate and often expensive precision instruments they should be treated as such. You will get a lot more life out of your choice vaporizer if you clean it and take especially good care of it and you will be happy in the long run for those extra few minutes spent every week devoted to cleaning and general maintenance. It makes sense when you think about how much use you will get out of your vaporizer.
The Air Path
This is easily one of the most important parts of a vaporizer when it comes to keeping it clean, as it will get dirty the fastest. Take it off, wash it, and let it dry. You can use alcohol and Q-tips on it too.
Every type of vaping device out there has some kind of chamber or oven where you place your vaping material and product. This is where all the magic of electricity, heating, and vaporization occurs. Clean this part out really well too with a special liquid solution that can be purchased as a part of a vaporizer cleaning kit.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but since your mouth touches the mouthpiece over and over again, this piece should be cleaned with hot water and dish soap daily.
Screens and Canisters
These serve the same function as the chamber does, and should be cleaned in the same way. As for certain vape mods, this too is where all the magic happens and it needs to be well maintained for it to work properly.