Welcome to 180 Smoke's Beginners Guide to Vaping!
Are you completely new to vaping and looking for a quick orientation so you can make an informed choice? No problem—we’ve got you covered! Welcome to 180 Smoke's beginner's guide to vaping!
There are three main elements to any vape kit, regardless of the size:
- tank and coil
- the e-liquid that goes inside the tank
- the battery or mod that powers it
Tank & Coil
Let’s start with the tank and coil first, because they dictate what kind of e-liquid you’ll want to use, and how much power you’ll need.
Tanks fall into one of two main categories:
Mouth to lung tanks have a tight, restrictive draw. This allows you to pull the vapour into your mouth before inhaling, simulating the experience of smoking. These tanks use high resistance coils that don’t consume very much e-liquid or power, so while tanks’ sizes and amounts of vapour they produce vary, the devices themselves can be very small.
Direct to lung tanks are typically larger and yield a higher volume of vapour than mouth to lung tanks. With direct to lung tanks, you’ll want to inhale the vapour directly into your lungs. These tanks use lower resistance, higher powered coils, so they are known to consume e-liquid at higher rates, but will often produce more flavour.
The coil head contained inside of the tank is the part that turns e-liquid into vapour. It consists of two components—a metal wire that is heated, and a wick to absorb e-liquid (usually cotton). Coils will degrade over time, so they will need to be replaced every 1–4 weeks on average, depending on the frequency of use.
To extend the lifespan of a coil, you should avoid running it at too high of a wattage or letting it go dry. Still, always be prepared to replace your coil if you start noticing a burnt flavour or experience leaking.
Sometimes there is more than one coil option for a single tank. Recommended wattage ratings are commonly printed on the side of the coil, indicating how much power should be used. Wattage ratings are a good indicator of how much vapour it will produce, and how much battery power you will need to use it.
In newer pod systems, the coils are built directly into the pod, so when the coil needs to be changed, the entire pod will need to be replaced.
E-liquid consists of four main ingredients:
- vegetable glycerin (VG)
- propylene glycol (PG)
- food flavourings
- nicotine (if applicable)
High VG e-liquids are thicker and produce large volumes of dense vapour. Because of this, they’re most suitable for the larger coils used in direct to lung tanks. E-liquids high in PG are thinner and produce less vapour, but will create a stronger throat hit. This makes them more compatible with smaller coils found in mouth to lung tanks.
Avoid using high VG e-juice in mouth to lung tanks, as the thicker liquid takes longer to wick into the coil’s cotton and will likely run it dry. Avoid using high PG e-liquid in direct to lung tanks, as thinner liquid paired with a larger coil will make your tank more susceptible to leaking.
E-liquid flavour preferences are extremely personal and subjective—some vapers like to stick with tobacco flavours because it’s a familiar taste, while others like to disassociate from tobacco completely and go for fruit, dessert, or mint flavours. Each vaper’s flavour preferences will be unique, so go with your gut and try out multiple flavours when first starting to find the flavours that work best for you.
Appropriate nicotine levels are completely dependant on what kind of tank is being used and how much vapour it produces, because the higher the ratio of nicotine, the stronger the throat hit and greater the overall intake.
It’s recommended that direct to lung tanks only be used with 0mg–6mg of nicotine, with 3mg being the most common. Higher nicotine levels in direct to lung tanks can irritate the throat and have an off-putting bitter flavour.
If you’re unsure which nicotine strength is right for you, aim on the lower side—most vapers will eventually use lower strength e-liquids but may throw ones with too much nicotine in the trash.
Since mouth to lung tanks produce smaller amounts of vapour, they can be used with higher nicotine e-liquid, like 12mg and above.
A new option available to mouth to lung vapers is nicotine salt e-liquid, which more closely simulates the experience of smoking. Nicotine salt is the naturally occurring state of nicotine found in tobacco, which provides a faster rate of nicotine absorption and a smoother inhale.
Because of this, nicotine salt e-liquids are available in far higher concentrations, but these should only be used in low-powered devices that produce small amounts of vapour. High-level nicotine salt e-liquids should not be used in direct to lung devices.
The power source is known as a battery or mod. They range greatly in functionality, and their requirements are dictated by the tank and coil head used. Often, the physical size of the mod will be directly related to the size of the tank it’s powering.
Batteries for pod system and vape pens are normally small and easy to operate, using automatic draw or a single button activation with little to no power customization.
Mods that allow for variable voltage, variable wattage, temperature control, and power curve will allow you to customize your vaping experience.
Larger tanks and coils requiring more power will often need larger mods that use removable high-drain battery cells. The higher the number of battery cells in a mod, the higher its power and longer its battery life will be, but this also contributes to the weight of the device. With removable battery mods, it’s a good idea to have extra sets of charged batteries so that your vaping experience is not interrupted.
If you want to avoid scrolling through our entire catalog of products, we’ve made it easy for you with links to our pre-configured all-inclusive bundles below. They range in size and functionality, but each one includes everything you’ll need as a new vaper: a tank with coils, a suitable mod with external batteries (where necessary), e-liquid, and a charger.
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