I got my dripper set up on a vamo, 1.9ohm coil, craft cotton wick and vamp vape made up to 12mg from concentrate at 50/50 PG/VG. I’m surprised you all haven’t yelled at me to be quiet, I’m singing so loud. Heaven, I’m in heaven. Not bad for an idiot who didn’t know a dripper from a clearo three months ago, but then I have vaping resources and lots of folk have already provided good information. Beki see, Beki do. Three months in and I can’t for the life of me remember why I wanted to smoke. It’s an alien concept to me now.
I was on the phone to mum last night and she asked what I’d recommend to someone who was looking to switch.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, or a medical expert, I am giving my opinion and backing it up with the research I’ve found. Please draw your own conclusions and do your own research. My opinions should never be taken as medical advice. I am not a scientist, or researcher and I might be wrong.
This will all sound like a foreign language to you right now, but trust me it’ll make sense really quickly. The first thing I tell any smoker is that a lot of folk that try an ecig don’t intend to stop smoking. It happens by accident. Secondly, you don’t need willpower. Switching to a good ecig is about as stressful as changing brands of ciggies. Don’t for one second think of it as a QUIT ATTEMPT, because we all know what they’re like. You are not a quitter. Stop quitting. You’re switching.
The ecigs I suggest consist of a rechargeable battery and a clearomiser or atomiser which screws onto the top. The battery provides the power. The clearomiser or atomiser’s component parts are a wick, a coil and a container for the eliquid (juice). The wick soaks up juice which gets it to the coil, then when you press the button the coil heats up and produces the vapour for you to inhale.
Using an ecig is a different technique from smoking a cigarette. It takes a little while for the coil to heat up, and when it does the vapour production is not as instantaneous as a tobacco cigarette. An ecig should generally be used with long, gentle inhales, rather than the short, sharp drags taken from a cigarette. It also delivers nicotine in a different way. It takes 35 minutes (with 18mg juice) to boost your nicotine level to what you’d get from one cigarette, so you will find that you’re naturally using it more. Don’t worry about this; you’ll find your own level soon enough. As a smoker you’re used to titrating your nicotine level. It’s not something you have to think about unless you find that you’re having problems staying away from cigarettes, in which case I suggest trying a stronger nicotine level in your juice. More on juice later
What do I suggest as a starter kit?
For the very basic step up from a cigalike try an ego style battery with an evod style clearomiser like this one from vapercaper or this one from cloud nine vaping. The first has free juice with it (but you’ll need more than 10ml to start) and the second has a spare battery, which is a REALLY good idea. Vapers need backups to the backups of the backups. We can’t just nip to the garage at ‘rse AM bank holiday Monday for a new battery. Liberty flights do a good range of CE4 starter kits. Two of those kits come with 2 batteries, all of them come with 10ml of juice.
For something that you may well still be using in a years time try a variable voltage or wattage device such as the Innokin iTaste VV V3 and pair it with something like the Mini protank 2. Select the deal that bundles them together and again throws in 10ml of juice. This is what I started with, and is my top pick. A good alternative to that atomiser is the Naturevape N-Vape Mini Pro which would also do well on the iTaste, or an ego twist. The VV V3 has a passthrough charger, meaning you can vape while it’s charging. Don’t vape when it’s plugged into your computer USB port, you may overload the USB and kill that port. Between those devices you have a fair to decent chance of finding something good enough to let you make the switch. I’d still be looking to get a second battery as a backup though, whatever my first choice was, and probably another clearomiser/atomiser or two. If you have loved ones who smoke, definately save hassle and buy two of everything now. Trust me on this.
Your clearomisers/atomisers are refillable, but the coils in them won’t last forever. Get spare coil ‘heads’ for them. CE4 clearos don’t have replacement heads, and you have to replace the clearomiser itself every three weeks or so. Hey – you used to buy cigarettes that you burned. Vaping is still generally cheaper than smoking, even including this initial outlay*. Don’t skimp on your vape gear because it feels like you’re spending a lot to start off with. Don’t get juice in the chimney when you fill with juice and keep them clean. Rinse them out when you change juice flavours and dry thoroughly. Check no juice has got onto the battery connector regularly. If it sounds like the last drop of milkshake in the cup when you take a toot, then you have a gurgle. Generally the answer is not to vape your tank dry. To cure it take the tank off the battery and blow through it GENTLY into a tissue.
Ejuice is made up from PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glyerin), with Nicotine and food safe PG based flavours. PG carries the flavour and gives you a throat hit, making vaping ‘feel’ like smoking on the throat. It doesn’t create a lot of vapour itself though, so to it they add the VG for that. A lot of the throat hit also comes from the nicotine concentration, so higher nic juices are more likely to grab you by the throat to say hello.
Juice is subjective; what I love, you might hate. You need more than 10ml to start with, and a variety of nicotine strengths. You also want more than just tobacco flavour. I have never yet found a chocolate flavour that didn’t taste like unsweetened cheap coco powder. I suggest an ‘RY4’ tobacco flavour, another tobacco, a fruit flavour, a caramel, a custard and something else that takes your fancy. I’d also suggest both 24mg, and 18mg strength, and at least one juice to be lower in PG, perhaps a 50/50 ratio. For juice the best thing you can do is wander into a good local bricks and mortar shop and try a few. Failing that, get samples from lots of different places. Here are some good online juice suppliers, there are others, but these I have tried and liked.
http://www.vapercaper.co.uk/collections/e-liquids Watermelon Squish is really nice.
http://www.vapology.co.uk/ Their tailor made caramel (double shot) is scrumptious.
http://www.scopesejuice.co.uk/ Apple pie!
http://t-juice.com/ Minty the Toff and Vamp Vape, Colonel Custard, in fact pretty much all of them.
http://www.steamgunk.co.uk/ are also lovely, they do 5ml samples so you can get different flavours/PG/VG ratios/nic strengths to try.
http://www.smokerainbow.com/ is a site I’ve never personally tried, but I have seen suggested a lot. You can get lots of tiny samples of juice from them for not much money. Might be worth a try if you’re really struggling to find stuff you like.
Edited to add: tobacco flavours that I have tried and liked include: Liberty Flights XO, both Supreme and Ultima. Slightly sweet, very pleasant. T-Juice UK Smokes (a drier flavour) and Hermano Rubio, strong and darkly sweet. None of these taste harsh to me. Note again that this is subjective.
If the juice you’re vaping tastes harsh or peppery and you can’t taste the flavour at all, try a lower nicotine level. If you still find it harsh, lower the PG level and up the VG.
For more information and other perspectives start here at the beginning of this blog. After that http://ukvapers.org/ are a friendly bunch and answer newbie questions without hassle. Use the site seach there too; your question may have been answered already. http://www.vapourtrails.tv/ is a fantastic bunch of people, go back through the archives of the shows or join them live while signed into chat, an unmissable experience. Log on to RY4 radio too, another happy eclectic mix of folk. Robert, the Armed Vaper , Phil Bursado and Vaping Cookie are good vaping youtubers, there are others but not so much for the beginner.
I’m not going to wish you luck switching to vaping because you don’t need it. All you need is the right set up for you; that is some juice you enjoy and something to vape it from that works for you. If the first thing you try doesn’t work, then there is something out there that will. Ask vapers, ask me, ask on the forums, don’t be afraid to say, “Beki, your mini protanks SUCK, what else might suit me?” There are more advanced options too, none of them necessarily better than what I’ve suggested here, just different. It’s all good as long as it’s keeping you switched, and that’s the main point after all. Best Friend says that all you will ever need is an Innokin Itaste MPV, V2 and 2 mini protanks, plus two or three juices of your choice which probably don’t include a tobacco flavour after the first fortnight. He’s quite happy with that, and even having tried a more advanced set up went back to the protank with a sigh of relief for the lack of hassle. The best vaping gear for you is the stuff that works to keep you vaping rather than smoking.
VAPING SAFETY. IMPORTANT.
Nicotine is classed as a poison in its pure form. Keep your Electronic Cigarette and cartridges / fluids locked away and out of the reach of children and pets. Toxic if swallowed. Very toxic in contact with skin. After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water. In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. In case of accident, or if you feel unwell seek medical advice immediately, show the label to the medical practitioner. Always use the manufacturers charger to recharge your ecig battery and never leave a charging battery (mobile phone, camera, laptop or ecig) unattended while charging. Always unplug your chargers when not in use. Check cords are not loose, frayed or damaged and that all connections are clear of juice.
*That is unless you get a severe case of shinyitis and start looking at all the more advanced gear. Don’t do that. Well, don’t do it YET anyway. You looked didn’t you. All the pretty shiny things on those websites. You don’t need them. No, really you don’t. OK, then put what you would have spent on smoking in a jar and save it up. Then spend only that on shinies.
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