I know a lot of you smoke, my area of expertise is Vaping/Electronic Cigarettes. My job is to help people live longer and get them to stop murdering their own lungs with regular (analog) cigarettes. The number one question I get from FGC members or anybody that walks into one of the stores I help manage is, “There’s so much stuff, I have no idea what I’m looking at or what to buy, can you help me? I am so sick of smoking.” Well, this community I believe is big enough for me to want to reach out and help some people on SRK.
An electronic cigarette, e-cig, personal vaporizer or mod, is a smoking cessation device, even though we can’t call them that right now because of the FDA not having their regulation and final decisions made up. I was a pack a day smoker for 6 1/2 years of my life or so, since I was about 13 years old, it was disgusting, destroyed my health in five years time, smelled like shit, tasted like shit, and was a pain in the ass in the winter. I haven’t bought a pack of cigarettes in about a year and two months now, and I’ve fallen in love with the technology that we have to play with and stop smoking with. Let’s get to the basic terminology and use of such items.
This is your battery. These are typically called “mods”, as they come in different sizes and form factors and effect the way your vaporize your liquids. Notice that you don’t see a little stick with a light on the end of it that looks like an actual cigarette. That’s because those are shit. Don’t even bother, waste of time, money, and frustration, this is my opinion though, as others have quit smoking successfully with them. Those were dark times. I’ll go over a few in this picture. Note that all of these batteries are rechargable and come in different form factors.
The first two are what are called “ego batteries” these are small, very light, and the absolute bottom line that I would recommend someone starting out with. They will need to be charged every night, the battery isn’t stellar and there’s no way for you to vape at more advanced levels with this battery.
The bigger SS tube is a variable wattage/variable voltage single battery mod.(you adjust the amount of power) As is the one on the far right. These offer the ease of being able to carry extra batteries and to swap them out freely throughout the day and will typically be used for intermediate setups and comfort enthusiasts. These are going out of style to things that you see in the middle, the box.
Box mods are the current direction of vaping innovation and flow, smaller, more life, more power, make it. Is what the industry is thinking. They offer superior battery life in most cases. (You can charge an iPhone twice through the passthrough connection of the box shown on a full charge, for instance), and they offer the same, if not vastly more options for power than the variable tubes.
So what do all these mods do at the end of the day? Heat up electrical coils, that are surrounded by wicking material, and soaked in liquid that is then boiled off and inhaled. What do we keep this liquid and these coils and wicks inside of? Atomizers. Atomizers are assemblies that contain usually a tank section to hold liquid, and an electrical coil assembly that screws into your battery. From left to right; Coil head that contains your electrical coila nd wicking material, adapter ring (not always used), base section that you get airflow from and screw into your battery. The tank section, and the drip tip, for mouth comfort.
Your atomizer sits on top of your battery, and is heated using a switch that’s wherever the hell it is on your battery.
Here is the setup that I highly recommend to anybody new to vaping or into light intermediate use.
And this atomizer. http://www.vapordna.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ASB002
These were both released this year and have blown me away in terms of entry level vaping and how efficient and satisfying it is to a new and even an advanced user.
Let’s talk liquid now, the final component, don’t buy crap liquid, it will make your entire experience crap. I’m sure if you watch tournaments you’re seeing Steam Co. ads everywhere you look, I haven’t personally tried them, but I’ve heard it’s tasty, as a new user in the FGC or whatever I’d probably buy some. If you’re a pack a day smoker, you want a higher nicotine content like 12mg or 18mg. If you’re a casual smoker you might not even want nicotine in your liquids at all, or small amounts. If you’re looking to blow huge clouds of vapor, next to none is highly advised.
Liquid is broken down into 4 ingredients; Propolyne Glycol, a agent used to make anti-freezer safer should it be consumed, used to clean surgical rooms as well and in asthma inhalers, it bonds with flavorings and the nicotine itself very well and transfers flavor very easily. The downside of PG heavy juices is that they add “throat hit” or that simulated kick in the throat when you smoke cigarettes, the more PG, the harsher that throat hit will get and it’s very thin liquid, which means the vapor production is minimal. There’s Vegetable Glycerin, which is a skin care product, it’s also used in almost any processed food product we consume, as embalming fluid, and as the base for fog machines. VG is very thick and syrupy, which makes big, thick, dense clouds of vapor, it doesn’t carry flavorings as easily and takes longer for the liquid to mature if it’s a complex flavor. These are all trade offs and personal preference. I would suggest starting with a 50/50 blend and working from there on what you like.
This is a very simple starter guide at the moment to answer those newbie questions that I get hit with a lot. If you’d like, I can also get into why I personally continue to vape, which is cloud chasing. Feel free to ask any questions in the thread and if they’re frequent ones that I’ve forgotten I will periodically update the OP. Smoking is dead, vaping is the future, and the future is now.
Photo credit to my friend Leo Lee