New to vaping? Start here!

We know that starting vaping can seem really overwhelming to someone looking to ditch the cigarettes and try vaping for the first time. It seems like there are thousands of different devices and all sorts of complicated terminology that can mean making the switch seems daunting. In this guide, we'll cover:

  1. The basics of vaping - what is it?
  2. How do I know which vape to buy?
  3. What happens when you switch from smoking to vaping?
  4. Tips on how to handle the transition between smoking and vaping
  5. Vaping lingo explained

1. The basics of vaping - what is it?

E-cigarettes provide nicotine in the form of a vapour, as opposed to cigarettes which produce smoke. Vapour means heating, while smoking means burning. E-liquid can also come in nicotine free versions too - these are perfect for those who just want something to emulate the action of smoking. E-cigarettes contain no tobacco, no tar and they do not produce carbon monoxide. In a review by Public Health England in 2016, it was concluded that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. E-liquid ingredient lists are normally short - containing nicotine, flavouring, and PG/VG (explained below). Many people find e-cigarettes an effective way to quit smoking as they provide the nicotine, the sensation and the physical motion of smoking. It's important to find the right kit and the right e-liquid to make sure your chances of quitting are as high as possible. For answers to the most frequently asked questions, read our Stop Smoking, Start Vaping guide.

Read the next section to find out how to pick the perfect vape kit!

2. How do I know which vape to buy?

If you're looking to purchase a vape kit for the very first time, we recommend checking out our Your First Vape Kit page. We update it regularly with the latest and greatest vape devices that are designed to satisfy the urge for a cigarette, as well as being easy and simple to use. Most of them are pen-style devices, meaning they can fit easily into a pocket or handbag. For these starter kits, we recommend e-liquid from our Core range. The Core range is 50/50 PG/VG. Not sure what these terms mean? Check out section 5 for an explanation. Feeling confused? Get in touch and we'll help you find your perfect vape starter kit. 

There are six main types of vape kit: cigalikes, open or refillable pod systems, closed or pre-filled pod systems, pen-style, sub-ohm pen style and box mod. Below are some examples of each type.


1. Cigalikes 2. Open Pod Systems3. Closed Pod Systems4. Pen-style5. Sub-ohm pen6. Box mod
(10 Motives)(Smok Nord)(JUUL Starter Kit)(Innokin T18 II)(Smok Stick V9)(Vaporesso Luxe)
  1. Cigalikes are built to taste and feel exactly like a cigarette. You can find disposable models and versions where you can replace the cartridge.
  2. Open pod systems hold the e-liquid in a small pod which you can refill with e-liquid of your choice. They are small and portable.
  3. Closed pod systems do not require any refilling - all you need to do is insert an already-filled pod. You must pick from the selection of flavours already available so your choice is more limited but they are more fuss-free to use.
  4. Pen style vape kits can be refilled with your e-liquid of choice. Some models are adjustable so you can choose how strong or soft the vapour production is.
  5. Sub-ohm pens are bigger and more powerful pen devices that produce big clouds of vapour.
  6. Box mods can have built in or replaceable batteries and offer a wide variety of settings and options to customise your vaping experience.

Choosing an e-liquid flavour can also be difficult when there's so much choice so we've created our handy Flavour Finder tool to help you find your next favourite!

3. What happens when you switch from smoking to vaping?

When you stop smoking and start vaping, you may still continue to consume nicotine (if your e-liquid has nicotine in it), but you will not be taking in all of the other harmful chemicals emitted by cigarettes such as tar and carbon monoxide. Smoking can cause damage to many organs, such as the stomach, heart, skin, brain and lungs. Once you've stopped smoking, over time these organs will begin to heal - you'll notice a difference in as little time as 20 minutes as your pulse returns to normal. After 48 hours, carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and after just two weeks circulation begins to improve. For a more in-depth look at the way your body heals after quitting, read our blog post: What happens when you quit smoking and start vaping?

4. Tips on how to handle the transition between smoking and vaping

Here at Vapourcore, we believe that vaping is the best solution for smokers who want to quit. That doesn't mean that your journey to being smoke-free will be easy 100% of the time - it's normal to find it tough to stay off the cigarettes! If you are struggling, you may find the following tips helpful:

  • Let your friends and family know you're finding it difficult - they can provide support and motivation
  • Identify the things that make you want to smoke - some people find that alcoholic drinks, big meals or stressful situations can make them crave a cigarette. Try to avoid these situations where possible.
  • Get active - you'll improve your health and look and feel better, and you won't want to ruin it by smoking!

For more tips, check out our Quit Smoking Survival Guide. It's packed with helpful information and advice on how to make that cigarette your last - plus a timeline on what happens when you quit smoking so that you can see how much progress you've made!

5. Vaping lingo explained

The world of vaping can seem full of weird phrases and words that seem completely made up. Let's demystify a few common terms that have new vapers scratching their heads. 

Nic salts are a form of nicotine, naturally derived from the tobacco leaf. The main difference between nicotine salt and regular (or "freebase") nicotine is that the method of extraction alters the pH level of the nic salt - making it much smoother on the throat with less throat hit. Nicotine salt e-liquid is great for those who want to vape less as the e-liquid normally comes in higher strengths so you can get the nicotine you desire in fewer puffs without feeling like the throat hit is too strong.  Nicotine salt e-liquid also works well for vapers who don't enjoy a strong throat hit.

  • Sub ohm/direct to lung and mouth to lung (or DTL and MTL)

Simply put, these terms describe the different ways to inhale vapour. Mouth to lung vaping works in a similar way to smoking cigarettes - first you inhale the vapour into your mouth, and then you inhale it into your lungs. Direct to lung vaping means you inhale the vapour straight into your lungs in one go. Most vaping starter kits are MTL devices as they're made to simulate the sensation of smoking. DTL kits are normally larger pen style devices or adjustable box mods that produce much more vapour.

These describe the various components of a vaping device. 

            Coil: the heating element that produces the vapour. These are normally made of cotton which absorbs the liquid wrapped around wire which heats up to produce the vapour which is then inhaled.

            Atomisers: another term for coil.

            Tanks: the part of the vape device that holds the e-liquid - normally made of glass.

            Mod: The main body of the vape device. Depending on the model you might have a built-in battery or a replaceable battery. Some mods are adjustable - they have buttons which can be used to control the power output.

  • VG and PG

These two acronyms stand for the two base substances that are found in e-liquid - vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol. Most e-liquid contains a mixture of these two and it's normally given as a percentage or a ratio - for example "70% VG" or "70/30 VG/PG". High-PG e-liquids are thinner in consistency, provide a stronger throat hit and are best for MTL devices as these thin liquids can easily be vaporized by the low-power MTL batteries. High VG e-liquids are thicker, provide a smoother throat hit and are best for DTL devices as these thicker liquids need a higher level or power to vaporise properly.

  • RDA, RBA and RTA

These terms stand for "rebuildable dripping atomiser", "rebuildable atomiser" and "rebuildable tank atomiser". Most vape devices use coils that you simply insert into the tank - these advanced models use coils that you build yourself. These are recommended for advanced vapers only so if you're a beginner we recommend that you stay away from these. They do produce great flavour and great vapour but they also require advanced knowledge.

  • Resistance and ohms

You will see these terms used when referring to coils - you might see "this coil has a resistance of 1.5 ohms". Simply put, resistance refers to how much opposition a materal has to the flow of electricity - how easy or difficult it is to pass an electrical current through a material. An ohm is the standard unit used to measure resistance. Sometimes ohm is written as Ω, which is the Greek letter omega. Higher resistances mean that electricity passes through a coil less easily, while low resistance coils allow electricity to pass through much easier. High resistance coils are normally found in MTL tanks while low resistance coils, or sub ohm coils (with a resistance of less than 1 ohm) are normally found in DTL tanks. Higher resistances mean less vapour output and low resistances mean more vapour output. So if you're looking for a tank or device that produces only a small amount of vapour, like a cigarette, you would want to find a device with a high resistance coil - for example, the T18 II Kit, which has a coil with a resistance of 1.5 ohms.  If you're looking for something that produces big clouds of vapour you would be more interested in a device with a low resistance or sub ohm coil - for example, the Smok Stick V9 Kit which comes with 0.15 ohm coils.

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