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The Beginner’s Guide to Choosing an E-cigarette

More than 10 years ago, e-cigarettes took the world by storm. But people are creatures of habit - a lot of smokers held out, preferring their regular cigarettes to the sweet-tasting, cloud-forming siren song of vaping. You were among those people… but you’re ready to make the switch now!    Only, vaping has gotten complicated, right? Or was it always complicated?    Making the switch to e-liquid vaping can seem complicated once you first get into it. Beginner vapers are often confused by the terminology (squonks? coils? RBA?), as well as the abundance of different vaping devices. That’s why we decided to write this quick guide to choosing an e-cigarette. Our intention here is to gently introduce you to the world of vaping, and give you the information (and the tools) that you need to confidently buy your first e-cig   Keep in mind that this is not an all-out ultimate guide to vaping - you can find that by following this link. But, it will help you learn a bit more about different vaping devices, how they work, and which one will work for you. Let’s dig in!

What Is Vaping (& How Does It Work)

Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by an e-cigarette.   Technically, though, what vapers are inhaling is not vapor in the strict sense of the word. Vape liquids generally don’t contain any water (or contain a very small percentage) so what’s coming out of the device is not water vapor but actually aerosol — a mix of tiny particles consisting of suspension liquids (PG or VG), flavors, and nicotine.   Although there are a lot of different types of e-cigarettes, they all have the same core parts and work on the same underlying principle.     There are three main parts to every vaping device:    
  • The lithium-ion battery - a battery the engine of every vape setup. It can be built-in (flat pack that’s charged with a charger) or an external (usually 18650 battery). Most vape pen batteries today are advanced and feature variable wattage and voltage, as well as temperature control. This allows vapers to create tailored vaping experiences by controlling how much flavor and vapor their device is producing.
  • Vape tank - if the battery is the engine of every setup, then a tank is its heart. Tank not only holds your e-liquid but it also houses the atomizer - a little bit of tech (and coiled wire) that’s responsible for heating up and evaporating your liquid. There are all kinds of tanks and atomizers - those with premade coils, those you build yourself, the ones made for SS, titanium, or Kanthal wire, and so on. We won’t go into the details here but just remember that different vape wires create different vaping experiences and flavors. You can read our full guide on vape wires and atomizers right here.
  • Mouthpiece - usually made from stainless steel, durable and heat-resistant plastic, or ceramic. The mouthpiece is the part that you put in your mouth and draw vapor through. There are different types of mouthpieces - such as wide bore or narrow bore - and you should pick accordingly depending on whether you’re looking for cooler or warmer vapor.
 

5 Main Type of E-Cigarettes

  Now that we’ve got the mechanics of how vaping works out of the way, it’s time to take a look at several different types of vape devices. Each type has its pros and its cons but what you should be thinking about is what type of device is suitable for a beginner vaper. This breakdown will help you decide.    
  • Cigalikes - these are first-generation e-cigarettes. True to their name, they look like traditional cigarettes and are mostly disposable. This means that the e-juice cartridge in them cannot be removed and refilled, and after a preset number of puffs (usually 200) you need to get rid of them. Most vapers start with cigalikes but despite being practical, they do not offer a good vaping experience and become expensive to replace really quickly.
  • Vape pens - Vape pens are a big step up from cigalikes. They offer users a lot more functionality and are usually just slightly bigger, so there’s really no difference whether you are carrying a vape pen or a cigalike in terms of portability and size. They look like an oversized fountain pen, hence the name.
  One of the most popular vapes in our store is the Slim Oil premium edition vaping pen. It does double duty (you can vape both oils and e-liquid with them), and you can’t beat it when it comes to ease-of-use and affordability.    
  • Vape pods - a pod device is practical and easy to use. It consists of two parts - the battery and a pod. The pod is replaceable and holds the liquid and the heating element. While super practical (think JUUL), pod vapes have significant drawbacks. They don’t produce a lot of vapor (so they can’t really give the same experience as smoking), and their battery does not last long.
  • Box mods - Vape MODs (or box mods) are used by experienced vapers who want more power so they can get more flavor and clouds when vaping. They have a larger battery and a bigger tank, and some mods require you to build your own coil (rebuildables). These devices are not intended for beginners as you need to have a working knowledge of coil-building and Ohm’s Law. More advanced vapers love our Discreet vaporizer. It’s not as boxy as most but it still packs a punch when it comes to battery capacity and the feel. Plus, it’s super easy to clean and use!
  • Squonk mods - squonk mods are the newest craze on the vape market. They are similar to box mods bot with a difference that they have a space for an e-juice bottle built into them. So instead of refilling your tank, you simply squeeze the bottle, the juice soaks up the wick and the coil, and you’re good to vape. Again, these mods are not for beginner vapers as they have a lot of bells and whistles, and too many working parts that can fail on you.
    If you’re a beginner vaper, we strongly advise you start with a vape pen. A cigalike is not a big investment but it won’t satisfy your nicotine cravings and there’s only so many flavors of e-juice you can choose from. With a vape pen, you get the ease of use but you also get the ability to choose between thousands of different vape juice flavors. This makes it easier to find what you really like - this is super important if you want to stick with the vaping habit. Out of all Kind Pen vape pens, we can recommend Slim Oil premium, Jiggy, and v2 vape pen

What Are the Benefits of Switching to Vaping?

If you’re here, you likely already know some of the benefits of switching to vaping. But, we bet you don’t know all of them. If you’re currently a smoker, the biggest favor you can do to yourself is to switch to vaping as quickly as possible (and stick with it). Here is why:  
  • Switching to vaping can help with your health problems – even though the FDA disagrees, a lot of experts claim that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking. Read online testimonies of ex-smokers and current vapers and decide for yourself.
  • Associated savings – investing in vaping is slightly pricey in the beginning but, in the long run, it’s much cheaper than cigarettes. You can buy e-juice in bulk (or even make your own), and spend as little as $2 per day on vaping after some time.
  • Added convenience – although some states are toughening their laws on vaping, you’re still allowed to vape in most places where cigarettes have been banned. Also, carrying a vape is not a hassle - most vapes are the size of a regular pack of cigarettes.
  • More socially acceptable – the American society sees smoking as something unpleasant (although 15% of adults are at least occasional smokers). Vaping has way less of a stigma attached to it although the mainstream media is doing its best to vilify it.
 
  • No associated odor – if you want, you can vape on completely odorless vape juices. Smokers always smell and that odor is difficult to get out of clothes, curtains, carpets, and furniture. At worst, you will smell like fresh, ripe strawberries when you vape (if that’s your flavor of choice).

Quick and Dirty Guide to Using an E-Cigarette

  For veteran vapers, using an e-cigarette is as easy as pie. However, if you’re a beginner, you might be wondering how to start. And although every e-cig brand will be slightly different, here’s a quick crash course that should have you up to speed when it comes to using your e-juice vaporizer for the first time.   We’ll also include a quick and easy video tutorial that you can watch to get a better idea of the whole process:
 
  • Read the instructions - all e-cigarettes are similar but there might be small differences between the brands. Before attempting to operate one, make sure to read the instructions that came with the box so you know exactly what each button on your device does.
 
  • Charge your vape - if you’re using a built-in battery device, make sure to charge it first (and charge it all the way to 100%). For best results, use the charger that came with the device. 
 
  • Unscrew the tank and fill it - if you’re using a vape pen or a mod with a refillable tank, locate the top lid and unscrew it. Squeeze in the e-juice making sure not to flood the coil (the center chimney) and don’t overfill it as that might cause the tank to leak. Make sure to tighten the top cover well and to securely screw the tank back on the vape device.
  • Let it soak - when you fill the tank, wait for 15 minutes before vaping. If you’re using a wicked atomizer, this will allow the wick to absorb a bit of oil and help you avoid dry burns. 
 
  • Take slow puffs - don’t inhale too forcefully - that might flood your atomizer and cause the liquid to seep out of the mouthpiece (which is not very pleasant). Instead, take short, slow puffs as you would with a cigarette,
 
  • Clean your vape - if you’re switching between different flavors, it’s always good to use a different atomizer, or at least clean out your tank. Soap and water will do for most tanks, and when the time comes for a more thorough scrub, use q-tips and rubbing alcohol.

Start Vaping On E-Liquids Today

Make no mistake about it - starting vaping means starting on an adventure. You’ll get to roll up your sleeves, explore different devices, different flavors, and different styles of vaping.   But it doesn’t have to be totally intimidating.   With this short and easy guide, you’ll quickly pick up the lingo and know enough not to embarrass yourself when talking to seasoned vapers. And, you’ll definitely know enough to order your first vape!   If you have any questions about vaping in general, or vape devices in particular, make sure to contact us here at the Kind Pen. We’ll be more than happy to chat with you and help you pick out the device that’s right for you.   Vape on!