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How to Make the Right Product Choices When You Switch to Vaping


Have you visited the website of a vape shop like V2 Cigs UK recently? If you have, you’ve probably noticed that the selection of vaping devices available today is absolutely enormous. There are so many different devices on the market these days that it can be very difficult to make the right product decision if you’ve never vaped before and haven’t spent time researching the available products.

In this article, we’re going to break down your first vaping purchase into simple terms. When you’re done reading, you’ll have a much better idea of which type of device will be the right one for you. Ultimately, buying any vaping device is a series of decisions. Should you buy a full-sized mod, or would you be better off with a smaller e-cigarette? Should your first vaping device have pre-filled cartridges or a refillable tank? Once you’ve broken down those and the other choices you’ll face, your decision should be fairly clear. Let’s begin!

A vape
Photo by Vaporesso on Unsplash

Pre-Filled vs. Refillable E-Cigarette?

As a new vaper, the first and most important decision you’ll need to make is whether you want to buy a vaping device that you can fill yourself or one that uses pre-filled cartridges or pods. Pre-filled vaping devices are often great choices for new vapers because they are the easiest e-cigarettes to use. Aside from replacing the pod or cartridge and charging the battery periodically, there’s no routine maintenance to perform with a pre-filled e-cigarette – so it’s an extremely beginner-friendly way to vape.

Learning to use a refillable vaping device might take a little more time, but using a refillable device means that you’re buying your e-liquid by the bottle. Bottled e-liquid is less expensive than pre-filled pods or cartridges, and it also offers a much larger flavour selection.

Pod-Based vs. Cigalike?

The two most popular types of vaping devices for beginners are cigalikes – which look like traditional tobacco cigarettes – and pod-based systems, which store their e-liquid in clear plastic pods. If you want a vaping device that’ll really make you feel like you’re smoking a cigarette, you’ll want to choose a cigalike. It’s the only type of vaping device that you can hold between two fingers, and that really adds to the verisimilitude of the vaping experience.

Pod systems are slightly larger than cigalikes, and that means they usually offer better battery life. In addition, a vape pod usually holds more e-liquid than the cartridge for a cigalike can hold. Since vape pods are generally larger than cigalike cartridges, they also have larger atomizer coils – and that means they can produce a bit more vapour per puff.  So, while a cigalike can give you a vaping experience that feels a bit more like smoking a cigarette, a pod system may be more satisfying in terms of flavour quality and nicotine delivery.

Tobacco, Menthol or a Different Flavour?

Deciding what e-liquid flavour you’d like to buy is one of the most important things that you’ll do as you begin your transition from smoking to vaping. It’s always a good idea to try several different flavours, but there’s a good chance that a tobacco or menthol e-liquid will be your first choice because you’re probably going to want an e-liquid that captures the flavour of a cigarette. Before you try that first tobacco e-liquid, though, you should know that no tobacco vape juice tastes like cigarette smoke. You may enjoy tobacco e-liquids anyway because they do capture some of the nutty and savoury notes of real tobacco – but you shouldn’t expect anything that resembles the flavour of smoke.

Most people who vape enjoy e-liquid flavours that don’t try to taste like real cigarettes at all. When you buy vape juice for the first time, your best bet is to try one tobacco or menthol e-liquid – depending on the type of cigarette that you prefer – along with an assortment of candy, fruit and dessert flavours. You’ll probably find that you enjoy the sweeter flavours more than the ones that try to taste like cigarettes.

What’s the Right Nicotine Strength?

Along with the flavour, you’ll also need to choose the nicotine strength when you buy vape juice for yourself. Here in the UK, the Tobacco Products Directive limits the maximum nicotine concentration of any e-liquid to 20 mg/ml. Even at the highest available nicotine strength, then, an e-cigarette will still deliver slightly less nicotine per puff than a tobacco cigarette. Based on that, you will probably have the best possible experience if you choose the highest available nicotine strength – either 18 or 20 mg/ml, depending on the brand of e-liquid or e-cigarette – when you buy your first vaping device.

For some very infrequent smokers, the 18-20 mg/ml nicotine strength proves to be a bit too much. If that’s the case for you, you’ll know because you’ll experience throat irritation or will simply feel like you’re getting more nicotine than you need. If you think that the nicotine strength of your e-liquid is too high, you’ll probably have a better experience if you switch to a slightly lower strength.

Freebase Nicotine vs. Nicotine Salt?

One of the things you’ll notice when you buy e-liquid for the first time is that some of the bottles will say “salt” or “nicotine salt” on the label. Nicotine salt has a slightly different molecular structure than freebase nicotine, and it also has a more neutral pH. Between the two types of nicotine, freebase nicotine is the type that reaches the bloodstream more quickly. You may therefore find freebase nicotine more satisfying. If a bottle of e-liquid doesn’t say “salt” on the label, it uses freebase nicotine.

The benefit of nicotine salt e-liquid is that, because it has a more neutral pH, it provides a smoother vaping experience than freebase nicotine e-liquid. If you feel like you’re getting the right amount of nicotine but find vaping unpleasant because the vapour irritates your throat, you should try nicotine salt e-liquid. You may find that the added smoothness makes nicotine salt e-liquid more enjoyable to use.