How to start vaping in 5 easy steps
We've been helpers quit smoking transition to vaping for over 10 years. Read our updated guide for 2019 on how to give up smoking and start vaping in these 5 easy steps:
If you’re looking to quit smoking, vaping the right device with the right vape juice can provide you with the same kind of satisfaction as cigarettes. The added benefit is a seriously wide range of flavours to choose. But, even though the vape kits on the market have significantly improved over the years and make it simpler for a smoker to switch, there is still a learning process that new vapers need to go through to get the best out of their gear when they first start vaping.
So we decided to help: here’s how a smoker can switch to vaping in five easy steps.
Pick your experience
Before buying, think about exactly what it is you like about smoking and how that might affect your choice of vape? Vaping is supposed to be enjoyable and give you satisfaction in the same way smoking does, and it is so versatile that you can have lots of different experiences with the various combinations of vape kits and vape juice. Here are four questions we think you should ask yourself before choosing your gear:
- Do you crave the kind of satisfaction nicotine gives you and want an experience that has a punchy hit?
- Or do you prefer the sensory aspects of smoking – perhaps you smoke menthols or flavoured cigars – and you’d like something that caters to this desire?
- Are big clouds more important to you or would you rather be more discreet when you vape?
- Do you want a big device that makes an impression when you show it to people or would you prefer something smaller and more pocket-friendly?
Once you’ve thought about and answered these you’re ready to go shopping!
Pick your device
So you’ve decided what kind of vaper you’d like to be. Before thinking about flavours, you should look through our selection of complete kits and determine what kind of device fits you best.
If you’re after that big satisfying nicotine hit, we recommend you go for something that uses a heating element (known as a coil or a wick) with a high level of resistance (we’ll talk about what this means in the accessories section).
With these devices – which are less power hungry – you’ll be able to use vape juice with a high nicotine content (we’ll talk about what constitutes "high" in the next section). These devices are often (but not always) smaller and more discreet, and because they are less power hungry the batteries tend to last longer. You’ll still get a decent amount of vapour from them, but they won’t produce the enormous clouds you can get from bigger more powerful vapes. They are an excellent choice for situations where you’d rather vape discreetly and without everyone noticing.
SMOK Novo 2
The best all round pod vape on the market. Small, lightweight yet has amazing battery life and kicks out awesome flavour in big clouds. One of the best features of the SMOK Novo 2 is that its draw activated which means no buttons. It's always on and ready to vape whenever you are. Pods should last a few days before flavour and vapour production begins to drop off but you get two pods in the kit and replacement pods are cheap.
Every time you puff the Novo 2 indicator light shines to let you know how much battery life is left. Quiet and stealthy if you want it to be and you don't need to take our word for it. The most loved kit in our online vape shop (check out some customer reviews below), grab some high strength nic salt vape juice and you'll never look back.
IMPROVED EVERYTHING! - Kathy C.
I had a regular Smok Novo but got the Novo 2 about two weeks ago. Every problem I ever had with the Novo was addressed in this version! Battery lasts all day and well into the night, charges fast, NO LEAKS(!) and it’s smaller- feels more like a cigarette. Plus NO BUTTON! I hated the button. What an awesome product!!!
The best - Nicholas L
Best lil vape I've used. Honestly, quitting cigs was easy with this thing as a substitute.
Great vape! - Wyatt B.
Absolutely love this vape and haven’t put it down since it arrived
SMOK Nord is the slightly bigger brother of the Novo 2. The main difference between the two is that you can replace the coils on the Nord. This not only saves on waste but money too. It's still small but you get a bigger battery and vape juice capacity (3mL). Plus with the whole Nord range of coils to choose from you get more options to customize your vaping experience.
SMOK Nord Kit rocks!!!! - Mark H.
Love this handy little vape pen device. It's sturdy too. Have dropped it multiple times & doesn't break. Nice clouds too. A winner!
SMOK Nord - Rebecca M.
I really like the smok nord, very easy to carry around good battery life.
However, if you want more substantial performance:
If your looking for something portable but can easily fit in your pocket or purse....
The Freemax Twister is the most popular vape pen in both our US and UK online vape shops. Why? Well it has a wattage dial on the bottom for super easy power adjustment and one of the best vape tanks. The Fireluke 2 tank in the Twister kit has all kinds of fancy technology which help it produce amazing flavour and impressive clouds. Because you're getting such a large amount of vapour you can easily satisfy your all important nicotine craving.
Great and Easy to use - Nathaniel S.
I'm very new to vaping (or smoking in general) and I wanted something that was small, easy to use, and very low maintenance. This ticks all the boxes, you can easily control your wattage, air-intake, and replacing the coil is a breeze. It'll hold a decent amount of e-liquid and I haven't had the battery die on me after light-moderate use over several hours.
Best starter choice - Joe M.
After reading and watching so many reviews on what makes a great first time vape rig, I'm very happy I chose this to start with. I'm getting much better flavour than some of my friends and I keep referring them here to get their own.
You want even more vapour and big clouds?
But if what you want is super big clouds you should select a device with a coil or wick that has a low resistance. These kinds of devices are more power hungry, meaning that they are often larger so as to cater for the need for bigger batteries. These big box mod kits will tend to be more expensive due to their size, technology and screens to display your settings.
The tank – or the reservoir where the liquid is heated – also tends to be larger. That's because coils with lower resistance will vapourise more juice per puff. And that means more vapour volume and big clouds!
Look no further than these cutting edge starter kits:
Geekvape Aegis X
Geekvape are famed for their super durable vape kits. IP67 Shock-proof, dustproof and waterproof this is a kit that's built to last. The buttons are nice and clicky and the huge screen makes it super easy to use. You'll need to pick two 18650 batteries to power the Geekvape Aegis X. Please also note we always recommend getting an external battery charger as this avoids any wear and tear on the micro USB charging port.
Best mod I’ve ever owned - William H.
The Aegis is the best mod I’ve purchased by far. It is solidly constructed, well layer out with great intuitive features. The screen is beautiful and provides a lot of information and options. The menu is easy to navigate and the button fires rapidly and easily. It just feels great in the hand. Plus you don’t have to worry about a little water or Read more about review stating Best mod I’ve ever owneddropping it accidentally. I use a Valerian II tank on mine, but the tank that comes with the kit is also quite nice. I am well satisfied with this purchase. I got a great price from vaping.com, and service was quick and easy. I will definitely be purchasing other baby items from them in the future. Can’t go wrong with this one. Probably one of the best kits out there.
Best vape ever - Joshua H.
Love it, best vape on the market, best website for vape products as well
Pick your vape juice
Vape juice – otherwise known as e-juice, eliquid, juice and all sorts of other things – is essentially a liquid that consists of a "humectant" (either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine – this is what creates the vapour when you exhale), some nicotine, and flavourings. You put it in your vape and you vape it. Simple, really!
Buying vape juice for the first time can be a little intimidating, with so many to choose from and a dizzying array of brands. But when it comes to the crunch there are only really two decisions you need to make: how much nicotine do you want and what kind of flavours do you enjoy?
Let’s start with the first question. If you’ve chosen a large device with a low resistance coil and higher power so you can impress your friends with some epic clouds, you’ll need to go easy on the nicotine content. That's because you’ll be inhaling a larger volume of vapour each time you take a hit.
Image courtesy of Veppocig
However, more vapour volume means you’ll get more nicotine per inhalation than if you used a low-powered device. Most vapers who use higher powered devices tend towards nicotine levels of 1.5 mg/ml, 3mg/ml or 6mg/ml (milligrams of nicotine per millimetre of liquid).
There's no exact science on this - you'll figure out pretty quickly how you like to vape. If you're starting to vape for the first time its worth buying a few different strengths so you can quickly find out what works best for you.
If you’ve chosen a kit with a higher resistance coil and lower power (like a pod system), you might want a higher nicotine content. Vaping this way will give you a more intense nicotine experience because the concentration will be higher. You’ll still get a great vape using juice with lower nicotine content, but for a more intense feeling of satisfaction, you should use 12mg/ml or above. You can’t use this juice in high-powered devices because the resulting flavour and sensation would be harsh (possibly very harsh!).
If you’re just transitioning from smoking, we recommend selecting a liquid with a little more nicotine – perhaps 12mg/ml or 18mg/ml.
For the committed smoker
Or for people who've tried vaping before but found it didn't satisfy, we recommend nicotine salts. Salts are the latest generation of vape juice and they use a slightly different form of nicotine. Vape juice containing nicotine salts gives a more intense, cigarette-like satisfaction. Normally higher strength which makes them perfect for small pod vapes.
Learn More About Nicotine Salts
Another benefit of salts is that the liquids are formulated to be much less harsh on your throat, meaning that you can use higher nicotine concentrations. 30mg/ml, 40mg/ml or even 50mg/ml are not uncommon. In fact, one member of our team swears by 40mg/ml nicotine salts in a low powered device; he has been vaping for almost 4 years!
Your last decision is flavour, and this really is an individual choice – we make it easy by listing the vape juice we stock by flavour profile. We recommend that when starting out you try a few different flavours in two different strengths (depending on your device). This way you can find the combination that’s right for you.
Get the right parts
To make the most of your new device there are two key spare parts you’ll need to have on hand: coils and batteries – although you’ll only need be able to get spare batteries for devices where the batteries are replaceable.
Coils are the most important, and these apply to any kind of device. These small heating elements are included in every device; they are inside the tank and you need to replace them regularly per your device's instructions. Coils wear out over time: the constant process of heating and cooling leads to the vapour developing a bitter taste. When your juice doesn’t taste quite as good as it normally does, that means it’s time to buy a replacement coil; for many vapers this is about once per week sometimes less with a small pod system.
Close up photograph of a vape coil from SMOK
We recommend you get spares with your first device so you always have them on hand when you need them, you most certainly don't want to run out and leaving yourself in a jam.
You’ll need to get the coil that is compatible with your device. The vaping.com vape shop listings tell you which coils are compatible with that device.
If you’ve got a device that allows you to change the actual battery, we also recommend getting a few spares. Always make sure to store these batteries safely! Accidents can happen when they are mishandled or mis-charged (see our guide on battery safety for more information on this). If your device has a built-in battery you might want to think about getting a backup; the good news is that devices with built-in batteries tend to be cheaper than those where they can be switched out.
Read the instructions and start vaping
It may seem like an obvious point, but make sure you read the instructions that come with your device. This makes sure you complete the initial steps so that your first vape gives you the satisfaction you’re looking for.
After filling, don’t vape it straight away; leave it for five minutes to make sure the coil is completely covered in liquid. This means you’ll avoid a dry hit, which will give you bad flavour and likely ruin your coil.
Once you’ve done all of that you’re ready to start vaping. Within a few days we’re sure you’ll enjoy being a vaper a lot more than you enjoyed being a smoker…