What is vaping?

Find out what vaping is, why people do it, how it can help you transition from smoking and more....

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette or vaporizer, now commonly known as a vape pen or a vape mod (depending on its shape and size). Vaping as we know it today began when Hon Lik developed the first modern e-cigarette in 2003. Hon Lik took up the task of inventing an alternative to smoking when his father, a heavy smoker himself, died of lung cancer. Early devices, such as Hon Liks, used ultrasound to vaporize a pressurized jet of liquid containing nicotine. In more recent times vape devices consist of a battery which heats a coil wrapped in cloth, soaked in vape juice (also known as e-liquid). The first devices which appeared were unreliable and unsatisfactory as an alternative to smoking. However, a community of vapers began to emerge in online forums who collaborated to create more effective devices and better vape juice flavors.

What is e-liquid / vape juice?

What is vape juice / e-liquid made from

Vape juice is made from a blend of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG), when purchasing an e-liquid you’ll notice that the PG/VG ration will be displayed in the product description and on the bottle. Vape juice with a high percentage of VG will produce large clouds of dense vapor but not a significant amount of throat hit. PG produces less visible vapor than VG so is more suitable to vapers who want to vape discreetly. PG also carries flavor better than VG and provides a more satisfying throat hit. Unlike smoking which has only tobacco or menthol flavors, with vaping there is an amazing selection of flavors and flavor combinations to choose from. As well as tobacco/menthol flavors for people looking to replicate the smoking experience there is a range of flavor categories like fruity flavors, candy, dessert, menthol and more. 

Why do people vape?

People vape for a wide number of reasons: cheap cost, flavor choices, safe to use, vaping indoors, preferrable odor, quitting cigarettes and social image. Most vapers are ex-smokers who are looking to reduce the harm of smoking or reduce the cost.

How can it help smokers transition to vaping?

Vaping can help people reduce their dependency on cigarettes by using an e-juice or vape juice which contains nicotine. It's then possible to gradually reduce the level of nicotine contained in your vape juice until it reaches 0mg (zero nicotine). Once a smoker has removed their dependency on nicotine it's then much easier to stop.

Evolution of Vaping

The technology in vaping has improved significantly over the years and as the market has increased, there have been comparisons to the market-driven advances in cell phones and computers. In 2013 (thanks to the online forums) the hobbyist scene made huge leaps forwards in vapor production. Vape device manufacturers (largely based in Shenzhen, China) took note and since then the vape market has gone from strength to strength. As Chinese manufacturing and vaping technologies develop, devices get smaller and more technologically advanced. In recent years people looking to transition from smoking found the world of vaping very difficult to understand in its complexity. However in 2019 starting vaping couldn’t be easier. There are some devices on the market now like the massively popular Suorin Drop which are so simple to use that all you need to do is add vape juice, wait a minute or two and inhale. If you are looking to transition from smoking read the vaping.com guide on How To Start Vaping In 5 easy steps to help you get started.

In 2019 there are 4 main types of devices that are used for vaping: Starter Kits, Vape Pens, Box Mod Kits & Pod Systems.

  • Pod Vapes (or Pod Systems)

SMOK Novo in Gold - Pod Vapes

Pod systems are designed to be ultra-portable, easy to use and are the most recent type of vape device. As technology has advanced vaping components have been miniaturized so that some pod systems are now even smaller than a pen! You might think that because of the of the smaller size, performance has been compromised. That's not the case. With the rising popularity of nicotine salts (which can be significantly stronger than traditional vape juice - up to 50 mg), these low wattage pod systems can produce a super satisfying vape. The evolution in battery technology has also benefitted pod vapes, the massively popular SMOK Nord Kit (pictured above) has an awesome 1100 mAh integrated battery. This means you get excellent long-lasting performance when vaping on the move. Pod systems are significantly cheaper than other devices and even some box mod loving veteran vapers now use pod systems which now produce fantastic flavor, excellent ease of use and awesome value.

  • Box Mod Kits

What is a box mod kit in vaping

Box mods are one of the more traditional vape devices. Before vape pens and pod systems, the box mod was the main device type available to vapers. As the name suggests the mod is boxy in shape which is because historically box mods required multiple batteries to generate enough power and battery capacity. The box mod kit has the greatest potential customization of all types of vape devices. Modern box mod kits are extremely intelligent and can automatically select the correct settings but the user still has a greater opportunity to adjust settings to their liking. For example, if you want a better throat hit you can simply increase the wattage. Unlike pod vapes, with a box mod kit you can change the tank and the coils to further customize the experience.

  • Vape Pens

What are vape pens?

Although vape pens have been around for a long time the early models were not up to scratch with the performance of starter kits and box mods. However, breakthroughs in vaping technology have seen the vape pen become the most popular vape device category in our vape shop. Shaped like a pen the device is generally small, cylindrical and easy to hold/store. Batteries are normally integrated with the vape tank and coils situated on top. One of the reasons that vape pens are so popular is the ease of day to day use. Some devices are draw activated, like a cigarette, or have a simple one-button operation. All the user needs to do is add vape juice and waits a few minutes. Unlike pod systems which are getting smaller and smaller, vape pens are getting both smaller and bigger to accommodate all types of vaper. If you want a small discreet vape you can choose a small device like the stunning SMOK Nord AIO 19 or if you want something more powerful choose the Stick Prince Kit.

  • Vape Starter Kits

What are vape starter kits?

Last but not least vape starter kits. The daddy category! Each of the categories above are a subset of starter kits. Designed to contain everything a beginner needs to get started (except vape juice & batteries) these kits are awesome at getting you up and running. In your starter kit you’ll get a mod, tank, coils and some replacement parts to help you maintain your device. Pairing a mod, tank and coils can be a compatibility minefield but starter kits take out the hassle by giving you everything in one box. We’ve been in the vaping game from the beginning and we can assure you that we only stock the best vape brands. All the latest devices have a suite of awesome protection features so you can be safe in the knowledge only the best products are featured on vaping.com.

Want to learn more about vaping?

  • Start vaping in 5 easy steps: our expert guide to how to start vaping. We’ve been helping smokers transition to vaping for over 10 years, we've updated our article for 2019.
  • How much nicotine in a cigarette: If you would like to give up smoking and transition to vaping check out our guide to calculating what vape juice strength you’ll should be using to reduce nicotine craving.
  • Best Pod Vapes: if you’re looking for a super easy to use pod systems to get started read our guide to the best pod systems for 2019.
  • Sub-Ohm Vape Guide: we kept this ‘what is vaping’ guide as simple as possible so deliberately avoided mentioning Sub-Ohm vaping. If you would like to know more you can read our guide to everything you need to know about sub-ohm vaping.
  • How to get your parents to vape: If you’re worried about how many cigarettes your parents smoke, maybe they’ve struggled to give up smoking, why not recommend your parent transition to vaping? Read our guide today and help them kick the habit.