Authored by Jessie Cyr-
If you’ve been vaping for a while, you’ve heard this statement uttered from a friend, family member, coworker, or maybe even a stranger at the bar. It seems you hear it more when drinks are flowing, but when people ask doesn’t make much difference, the reaction is far too often the same if you let them take a drag. Coughing, hacking, and a shocked response that you can inhale on that thing. So, maybe now’s a good time to explain, just how do you use a typical e-cig?
Well, that depends on what type of device you’re using! There are devices like the Von Erl, MyJet, or Juul called pod systems or “cig-a-likes” that will vape nearly exactly the way one would smoke a cigarette. All the user needs to do is draw on the end that contains the liquid and it will trigger the heating element. These are a great option for people who are new to vaping, some of these devices have a huge wealth of flavors to choose from as well. Gone are the days where one had to pick between a synthetic tobacco flavor, menthol, or nothing. Oftentimes, these devices are not refillable, but the pods are easily replaced. While this is a great option for some, many users prefer to use something where they have a bit more control.
The next step up in terms of control would be a mouth to lung or MTL kit. This could be something like an AIO device, or something with a separate mouth to lung tank and mod. These will vape very similarly to the pod systems, though depending on the device, it could require setting the power or wattage of the device, or simply pressing a fire button to heat up the coil before inhaling. In these instances, new users may set the wattage too high or press the fire button before inhaling, in both circumstances the experience may be unpleasant due to either singeing the cotton in the coil head or providing more vapor than the end user is expecting. Both of those experiences will be unsatisfying to say the least.
With these devices, if power is controllable by the end user, and it is best to start at the low end of the coil’s recommended wattage range, which may be something like 8 to 15 watts, and work up from there. These devices are also a great place for new users to start, and offer the ability to further customize their experience as well as potential long term cost savings above the pod based systems. This, of course, means the user needs to be slightly more hands on, refilling their own juice and opening their tank to replace coils themselves. In these instances, it is important to remember that because the coils have very small holes to expose the cotton, they work best when using a higher PG juice. In these instances, a 50% VG / 50% PG or similar ratio is likely best, because the vapor production is relatively low abd users looking to quit using cigarettes will need a higher nicotine concentration, likely 12mg or similar.
The last, and potentially most common means of vaping is direct to lung or DL vaping, wherein the end user inhales directly to their lungs, the action of which can be compared to smoking a hookah or a less accurate, but perhaps more relatable comparison, to sucking a milkshake through a straw. In this instance, a large amount of flavorful vapor is produced, the inhalation of which must be done constantly to avoid overwhelming the user’s throat. This is perhaps the most common form of vaping, and often the type that causes new users to have the hardest time transitioning without proper information. The good news is that this is a great experience when the user is aware of the differences, and recently manufacturers have come out with devices as simple as a single button operation to use for direct lung vaping. There are also many devices that will allow a user to experience this type of vaping with more control, just as I mentioned earlier for the MTL crowd.
As vaping has grown in popularity and the market has blossomed, we have seen a great increase in different devices that fit into this category with wide ranging power requirements and amounts of vapor production. This can be a bit overwhelming for some users at first, but with a bit of patience, it is probably the most effective form of vaping for many users, hence its growth in popularity. With this type of use juices ranging from 60% to 90% VG, are all viable options depending on the atomizer and power output used, and the “smoothness” of the hit can be a major focus. In these instances, because of the very high amount of vapor produced, most users will start at 6mg of nicotine and work down to 3mg or even lower concentrations over time.
It can be tricky to determine the right device for you, but a sense of understanding and a general grasp of what each device can or will do can go a long way toward having a pleasant experience from the onset. It can allow the user to move away from cigarettes into what many of us consider to be a less harmful alternative with great success.
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