Most smokers can’t imagine not being able to have a ciggy when they feel like it, especially on a Friday night with a few drinks – or in a beer garden, what with summer around the corner.
Like it, or not, the technology is strongly believed to be far safer than fags – 95% better according to a report backed by the NHS in England – and whilst people use e-cigs as a part of giving up smoking entirely, many are clearly vaping because they like it. Vaporisers fulfil the nicotine craving, but more importantly, they simulate smoking. This is important because that’s what smokers really miss.
What makes vaping safer is that the “smoke” isn’t actually smoke. Its vapour (or steam) – i.e. not combusted. This is simply less harmful than carcinogen-laden tobacco smoke.
If you’re a smoker, you must by now have considered making the switch, so we have compiled this useful beginner’s guide to help get you started. Firstly, some basic questions to ask yourself before you hand over your cash:
What’s your budget?
One of the best things about vaping is the cost compared to cigarettes. Yes, there is an initial outlay, but over time, it’s much cheaper. With this in mind, you can justify spending a little more to get a good quality kit.
How much do you smoke?
If you’re a heavy smoker, you will be a heavy vaper. Therefore, don’t cheap out when buying a kits because, as they say, buy cheap, buy twice.
Where will you vape most?
If you’re a social smoker, then you’ll want something easy to carry out and about. If you’re a pleasure seeking smoke-at-home type, then get a kit that’ll give you the most satisfaction.
So, what to get?
Below are the most common type of e-cigs you can get, ranging from super-starters, to the more adventurous.
Clearly, an obvious place to start for many as it’s the easiest way to vape and there are lower initial costs. As a 10 a per day smoker, mini e cigs were great at first, but I moved on quickly to a more advanced vape pen in order to try all the different flavours!
Some of the positive include: they’re instantly usable, come pre-charged and ready to go. They’re familiar to smokers and easy to use because they emulate real cigs. They’re lightweight, small and easy carry around – they often come with cases too like cig packets. Overall, a great place to start.
However, the quality varies and this can really tarnish your impression of vaping so don’t buy cheap! Battery life is quite limited, so you’re always having to carry spares. Also, there’s smaller range of flavours and very few options to customise.
Vape Pens / EGO style
Vape pens billow a lot more vapour than cig-a-likes do and offer a lot more flavour. They also offer a greater range of choice and customisation. Yet are still relatively simple to use. The only downside is that the coils need replacing every few weeks depending on your usage. Don’t worry, they come with spares and they’re not expensive.
ASPIRE PREMIUM KIT
Aspire is a trusted brand. This great starter kit combines two individually decent parts. The highly acclaimed Nautilus Mini tank and the well-designed batteries wrapped in carbon fibre. The complete kit may seem a little pricy, but it comes with a load of spare coils, a case, chargers etc. and offers good value. Typical price: £39.99
KANGER TOP EVOD KIT
Kanger are another vaping heavy-weight. The Top EVOD is a fantastic entry level vape pen which will really maximise your first experiences. The “pocket-sized” sub-ohm device features a 1.7ml top-filling tank, is good looking, well built and comes in an array of colours. The coils are replaceable VOCC-T coils which are common and readily stocked. You can even get 1.5ohm coils which pack a little more punch. Typical price: £15.99
More Advanced Starter Kits
The more advanced vaping kits tend to offer a better experience, but come with a layer of complexity and “know-how”, that might not interest you. That said, once you find a flavour you love, you’ll probably end up buying a decent kits to vape it in any way! So why not start as you mean to go on.
KANGER TOPBOX MINI STARTER KIT
The Topbox Mini Starter Kit is a brilliant piece of tech. It’s a lot more versatile than the pen type devices, yet should be relatively intuitive for beginners, and satisfying enough for the more experienced vapers as well. There’s scope to customise what coils you want, and the intensity it vapes at. If you’re really wanting to get into vaping, this is the place to start. Typical price: £29.99
INNOKIN COOLFIRE MINI STARTER KIT
Much like the Kanger, the Cool Fire starter kit offers a range of customisations. The battery section is the mini version of the legendary Cool Fire TC100 – only half the size. Its 40W max output means you can crank it up and get tons of flavour. Its OLED screen displays the variable wattage level.
The tank uses Innokin’s unique SlipStream system and it comes with a heat-resistant “Delrin” mouth piece which is a nice touch. This is a seriously cool piece of kit. Typical price: £54.99
SMOK OSUB 40W COMPLETE VAPING KIT
Finally, we couldn’t complete this list without Smok – who are taking the world of vaping by storm. Their entry level kit is every bit as good as fans have come to expect from Smok.
Like the other two, it’s small and compact and capable of a 40w output. What makes it special is that Smok do 0.4 and 1.0 Ohm “Helmet coils” – both included with the kit. The lower resistant coils make it ideal for “mouth-to-lung” and “direct-to-lung” – the true “sub-ohm” experience. Also, the tanks larger with a 2ml capacity so it’s better for those who vape a lot. Typical price: £49.99
The vaping industry has really grown up over the last few year. The rapid growth and advancement in technology can honestly be likened to that of the mobiles boom. For that reason, it’s difficult to get a bad device to vape on these days. It really is just a case of getting the right one for your needs.
It can seem a little tricky at first, but there is tons and tons of great advice online, especially YouTube. But once you “find your flavour”, you’ll love vaping and wonder why it took you so long to make the switch from dirty cigarettes in the first place.