A Beginner’s Guide to Vaping
Do you know your vaporizers from your cartomizers? What about the difference between Evil Cloud and a cloud chaser? If not, and you want to learn more about vaping but think that an atomizer is something Dr Who might use, then you're in the right place.
To somebody looking for a healthier alternative to smoking, the world of vaping can be a bewildering space where even the jargon has its own jargon and there are endless products, options and acronyms to wade through. You only have to look at forums online to see the confusion, even when it comes to the basics. Inevitably every culture develops its own terminology and slang - and sometimes you need a little guidance to cut through the fog, so here are some of our top pointers to get you started.
What is vaping, exactly? As you might guess, it’s derived from the word ‘vapour’: e-cigarettes (or PVs; see below) are electronic devices that produce this vapour without tobacco or combustion, to be inhaled as a healthier alternative to smoking.
A person who partakes in the act of vaping.
This refers to traditional cigarettes and cigars, as opposed to electronic and less harmful vaporizers. While the term ‘analog cigar’ was never really a thing, calling an electronic cigar an ‘e-gar’ is a stroke of genius.
Personal Vaporizer – this is the device that is used to vape. Historically known as e-cigarettes, PV is now the preferred term as the vapour does not contain the harmful chemicals and tobacco that are integral to smoking.
Also known as e-juice, but really the most appropriate term is ‘refill liquid’. A combination of water, nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerine, and available in many different flavours, this is the liquid inside your PV that is heated and turned into vapour. ‘How?’ I hear you cry:
A key component of the PV, the atomizer heats a coil, changing the liquid into vapour which is then subsequently inhaled.
This is filled with an absorbent material which holds the refill liquid.
Here we have the modern alternative to the cartridge. It has a built in atomizer (the name is an amalgamation of ‘cartridge’ or cart and ‘atomizer’ or atty, giving us the cartomizer, aka the carto (as we mentioned, even the jargon has jargon). It is slightly more expensive than an atomizer but is more reliable, less likely to leak and able to hold more liquid.
Not a daydreamer, as you might suspect, but someone who aims to produce as large a cloud as possible when they vape. They have technical ways of manipulating their PVs to maximise the amount of vapour, and are often viewed with scorn in the vaping community. Blowing huge plumes of vapour in public places isn't always the best way to engender vaping to the general populous and can often increase opposition and calls for bans. Don't chase clouds, kids.
(If you were wondering, Evil Cloud is one of our favourite brands of liquid, available on our website here.)
Not a pair of jeans or a kind of Peugeot, but a device that connects the battery to the rest of the PV, so-called because it has a 5mm connector and 10 threads. It is the industry standard but variations you might see include the 401, 801 and 901.
While at first glance this may look very technical, it is in fact nothing more than a reference to the capacity of your PV’s battery: the higher the number, the longer the battery lasts. There are ways to calculate the expected life of a battery which go beyond the scope of this post, and in any case, this isn’t a GCSE Physics class – for now, it is enough to say that a 900 mAh battery should last for approximately 800 puffs on your vaporizer. Buy two batteries and a USB charger and you should be good to go.
Instead of vaping using a cartridge or cartomizer, this is when you drip a few drops of liquid directly onto the coil of an atomizer. The benefit of this is it enables you to try different liquids in quick succession without having to switch cartridges, and makes for bolder flavours.
This stands for ‘throat hit’, which is the tingling in the throat experienced when vaping. It is largely linked with nicotine content so if you’re vaping a no nicotine juice, there is no throat hit.
This is unrelated to TH: THR actually refers to ‘tobacco harm reduction’ which is a public health strategy to reduce the use of combustible tobacco. Encouraging people to switch to other nicotine products, such as chewing gum, patches or vaping is one of its aims, as they are all less harmful than smoking because of reduced exposure to carcinogens.
So there you have it - all the details you need to get started. This beginner’s glossary barely scratches the surface of vaping culture but that's a good thing – you don't need to know the pros and cons of sub-ohm vaping to get started and there's lots more to learn as you discover your own preferences when it comes to PVs and ADVs (‘all day vape’ – a vaper’s favourite flavour). Click here to see our range of starter kits, and once you're up and running, Grey Haze will be available to assist you with all your vaping requirements.