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How to Vape in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

How to Vape in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

Vaping has seen an explosion in popularity over the last 12 months, with more people choosing to take up vaping over tobacco every day. Due to this there has been an increase in the number of new vapers across the UK, and many of them are in search of answers regarding their new habit or hobby. From picking the perfect vape, to understanding how your vape works - or why it isn’t working - you’ll find all the answers you need in our ultimate guide to vaping!

What is a Vape?

Before we dive into the details - let’s quickly review the basics. A vape is an electronic smoking cessation device that has been designed to produce an inhalable vapour, usually containing nicotine, in order to relieve cravings and assist individuals in quitting smoking. Vapes usually consist of 3 main parts - a battery, a tank or pod, and e-liquid.
The vape battery supplies power to the heating element within the vape tank or vape pod, which causes it to heat up. The heating element, also known as a coil or atomiser, then vaporises the e-liquid within the tank or pod, turning it into a vapour that you then inhale.

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How to Choose a Vape Kit?

Choosing a vape kit can be a bit tricky, especially if it’s your first time, as there are so many different types of vapes to pick from. There are two main types of vape, also known as e-cigarettes - refillable vapes and disposable vapes. Disposable vapes are single use vapes that cannot be recharged or refilled - once they’ve been depleted of e-liquid or the battery has run out power they need to be disposed of.

Refillable vapes on the other hand can last for months or years, as they can be recharged and refilled with your choice of e-liquid - the only part that needs to be replaced is the pod or coil. Below we’ve explained the different types of refillable vapes, including the best vapes for beginners.

How to vape for the first time?

If you’re just starting out on your vape journey, a vaping starter kit is probably the best thing for you. A starter kit offers a no-frills, easy-to-use vaping experience for first time users, and is a less expensive option than some of the more complex modified kits, which we will get onto later in this guide. 

Beginner vaping kits tend to be low output and are regulated, with parts that are easy to remove and very few settings. These types of kits are safe and straightforward, and therefore a great place to start when trying vaping for the first time.

Choosing the vaping kit that’s right for you also means finding one that fits with your lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, a device with a long battery life may be the best option. If you’re looking for an alternative to cigarettes a mouth to lung style vape would suit you best. Ask yourself what exactly you want from a vape, whether it's customisation or simplicity your answers will help guide you towards the right vape for you.

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Pods Mods and Advanced Kits

If you’re an experienced vaper and are looking to take the next step in your vaping journey, you may wish to take a look at some of our other types of vapes such our Pod Vapes and Advanced vapes.

Pod vape kits are a type of vape that utilise a vape pod instead of a vape tank, and there are 2 different types:

  • Open Pod Systems - These types of pod kits feature a refillable pod with replaceable coils - when the coil burns out you remove it and insert a new one, but keep the pod.
  • Closed Pod Systems - This type of pod kit contains a fixed-coil that cannot be removed - if the pod is a refillable pod you will need to dispose of the entire pod when it begins to taste burned. If you’re using a prefilled pod you will need to dispose of the pod once it’s empty.

Pod vapes are a great choice for vapers with experience who also enjoy convenience and simplicity, as many of them feature only a minimal amount of adjustable settings such as airflow and power - and using a closed pod system can eliminate the need for messy coil changes or refills.

Advanced vape kits are better suited to vaping enthusiasts with a wealth of knowledge and experience at their fingertips, as they can be quite complicated. Advanced vape kits usually feature a vape tank or pod tank that is either inserted into or attached to a vape mod/vape battery. Advanced kits also possess numerous adjustable settings and features, including an assortment of vaping modes as well as a fully customisable airflow and variable wattage. Many advanced vapes are sub ohm vapes which can handle larger amounts of power and are designed to produce thick clouds of vapour.

RTA-ADV
Mechanical Mods & Rebuildables

Mechanical mods, also known as ‘mech mods’ are an unregulated tube mod and are composed of a metallic tube that houses the vape battery that allows battery power to flow freely into the device, delivering a raw current to the atomizer. This allows the user more control over the level of vapour produced, but is less safe than regulated mods. Mech mods have been around for as long as vaping has, and is the staple favourite of advanced and experienced vapers. Although mech mods can go out of favour for a time, we often see a resurgence in usage. Mech mods are some of the most innovative, and beautifully designed devices out there, stunning pieces, from brands like Avid Lyfe, VGOD, and Dotmod, push the boundaries in design and innovation.

Mech mods do not possess any safety features or settings and are intended for experienced vapers only. An understanding of Ohms Law, battery safety and practice building coils is a MUST for those that choose to use mech mods. Mechanical Mod vapes are designed for use with rebuildable dripping atomisers (RDA) and rebuildable tank atomisers (RTA) and shouldn’t be used with a regular vape tank or pod tank. Mech mods take a lot of practice to start using and can be incredibly dangerous if used inappropriately.

  • RDA - Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDAs) are atomisers used to drip e-liquid directly onto the coil and wick that you have built in order to provide a more intense flavour from your juice.
  • RTA - Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs) are similar to an RDA, but rather than manually dripping liquid onto the coil that you’ve built, the coil is instead inserted into a tank that you refill the same way you would a regular vape tank.
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Box Mods

Box Mods, sometimes referred to as vape mods, are the part of any vape that houses the battery and are used to power the device. One of the benefits of using a box mod is that you can pair it with almost any pod tank or vape tank to create a custom setup.
Another benefit of using a box mod is that it grants you a larger range of choices when it comes to battery capacity as there are box mods available with an internal battery, as well as those that take a single 18650 battery, dual 18650s, as well as triple 18650 batteries! There are also box mod vapes that take 21700 and 20700 batteries for an even larger battery life, which decreases the need for recharging - although 18650 batteries tend to be more popular as they’re much easier to get ahold of.
Leading manufacturers like VooPoo, Smok and Geek Vape provide cutting edge technology in their box mods allowing the user more functionality and a better user experience in allowing them to tailor their vape experience more.

How to Choose a vape juice?

One of the pleasures of vaping is being able to personalise your experience and experiment with different flavours through your selection of vape juice. Vape juice, also called e-liquid or vape liquid, is made up of different ratios of PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin). The ratio of PG to VG will affect your vaping experience as different vape juices are suited to different types of vapes. Both are safe to use, but as you’ll soon find out, they have their differences.

The difference between high-PG and high-VG e-liquids

PG is thinner than VG, which helps reduce the chances of burning the coils in your vape device. It also creates a stronger throat hit, which smokers may prefer, as it provides a more authentic experience that is closer to regular cigarettes, and so may be more effective in helping them to wean off smoking. High PG vape liquids, such as nicotine salt vape juices, are better suited to low powered vapes such as Starter Vape Kits and Mouth to Lung vapes, as PG requires less heat, and thus less power, to turn into a vapour.

VG is a thicker substance than PG, which means that it can cause coils to burn quicker as they have to work harder to turn it into a vapour. VG is a gentle, natural substance, and very unlikely to cause a reaction when inhaled. For those who want a more soothing vaping experience, a higher VG to PG ratio like those found in out 70/30 VG shortfill e-liquids may be advisable.

Nicotine vape juices

Another aspect of e-liquids to consider is the nicotine content. Nicotine is addictive, but in itself not especially harmful to the human body - it is the tar and chemicals found in cigarettes that do the real damage. Vaping is a simple and easy way to regulate your nicotine consumption, while still enjoying the sensation of ‘smoking’. 

You can find e-liquids ranging from high nicotine levels (20 mg/ml) to nicotine-free (0 mg/ml). Trying to wean yourself off nicotine? It’s best to begin with a nicotine level that matches your current nicotine consumption. We’d recommend 3mg - 6mg for occasional or social smokers, whilst those who smoke 10 - 15 cigarettes a day may benefit from 6mg - 12mg vape juices. Heavy smokers that smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day might prefer a stronger nicotine strength ranging from 16mg to 20mg.

Vape juice flavours

There are thousands of different flavours of e-liquid available - it’s just about finding the type that works best for you. If you’re craving the earthy taste of tobacco, there are plenty of tobacco-flavoured juices to satisfy your senses. Whereas if you prefer something a little sweeter you might enjoy a candy or dessert flavour vape liquid.
Although there are many different combinations for you to pick and choose from, including fruity flavours, minty menthol and sparkling sweet sodas - plus many more. We’d suggest trying out a few to find the flavour that suits you best. Everyone has a different palette, so the best type of liquid is entirely subjective.

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How to vape?

So far we’ve covered all the different types of vape kits as well as explained everything you need to know about e-liquids - with that out of the way we can address your most burning question; how to vape safely. It’s important to remember that vaping is a smoking cessation tool, and that many vapes and vape liquids contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance. If you do not usually use nicotine we’d advise against vaping nicotine products, as it can lead to addiction. That being said, if you’re vaping as a substitute for smoking, or are interested in nicotine-free products, keep scrolling to discover how to vape properly and how to make sure you’re safe whilst doing so!

How to use a vape?

Using a vape is quite straightforward once you understand the essentials. 

  • If the vape you’re using has an activation button you will need to press this button either 5 times or 3 times in quick succession to switch the vape on. 
  • The next step is to prime your pod or coil and let it sit for approximately 1 minute to ensure it’s fully saturated before use. 
  • Once you’ve primed your pod or coil you need to fill your pod or tank with your chosen e-liquid.
  • With your pod/tank now full of vape juice you need to either press and hold the button whilst inhaling from the mouthpiece to activate the vape; or if the vape doesn’t have a button(s), inhale on the mouthpiece instead to get started.

Don’t worry if you’re unsure of how to fill your vape with e-liquid or prime your coil, as we’ll cover those in just a moment.

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How to charge a vape?

To charge your vape, take the USB cable that comes with your vape - this could be a micro-USB cable or a USB-C cable, and plug the smaller end into your vape. Take the larger, USB end of the cable and connect it to an appropriate plug, before inserting the plug into an electrical outlet.
Some vapes are fast-charge capable, which means that they can utilise 1.5A, 2A or even 3A electrical currents in order to charge the battery. However, we would recommend that you check the instruction manual before attempting to use a powerful electrical outlet to charge your vape, as too much power running through your vape kit can damage it.
Always keep an eye on your vape whilst it’s charging - do not leave it unattended and take it off charge as soon as the battery is full to avoid damage caused by overcharging. If your vape uses removable batteries such as 18650 batteries we’d recommend removing them from the device and charging them separately using a battery bay charger.

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How to refill a vape?

To refill your vape all you need to do is locate the refill port - which could be located at the top, on the side or at the bottom of the pod or tank. Vape pods will usually have their refill port sealed with a rubber stopper that you can gently pull out to reveal the hole beneath. Vape tanks however can be a touch more complicated, as it’s not usually as simple as locating the rubber bung and inserting your vape juice.
To refill a vape tank you may need to unscrew and remove the top of the tank, or slide it open to reveal the refill port/e-liquid hole beneath. Once you’ve found it though, it's as simple as pushing the nozzle of your bottle through the hole and squeezing your vape juice into the tank or pod until it’s full. 

How to inhale a vape?

One question that many new vapers ask is ‘how to smoke a vape’. There are two different ways to inhale vapour - if you’re using a MTL (mouth to lung) vape we’d recommend first taking the vapour into your mouth before taking it into your lungs - the same way you’d inhale from a cigarette. If you’re using a sub ohm vape however you’ll need to use DTL (direct to lung) style vaping, this is where you inhale the vapour directly into your lungs in one strong draw and then blow it straight back out.

Vape Maintenance

Now you know what type of vape to pick and how to get started using it, it’s time to learn how to maintain your vape! Some vapes, such as advanced vapes, take more maintenance than others - but it’s still essential that you learn how to do so in order to make the most of your vape and prevent any potential problems from cropping up.

How to prime a vape coil?

Priming is what we call the process of saturating the cotton within your vape coil or vape pod. Priming your coil or pod can help it last longer, as a dry coil will quickly begin to burn and will then need to be replaced sooner. However, by saturating the coil with vape juice you prevent accidental burning when the coil is first activated.
To prime your pod or coil you need to drip a few drops of your vape juice into the centre of the pod or coil, where the cotton is located. A large coil may take 5 - 10 drops, or potentially more to soak properly. A smaller coil with less cotton may take 3 - 5 drops. Once you’ve soaked the inside of the coil you should fill your pod or tank with vape juice and allow it to sit for a minute or two to ensure that it’s fully saturated. After this you can use your vape straight away!

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How to clean vape tank?

To clean a vape tank we would first recommend that you remove the coil from the tank, as water should not come into contact with your coil at any point. It’s also wise to detach your vaping tank from your vape device to prevent any accidental water damage from occurring, which could cause your vape to stop working.
Once you’ve detached your tank and removed the coil we suggest rinsing the different pieces of your tank in clean, warm water - do not use soap on your tank as this could leave a residue that’s unsafe when inhaled. Lastly, use a clean, dry tissue to dry your tank as much as possible before setting it to one side to dry.

Common Vape Questions

At Grey Haze we remember what it’s like to be a new vaper and how many questions we had in the beginning, which is why we’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions to help guide you through your journey and to vape troubleshoot and problems that might crop up from time to time.

 

How old do you have to be to vape?

Wondering how old do you need to be to vape? The answer is simple - 18 years of age or older. The age to vape is 18 years of age due to the fact that vapes are classed as tobacco products, which contain nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance and is therefore illegal for use or purchase by minors (those under the age of 18) within the UK.

How old do you have to be to buy a vape?

As explained above, you need to be of at least 18 years of age in order to purchase or use a vape - it is also illegal to purchase a vape for anybody under the age of 18 years old. This is to protect underage individuals from becoming addicted to nicotine.

How to vape without setting off a smoke alarm?

Although we do not condone or recommend vaping in areas where it is prohibited, forbidden or illegal - we can understand you wanted to vape in your own home without setting off your fire alarm. The best way to do this is to inhale the vapour as you would normally and to hold your breath for 20 - 30 seconds after doing so. Holding your breath reduces the amount of vapour released when you exhale, making it far less likely that you’ll accidentally set off a fire alarm.

How many puffs of a 20mg vape is equal to a cigarette?

Most people will get 10 - 15 puffs out of a single cigarette, depending on the brand, type and the length of their inhales. A 20mg vape will require a similar amount of puffs to provide you with the equivalent amount of nicotine and satisfaction as a cigarette.

How to open a vape juice bottle?

Most vape juice bottles feature a child-proof cap to prevent minors from being able to open them, as nicotine containing e-liquid could be hazardous to their health if accidentally ingested. As they have a childproof cap you will need to push down on the lid of your vape juice bottle whilst simultaneously twisting it in an anti-clockwise motion.

How to dispose of a vape?

Vapes cannot be safely recycled or disposed of at home due to the fact that they contain numerous materials which cannot be recycled, as well as a lithium-ion battery that must be recycled professionally. In order to dispose of your vape we’d recommend sending them back to the manufacturer or retailer for proper recycling, as any vape distributor should follow WEEE regulations.

How to recharge a disposable vape?

There is no way to safely and reliably recharge a disposable vape - please do not attempt to do this at home as it could be incredibly dangerous. If you would prefer a rechargeable vape, rather than a disposable vape, we would suggest taking a look at our collection of prefilled pod kits. Prefilled pod vapes offer the same level of convenience and ease of use as a disposable vape but can be recharged and reused repeatedly. 

Author: Taz Dean

Taz Dean has had a ten year career in the vaping industry. He has helped build business', develop products and create e-liquid lines globally. As an ex smoker, avid vaper and vaping advocate, he has years of knowledge and experience on aspects of the vaping industry, from the shop floor all the way to distribution . This unique insight helps with his unique perspective and engaging informational content.

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