A Beginners’ Guide to Vaping: Everything You Need to Know

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Beginners guide to vaping

A Beginners’ Guide to Vaping: Everything You Need to Know

Vaping has become a popular alternative to smoking cigarettes. Many people are interested in trying it out but don’t know where to start. A beginner’s guide to vaping can help those who are new to vaping learn the basics and get started on their journey.

Understanding vaping is the first step to getting started. Vaping involves inhaling vapour from an electronic device or ‘vape’ that heats up a liquid, which often contains nicotine. The liquid is converted into vapour, which is then inhaled into the lungs. Understanding the components of a vape, types of vapes, and how to choose your first vape is essential for beginners. It is also important to know the health implications, vaping etiquette, maintaining your vape, and legality and regulations.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding vaping is the first step to getting started.
  • Knowing the components of a vape, types of vapes, and how to choose your first vape is essential for beginners.
  • Beginners should also be aware of the health implications, vaping etiquette, maintaining their vape, and legality and regulations.

Understanding Vaping


What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling vapour that is produced by an electronic cigarette or other vaping device. The vapour is created by heating a liquid, also known as e-juice or e-liquid, which typically contains nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals. Vaping is often seen as a less harmful alternative to smoking, as it does not involve the combustion of tobacco, which produces harmful chemicals such as tar and carbon monoxide.


History of Vaping

The first electronic cigarette was invented in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik. Lik was a heavy smoker who was inspired to create an alternative to traditional cigarettes after his father died of lung cancer. The first e-cigarette was marketed in China in 2004, and soon after, e-cigarettes began to gain popularity in other parts of the world.

Since their introduction, vapes have undergone numerous changes and improvements. Today, there are a variety of different types of e-cigarettes and vaping devices available, ranging from simple disposable vapes to more advanced devices that allow users to customise their vaping experience,

In recent years, there has been increasing concern about the potential health risks associated with vaping, particularly among young people. While vaping is generally considered to be less harmful than smoking, there are still many unknowns about the long-term health effects of vaping. As a result, many health experts recommend that people who do not already smoke cigarettes should not start vaping.

Components of a Vape

When it comes to vaping, there are several components that make up a vape device. Understanding these components is essential for beginners who are looking to start vaping. Here are the key components of a vape:



The Mod is the base unit or heart of the vape, encompassing the core functionalities and controls. It typically includes the screen displaying settings and information, power adjustments, and the on/off switch. Within the Mod is the battery, which powers the device. This can be a built-in battery or, in some models, external batteries that are charged separately. It’s also the point of attachment for other key components like tanks and coils, making it integral to the vaping experience.

When choosing a Mod, it’s important to consider compatibility with other components and its capacity to support your vaping needs throughout the day. Understanding the role and features of the Mod is essential for anyone starting in the world of vaping, as it’s not just a battery; it’s the control center that brings together all the elements of your vape device.



The tank is the part of the vape device that holds the e-liquid. It is usually made of glass or plastic and has a liquid capacity of 2ml. The tank connects to the vape mod and the coil, and the e-liquid is vaporised when it comes into contact with the hot coil. There are different types of tanks available, such as sub-ohm tanks, MTL tanks, and RTA tanks. Each type of tank has its own unique features and is suitable for different vaping styles. 

It is also important to note that tanks and coils are designed to be compatible with each other. This means that not every coil will fit or function properly with every tank. It’s crucial for vapers, especially beginners, to ensure that they select matching tanks and coils to guarantee optimal performance and avoid any potential issues with their vaping experience.



The coil is the part of the vape device that heats up and vaporises the e-liquid. It is made of a resistance wire that is wrapped around a wick. When the battery is activated, the coil heats up and vaporises the e-liquid. Vape coils come in different resistance levels, and can be considered Mouth-to-Lung Coils or Sub-Ohm Coils. Sub Ohm Coils are any coils with a resistance level below 1.0 ohms, where as Mouth-to-Lung coils are coils with a resistance level above 1.0 ohm’s. The resistance level of the coil determines the amount of vapour and flavour produced by the vape device. 



The e-liquid is the substance that is vaporised by the vape device. It is usually made of a mixture of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), flavourings, and nicotine (optional). E-liquids come in different flavours, ml sizes  and nicotine strengths. It is important to choose an e-liquid that is compatible with the vape device and has the right nicotine strength. Beginners are recommended to start with a low nicotine strength and gradually increase it as needed, however the optimal nicotine strength for a beginner will vary and depends on how many cigarettes a day they previously smoked. The more cigarettes an individual smoked a day, the higher nicotine strength they would require to successfully transition to vaping.


Understanding the components of a vape device is essential for beginners who are looking to start vaping. By choosing the right battery or mod, tank, coil, and e-liquid, beginners can enjoy a satisfying vaping experience.

Types of Vapes

When it comes to vaping, there are a variety of devices available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types of vapes:


Vape Pens

Vape pens are a popular choice for beginners as they are simple to use and inexpensive. They are small, lightweight, and typically have a rechargeable battery. Vape pens come in a variety of styles and are often used with pre-filled cartridges or tanks. They are ideal for those who want a discreet and portable device.


Box Mods

Box mods are larger and more powerful than vape pens and are often used by experienced vapers. They have a box-shaped design and come with a vape tank, Box mods can come with either a rechargeable battery or require external batteries. Box mods allow for more customisation as they can be adjusted to control the wattage and temperature. They are ideal for those who want a more powerful and customisable vaping experience.


Pod Systems

Pod systems represent a newer and increasingly popular category in the world of vaping. Characterised by their compact size and user-friendly design, these devices offer a straightforward vaping experience. Unlike traditional vape kits or more advanced setups that utilise a tank and coil system, Pod Kits feature easy-to-use pods. These pods come in two varieties: pre-filled for ultimate convenience or refillable for those who prefer to choose their own E-Liquid. The pods effortlessly snap into the device, making them an excellent choice for vapers seeking simplicity and portability.


Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes are a convenient option for those who want to try vaping without committing to a device. They are pre-filled with e-liquid and are designed to be used until they run out, and then thrown away. Disposable vapes are small and lightweight, making them ideal for those who want a discreet and portable option without fully committing to vaping.


Overall, the type of vape device that is best for a beginner will depend on their personal preferences and needs. It is important to do research and choose a device that is safe, reliable, and easy to use.


How to Choose Your First Vape

Choosing the right vape as a beginner can be overwhelming due to the variety of options available. However, it is essential to choose the right device to ensure an enjoyable vaping experience. Here are some factors to consider when choosing your first vape:


1. Type of Vape

The first step is to decide on the type of vape that you want. There are four main types of vapes: Pod Kits, Vape Pen Kits, and Advanced Sub-Ohm Kits or Box Mods and Disposable Vapes.

Pod Kits are compact and user-friendly, ideal for beginners. Vape Pen Kits offer a balance of simplicity and versatility, suitable for those who are stepping enjoy the similar shape to a cigarette. Advanced Sub-Ohm Kits or Box Mods provide more power and customisation but are better suited for experienced users. Disposable Vapes are the simplest, offering a use-and-throw convenience, perfect for those who want to try vaping without commitment.


2. Inhale Style

There are two main inhale styles in vaping: mouth to lung (MTL) and direct to lung (DTL). MTL is similar to smoking a cigarette and gives a tighter draw while vaping, where you first inhale the vapour into your mouth and then into your lungs. DTL is when you inhale the vapour directly into your lungs similar to shisha, creating large clouds. Beginners usually prefer MTL as it is more similar to smoking.


3. Battery Life

Battery life is an important factor to consider, especially if you plan to use your vape frequently. Vapes with larger batteries tend to last longer, but they are also larger and heavier. Vapes with smaller batteries are more compact and portable, but they need to be charged more frequently.


4. Ease of Use

As a beginner, you want a vape that is easy to use. Some vapes require more experience to use, while others are more beginner-friendly. Look for vapes with simple controls and easy-to-read displays.


5. Price

Price is also an important factor to consider when choosing your first vape. Vapes can range in price from £10 to over £80. While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, it is important to invest in a quality device that will last longer and provide a better vaping experience.


By considering these factors, beginners can choose the right vape to suit their needs and preferences.


Health Implications

Vaping has become a popular alternative to traditional smoking. While it is widely acknowledged that vaping is less harmful than smoking, it is still important to consider the potential health implications.


Benefits of Vaping

Vaping can offer several benefits over traditional smoking. For example, vaping does not produce tar, which is a significant contributor to lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. In addition, vaping has been found to be less harmful to the cardiovascular system than smoking. This is because vaping does not produce carbon monoxide, which can lead to heart disease.

Another benefit of vaping is that it can help people quit smoking. Nicotine is an addictive substance, and vaping can provide a way for smokers to gradually reduce their nicotine intake. This can be achieved by using e-liquids with lower nicotine concentrations. It is also important to note that vaping works out much cheaper in the long run than smoking cigarettes, especially for heavy pack-a-day and above smokers.


Potential Risks

One potential risk of vaping is the use of e-liquids with high nicotine concentrations. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and using e-liquids with high nicotine concentrations can lead to addiction. In addition, nicotine can have a negative impact on the developing brains of young people.

It is important to note that the long-term effects of vaping are not yet fully understood. While it is clear that vaping is less harmful than smoking, it is still a relatively new phenomenon and more research is needed to fully understand its potential health implications.


Vaping Etiquette

When it comes to vaping, there are some unwritten rules that one should follow to ensure that they are not disturbing others around them. Vaping etiquette is all about being considerate and respectful of others while enjoying your vaping experience.

One of the most important rules of vaping etiquette is to avoid vaping in public places where smoking is not allowed. This includes restaurants, bars, and other public spaces. Even though vaping is not as harmful as smoking, many people still find it unpleasant and may not want to be exposed to it.

Another important rule of vaping etiquette is to respect the personal space of others. This means avoiding vaping in crowded areas where your vapour could be blown into someone’s face. It’s also important to ask for permission before vaping around others, especially if you are in a confined space such as a car or a small room.

In addition to respecting the personal space of others, it’s also important to be mindful of where you exhale your vapour. Avoid exhaling your vapour in the direction of others, and try to exhale it away from people and animals.

Overall, vaping etiquette is all about being considerate and respectful of others while enjoying your vaping experience. By following these simple rules, you can ensure that you are not disturbing others and that you are able to enjoy your vaping experience to the fullest.


Maintaining Your Vape

Keeping your vape in good condition is essential to ensure it continues to function correctly and produces the best possible flavour. Two essential aspects of maintaining your vape are replacing coils and cleaning.


Replacing Coils

Vape coils are responsible for heating the e-liquid and producing vapour. Over time, the coils will become worn, and the flavour and vapour production will decrease. It’s essential to replace coils regularly to ensure the best possible vaping experience. You will know the coil needs to be replaced as you will get a burnt taste.

The frequency with which you need to replace your coils will depend on how often you vape and the type of e-liquid you use. As a general rule, you should replace your coils every one to two weeks.



Cleaning your vape is crucial to keep it in good condition. Regular cleaning can help to prevent the build-up of dirt and residue, which can affect the flavour of your e-liquid.

To clean your vape, you should disassemble it and clean each component separately. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the tank and mouthpiece, and use a cotton swab to clean any hard-to-reach areas. You can also soak the tank in warm water to remove any stubborn residue.

It’s also important to clean your coils regularly. You can do this by rinsing them under warm water and allowing them to dry completely before using them again.


Maintaining your vape is essential to ensure it continues to function correctly and produces the best possible flavour. By replacing coils regularly and cleaning your vape regularly, you can enjoy a great vaping experience for longer.


Legality and Regulations

Vaping is legal in the UK, but there are regulations that vapers must follow. The main regulations are set out in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) of 2016, which established the legal framework for vaping in the UK.


Here are some of the key regulations:

  • Age restrictions: You must be 18 years or older to buy and use a vape. It is illegal to sell vaping products to anyone under the age of 18.

  • E-liquid regulations: E-liquids must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before they can be sold. E-liquids must not contain more than 20mg (2%) of nicotine and must be in child-resistant packaging.

  • Tank and cartridge regulations: Tanks and e-liquid cartridges (including pods) cannot legally hold more than 2ml of liquid.

  • Advertising regulations: Vaping products cannot be advertised in certain places, including on television, radio, billboards, and in print media.

  • Public place regulations: Vaping is not allowed in most enclosed public places, including workplaces, bars, restaurants, and public transport.

It is important to note that these regulations are subject to change, and it is important for vapers to stay up-to-date with the latest regulations. Vapers should also be aware that some local authorities may have additional regulations in place.


Overall, vapers should ensure that they are familiar with the regulations and comply with them to avoid any legal trouble.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best vape for beginners?

For beginners, the best vape kit is one that balances ease of use with functionality. Pod Kits and Vape Pen Kits are highly recommended for their simplicity and user-friendliness. They offer a straightforward introduction to vaping without overwhelming new users.

How do I choose the right nicotine strength?

Choosing the right nicotine strength involves considering your previous smoking habits. A rough guideline is 1mg of nicotine for every cigarette you used to smoke per day. For example, if you smoked 10 cigarettes a day, a nicotine strength around 10-12mg could be suitable. It's advisable to start with a moderate level and adjust based on your comfort.

How often should I replace my vape coil?

You should replace your vape coil when it starts to give a burnt taste, indicating that it's burnt out. The lifespan of a coil varies depending on usage and the type of e-liquid. On average, a coil might last anywhere from one to two weeks. Regular maintenance and using the right e-liquid for your coil can extend its life.

What is the difference between PG and VG in e-liquids?

PG (Propylene Glycol) in e-liquids provides a stronger throat hit, while VG (Vegetable Glycerin) produces more vapour and a smoother sensation. E-liquids come in various PG/VG ratios, and the choice depends on your preference for throat hit versus vapour production.

Can vaping help me quit smoking?

Yes, vaping can be an effective smoking cessation tool. The key reason is that it allows smokers to continue receiving nicotine – the addictive substance in cigarettes – without the harmful smoke associated with tobacco combustion. Many smokers have successfully transitioned to vaping and gradually reduced their nicotine intake, eventually quitting altogether. However, it's important to approach vaping as a step towards quitting, not just a substitute for smoking.

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