Are you new to vaping? Or haven’t started yet?
Then you’re bound to have some questions.
So we’ve asked experienced vapers what their top questions were when they started vaping.
We’ve also drawn upon the advice of our experienced customer service team (some of who have been answering e-cig questions every day since 2011!).
1. How do you fill electronic cigarettes?
So, it all depends on what type of device you are using.
1. For a cigalike, you don’t need to fill it. All you need to do is screw the cartomiser into the battery and inhale. Couldn’t be easier!
The video below demonstrates how:
2. For clearomisers, no matter which kind you use, the key points are:
i. Do not let eliquid get down the centre tube.
ii. Leave the clearomiser to stand for five minutes before vaping, to allow the eliquid to soak in.
It’s also a good idea to prime the clearomiser before using it by dripping a few drops of eliquid into the coil before usage. (This is also essential with some higher end devices which use a higher voltage.)
See the video below for instructions on how to fill the Aspire Dual Coil Bottom Clearomiser.
For more infomation see these posts:
2. How much will vaping cost me?
Set Up Costs
Once you’re sure it’s for you, for the best possible experience I’d advice upgrading to a bottom dual coil/vertical coil clearomiser like the Aspire BDC and a variable voltage battery like the Smok Gram 25.
You’ll see many vapers online spending a lot more than that. But when I am out and about I notice that there are many vapers who are perfectly happy with basic equipment. In any case, make sure that vaping is for you before splurging!
On ECigaretteDirect, large cartomisers start at £9.99. A 20 a day smoker is likely to use between 5 and 6 packs of cartomisers a month.
Clearomisers and Coils
You can pick up a fixed coil H2 clearomiser for just a few quid. But it’s actually cheaper in the long run to buy a more expensive clearomiser with a changable coil. That’s because coils don’t last for ever (they can last anything from a few days to a month, or more). If you choose a clearomiser with changable coils, you could be looking at an average of less than two pounds a month expense (more if you use low resistance coils.)
Coils are easy to change – here’s how:
The cost of eliquid varies hugely and here we’ve given representative prices for e-liquid manufactured in the UK, to strict safety standards and audited by the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association.
Use of eliquid obviously varies hugely but most 20 a day smokers will use around 10ml a week, which would cost £3.99 a week. At this rate you could be spending just under £16.00 a month.
Batteries for e-cigarettes are a difficult one, as how long they last can vary. I met one of our customers in the pub whose battery was still going strong after two years, but at times they may only last a few months. (If your battery lasts less than a month, most retailers will replace it for free.) To maximise the life of your battery, check out our tips here.
Regular sized batteries start at £9.99, and are unlikely to cost you more than £30 a year, while using variable voltage batteries could cost around £60-90 a year.
3. Will I save money?
Thanks to taxes on tobacco, it’s a virtual certainty you will save money. In fact, one of our customers was featured in the Mail after switching to ecigs…
4. What are the health benefits of e-cigs?
Scientists have told us that the benefit of electronic cigarettes lie in how they work.
Cigarettes are bad for you because they produce smoke. As the smoke cools down, it produces tar and carcinogens.
Electronic cigarettes they vapourise nicotine rather than burning tobacco. It’s not completely safe, but at the E-Cigarette Summit last year a panel of scientists estimated them to be around 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes. A survey of the evidence by Public Health England agrees, while the Royal College of Physicians believes that any long term harm from smoking “is likely to be very small, and substantially smaller than that arising from tobacco smoking.”
In recent years, a huge number of studies have been carried out into electronic cigarettes. One of the largest, a survey of over thousands of vapers, found huge benefits to people switching from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.
For more information:
5. Do ecigs work? Will they help me quit smoking?
@thesmokersangel Question – Will it work? Answer – Yes. Result – Oh yes it did. 3 years now only vaping. No more tobacco ever!!!
— Mandi de Launay (@GrannieMandi) March 19, 2015
Unfortunately, retailers aren’t allowed to say that electronic cigarettes can help you quit smoking, as electronic cigarettes are not a licensed nicotine cessation aid. And after all, you are not quitting nicotine itself, just switching to a different type of nicotine delivery device.
However, at the last count over two million people had successfully switched to electronic cigarettes. A third were exclusively using electronic cigarettes, with the rest using them to decrease the amount they smoked. What’s more, research suggests that around half of people who have used e-cigs to reduce the amount they smoke will eventually switch 100% to e-cigs:
(Update: Since this post was written, at least three studies have found that electronic cigarettes are twice as effective as NRT aids.)
6. What strength e-liquid/cartridges do I need?
When people visit us in our shops, we offer a variety of strengths for people to try. But for people who can’t do this, we advise:
1. Starting off one strength above the nicotine level in your regular brand of cigarette.
2. Being open to playing around with different nicotine strengths. (Many vapers slowly reduce their nicotine over time too.)
However, over on our Facebook page Mike Felling has come up with a more advanced explanation:
The top question I had (a question that most stores when I started and still today can’t see to do any better on than a rough guess) was what strength to use. So I figured out this formula for my own use – (S x C) x 0.667 = N.
Most brands of cigarettes have listed somewhere online how much nicotine (S) is in their cigarettes per stick (google “nicotine content” and your brand and most are easy to find). Find that number, multiply this by how many you smoke (C) and multiply this total by 0.667 (since the machines used to test cigarettes for nicotine content are more efficient than your average smoker because machines use a constant draw) and you get a really close idea of how much nicotine you are usually taking in on a daily basis (N).
Find the juice strength nearest to this, and you have a really good chance of trading smoking for vaping in a matter of days, if not hours. You can also modify this formula by replacing 0.’667 with 0.500 if you smoke half a cigarette and toss the rest, or 0.250 if you only take a couple of puffs and let the rest of the cigarette just burn away.
This formula got me to change from the store recommendation of 16mg to 24mg two years ago and I haven’t had a cigarette since (and have been decreasing the nicotine strength gradually since then to prevent the urge to go back to smoking – gradually because my nicotine dependency grew gradually over time while smoking and using the same principal in reverse is logically sound).
Thanks for the detailed tip, Mike!
7. What type of electronic cigarette should I get?
Some smokers still want an e-cigarette that looks like a cigarette. However, we do find that in our shops, where people can try both, over 90% of people will choose a refillable e-cigarette over a cigalike. The throat hit is better, you can use it with a huge range of flavours and it is cheaper in the long run.
At the same time, many of our customers have used cigalikes for years and are perfectly happy with them. So, the best advice is to use the device which works for you.
If you do go for a refillable electronic cigarette, and throat hit and vapour are important for you, I’d recommend going for a variable voltage battery from the start.
For more information about throat hit, see:
8. Will my e-cigarette battery blow up?
The number one cause of ecig battery incidents is using the wrong charger with an electronic cigarette battery.
The worst culprit seems to be iphone chargers.
Not only does charging with the wrong charger lead to the risk of an incident, it will also invalidate all warranties and liabilities from the supplier.
Now, if you buy from a reputable supplier both the battery and the charger will come with overcharge protection. However, nothing is 100% fool proof, and for safety you should be using a dedicated ecig charger.
1. Do not use a damaged battery.
2. Keep batteries away from extreme heat or cold.
3. Keep batteries out of direct sunlight.
For more information on batteries, see:
9. Can I use e-cigs indoors?
There is currently no legislation restricting the use of electronic cigarettes indoors or in public places in the UK, although the Welsh government is pushing for legislation. In the US restrictions vary by state. (For more information on using e-cigs outside the UK, see our Guide to Vaping Abroad or our Interactive World Vaping Map).
However, even where e-cigs are legal to use indoors, many companies and organisations have instituted their own bans, including a number of the large chain pubs. If in doubt, always ask first (or at least stealth vape)!
10. How many drags should I take?
Generally when you smoke you’ll probably find that you finish your cigarette, whether you want to or not. Ironically, the high price of cigarettes (which are supposed to act as a deterrent to smoking) mean that smokers don’t want to waste them! Yet some research has suggest that the very first puff or two is all you need to satisfy a cravings.
Now, there’s no one answer to how many drags you should take. That’s because research shows that smokers are self-titrating – i.e. they take enough nicotine to satisfy their urges but not more. However, in general you’ll probably find you take fewer puffs than you do with a cigarette, but more often, as you can satisfy your nicotine cravings without having to waste a whole cigarette.
What other top questions do beginners need answered? Let me know in the comments below.
20% Off Halo Starter Kits
PHE publishes independent expert e-cigarettes evidence review, Public Health England, Feb 2019
Promote e-cigarettes widely as substitute for smoking says new RCP report, Royal College of Physicians, April 2016
Hajek P, Phillips-Waller A, Przulj D, et al. A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement TherapyNew England Journal of Medicine. N Engl J Med, Feb 2019; 380:629-637 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1808779
Jackson S et al, Moderators of real‐world effectiveness of smoking cessation aids: a population study Wiley Online Library, May 2019 https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14656