Vaping Mistakes: 21 Things People Get Wrong When They Start Vaping

Vaping Mistakes: 21 Things People Get Wrong When They Start Vaping

Updated: June 2021

Burnt coils. Spilt e-liquid. Leaking tanks.

It’s easy to make a mistake when starting to vape – and after 13 years of vaping I think I’ve seen or made most of the mistakes here!

But don’t be put off – over those 13years e-cigarettes have become ever easier to use and with new beginner devices it’s getting easier and easier to start vaping. With the help of this guide, you can learn from other’s mistakes, and get off to vaping with a flying start.

1. Buying an advanced vape mod from the word go

One of the biggest problems new vapers make when they start vaping is buying the wrong device. Unfortunately, some shops encourage this by selling expensive high-end devices that are not right for new users.

Ideally, most new vapers need something which is easy to use, has a draw similar to that of a cigarette, and delivers the right throat hit for you. One great option for new vapers is a vape starter kit like these. Usually small, compact and often coming with an automatic draw, they are very easy to use.

Another option is to get a device that can be upgraded with a simple change of the coil. This means you can have a tight draw similar to a cigarette but with the option to switch to a vape with more vapour and a looser draw in the future.

An exception to this is when you have friends who are willing to give support. You can often start by trying their devices and move straight to the high-end device your friends use.

Man holding the Smok Species vape mod

2. Buying a poor quality e-cigarette

You can understand it. Someone who has never bought a vape can easily think they’re all the same – that the £5.00 vape pen with five year old technology displayed on a market stall or in a garage is the same as any other device.

But that’s just not the case.

Buying the wrong vape can lead to:

  • Poor performance
  • Poor vapour production
  • Poor nicotine products
  • Poor battery life
  • Poor flavour production
  • Coils burning out
  • Coils not fitting

Fortunately, there is plenty of choice for vapers among the better manufacturers such as Innokin, Aspire, Vaporesso and others – and even these quality brands often have devices to match every budget

Vaporesso Go 40

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically selects best wattage for your coil
  • SSL leak resistant technology
Vaporesso Go 40

3. Starting with the wrong nicotine level

Another major mistake that many vapers make is starting with the wrong nicotine level.

It’s particularly important not to start with a nicotine level that’s too low. Your vape needs to be satisfying enough to replace tobacco cigarettes. It is worth bearing in mind that nicotine is not the only thing that contributes towards cigarette addiction. If you have a nicotine level that is too low, then the chances are you’ll find that the vape is not satisfying enough to replace cigarettes and/or you will be vaping away without feeling fully satisfied.If you’re using a higher nicotine level, and still not getting the hit you need, or are finding the throat hit too harsh, consider trying nicotine salts.

Halo e-liquid in different nicotine strengths

4. Starting with too much nicotine

It’s also possible to have too much nicotine. This is actually rarer than starting with a nicotine level that is too low. I’ve only experienced it when going round vape shows and trying many different e-liquids, or when a supplier has brought dozens of different e-liquids to sample.

The best thing to do is ensure that you have the right nicotine level for you from the start. When you’re buying from a vape shop they can help you with this. If you do feel you’ve had too much nicotine, simply take a break from vaping for a while. To learn more about the symptoms, and what to do about it, check out our article on nicotine overdose here.

5. Buying the wrong flavour

It’s also important to get the right e-juice – and it’s not just about nicotine. First you need to find the right flavour rather than rely on the first flavour being the one that does it for you. It’s important to try a number of flavours to find the perfect one for you. This will help ensure that vaping is a satisfying alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

You might well want to start off with tobacco, but bear in mind that when you start exploring the wonderful world of e-liquid flavours you are less likely to go back to smoking.

E-liquid bottles of different brands and flavours

6. Getting the VG:PG ratio right

It’s also vital to get the VG:PG ratio right. Almost all e-liquid contains propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). These are colourless alcohols which are responsible for producing the vapour when you vape. PG gives a better hit on the back of your throat and carries flavour better. VG is sweeter, thicker and produces more vapour. For more information about this see our article on PG and VG.

When you start vaping you usually want a higher PG level (e.g. VG:PG 50:50) such as Halo e-liquid. PG is easier on the basic coil that you usually find in starter devices. That’s because VG is thick and needs special coils in order to work correctly. PG also gives a good throat hit in starter devices that is more similar to that of a cigarette. If you decide to go more advanced in the future and start using larger devices and coils built for cloud vaping, you’ll want to move on to an e-liquid with a higher VG level.

7. Expecting too much too soon

Some smokers switch to vaping without a problem. However, for some of us it takes time. After all, vaping isn’t just like smoking – for a start, it’s likely to be less addictive. Fortunately the research shows that people who dual vape (both smoke and vape), are often very successful in switching to vaping completely in the long term.

For some handy tips and advice on making the switch, see Smoking to Vaping in 6 weeks.

8. Not getting support

As Stop Smoking Expert Louise Ross pointed out in her interview with us, smokers’ success rates when switching to vaping skyrocket when they get support. Public Health England agrees, stating that using a vape device with specialist support leads to some of the highest quit rates.

Specialist support, such as from a stop smoking service, is probably the most effective. However any support, including friends, family, other vapers and forums,m are also likely to help.

9. Not following the correct charging instructions

Battery malfunctions are rare, but they can happen. The best way to avoid them is to follow the guidelines in our battery safety infographic.

MiPod vape device charging through a laptop

10. Not being informed

Vaping is a disruptive industry that threatens many billions in revenue to both corporations and governments. The FDA is also very alarmed by the take up of vaping amongst teenagers, especially in recent months with the surge in popularity by Juul. So it’s not surprising that millions are being spent on PR against vaping.

While the UK government has given out a consistent message that, based on evidence, vaping is around 95% safer than smoking, many people are still convinced vaping is just as bad. Being informed can help deal with any objections.

A great place to start is our interview with Karen House of the Leicester Stop Smoking service, which deals with 14 common objections to vaping and why they’re wrong.

11. Making mistakes when filling

Vape tanks are getting easier and easier to fill. The main thing to remember is that when you’re filling, do not get e-liquid down the centre tube of a tank.

Most modern tanks are now top-fill and have a hole in the side of the top through which you fill e-liquid. Some, such as the Zenith II tank (found in the Coolfire Z80 kit), have a valve which makes it even easier to fill. If unsure, check the instructions that comes with your tank, or check out the video below.

12. Not changing the coil regularly enough

As coils get older they acquire gunk. They can also get burnt spots. This can lead to the flavour decreasing or the coil becoming burnt. To avoid this, change coils regularly. It may also be worth cleaning your tank! To do so simply run hot water through it, and then leave to dry for 24 hours. You can also soak it in a white alcohol to get it even cleaner.

13. Keeping your vape on in your pocket

“Excuse me, but I think your pocket is on fire,” said the Doctor.

That was one of my more embarrassing vape experiences, with vapour coming out of my pocket while I consulted a doctor after a spider bite abroad. (It was still better than the subsequent injection in my rear end, though.)

That doesn’t happen often, especially with modern devices, but it’s still well worth turning off your device before putting it in your pocket.

You should also keep your battery away from other metal/coins/keys etc. One of the best things to do is to get a vape bag. The Kbag and Kbag Mini are designed specifically for vapers, but any bag that holds your devices securely will do.

Smok Stick V8 in pocket

14. Combining the wrong battery and tank

I still wince when I see a tank such as the Aspire Nautilus Mini on a powerful battery such as the Aspire Rhea Mod.

This isn’t always a major mistake, as many combinations will work together, but it is a waste. A tank such as the Nautilus has a high resistance (above 1 ohm). Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense to you, the key thing to remember here is that a high resistance only requires a low power setting.

It’s like using a racing car to pick up your laundry. It’ll work, but it’s a waste of money and power and it just looks… wrong.

Uwell Whirl S Kit

  • Stainless steel & quartz glass design
  • Convenient top-fill design
  • Auto & manual draw options
Uwell Whirl S Kit

15. Burning out coils

Coils burn out, it’s a fact of (vaping) life. But there are a number of things you can do to prevent it from happening.

  1. Prime your coils: Simply drip a few drops of e-liquid into the holes on your coil and down the center, and leave your e-liquid to soak into the coil before using it for the first time.
  2. Use the correct power range: Most tanks and coils now come with guidelines on the correct power range to use – stay within these and your coil will last longer.
  3. Adjust your vaping style depending on the device you are using: Chain or heavy vaping on a device with a low resistance tank can lower the life of the coil.

Dripping e-liquid into a coil to prime it

16. Not drinking enough water

Most e-liquids contain propylene glycol, which can lead to you feeling dehydrated. There’s a simple solution – drink water 🙂 (I’ve tried beer and whisky too, but it doesn’t work quite as well…)

17. Letting batteries run out

It’s easy to get caught out when you are new to vaping, but the last thing you want to do is run for a cigarette because you’re dying for a nicotine hit. Keep an eye on your power levels and make sure to keep your device charged. You need at least two batteries, and if you’re travelling a lot it’s worth carrying a Power Bank such as the Pebble Explorer.

19. Running out of e-liquid, pods or cartridges

Ditto! If you’re ordering online it’s easy to get caught out. Make sure you have enough supplies to last you, especially when bank holidays are coming up!

19. Mixing flavours

So you’ve finished your menthol, and want to try a new flavour. You top up the tank with a custard cream – only to get some perversion of custard and menthol. Yuck!

You can get away with mixing some flavours (menthol and fruit, for example, if that’s to your liking). But other flavours just don’t mix. Either utilise a separate tank, or clean the tank out and leave it to dry before using a new flavour.

Filling a tank with a different flavour

20. Thinking you have to know everything about vaping to get started

Spend too much time on blogs learning about voltage, watts and ohms and you could easily be mistaken for thinking vaping is a complicated thing only suitable for people with a strong technical bent. The truth is, vaping can be as easy or complicated as you want.

Many people who started on cartridge style ‘cigalikes’, for example, simply screw a cartridge into a battery and inhale. Simple pod systems are the same – just fill with e-liquid, clip in a pod and vape away.

Voopoo Vinci Pod Kit

  • Beginner friendly
  • Leak-resistant technology
  • Shockproof, anti-fingerprint & anti-glare design
Voopoo Vinci Pod Kit

21. Not understanding vape etiquette

Yep, there is such a thing as vape etiquette! Most of it is fairly basic – don’t blow vapour in people’s faces, for example! Based on a survey of hundreds of vapers, we’ve put together this infographic guide to vape etiquette.

That’s about it from us. What mistakes have you made when vaping? Let us know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Vaping Mistakes: 21 Things People Get Wrong When They Start Vaping”

  1. I need halo Virginia classic nicotine liquid in 12 mg in Karachi, Pakistan. Can I get it in Pakistan. Please reply on my email.

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