Saturday, April 20, 2013

Virgin Vaping: Simple Guide

I'm posting again to Vape-O-Rama because a friend just got her first PV. We were sitting at a bar last night and I'm trying to think of an easy way to explain everything she needs to know in a quick and concise manner because, let's be honest, vaping wasn't really the first thing on my mind as far as topics of conversation go. The Tom Collins I was drinking didn't help much either. It did get me thinking, however, about how to condense all the massive amount of information about vaping that's out there into a simple guide.

The more I think about it there are a few things that all vaping virgins need to know to have a great first time. At it's basic level, it's actually quite simple. Your first time shouldn't be confusing or complex. So, let's pop that cherry.

We're going to take a look at the basic considerations from least important to most important. The four things to consider are the battery, the atomizer, the juice and how to vape. We'll look at each in detail elsewhere, but here's the quick version.

The Battery

450, 650, and 1100 mAh batteries.
For virgins, bigger is better.
We'll start with the battery because, to be honest, these days it's not terribly important. It needs to be reliable and have a standard atomizer connector. Just about any battery you buy from a reliable source is going to do the job and do it very well. Don't worry about what all this means, dear virgin. Just relax and go with it.

Happy Vapor Virgin:

  • 510 or "Ego Style" atomizer connector.
  • 650 mAh rating batteries or higher (how long the charge lasts).
  • Buy a kit with two batteries and a wall charger minimum.
  • Pick a pretty color.

Sad Vapor Virgin:

  • Non-standard or proprietary atomizer connectors.
  • Pen-style batteries (280 mAh or lower)
  • Complex "battery mods."

Tweaks To Consider:

  • Simple variable voltage control (like the Ego Twist).
  • Controls to turn the PV off.

The Atomizer

The ViVi Nova and Kanger T3
replaceable atomizer tank systems.
Perfect for the budding Vape Virgin.
Atomizers, like many things, come in all shapes and sizes. It's job is to deliver the juice. Drop in the juice, heat it up, and boom, vapor. The combination of battery and atomizer can be one of the most complex, but useful, things to understand about vaping. They come in different ratings (measured by resistance in Ohms) and different juice delivery systems (straight atomizers, cartomizers, tanks, and other wild and wacky stuff).

Your first time, though, just keep it simple.

Happy Vapor Virgin:

  • Whatever came with the kit will probably work.
  • Replaceable atomizer tank system (like the ViVi Nova or Kanger T3)
  • 1.8 to 2.2 Ohms rating. Lower is a hotter vape, higher is a cooler vape.
  • Keep backups and extras (you're going to be trying a lot juice).
  • When the vape tastes funky, replace the atomizer.
  • Pick a pretty color.

Sad Vapor Virgin:

  • Straight atomizers (used for dripping, an advanced technique).
  • Cartomizers with fiber fillings.
  • Low resistance (1.5 Ohms or lower) or HV (2.5 Ohms or higher) atomizers.


As exciting as experimentation is, this is something you can get into later. It can radically change your vaping pleasure, or lack thereof. Go too low and you'll constantly be burning up your atomizers and juice, or both. Go too high and you won't get enough flavor. Save mixing things up until you're comfortable with the regular way.

The Juice

Da Juice! Available in eye popping
flavors, from Cheesecake and
Energy Drink to exotic tobaccos
like Line Rider and Harbor Nite.
Next to actual technique, we're going to maintain (arguably) that the juice you select is the most important consideration you'll have when switching to vaping. The logic is simple: if it doesn't taste good, you won't do it. Vaping is not smoking. It's vaguely like smoking. Sorta. To stick with it, you have to find something that makes it better than smoking.  That would be the juice.

The other consideration with the juice is how much nicotine it contains (rated in milligrams or mg). The nicotine in mg can range from 6mg (low and slow) to 36mg (burn your eyeballs out).  Anything more than that is not terribly safe.

Happy Vapor Virgin:

  • PG juice (more flavor) or a light mix of PG/VG (70%/30% at most).
  • 16 to 18mg of nicotine.
  • Pick a flavor you already enjoy (probably not tobacco!)
  • Go to a store that let's you sample!
  • Settle on a flavor or two and stick with them for awhile (couple of weeks).

Sad Vapor Virgin:

  • Too much or pure VG (vegetable glycerin).
  • Experimenting too much at the start.
  • Too high or too low mg rating (6mg on the low side, 24 or 36mg on the high side).


  • More VG = More Vapor and "throat hit."
  • More PG = more flavor.
  • Adjust the mg rating to your liking after you learn "How to Vape"
  • Carry an extra atomizer tip to "share" with other vapers.
  • Experiment! But to do it slowly. You don't want to try everything in one night.

How To Vape

Vaping is not smoking. I say that to people all the time. Technically, it's a replacement for smoking, granted. But other than inhaling and exhaling, it's pretty different. The goal is to replace the habits of smoking, with the habits of vaping. To do that takes a little practice, patience, and technique.

Don't use a vaporizer like a cigarette. Too often I see people who try to vape just jam the thing in their mouths and start sucking on it willy-nilly.


When you first start out, slow, gentle and longer is better than fast and hard.  You can get into the freaky hardcore stuff later, if that's what tickles your tits. For now, learn to do it right.

Happy Vapor Virgin:

  • Fire the atomizer for a 3-5 seconds.
  • Soft, controlled suckage and let the vapor hit the back of your throat.
  • Hold the vapor in your mouth for a few seconds.
  • You don't need to inhale it into your lungs (won't hurt if you do, though).
  • Exhale slowly.
  • Vaping takes longer than smoking (but you can do it more frequently).

Sad Vapor Virgin:

  • Puffing it like a smoke. No.
  • Firing the atomizer for too long (wait, and take another puff in a few seconds).
  • Giving up. (It takes 21 days to form a habit. Give it a month.)
  • Smoking and vaping. Give up the cigs right from the start.


There aren't any. It takes a little practice, but you'll get the hang of it fairly quickly. Like in one or two tries. If it's not doing it for you, consider trying some of the tweaks listed above.

That's it. Welcome to vaping!


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