You may be just a beginner to vaping, brand new to the whole culture, or perhaps you’ve been visiting a friend, and you’ve seen they have a vaping device that’s peaked your interest. Maybe you’re a smoker desperate to quit, and can’t find another way to do so. Regardless of how you may have found your way to here, this beginners guide to vaping aims to give you the knowledge to be confident in picking the right vaping kit/equipment for you, as well as choosing what you need for it. If you’d like more information on the eLiquids used in these devices, then please see our guide.
History Of The E-Cigarette
The first e-cigarette can be traced back to American inventor, Herbert A Gilbert, who patented a design for a device that “replaces burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air”.
While he produced some prototypes, his e-cigarette didn’t receive much attention, mainly due to the popularity and prevalence of tobacco cigarettes at the time.
It wasn’t until 2003 when Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik patented the modern design that we’ve become familiar with today.
Purpose Of An E-Cigarette
Starting from the very beginning, the purpose of an ecigarette is simply to deliver a portion of nicotine to its user. In order to do this, nicotine is mixed into a gel-like liquid substance consisting of a special blend of organic compounds, which then can be easily absorbed into cotton, and vapourised within a heated coil, where the resulting vapour is inhaled by the user.
What Is A Cigalike?
Although all e-liquid vapourisers function in essentially the same way, the cigalike is the most basic e-cigarette device, and looks very similar to a traditional tobacco cigarette, both in terms of its size and aesthetics.
The bottom bit of the ecigarette, where the filter/butt on a tobacco cigarette would be, is referred to as a Cartomiser, and this is what contains the heating element, and the vapable eLiquid.
The long, white bit on the ecigarette is the battery, and this contains the charge used to power the device, and vapourise the eLiquid.
The cartomiser on a cigalike is disposable, and once the eliquid runs out, it will have to be replaced.
Which Is A Basic Vape Kit?
Moving on from cigalikes, the next level of ecigarette hardware are the most basic eGO and EVOD style kits.
These can be thought of as the vaping equivalent of a biro or bic pen, in that the initial design has been generalized, copied, and slightly altered by a number of different companies, all released under the eGo or EVOD title.
Similar to the cigalike ecigarette, the eGo/EVOD instead allows the user to refill the top bit, instead of having to purchase pre-filled cartomisers.
While the kit is still disposable, and parts will have to be replaced after a period of time, the eGo/EVOD kit still offers advantages over the cigalike, as they generally house a larger capacity battery, as well as the ability to personalise and refill the vape flavour.
What Is A Vape Tank? (Top Bits)
If you’ve purchased yourself a basic piece of kit, you might be looking to upgrade the top bit, or clearomiser tank.
There’s many to choose from, and often with different attributes that will alter the vaping experience slightly.
The very basic clearomiser tanks are made from polycarbonate plastic and include GS-H2’s, CE4’s and CE5’s. You might recognize these if you have an eGO or EVOD kit, as it’s the tank that comes as standard with that kit.
Other tanks are made from sturdier materials, such as steel and glass, and some also offer an airflow system that cools the vapour before it reaches the mouth-piece.
What Are Replaceable Coils?
These replaceable coils (sometimes referred to as a coil, atomiser head, heating element or atomiser) are the aspect of the ecigarette that affects the vaping experience the most, with a vast range of different coils for a number of different functions and uses. Coils are the part of a vape device that heats the eliquid up to the point of vapourisation.
With these more upmarket clearomiser tanks, only the coil will need to be replaced, rather than the entire unit. However, due to this, your tank will require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to remain in good service.
Some coils have low resistance and allow for more power, and a large amount of vapour to be produced, whereas others have higher resistance, requiring less power, and provide a smaller and cooler amount of vapour.
What Is A Vape Mod? (Bottom Bits)
The bottom part of your ecigarette device is most commonly referred to as a mod, and this contains the battery needed to power the device.
The most basic mods, such as the cigalikes, do not even contain an on and off switch, and are activated by simply inhaling on the device.
Other more upmarket mods do have buttons and switches, and can also feature adjustable settings to alter the vaping experience, and can provide more or less vapour on a single inhalation. Premium mods will sometimes feature a visual display, usually an LCD screen, to assist in changing the settings more easily.
Integrated And Replaceable Batteries
An important thing to note is that some mods will have a built in, or integrated battery, that cannot be removed, whereas others require a separate replaceable battery that can be removed and recharged quite easily.
Regardless of their construction and settings, the vast majority of mods on the market have circuitry and safety protection, and these are referred to as Regulated Mods.
What Are Mech Mods, And What Is Temperature Control?
The most advanced vaping devices on the market are technologically the simplest, even more so than the basic cigalike.
Referred to as Mechanical mods, they feature no settings or power regulation, and due to this, they can be potentially dangerous to use without vaping experience, as there are no safety settings to cut the power if something goes wrong. All that’s needed to turn on a Mech Mod, is to simply to insert the battery. There is usually no screen, no buttons, or any settings, and this makes Mech Mods some of the easiest to use, and also the most dangerous for inexperienced vapers.
While most mods operate using a range of watts or volts, we should mention that there are some more modern vaping devices that use a Temperature Control function to control the heating process. A TC mod works by measuring the resistance of the coil, and then predicts how that resistance changes depending on the power being supplied. TC does require certain parameters to work properly, including a mod with the function, and a heating coil made from either Nickel or Titanium.
Here’s a quick recap of the main points we’ve discussed in this article:
- Very basic
- Combination of tank and battery
- Pre-filled with eliquid
- Starter Kit
- Combination of tank and battery
- Disposable polycarbonate clearomiser tank
- Refillable eliquid
- Houses heating element
- Usually made from glass and steel
- Heats the eliquid
- Available in a variety of types and resistances
- Houses the battery
- Provides power
- Often provides adjustable settings
- For more advanced users
- Predicts how coil resistance changes depending on the power being supplied.
- For advanced users
- Can be potentially dangerous without knowledge and experience
For any questions, or more information on any of these parts or devices, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.