Ultimate Guide to Vaping

We here at blu want to educate and empower vapers, so we've put together our new Ultimate Guide to Vaping, which outlines and answers all the questions you could ever wish to know about vaping.


Vaping was first introduced in 2004, when Hon Lik, who now works at Fontem Ventures, the parent company of blu, invented the first modern e-cigarette. Since then, vaping’s rise has been rapid, with a May 2016 report revealing that around 2.8 million Britons are now using e-cigarettes. But there’s still plenty of confusion about what vaping is and how e-cigarettes should be used.

Hon Lik


Put simply, vaping is the act of using an electronic device to deliver a nicotine hit through vapour rather. Flavoured liquid (called e-liquid or e-juice) is heated, creating vapour that the user inhales and exhales. A vapouriser, or e-cigarette, is the device used to deliver this hit. They come in a number of shapes, sizes, and specifications, all of which are explored later in our Ultimate Guide to Vaping.


Different styles of e-cigarettes work in different ways, but the basic process is the same no matter what kind of vapouriser you’re using. In a nutshell, here’s what happens:

Components of an E-Cigarette | blu
In a nutshell, here’s what happens:


  1. The device’s battery powers its atomiser. The battery is activated by a button located on the device.
  2. The atomiser heats the liquid, which is held in a cartridge, tank, or clearomiser.
  3. When the e-liquid is sufficiently heated it produces vapour, which is collected in the mouthpiece.
  4. The vaper then inhales the vapour through the mouthpiece and exhales.


E-liquids, or e-juices as they’re also known, are the liquids used in e-cigarettes. They are sold separately from vapourisers and are available in either small bottles (for refillable e-cigarettes) or cartridges or tanks (for disposables and pen vapes). E-liquids come in a number of different flavours, strengths, and types; and they contain nicotine, which is measured in milligrams (mg) or percentages (%).


E-liquid contains two core ingredients: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). E-liquids typically feature both PG and VG, with one of the two often more dominant than the other.

Benefits of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin in E-Cigarettes
Propylene Glycol (PG) is also used in the production of food and plastics, amongst others, and is more commonly used than Vegetable Glycerin in the production of e-liquid. PG is generally thought to provide a better throat hit, offers a greater flavour intensity, and may clog up your vapouriser less than Vegetable Glycerin.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is sweeter than Propylene Glycol, resulting in the flavour of e-liquids that use it as a base to be slightly affected. It’s thicker than Propylene Glycol, which may mean it can clog up the internal machinery of your e-cigarette, if your device isn’t properly maintained. However, it’s judged to provide thicker plumes of vape than Propylene Glycol.

Along with Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerine, e-liquids also sometimes contain distilled water to help reduce viscosity, flavourings (which vary depending on the flavour of the e-liquid), and of course nicotine (though some e-liquids are nicotine free). These ingredients will vary from flavour to flavour and strength to strength, depending on the specifications of the e-liquid.

What kind of Vapes are there

Vapes come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. Some are small and lightweight, designed to replicate the look and feel of a traditional cigarette; while others are much bigger and bulkier, and are designed to look as different as possible from a regular tobacco cigarette. In this section of the Ultimate Guide to Vaping, we look at the different kind of vapes available.


As the name suggests, a cig-a-like is an e-cigarette that closely resembles a traditional cigarette. This means that a cig-a-like is long and slender. It doesn’t need to be refilled with e-liquid as there’s no clearomiser or tank for the e-liquid to be poured into, and there are no small mechanisms that can be taken apart.

Components of A Cig-A-Like | blu

A cig-a-like comprises of two distinct parts: (1) a cartridge, which is sealed and already contains the e-liquid and (2) the battery. You simply screw the cartridge into the battery and start vaping.

Cig-a-like devices are preferred by many because they’re portable, easy-to-use, and some can be disposed of quite easily after use. However, as they’re so similar to traditional cigarettes, they can also cause confusion among non-Vapers, who may mistake them for tobacco cigarettes.


A pen vape is bigger and bulkier than a cig-a-like. It’s not disposable, so you can use it over and over again, and there are more removable parts: often (1) a mouthpiece (2) a clearomiser, and (3) a battery. Also, with some pen vapes, you can take the clearomiser apart and unpick the different elements within it (such as the wick and the coil); other models (such as the blu PRO Kit) keep those elements sealed so you can’t get to them.

Components of A Vape Pen | blu

Pen Vapes involve more work and maintenance than cig-a-likes, but for vapers who like to try a variety of flavours, the added effort is worthwhile. As vape pens are refillable, vapers can try out different e-liquids that may not be available with cig-a-likes. Also, as they’re reusable, they can be more cost-effective than disposables, and don’t have the problem of potentially being confused for traditional cigarettes because of their shape and size. If you’re looking for a vapouriser that can deliver great performance, taste, and style, then a pen vape, such as our blu PRO®, vape pen is the best solution for you.


Cig-a-likes and Vape Pens are pretty commonplace, but what about vapes that are a little more unique? Along with the more standard vaping offerings, there are also Mods, or Advanced Personal Vapourisers (APVs), which come in a variety of specifications and styles. So, for example, you could get a mod that features a wooden finish, one that is coloured in different shades, or one that has a certain design or motif on it. It’s all up to you! If you want something more basic, you can have it. If you want something very unique, you can have that too.

Components of Mods & Advanced Personal Vaporisers | blu

The specifications can be changed too. Mod Vapes and Advanced Personal Vapourisers (APVs) sometimes have (1) bigger batteries and coils, meaning the amount of vapour you produce is also bigger. They also feature the standard (2) clearomisers and (3) mouthpieces.

However, while Mods and Advanced Personal Vapourisers have numerous benefits, such as adjustable temperature, wattage, and air flow, they’re typically used by experienced vapers. Newcomers may find themselves lost among the terminology, and may want to ask more questions or do more research before switching to a mod/AVP. Also, newcomers should be aware this kind of vapouriser can deliver a more enhanced hit and should learn about this first as well.




An analog isn’t a vaping device at all. In fact, it’s a traditional cigarette; one that burns tobacco wrapped in paper. It may seem a strange word to use (why not simply call it a cigarette?), but it creates a nice distinction between the old world and the new. Think of it in terms of a clock. A clock that uses hands to tell the time is an analog clock; one that uses an LED display is a digital clock. The same applies here. An e-cigarette is the digital version, the cigarette is an analog because of its more antiquated technology.


Written either as cig-a-like or Cigalike, this word refers to a sleek, slender, and simple e-cigarette that closely resembles a traditional cigarette in design and structure, but is instead an electronic vaping device.


If you’re using an e-cigarette with a clearomiser, you’ll need e-juice (also called e-liquid) to vape in it. E-juice is the liquid that’s heated and turned into vapour for you to inhale and exhale when you’re vaping. It’s available in a wide variety of flavours and nicotine strengths to suit your taste.


A clearomiser is a tank that holds e-juice. You unscrew it from the main device, and pour your e-juice in when it needs to be refilled. Clearomisers have a clear plastic pane within their construction (hence their name), allowing you to see the amount of e-juice you have left. They use silica wicks to transport the e-liquid to the coil for it to be heated and vapourized.


As vaping has grown, so too has Vaping culture. This has given rise to activities such as Cloud Chasing. Cloud Chasing is the act of exhaling as big and voluminous clouds of vape as possible, often done as part of a competition at vaping events and shops.


Every community needs its major events, and vaping is no different. Vape Conventions are events designed to bring vapers together to share experiences and expertise with other members of the community. Music and other attractions are also sometimes featured at Vape Conventions.


While most vaping devices use some kind of tank or cartridge to hold the e-juice, those that use a drip tip don’t. A drip tip allows the vaper to drip a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the cotton wick connected to the atomiser, where it’s heated. This means that there’s no need for polyfill or a silica wick as you get in cartomizers and clearomisers.


As the title suggests, an RBA, or Rebuildable Atomiser, is an atomiser that can be take apart and put back together. As such, RBA’s and their close cousin Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDAs) are strictly for advanced vapers only.


This is a modified atomizer that doesn’t have a tank connected to it. When refilling, the vaper adds a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the heating mechanism and vapes. While this makes for more work when replenishing the liquid, some believe it offers a more concentrated taste. Like Rebuildable Atomizers, Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers are for experienced vapers only.


DISCLAIMER: blu® does not recommend, advise, or condone that readers/customers partake in activities and terminology defined in the text.