Ultimate Guide to Vaping

blu wants 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.

What is vaping?

Put simply, vaping is the act of using an electronic device to deliver nicotine or non-nicotine e-liquid in vapor form. A vaporizer, or e-cigarette, is a device used to convert e-liquid to vapor. They come in a number of shapes, sizes, and specifications, all of which are explored later in our Ultimate Guide to Vaping.

Benefits of vaping

Vaping offers the benefit of no ash and lingering smell. In this section of the blu® Ultimate Guide to Vaping, we explore the advantages of e-cigarettes.

You can vape in places where you can't smoke

The rules and regulations governing where you can and cannot vape are still in their formative stages. Some locations have banned them outright, meaning you can’t vape there at all and are likely to face penalization (normally ejection from the premises) or be told to stop if you do start vaping.

Many sporting arenas have taken this stance, along with hotels, restaurants, public transportation, and other enclosed public spaces. This is because there’s still a lack of understanding amongst the public about the difference between an e-cigarette and a traditional cigarette, and to eliminate any unnecessary confusion, venues are simply prohibiting use of either.

However, as vaping isn’t smoking, it’s not covered by the same laws that prohibit smoking in public places. So while you should always be mindful of your e-cigarette and abide by the rules if you’re not allowed to vape at a certain location, you’re free to vape in more places than you’re allowed to smoke in.

There’s no ash or lingering odor

Nobody likes bad smells, and with vaping nobody has to suffer through them. Smoking a cigarette involves burning tobacco, and any time you burn something, a pungent smell that lingers and clings to clothing, furniture, and walls is produced. While vaping still may produce a smell, it is subtler and more pleasant (the smell of whatever flavor you’re vaping), and it lingers for much less time, as the vapor evaporates.

There is good scientific reason for this. Smoke is thick; there are more particles in a cloud of smoke than in a cloud of vapor and the particles produced are heavier. It’s therefore harder for smoke to dissipate, so it ultimately hangs in the atmosphere before resting on whatever is nearby. A cloud of vapor, on the other hand, contains fewer and lighter particles, so it dissipates more quickly and more effectively, and is therefore less likely to linger.

E-cigarettes can be used at home or in the car

This means that you have more freedom to vape in your home or in the car. Smokers find themselves having to smoke their cigarettes outside or through the window so the smoke produced doesn’t stay indoors and linger. If they do choose to smoke in their home or in their car, it makes those places unpleasant for guests – and there’s nothing worse than welcoming a guest into a smelly home or taking someone for a drive in a stinky car.

The more pleasant smell produced by vaporizers makes vaping more approachable, and therefore you yourself are. The ultimate benefit of vaping is that you’re no longer tied down to the poor social profile of cigarettes and are free to enjoy smoking the way you want to enjoy it.

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 blu’s 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 clearomizer or tank for the e-liquid to be poured into, and there are no small mechanisms that can be taken apart.

A cig-a-like comprises of two distinct parts: (1) a tank, which is sealed and already contains the e-liquid and (2) a lower half, which contains the battery and the atomizer. You simply screw the tank into the atomizer and, when activated, the battery powers the atomizer, which heats and e-liquid and releases the vapor.

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.

Vape pen

A vape pen 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) an atomizer/battery, (2) a clearomizer, and (3) a mouthpiece. Also, with some vape pens, you can take the clearomizer apart and unpick the different elements within it (such as the wick and the coil); other models keep those elements sealed so you can’t get to them.

Vape pen involve more work and maintenance than cig-a-likes, but for vapers who like to try a variety of flavors, 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 vaporizer that can deliver great performance, taste, and style, then a vape pen is the best solution for you.

Mods or Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVS)

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 Vaporizers (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 colored 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.

The specifications can be changed as well. Mod Vapes and Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs) sometimes have (1) bigger batteries and coils, meaning the amount of vapor you produce is also bigger. They also feature the standard (2) clearomizers and (3) mouthpieces.

However, while Mods and Advanced Personal Vaporizers have numerous benefits, 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 vaporizer can deliver a more enhanced experience and should learn about this first as well.

What type of vape should I start with?

It depends on how much you know about vaping. If you’re just getting started, find a product that’s easy to understand and easy to use, but that still delivers the right kind of vaping experience for you. We’d suggest the blu PLUS+™, a cig-a-like device with removable tanks designed to give a simple, but enjoyable vaping experience. Simply screw in your tank, take a draw, and you’ll be vaping in no time. And as the blu PLUS+™ Rechargeable Kit is rechargeable, coming with either a USB plug or a rechargeable pack to store your vape and replacement tanks in, you’ve got everything you could possibly need to start vaping.

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How does a vaporizer, or e-cigarette, work?

Different styles of e-cigarettes work in different ways, but the basic process is the same whatever kind of vaporizer you’re using.

In a nutshell, here is what happens:

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

What are e-liquids?

What are the ingredients of e-liquids?

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.

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 greater flavor intensity, and may clog up your vaporizer less than Vegetable Glycerin.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is sweeter than Propylene Glycol, resulting in the flavor 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 Glycerin, e-liquids also sometimes contain distilled water to help reduce viscosity, flavorings (which vary depending on the flavor of the e-liquid), and of course, nicotine (though some e-liquids are nicotine free). These ingredients will vary from flavor to flavor and strength to strength, depending on the specifications of the e-liquid.

History of vaping

Vaping was first introduced in 2004, when renowned pharmacist and current Fontem Ventures consultant Hon Lik 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 Brits are now using e-cigarettes. But there’s still plenty of confusion about what vaping is and how e-cigarettes should be used. We 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 terminolgy

What is an analog?

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.

What is a cig-a-like?

A sleek, slender and simple e-cigarette that closely resembles a traditional cigarette in design and structure, but is instead an electronic vaping device.

What is e-liquid?

E-liquid is the liquid that’s heated and turned into vapor for you to inhale and exhale when you’re vaping. It’s available in a wide variety of flavors and nicotine strengths to suit your taste.

What is a clearomizer?

A clearomizer is a tank that holds e-liquid. You unscrew it from the main device, and pour your e-liquid in when it needs to be refilled.

What is a cartomizer?

Cartomizers are essentially the same as clearomizers, but a little older. They usually don’t feature any clear plastic pane, so you can’t monitor your e-liquid level. They also use a slightly different mechanism to send the e-liquid to the coil. Rather than a silica wick, cartomizers use a polyfill substance surrounding the coil to absorb the liquid and send it to the coil to be heated and vaporized.

What is a tank?

A tank is any mechanism that can hold e-liquid; so technically, clearomizers and cartomizers are tanks. However, most vapers use the term to describe a specific kind of tank: one with extra capacity or special features.

What is 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.

What is a Vape Convention?

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.

What is a drip tip?

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.

What is an RBA (Rebuildable Atomizer)?

An RBA is an atomizer that can be taken apart and put back together. As such, RBA’s are strictly for advanced vapers only.

What is a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA)?

RDAs are modified atomizers 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 RBAs, Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers are for experienced vapers only.

Check out blu® products and see what types of e-cigarettes we have to offer.