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.
HISTORY OF VAPING
Vaping was first introduced in 2004, when blu’s very own Hon Lik invented the first modern e-cigarette. Since then, vaping’s rise has been rapid, with 2015 surveys reporting that around 10 percent of Americans vape, a significant increase on the 2.6 percent noted in 2013. But there’s still plenty of confusion about what vaping is and how e-cigarettes should be used. 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.
WHAT IS VAPING?
Put simply, vaping is the act of using an electronic device to deliver a nicotine hit through vapor. Instead of tobacco being burnt in these electronic devices, flavored liquid (called e-liquid or e-juice) is heated, creating vapor that the user inhales and exhales. A vaporizer, 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.
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.
- The device’s battery powers its atomizer. The battery is activated by sound or a button located on the device.
- The atomizer heats the liquid, which is held in a cartridge, tank, or clearomizer.
- When the e-liquid is sufficiently heated it produces vapor, which is collected in the mouthpiece
- The vaper then inhales the vapor through the mouthpiece and exhales.
WHAT ARE E-LIQUIDS OR E-JUICES?
E-liquids, or e-juices as they’re also known, are the liquids used in e-cigarettes. They are sold separately from vaporizers 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 flavors, strengths, and types; and they contain nicotine, which is measured in milligrams (mg) ranging from none (0mg) to high (24mg).
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF E-LIQUIDS OR E-JUICES?
E-liquid contains two core ingredients: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). Some contain just one or the other, while others contain both.
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.
BENEFITS OF VAPING
Vaping offers a number of benefits that traditional cigarettes don’t. 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 penalisation (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 ARE NO BAD SMELLS, ASH, OR 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 your nicotine hit in 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 cartridge, 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 cartridge 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.
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 (such as the blu FILL Kit) 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 (AVPS)
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 too. 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 hit 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/cartridges 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.
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?
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.
WHAT IS E-JUICE/E-LIQUID?
If you’re using an e-cigarette with a cartomizer or clearomizer, you’ll need e-juice (also called e-liquid) to vape in it. E-juice 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-juice. You unscrew it from the main device, and pour your e-juice in when it needs to be refilled. Clearomizers 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 vaporized.
WHAT IS A CARTOMIZER?
Cartomizers are essentially the same as clearomizers, but a little older. They mostly don’t feature any clear plastic pane, so you can’t see how much e-juice is left, and they use a slightly different mechanism to send the e-juice 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?
In the broadest terms, a tank is any mechanism that can hold e-juice; so technically, clearomizers, cartomizers, and cartridges are tanks. However, most vapers use the term to describe a specific kind of tank: one with extra capacity or special features. If you’re looking to step up your vaping game, you’ll probably need a tank. If you’re more satisfied with a simpler set-up, stick to clearomizers, cartomizers, and cartridges.
WHAT IS CLOUD CHASING?
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.
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?
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 atomizer, where it’s heated. This means that there’s no need for polyfill or a silica wick as you get in cartomizers and clearomizers.
WHAT IS AN RBA (REBUILDABLE ATOMIZER)?
As the title suggests, an RBA, or Rebuildable Atomizer, is an atomizer 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.
WHAT IS A REBUILDABLE DRIPPING ATOMIZER (RDA)?
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.