Everything You Need to Know About Vaping
- What is Vaping?
- The History of Vaping
- Health Benefits
- Vaping and the Law
- Getting Started with Starter Kits
- Advanced Vaping
- All About Vape Culture
What is Vaping?
Since the introduction of e-cigarettes to the market in 2004, the popularity of vaping has risen and continues to rise exponentially. In fact, by 2015, there were 2.6 million users of the e-cigarette in the UK alone. Many smokers who have spent years trying to find a way to quit cigarettes, consider vaping to be a life-saving miracle. If you’re one of the millions trying to stop smoking, or if you’re curious to find out what all the hype is about, then switching to an e-cigarette might be the best way forward.
People who use electronic cigarettes are called vapers. Vaping is particularly popular amongst seasoned smokers trying to quit and others who use e-cigarettes as a way to satisfy their urge for nicotine.
Check out our video showing people vaping for the first time.
What is an E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes were manufactured to imitate the sensation of traditional smoking, with less of the toxins. Using an e-cigarette is often referred to as vaping, so-called because of the vapour e-cigarettes produce when they are used. Quite simply, vaping is the act of inhaling water vapour and dispelling a vapour or mist. It is similar to smoking, mirroring it in many ways, but instead it is void from many of the typically negative attributes linked to traditional cigarette smoking and tobacco. Also, most importantly, there is a significantly reduced chance of getting cancer and other smoking affiliated illnesses if you choose to vape instead.
How Do E-Cigarettes Work?
E-cigarettes are very clever machines and work effectively, giving the experience of a traditional cigarette without the negative health implications. How an e-cigarette works is much simpler than many people assume. Basically, the battery provides power to the coil which heats up and produces a vapour. The coil is found in the atomiser and inside there is a wicking material (such as cotton wool) so that, when the coil heats up, the e-liquid is brought through the wicking material causing a vapour to be produced for users to inhale. A fun element of vaping is the myriad of flavours that can be added to improve your vaping experience.
Who is Vaping for?
Watch the story of Naomi, and why she started vaping:
Vaping can be for anyone as you can choose the levels of nicotine you vape, if any at all, and you can choose from a variety of e-liquid flavours to enhance the experience and add to your enjoyment. There has been some negative press around e-cigs, and some people (usually non-vapers) are concerned about the side effects of vaping.However, most people start smoking e-cigarettes to curb their addiction to traditional cigarettes, which even the most eminent scientists agree is far worse.
Having said that, there are plenty of users who have only ever vaped and enjoy competing in vape competitions. Whether these vapers would have been smokers anyway is inconclusive, but the fact is the majority of vapers, at least at the moment, have smoked traditional cigarettes for a long time and are looking to quit their addiction to nicotine. As a result, vaping is often encouraged by health professionals and companies such as the NHS as a way for people to quit smoking completely.
Vaping: A Brief History
Smoking was historically thought to have spiritual and medicinal properties. The act of smoking traditional tobacco became popular in Europe in the 16th century. Although smoking was enjoyed by millions worldwide, by the 1950’s the correlation between smoking and lung cancer had been confirmed, and the first anti-smoking campaigns were born.
Herbert A. Gilbert
The official documented history of electronic cigarettes date back to 1963 when, the first person to design an electronic cigarette prototype was the American Herbert A. Gilbert. Gilbert was keen to develop a cigarette that was tobacco and smoke-free and which was based on warm, moist and aromatic flavours to make the experience of smoking enjoyable and toxin free. There were prototypes, but it received little attention and was never commercialised because smoking was still fashionable at that time.
In the late 1970’s, smokers in the developed world were encouraged to stop and a limited range of products that aided quitting were released to the market. However, due to the limited resources available, the success rate of quitting was and is still low.
It wasn’t until 2003 that the idea of the electronic cigarette was taken up again but this time by a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik who was keen on developing a device which allowed smokers to have a ‘smoking’ experience without having to inhale combusted tobacco. Hon Lik came to this decision after his father died from lung cancer and he himself was a smoker who wanted to quit. After Hon Lik launched his device, it was about three years before e-cigarettes made their way to Europe and the United States.
British Entrepreneurs Invented the Cartomiser
British Entrepreneurs, Umer and Tariq Sheikh, invented the Cartomiser, solving many of the common issues associated with e-cigarettes and improving their functionality. The invention of cartomisers, which integrated the e-liquid chamber with the heating coil, allowed for overall easier filling and use.
Further Development of E-Liquids
Hon Lik invented modern e-liquid by making a simple solution of nicotine suspended in propylene glycol. From there, vegetable glycol was added to produce more vapour for vape enthusiasts who enjoy the production of excessive amounts of vapor for competitions. Adding flavouring was then experimented with to make the vaping experience more pleasurable than smoking. As mentioned earlier, the levels of nicotine in e-liquids can also be adjusted to help provide decreasing levels of nicotine for people keen to quit the addiction completely.
The Future of Vaping
The rise and popularity of vaping can be highly credited to the Internet, as this is how most people have come to discover vaping and educate themselves on e-cigarettes. One thing is certain – vaping is not going away any time soon and it is changing the way we look at smoking and nicotine addiction. E-cigarettes were launched in the UK in 2006 and the number of users has soared from 700,000 in 2011 to more than 2.6 million today. As we go into the future, vaping is leading the way and continually improving so that parts will last longer, flavour will be better and battery life will be extended. Today, it is common place to see people using e-cigarettes and we think this will become a more common occurrence as we move into the future of vaping and more people ditch the tobacco and take up vaping!
The Health Benefits of Vaping vs. Tobacco
The health benefits of vaping has been debated for years and is a constant battle with misinformation, especially online. Vaping as an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes offer a healthier lifestyle and despite scare stories in the media has been steadily increasing in popularity. Vaping is relatively new to the market and its full potential hasn’t been fully grasped by governments across the world, and new regulations seem to be created to hinder vaping rather than recognise it as a viable alternative to smoking.
Most vapers turn to vaping because they want to quit smoking, so with that in mind let’s compare the differences between vaping and tobacco cigarettes. Hopefully this will help those that don’t understand get a better view of the health benefits. Firstly, let’s look at the health effects of smoking tobacco cigarettes.
It is an established fact that smoking can cause a number of diseases and health issues, including lethal disorders such as lung cancer and heart disease. In fact, it has been proven by scientists and health authorities that tobacco is the biggest avoidable cause of death worldwide causing about 90% of lung cancers. Smoking causes significant harm to your body and is likely to cause permanent damage to your health. Read on to discover the risks tobacco smoking poses to your health.
When you smoke tobacco, the toxins from the cigarette smoke enter your blood and they make your blood thicker, increase your blood pressure and heart rate and reduce the amount of oxygen circulating to your organs. Together, these problems can increase the chances of people suffering a heart attack or a stroke. In fact, the British Heart Foundation have stated that smoking doubles your risk of suffering a heart attack.
Tobacco Smokers have an increased chance of stomach cancer or ulcers, neither of which are particularly pleasant. Smoking can also cause excessive reflux, weakening the muscle that controls your gullet and allowing acid from the stomach to travel back up your throat.
We all know the effect tobacco smoking can have on skin. It becomes yellow and your skin ages faster. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your skin, causing these problems, and the toxins released from your cigarette with each puff also cause cellulite.
Your lungs are affected very badly by smoking and symptoms such as excessive coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing and being active are just the beginning of your lung. Smoking causes 90% of lung cancers and is one of the most common causes of death among smokers.
Mouth and Throat
Smoking tobacco causes several problems in the mouth and throat, such as bad breath, yellowing or stained teeth, gum disease and mouth cancer. The most severe damage smoking does to your mouth and throat is in the form of cancer. The good news is, when you stop smoking you can greatly reduce your risk.
Health Risks of Passive Smoking
Furthermore, not only do tobacco smokers pose a risk to their own health by smoking but they risk the health of others around them. Second-hand smoke that smokers breathe out and which can be breathed in by others around them is called passive smoking and increases the risk of people getting the same health conditions as smokers.
If smokers smoke around children or family members, those people become particularly vulnerable to the health effects of second-hand smoke. Breathing in second-hand smoke increases a non-smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer by a quarter.
Many people (mostly non-smokers) are uneducated about vaping and do not see the point of switching from tobacco cigarettes because they do not know the benefits. Many people don’t realise that vaping provides a safer way of ingesting nicotine while still experiencing a similar smoking experience. The most important difference between e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco cigarettes is that e-cigarettes don’t contain the extortionate amount of chemicals that tobacco cigarettes do.
So, how does vaping affect your health? Read on to find out more.
Vaping Helps Smokers Quit
Vaping has been approved by various health organisations as a method for quitting smoking. Vaping helps smokers wean themselves off the addictive nicotine toxin by allowing people to adjust the amount of nicotine they are ingesting and reduce it over time.
Vaping also helps smokers continue the habit without the harm. The term for this is ‘oral fixation’ and it is where smokers have developed a habit of putting their hand to their mouth regularly throughout the day. It is often lack of this repetitive action, when quitting, that leads to people over-eating or returning to smoking to satisfy the habit. Vaping offers habit satisfaction without the harmful chemicals.
Vaping Reduces Tobacco Exposure
The wonderful thing about vaping, one of the many, is that it emits no harmful smoke or nasty smells that endanger or annoy the people around you. The vapour emitted from e-cigarettes is 95% safer and scentless, simply evaporating into the air. Vaping does not smell, stain, or burn, unlike tobacco cigarettes.
Gaining Your Health Back
Vaping is considered a far healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes and the Department of Health published that vaping is at least 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes. Most people who have made the switch from tobacco cigarettes to vaping have reported significant improvements in their health. Many people find they can breathe much more easily, they find it easier to stay active for longer periods of time and their regular coughing fits have dramatically reduced, if not disappeared altogether.
Improved Social Experience
By vaping, you have the added benefit of an improved social experience. If you switch to vaping, you are no longer affecting the health of the family members, friends and business partners around you. Every smoker has experienced the social isolation of smoking, the sneaking out of pubs and public spaces to satisfy their urge to smoke. Vaping, in comparison, produces only a water vapour which carries no odour. This vapour evaporates shortly after being expelled and is not harmful to those around you. This allows vapers to vape openly in public spaces without infringing on the comfort of others.
The debate over smoking vs. vaping has been going on for a while and that is simply due to a lack of understanding. It is clear to see that vaping health benefits exceed those of tobacco cigarettes in every way while also offering an experience that is enjoyable and cancer-free. So, the only question left is, will you make the switch?
Vaping and the Law
In May 2017, the vaping laws changed forever when the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) came into force. This regulation was created in the EU parliament by un-elected officials, voted through by MEP’s in the name of health and safety, despite the fact that vaping has been declared 95% safer than tobacco.
TPD stands for Tobacco Products Directive and is a document published for all EU members that ensures the product quality and safety of all Tobacco Products. These regulations come everything from the product itself to the advertising of e-cigarettes. These regulations have been introduced to ensure the safety and quality of e-cigarettes, providing vapers with greater certainty regarding the products they buy.
UK Vaping Laws Breakdown
The rules set out in the Tobacco Products Directive help promote products safety. E-cigarettes and e-liquid refills must be child-and-tamper proof, for example, and vaporisers must deliver nicotine at consistent levels. Whenever a company wants to release a new product, they must inform EU countries six months prior to launch and provide documentation supporting their safety.
In addition, the directive introduced limits on refill volumes and e-liquid strength – 10ml bottles and 2ml vaporiser-specific cartridges, with a maximum nicotine concentration of 20mg/ml.
Minimum Refill Standards
The new vaping laws enforce minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers.
Maximum Nicotine Strength
The new vaping laws are also cracking down on the levels of nicotine in e-cigarettes. Nicotine strength is now limited to 20mg and consumers will not be able to purchase any bottles over 10ml in size.
Maximum Tank Capacity
The restrictions also apply to tank capacity, limiting them to no more than 2ml which means users will need to refill their tanks more often than they used to.
Under the new vaping laws, all products must be approved six months in advance of sale and this includes packaging requirements, customer notifications and data reporting. Generally, this new law is welcomed by the industry to encourage the increase in quality control and e-cigarette safety.
Safety Information Must Be Provided
As with all tobacco products, the new vaping laws are now enforcing that every vape product being sold must fully inform consumers of the potentials dangers and health impacts vaping could have. These labelling requirements and health and safety warnings must be placed on the packaging or inside in leaflet form for all consumers to make a considered choice before purchase. They must thoroughly communicate the addictive nature of nicotine, while elaborating on possible adverse effects and other health warnings.
All vape products must be tamper-free and child protected so that children are no longer able to open e-liquid containers or tamper with e-cigarettes that may be left within their reach.
New Laws Thought to Limit Vaping’s Success
Over the years, vaping’s numerous benefits have been encouraging thousands of people to make the switch from cigarette smoking to vaping. However, many believe that customers are being put off by the rules on nicotine strength and could be returning to cigarettes as a result. There are also concerns that thousands of vapers who use high-levels of nicotine will end up reverting to cigarettes because they can’t get enough of a nicotine kick from their vaporiser any longer due to the restrictions.
2017 is the year of upheaval for the European vaping industry and is seeing dramatic changes. Many people think it seems inevitable that the vaping regulations will lead to an increase in vaping goods on the black market, with much less quality control than we have now. This will, understandably, put consumers at a much greater risk, clearly defeating the point of these regulations.
Ultimately, while people can agree or disagree about the vaping laws, the Tobacco Products Directive has two main goals: to improve safety and quality. The restrictions on nicotine strength, the refill tank size limitations and the mandatory improvements the seals on devices are all intended to give vapers and e-cigarette users a more consistent and safe experience that can be measured. As such, it is fair to say that the limitations TPD have put in place are ultimately for the best.
Types of E Cigarette
I’m sure if you’ve browsed the products on our website and across the whole of the Web, you’ve seen a huge range of e-cigarettes in different shapes and sizes. This can be daunting if you’re looking to start vaping for the first time. At Mist, we try-out as many products as we can in order to select the best and most effective products available. Because of this, our shelves are stocked with the highest quality vaping products for you to enjoy.
So, cutting to the chase we’ve compiled a list of what e-cigarette products are currently circling the global market, and broken them down into simple explanations. Let’s start at the beginning:
Advantages: Cheap, dispensable, very common.
Disadvantages: No customisation, ugly, bad lifespan.
Cig-a-likes tend to be seen as the most basic and novice of all e-cigarettes. Hence its name, it looks like a real cigarette and last for around 50 puffs. A lot of vapers started on these, especially a few years ago, but now they’re seen as costly considering their longevity.
Cig-a-likes aren’t necessarily ‘starter kits’, though, they do act as a sort of introduction into what makes up the concept of the electric cigarette. Some of the more popular brands of cig-a-likes include Gamucci, E-Shisha, and the popular Innokin AIO starter kits.
The main advantages with these e-cigarettes is that they’re perfect for beginners. Their small and compact design means that they can be easily navigated by less experienced users, they also usually come with pre-filled e-liquid cartridges. I think the main reason why cig-a-likes are still selling reasonably well is because they look so much like real cigarettes, which has a positive psychological effect on people who are trying to quit smoking.
E-Cigarette Starter Kits
If you really want to enter the world of vaping properly then it’s best to take a look at some of the starter kits that are on offer. Starter kits are a fantastic way for new vapers to test the waters before diving in and buying more expensive e-cigarette options. Although they may look vastly different from cig-a-likes, they are actually very simple to use.
They’re also far easier to maintain, and they are not disposable in the same way as cig-a-likes. Despite having more customisation than cig-a-likes, their price is fairly modest, with most beginner starter kits ranging between £15-£35. For consumers who won’t be using their e-cigarette on a regular basis, users can expect to spend around £5 a week (max) to run this type of set-up, and for heavier users, you’re looking at around £10 max. Considering a pack of 20 cigarettes is almost £10, and many smokers go through a pack a day, vaping is an incredibly efficient and money-saving alternative.
In most cases, an e-cigarette starter kit comes equipped with a tank system, or a refillable cartomiser, and the user will be required to regularly refill the cartridge or tank with e-liquid. While the e-cigarettes in most starter kits are not pre-filled, it does give you the opportunity to do some research and find out what type of e-liquid flavours you prefer. A beginner’s starter kit is usually cheaper and tends to contain e-cigarette ‘pens’. These are easier to use than more advanced kits and after filling your e-liquid you can literally just plug, play and start vaping.
Advantages: Great for beginners, easy to use, good lifespan.
Disadvantages: Lack of customisation, battery-life can be sub-par, limited function.
Some of the kits that fall within the ‘beginners starter kit’ area are as follows:
At Mist, we’re happy to recommend all types of starter kits as most of the top brands have their own range. Brands like Kanger, Innokin, Aspire and Smok are well respected in the industry and offer exquisitely designed vaping products.
Advanced Starter Kits
The more advanced starter kits usually come equipped with a variable voltage/wattage ‘mod’ as standard. What this basically allows is full customisation over voltage and wattage settings, which is incredibly important, especially once you get to grips with the more advanced kits. A mod also allows for higher power than a pen e-cigarette and generally provides a much more versatile experience. Most advanced kits come with or without re-fillable tanks, and similar to beginner kits, they require additional e-liquid, as they don’t come pre-filled. Some of the most popular advanced kits are:
Advantages: Excellent customisation, more power and versatility.
Disadvantages: Costly for a starter kit, can seem overwhelming,
What some people may find slightly unwelcoming about the advanced starters is that they can be technical and quite overwhelming for the beginner. You’ll also find that most advanced kits use replacement coil systems, which again requires a certain amount of technical ability. The cost is also higher due to the more advanced technology, which can put some beginners off. But an advanced kit contains more customisation, more choice in batteries, mods, atomizers, voltages and general settings, so if you’re serious about getting into vaping, this could be the best place to start.
Cloud Vaping Kits
I’m sure you’ve seen those vapers blowing huge clouds of vapour that looks like smoke. Well, those type of vapers are called ‘cloud chasers’. To blow huge clouds you need to get into really advanced vaping, and generally have a ‘dripper’ set up rather than a tank system. But, if you’re looking for a starter kit that will give you much bigger clouds than the average e-cig, then there are cloud kits available. A Cloud kit will usually include a ‘sub-ohm’ mod, which includes an incredible low resistance coil. Having a lower resistant coil means you can get more power out of the mod and heat the e-liquid quicker and harder, thus produces an intense cloud of vapour. Many people enjoy the experience of cloud chasing, and there are even competitions around the world. So, if you fancy getting into a bit of cloud vaping but you’re not sure where to start, a cloud vaping kit could be the best option.
Advantages: Huge clouds, a richer, fuller vape, impress your friends.
Disadvantages: Can be costly, can annoy passive vapers nearby.
So, that’s a run down of the types of e-cigarettes you can buy to get you started with vaping. Which one you choose is entirely up to your personal choice. We will be adding to this section, so make sure you bookmark this page if you want to keep up to date with the latest e-cigarettes to hit the market.
E-Liquid: A Peek into
After you’ve selecting your e cigarette, then next thing you need to select is your e-liquid. The topic of e-liquid is almost endless, with new ingredients, brands, shapes and sizes coming out almost on a weekly basis, it can be pretty hard to keep up with all the latest developments. Below is a brief guide on what e-liquid is, what the ingredients are, the massive flavour options, and some health and safety benefits.
What is E-Liquid Made From?
The core feature of an e-liquid is the ingredients that go into it. E-liquids are made from two primary ingredients: propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG). Some e-liquids, however, can have additional ingredients – though, recently, the TPD has clamped down on certain ingredients and licencing laws. PG and/or VG however are the mainstays in all e-liquid.
Nicotine – though not essential like VG and PG – is also a popular ingredient, specifically for those switching from tobacco to e-cigs. However, this is purely optional and most people tend to use nicotine to help them ween-off their cigarette dependency. The amount of nicotine depends on the strength of the nicotine infused in your e-liquid.
For example, if you’re e-liquid has a 2.2% nicotine base, it would contain 22mg of nicotine. You can expect to find that roughly 10% of your e-liquid will be flavouring, leaving 87.8% of the leftover liquid as ‘fillers’ which help dilute the flavouring and the nicotine, and the following 2.2% would be the actual nicotine. Nicotine can be found in various strengths with the most common being 22mg, 18mg, 12mg, 6mg, 3mg and 0mg or zero.
It’s important that you choose the appropriate strength level for your e-liquid. Be careful not to select an e-liquid that isn’t too strong if you’re unsure of your preference. Always start low, and work your way up, if you take a hit from a high nicotine e-liquid, you may end up feeling quite dizzy and sick. If nicotine isn’t your thing, you can also opt to use the 0% e-liquid ranges, primarily designed for those who are looking for a more relaxed vaping experience.
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) Vs. Propylene Glycol (PG)
Here are the main differences:
VG: It’s a thick (almost gloopy-thick) sweet liquid that produces those amazing clouds you may have seen come from e-cigarettes. It also makes for a sweeter taste in your e-liquid.
PG: Far thinner than VG and less tasty. PG is tailored towards the nicotine-dependant users, providing more of a ‘throat hit.’ PG also has a much higher sensitivity rating for some users, which sometimes entices new users to try VG before tackling PG e-liquids.
In short, VG is more light-hearted, it’s aimed at those who enjoy blowing huge clouds and enjoy the diverse range of e-liquid flavours on offer. PG is directed more towards smokers looking for a similar hit to what they would have smoking normal cigarettes. Though, both can be morphed in order to create the perfect combination for you!
You’ll never be lacking choice in the e-liquid industry, ever.
With thousands of flavours constantly being developed worldwide, you’re bound to find something that hits the spot. From drink and tobacco flavours, all the way to seaweed and cheese flavours. Our advice would be to start with something that you know is a safe bet, like strawberry, or mint, something simple. Then, once you’re confident enough you can try out some of the more ‘daring’ flavours.
A Quick Side-Note TPD:
A quick side-note, due to the recent changes regarding the TPD, e-liquid bottles have now become even more regulated, and you can find additional information and warnings on the packaging which ensures users of what ingredients are in their e-liquid.
Safety and Storage
There are also some safety elements you need to be aware of. Here are the three main safety tips:
1. Always keep your e-liquid away from children and pets (some can be very toxic to pets)
2. Do not let the e-liquid come into contact with your skin – if it does, wash it thoroughly
3. Do not ingest the e-liquid, it’s for vaping, not drinking, despite how good it may smell!
The many flavours of e-liquid is one of the most enticing things about vaping. For an ex-smoker used to smoking tobacco, it opens a whole new world being able to vape fruit flavours or any of the other wonderful flavours on the market. So, now you have an idea of how e-liquid works you can go out and experiment for yourself.
A Guide to Advanced Vaping
When people hear the term ‘advanced vaping’ most think it’s only for people who know how to build spaceships, or construct computers with sticks and chewing gum. But, no, this isn’t true. In fact, advanced vaping is far simpler than its definition suggests.
The term ‘advanced’ refers to the types of e-cigarettes that require a little more understanding in regards to using them. These devices deserve special attention to detail because if they are misused in any way, they can become fairly dangerous. I’m sure you’ve seen the news, or YouTube videos of e-cigarettes exploding? Well, most times this is due to people building their own e cigarettes with little understanding of electronics.
You may have heard of phrases in vaping such as mechanical mods, sub-ohms, and RDAs, all of which are considered advanced forms of vaping. While these may sound technical and somewhat daunting, we’re here to put your confused perceptions at rest.
Okay, so an RDA is a rebuildable dripping atomizer, and is probably the most common device of this concept, arguably because it’s also been around the longest. Your usual RDA will have something called a coil inside of it (basically a metal wire) and this heats up the e-liquid, meaning you can inhale it. Here’s where it gets slightly technical, the user creates the coil, inserts the cotton (where the liquid is poured) and then drips the e-liquid onto the cotton. As soon as the device is powered up, vapour is produced. Simple, right? Once you feel that the taste is beginning to lack, simply top-up the cotton with some more e-liquid.
This is a manual process, meaning that you can keep on pouring until the coils need to be replaced. So, the ‘rebuildable’ part of the RDA really does mean you build it. You’ll usually find this type of setup when vapers want to produce huge clouds.
RTAs are fairly similar to RDAs, in that they can also be completely rebuilt. They main difference however, is that they have a tank that sits on top. RTA stands for rebuildable tank atomiser, and as of late, I personally have seen some incredible RTA devices on the market, namely the Griffin.
RTAs are pretty popular because they offer the ability to use your own coils and cotton, though, instead of having to drip e-liquid onto the cotton regularly, the tank allows you to fill it up with juice, which leaves the cotton constantly soaked in e-liquid.
Right, so Box Mods are essentially higher powered versions of your standard e-cigarette battery. As their name suggest, box mods are shaped like a box (who’d have thought?) the main reason for this is space consumption. These are powerful little monsters and they need a pretty big battery to hold in all that power. You’ll find that even the lower end box mods will start at around 30 watts of power, with the advanced ones reaching up to 200w.
In most cases, an e-cigarette mod would usually have a variable level of wattage, which allows the user to adjust the level to suit their preferences. These are becoming more and more popular in vaping, meaning beginners are starting to use the more advanced tech currently on offer. The main benefits of switching to this advanced form of vaping is that you gain a bigger battery life and more power, all of this contributes to the experience of the vape, meaning more flavour and more power.
HPMs (High-Powered Mods) use mechanical and variable wattage batteries, and are used in conjunction with RDAs and high-powered sub-ohm tanks in order to allow the very best flavour to be delivered from your e-liquid. This is the main reason why people prefer using a high-powered mod with an RDA.
Due to the resistance of the coils used on an RDA, a lot of power is needed to fire up the device. With high powered sub-ohm tanks, such as the Smok TFV4, you need a lot of power to truly get the best out of the flavour.
These mods also play a big part in the popular vape activity ‘cloud chasing.’ This has been quite the cultural phenomenon for a while now, with vapers coming together at vape exhibitions across Europe to demonstrate their skills. There is certainly a culture of vapers who like to create huge plumes of vapour! The right RDA/Sub-ohm Tank combined with a high-powered mod (as well as a lot of knowledge and understanding) can make a huge difference when it comes to chasing clouds.
Mechanical mods are only for the most experienced vape users, hence why they’ve got their own section! Mech mods are regulated, which means that the power they produce is controlled, as these things can be quite dangerous if you’re stupid enough to misuse them. High powered mods have safety features implanted, to prevent accidents, and can stop the device from firing if it finds a fault or short circuit. Mechanical mods, however, offer no such features.
To put it bluntly, mech mods are typically tube-shaped pieces of metal that also has a firing pin that allows the current (from a battery) to easily access the RDA which is attached. In short, this causes the coil to be heated and the juice to be vapourised. The mech mods are ‘raw’, meaning it really is up to you on how you treat this device, so caution and knowledge is paramount. These are specifically marketed to those who enjoy custom building their e-cigarettes, others should do their research before tackling these.
Know Your Skill Set
Hopefully this guide has served as an outline on where you stand with your vape knowledge and expertise. The main point to take away from this section, is to not go buying mech mods when you haven’t the knowledge or skill to use them properly. This is why you hear the horror stories about e-cigarettes blowing up in people’s faces, because of misuse. So, be safe, be sensible, and learn the tricks of the trade before tackling the advanced vaping sections, and always use at your own risk.
All About Vaping Culture
Vape culture is very much a real concept, and has been rapidly growing ever since the e-cigarette industry boomed into contemporary society around 2012. People from all over the world have been converting from smoking to vaping due to the health benefits and its wide and easily accessible range of products.
Due to its constant growth and global expansion, vape culture has taken many twists and turns in the contemporary market. Events pop up from nowhere, exhibitions are hosted in fields, and celebrities are flying out teenagers in order to have them build their own e-cigarette.
Crazy times. So, with this in mind, let’s go through some of the core concepts that revolve around vape culture, and why it’s become such a worldwide craze.
Vaping Exhibitions: The Heart of Vape Culture?
Every year, thousands attend these vape exhibitions, they offer the chance to trial and purchase new e-cigarette products such as e-liquids, mods, prototypes and everything in-between. There are currently four main contenders for the best vape exhibitions in the UK, and their details and on-goings are explained below:
Vape Jam UK
Arguably one of the fastest-growing vape exhibitions in Europe, Vape Jam is definitely worth visiting. If you’re interested in this event, unfortunately, you’ve just missed it! It happens every year around the beginning/middle of April, so be sure to book your tickets for next year.
This event takes place over three days and is hosted in ExCel London. Last year’s exhibition saw it bring in over 10,000 people and 300 exhibitors from more than 40 countries. This event is a fantastic opportunity to indulge yourself in a plethora of vaping products, and is also a great place for businessmen to scout some new commercial opportunities.
VAPEFEST – August 6/7th 2017
UK’s Vapefest festival is made up of a colossal 53 acres of lush countryside, situated within Greenhouse West Midlands Showground. The event’s main benefit is the sheer size of it, festival-goers are free to roam around the fields, exploring the vast arrays of e-cigarette products on display, all while enjoying the summer sun and relaxing with a drink.
Set within Shropshire, the showground where Vapefest is based also plays host to multiple other festivals throughout the year, including the Clun Green Man Festival, Bishop’s Castle Walking, and the Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival.
Additionally, a huge bonus of this event is that its free! If you’d like to camp on the grounds however, you will have to buy a ticket. The band Hedgehog will be performing covers of Led Zeppelin’s most popular records this year, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of entertainment!
Vaper Expo UK – The Return
Vaper Expo UK is known for being the biggest vape event across Europe, and with it now in its third year, its destined to get bigger and bigger. Its next event has been named ‘The Return’ and promoters of the website has stressed that the event aims to be enjoyable for both exhibitors and customers alike.
The event covers a massive 165,000 square-foot, with stalls and exhibitions handing out fun freebies for everyone. Like any other event, there will also be a plethora of stalls for you to try and test products before buying. This is definitely one for the vape bucket list, and as it’s hosted in Birmingham’s NEC centre. It’s bound to attract a large following. Its 2016 Spring event brought in over 235 exhibitors from 300 brands, bringing in over 15,000 people during its 3-day event.
The Vape Collective
The Vape Collective sits itself in Doncaster, and brings together consumers, manufacturers, and retailers alike. The event lasts two days, and you’ll find vape discussion stalls, e-liquid exhibitions, and wacky presentations. Food is served onside alongside a range of beverages, all from 8am till 6pm. The entertainment factor cannot be missed either, with cloud competitions, vendor giveaways, raffle events, and other quirky competitions!
Camping is available for up to 500 tents, and the event has also secured discounts at a range of local hotels. Although the vape events clearly emphasise the growth of vape culture, they aren’t the only obvious proof that vaping is becoming more and more of a recognised concept.
Celebrities Joining the Vape Culture
I’m sure you’ve seen celebrities across the globe being caught on camera with a type of e-cigarette. Icons such as Gary Oldman, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Leo DiCaprio and Charlie Sheen have all been seen vaping. This just goes to show that vaping is becoming more and more accepted within popular culture. More recently, rap artist Drake has been in talks with up-and-coming vape sensation Austin Lawrence regarding his celebrity vape lifestyle. Drake was so impressed by Lawrence’s Instagram channel (where he is seen doing several incredible vape tricks) that he personally flew him out to his mansion!
Older Vapers Dominating Vaping Culture?
Most people would assume that younger people are more inclined to be vapers, given not only the technological aspect of it, but also the constant safety warnings surrounding smoking. However, a recent study claimed that 66% of people over 40 vaped more than those under 30, with male’s dominating females vape usage 76% to 24%. This just goes to show that vape culture doesn’t just apply to the youths of our society. Vaping was designed for everyone to use, be it a weening process to help quit smoking, or simply a more enjoyable and more sociable alternative to smoking.
Does Gaming Have a Place in Vape Culture?
While you my wince at this coupling, the simple fact that vaping is allowed indoors (for the most part) it allows gamers to enjoy a passive vaping experience while playing video games. It has been heard that vapers regularly hold meet-ups on popular online games, Grand Theft Auto in particular is known for attracting groups of vapers in one of the many bars and pubs sprawled across its massive free-roam map. This is yet another reason why vaping is becoming more popular, it’s so accessible and so easy to socialise with. There’s no need for an ash tray, no reason to throw anything away (cigarette butts) and the vapour which is exhaled has (so far) seen literally no negative third-party impacts.
A Globally Recognised Alternative to Smoking
With vape culture on the increase, the tobacco industry should be getting more concerned by the day. I personally believe that vape culture provides a fantastic opportunity for people to meet up, and discuss their interests around the subject. Plus, it has the added benefit of bringing people together who are trying to stop smoking altogether.
It looks as if it’s a win-win scenario, and long may it continue.
More coming soon….