There are always pitfalls when heading in a new direction. Switching to vaporizing is no exception, but the Internet makes it a lot easier learning from other people’s experiences – and mistakes.
Here is what some people online are saying they wish someone told them before they started vaping.
Coils need regular replacement
“Coil heads need to be changed somewhat regularly. I had no idea and was almost turned off vaping…”
This is probably the number one piece of missing information people who have switched to vaping complain about not understanding before they started. Coils need to be regularly replaced, or several problems happen.
First, the vapor cloud starts disappearing. Some people think their new pen is broken when this happens, but it is a sure sign it’s time for replacing the coil. A change in flavor –almost always for the worse – is another symptom of a coil going out.
Changing coils is easy, but it does help to have a supply of new ones on hand before the last one is used up. Then, unscrew the battery from the vape pen first, or you risk having liquid spill out of the tank.
Once the battery is off, the coil will be visible. It comes unscrewed from the tank and looks a bit like a little spark plug. Just screw in a new one that is compatible with your vape pen, and put the battery back on.
Prime the new coil by hitting the vape pen a few times to draw e-liquid into it before you turn the pen on. Otherwise, the first puffs will likely have an off-flavor from the coil heating without enough liquid in it.
Exactly how often a coil needs changing varies. An average is about once every week or two, but your mileage may vary, depending on e-liquid, vape pen model, wattage, temperature, and other factors. Flavor and vapor quality are the best indicators that it is time to replace a coil.
You can also rebuild coils with new parts and save some money. It is not hard, but it does help to have good vision and hand-to eye coordination, and you need a set of tiny screwdrivers and other tools. For some people, rebuilding coils becomes a new, relaxing hobby of its own.
For most people, buying a good supply of quality coils ahead of time is the best solution.
Overdoing it with nicotine
“When you over-nic yourself, it’s no fun at all!”
Vaping too much nicotine is often a problem for newcomers. Vaping tastes different than smoking, and the effects inside your throat and lungs feel different.
This difference is part of what is good about vaping compared to smoking. You are not taking in all those dangerous by-products of smoke, and part of the experience of smoking is linked to those feelings.
It takes a little experience with a vaporizer to reestablish your center of gravity. It’s like learning a new skill. And on the way you can accidentally use more nicotine than you are used to, creating some unpleasant side-effects like;
It is fairly easy to avoid too much nicotine by following a few rules.
Always check the nicotine level on the bottle or pen
“Yesterday at a shop they gave me a free bottle of e-juice. But I didn’t realize it was 6mg nic. I usually use 3mg, so after a few puffs I wasn’t feeling too good.”
Accidents happen. Store clerks make mistakes, and online orders sometimes get mixed up. People sometimes accidentally pick up someone else e-liquid bottle when vaping with friends.
It only takes a second to have a glance at the nicotine level of the e-juice bottle you are about to use. It could prevent the unpleasant and unnecessary experience of overdoing it with too much nicotine.
Sharing vape pens with friends
“A friend handed me her vape pen, but I didn’t realize it was loaded with 12mg liquid. I took a huge hit and coughed for two minutes.”
Again, this is easily avoided. If you share, always ask first what kind of e-juice is in the pen, and don’t make assumptions.
Knowing where to start with nicotine levels
“I switched from a pack a day to vaping 6mg e-juice and was having nicotine withdrawal. When I went up to 18 mg. everything was fine.”
Knowing where to start with nicotine levels can be tricky, and you can veer off course in either direction. Understanding a few basics helps.
First, there are no clear cut answers, except, if you do not currently use nicotine, use 0 mg. e-liquid. Then you can enjoy the pleasures of vaping, without risking nicotine addiction.
If you currently use any form of tobacco, these guidelines can help you choose which strength nicotine level to start out on:
- Heavy smokers often find 12 mg. and 18 mg. nicotine levels best for avoiding withdrawal. There are stronger dosages, but starting lower and moving up if needed is highly recommended.
- Moderate smokers often find 6 mg. e-juice the most comfortable starting place. This level also works well for many people switching from chew.
- Light smokers, and people who are using advanced dripping vaporizers and sub-ohm tanks should start with 3 mg. e-liquid.
Comparing nicotine in cigarettes and e-liquid is a bit complicated, because people use each one differently. Each cigarette has a beginning and an end, making tracking usage easy.
Vaping sessions last as long as you like. But with vaping, you can dial down the nicotine level throughout the day as one way of controlling your nicotine consumption, while still enjoying your vapor.
The nicotine content of different cigarette brands is available online. Searching for your brand and finding out as much as possible about how much nicotine you are currently using is a good starting place when switching to vaporized nicotine.
Puff counters on some models of vape pen are also a useful way of monitoring your intake.
Staying hydrated when you are vaping
“When I get dehydrated from too much nicotine, my head starts spinning, I get clammy, shaky, and feel nauseous. But if I’m well-hydrated, the worst symptom I get from over-vaping is drowsiness.”
Staying hydrated is always important for good health. Vaping can increase the need for water, because one of the ingredients in e-liquid, PG, is highly water absorbent and can increase the need for liquid.
Any kind of liquid helps prevent dehydration, but pure water or other plain liquids, like flavored carbonated waters and herb teas, are best. Alcohol and coffee can add to dehydration, even if they quench your thirst for the moment.
While thirst is the most obvious symptom of dehydration, dry mouth, feeling tired, headaches, dark circles under the eyes, and dizziness are other common symptoms.
If sipping a beverage while you vape reduces the flavor, compensate by drinking more before or after. Most people who are not strenuously active or living in a very hot environment need about two quarts of liquid a day. Vape pen users may need more.
Spend some time sampling e-liquids and vaporizers brands
“I jumped in with both feet before I realized how many kinds of vape pens and e-juice there are. I wish I’d tried out different products before stocking up.”
Some people say when they started vaping they went out and bought a vape pen and a supply of e-liquid without sampling any products first. Then they found out about a better vape pen, better quality e-liquid, or flavors they had never even dreamed of, but love when they try them.
Some people sample products at a brick and mortar store, then use the convenience and price savings of online shopping once they know what they like. Another option is looking for a sampler pack of e-liquids in different flavors.
Trying out a friend’s vaporizer, and talking to people about their vaporizer experiences, are other ways of getting your bearings on vaporizers and e-liquid brands and flavors.
Spend More Get More
“I wish someone told me that spending money on a good set-up from the start is the way to go. I started with a cheap vape pen and almost gave up…”
A lot of people are sorry they did not pay more up front for a higher quality vape pen when starting out. Or, they were unhappy with the quality and flavor of disposable e-cigarettes and almost gave up on vaping before really exploring it.
There are a lot of vape pens on the market, and quality varies. Reading reviews, asking around, and trying out a few different models first will lead you to the right vaporizer for you.
Spending a little more for a good quality vape pen means you will get better flavor, longer use, and have fewer problems with your vaporizer in the long-run.
Problems buying from overseas
“Supplies from China may be cheaper, but you have to account for Customs processing delays.”
Overseas e-juice suppliers may be cheaper than manufacturers in the US, but packages can be delayed by the Customs Department and not arrive when you expect them.
Quality from overseas companies can also be a problem, and it is harder dealing with order problems and mistakes when the company is in another country.
Following instructions from the manufacturer
“Wattage and temperature limits for coils are not just suggestions. Read the manual and follow what it says, or you might destroy your vape pen.”
Taking a little time getting to know your new vaporizer equipment is important. Using the wrong wattage or temperature setting can be hazardous, and it can also ruin the taste of the vapor.
Using the right batteries and charger is also vital for safe and satisfying vaporizing. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and use atomizer coils, tanks, and other components compatible with the devise you are using.
If you hate reading instructions, there are lots of online videos on different vape pens and how to use them.
Vaping and smoking are different. Embrace the difference
“I expected vaping to be just like smoking and started with tobacco flavors. When it didn’t taste like burning plant matter, I felt kind of disappointed. Later, I switched to fruit flavors and starting enjoying it completely for what it is.”
Expecting your first puff on a vaporizer to be just like the last cigarette you smoked can set you up for a disappointment with vaporizing. Expect things to be a little different, and give yourself some time to get the feel of it.
Sometimes people try a particular flavor and don’t like it right away. If this happens, set it aside and try it again in a few weeks. Your taste buds change as you become accustomed to vaporizing, and unusual flavors might become more appealing to you over time. If not, give them away to someone else.
Why Did It Take Me So Long?
“Once I started vaping, I really had to ask myself: Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
Many vape pens users have asked themselves this question. Making the switch to vaping can be a big step, especially for people with a long history of tobacco use.
Often people hear about vape pens and vaporizers, or know people who use them, but they aren’t quite sure or ready for a change. Changing a habit is hard, and most people are reluctant at first.
The health benefits of vaping over smoking seem obvious: Approximately 4 ingredients in the average e-liquid vs. 4,000 in tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide, cyanide gas, and radioactive polonium 210 among them. Smoke loses out on this count alone.
But beyond this is the absence of second-hand smoke, elimination of lingering odors, fresher breath and clothing, and a reported resurrection of many people’s taste buds and enjoyment of foods and beverages again.
If you have been reluctant to make the switch up to now, the good news is that vaporizers and e-liquid products have evolved and improved while you were waiting. There are more and more models, brands, price ranges, e-liquid types, and options every day.
Whenever you dive in, you will be amazed at the varieties and innovations in the rapidly emerging vaporizer technology and health revolution.