Basic E-Cig Questions
I'm vaping a lot more than I smoked - what's up?
There are three common reasons for this:
- Some newbies do this because they do not get a solid hit equivalent to the smoke from a cigarette, so they keep going, unconsciously waiting for that hit.
- You may need a higher nicotine strength. Some newcomers might need 36mg strength for example, but starter kits normally include 18mg or 24mg liquid. Get a higher strength refill and see if that solves the problem.
- The first thing to try is a stronger liquid, both flavoring and nicotine.
- If you are using a mini (a cigarette-size model), then you may need to upgrade to a large-format eGo-type, or a mod. These produce about 50 - 100% more vapor, especially with LR low resistance end fittings - cartomizer or atomizer + cartridge. LR end fittings cannot be used on a mini. A 3.7 volt mod with a big battery is even better.
Some people cannot be satisfied by a normal 3.7 volt device and need more power, and 'chain-vape' to compensate. You may need a 5 volt or VV (variable voltage) device, in order to get more power from the equipment.
For an eGo or 510 (3-piece systems) - 2 batteries, 2 atomizers, 5 cartridges, a charger, and some refill liquid is the absolute minimum. You'll need more refill liquid than you think.
If using a 2-piece system like a KR808 - 2 batteries, Cartomizers, and a charger.
At some stage (probably the sooner the better) you will want to refill your own carts or cartos instead of having to buy new pre-filled ones. You may need filler foam for the cartridges (cartos don't need this, though), but in a pinch you can use other materials. Blue aquarium foam is reckoned to be the best filler.
It has to be emphasized that this is a rock-bottom try-out quantity - experienced users generally have at least five times these quantities so that they never run out at work, in the car, or at home.
What liquids or flavors should I get ?
Some like PG liquids, some prefer all-VG, some like tobacco flavors, some prefer sweet or fruit flavors. There's no way of telling. Do you like whisky or white wine? It's kind of the same thing... At least with e-cigs you can choose both - just be aware there are many variations that some will love and some will hate.
Well, 30ml in reserve for a beginner is a good guess, but ideally it will be of several different flavors. Unless you are sure you like it, buying 30ml of one flavor could be a mistake when starting out. Five 10ml bottles of different mixes would be excellent - and ten 5ml bottles is even better because it gives you 10 chances of getting it right. People's taste varies widely.
The average user consumes between 2ml and 3ml per day, so you can maybe work it out from that. Heavy users can go through 5ml a day or more. After a week or two you will probably find that you need a lot more liquid than you thought.
How can I get the best tobacco flavor?
To be honest, nothing will exactly replicate burning tobacco, which is obvious when you think about it. Vapor is not the same as smoke. You can get a reasonable replica effect, although (again) everyone disagrees on what the best tobacco flavor is, or what DIY liquid recipe is best for that.
In the end you'll probably find that ecig flavors are as acceptable as tobacco, once you adapt, as there are hundreds of variants - from toffee to melon, from cigar to tiramisu, from chocolate to Turkish tobacco. One supplier alone has 7,000 different combinations of flavor/base/nic strength (200 flavors multiplied by the various ways of building the liquid) - so there is a lot of choice. Anyway, many people can't stand the taste of a tobacco cig after a while.
No ecig tobacco flavor is 100% the same as a cigarette brand or cigar or pipe or whatever it's supposed to be replacing, but many people prefer the ecig version after a while. The popular RY4 flavor is an example - available in different forms from many vendors, it is an attempt to combine the best of a tobacco flavor with the best ecigarette-style flavor: a sort of caramel-vanilla tobacco.
I tried an ecig and it made me choke and cough?
The type or flavor of the liquid you tried was too strong for you, you can get very mild refills or less-powerful hardware - maybe the equipment had too much power for your taste. Try a 510, regular atomizer model, with a medium or low-nicotine cartridge and a mild flavor such as a fruit or toffee. Or a KR8 (the KR808 2-piece) model, these can be very mild with the regular cartos.
Tobacco or coffee flavors for example might be a little strong unless you take it easy at first. Many flavors are designed to be strong, because people often ask for a more powerful effect in order to replicate a strong cigarette.
I need a lot of nicotine as I smoked strong cigarettes?
You can maybe start out with the strongest retail strength, in that case: 36mg liquid (also called 3.6% by some vendors). The strength can be reduced if necessary by simply adding 'Glycerine, USP' bought at a pharmacy to the liquid. This also reduces the flavor though. However, it is often the case that the cigarette strength or the amount smoked does not line up with the nicotine strength that is found to be needed - so you'll just have to try it and see.
Power/Voltage - please explain
Here is a list of the power output in Watts from the basic types of device. For those who find they need 'more', an increase in nicotine strength, flavoring or power is what is usually needed. Many find that if they increase the power (and therefore the efficiency of the equipment), they can reduce the amount of nicotine and flavoring.
Most old hands say that the amount of vapor is critical. Your system needs to produce plenty of vapor or you are not getting the basic requirement. Power output is one of the core factors for good vapor volume.
- Minis (cigarette size models): 4 Watts
- Large-Format (eGo-type models): 5 - 8 Watts (depending on SR or LR end fittings)
- Small battery 3.7v mod (14500 cell): 5 - 9 Watts (depending on SR or LR fittings)
- Large battery 3.7v mod (18650 cell): 6 - 10 Watts (depending on SR or LR fittings)
- 5v mod: 7 - 12 Watts (depending on fittings, LR cannot be used)
- VV mod: 4 - 15 Watts (depending on end fittings)
- 6v mod 8 - 15 Watts (depending on end fittings, LR cannot be used, SR is hot, HR fittings preferred)
VV mods are becoming more popular and have some advantages compared to fixed voltage 5 or 6 volt mods, as they are more flexible.
A battery can have a manual on/off switch for operation, or be automatic. The auto version has a pressure switch inside that operates when air is drawn through. Some older types had a mic cartridge inside (a microphone-operated switch) that triggers at the noise of air passing through.
New users tend to prefer the auto type as it's so similar to a tobacco cigarette, but experienced users tend to prefer the manual ones as they give more control. Get one of each if you like, as they are interchangeable - just unscrew one and swap it for the other.
The auto batteries are not sealed since they need air to pass through, which means they are vulnerable to damage from liquid leakage; the manual ones are more durable since they have less electronics and are sealed.