Using E-Cigarettes: A Primer for Beginners

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bearded man with e-cigarette
bearded man with e-cigarette outdoors on summer day

While getting into vaping and e-cigarettes can seem like a no-brainer – you just pick one up and inhale, right? – diving right in can quickly overwhelm you. The world of e-cigarettes can be daunting with all these varied terms and information, so why not arm yourself with a little research?

Types of E-Cigs and Their Maintenance

There are three major types of electronic cigarettes: disposables, cigalikes, and refillable e-cigarettes. Disposables are a great way of testing electronic cigarettes without laying out too much money: you pick one up and can start puffing away for as little as a few dollars. Cigalikes consist of a disposable cartridge with a built-in atomizer, and a battery. You keep the battery part and only need to buy new cartridges when you’ve run out of e-juice (the liquid used to create those vapors) in the cartridge. Refillable e-cigarettes are the most popular and cost-effective option of the three – also known as tanks, these come in many styles from the conventional to the customized that suits all takers. It mainly consists of a battery, a refillable tank (also known as a clearomizer) and a charger. For tank systems, you only need to keep buying e-juice to keep on going.

Whichever one of these you choose to purchase, keep in mind that anything with electronic parts needs to be handled with care. To prevent accidents from occurring, only use the charger specifically designed for your battery, and do not leave your battery unattended while it’s charging to prevent an accidental fire. Once it’s charged, immediately remove it from the socket to prevent overloading the battery. You also want to keep them out of extreme heat, and away from other batteries and metals.

Safety Precaution Tips

The nicotine in e-juice isn’t fatal when it’s vaped, but it can be poisonous if ingested in any other form. Make sure the e-liquid you buy isn’t something that contains any allergens specific to you, and keep it in somewhere cool and dark that isn’t accessible to animals or children. Wash off any spilled e-juice you get on your hands or any part of your body immediately. Find out if you have a sensitivity towards propylene glycol – it’s a key ingredient in most juices – and if you do, use vegetable glycerin e-juices instead. You’ll know you have one if you find your throat itching while vaping, and it persists, or if your mouth, tongue, or gums hurt from use.

Got all that? Here are some final tips: for a tasty first inhale, adjust your voltage or wattage to the lowest setting, if your setup allows this. Make sure you fill your atomizer with enough e-juice for a good hit. Have fun and vape on!