The ultimate vaping guide for beginners

Learning Leaf | Vapor
November 22, 2019

Since entering the market in the mid-2000s, the popularity of e-cigs and vape products has blown up around the world. We’ve all seen them, and likely know at least one person who uses one regularly. Whether using them for nicotine, CBD, THC or just for the great flavors, the concept is the same for each. You are using a device to heat the e-liquid or oil to create a vapor that you inhale. It’s not rocket science, but there is a very real science to creating your perfect experience. You will also need to know how to use a vape pen. 

What is a vape pen?

A vape pen is a small, battery-operated device that heats an e-liquid or oil to a temperature where it turns to vapor and can be inhaled. Vape pens come in a number of different types, and the one you choose will determine the strength, draw, and flavor you achieve from your e-liquid. 

As a beginner, you may want to start off with a simple device (commonly referred to as a battery or Mod). The simpler devices will have relatively low output and an integrated internal battery. They are more or less plug-and-play. You simply screw your atomizer or tank onto the charged battery, and it’s ready to go. With an automatic device, just inhale on the mouthpiece, and it will turn the juice to vapor. If your battery is button operated, they follow a fairly standard operating procedure. Five clicks will turn the device on or off. If it’s equipped with variable temp control, three clicks will adjust the temp. Pressing and holding the button will activate the coils and deliver your vapor. That’s all there is to it. The batteries charge with a little universal adapter that screws onto the top and plugs into a USB, so you can recharge your battery virtually anywhere you find yourself. These types will have a very low price point, and will give you an idea of what vaping is all about.

As you move on up the food chain, you enter the territory of things like APVs (Advanced Personal Vaporizers) and box Mods. These devices offer increased performance and options. Some will let you customize everything from the battery to the coil, and will allow you to choose the battery that suits your needs. Many of them also offer things like temperature, wattage or amperage control. These are great when you’ve been vaping for a while, and decide you want to make some adjustments. By the time you reach this point, you will likely know more about what you are looking for.

How to clean your vape tank

One thing you are going to want to make sure you remember when getting into vaping is to clean your tank. It’s not terribly difficult, and will make your device perform better and last longer. When your tank starts getting a little dirty, you are going to want to disassemble it and wash the parts in a bowl of warm water, adding a little dish soap if you need a little more grease-busting power. Dry the components with a paper towel, and allow them to fully air dry. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Then just reassemble and refill the tank. If your tank has gotten super dirty, you may want to pour a little high-proof vodka (unflavored) onto a paper towel and wipe the parts down prior to starting the cleaning procedure.

How old do you have to be to vape? 

In the United States, vaping laws most closely resemble tobacco laws on age restrictions. The federal government has set a minimum age of 18, which the majority of states have accepted as the minimum age. However, there is a growing handful of states that have raised the age to either 19 or 21, so you will want to check your local laws if vaping is something you’re interested in. In some cases, cities have set ages inconsistent with their state’s guidelines, so that could affect your local availability.

 Is Vaping Safe?

While long-term data is not available, vaping has thus far been shown to be relatively safe. Even so, some people have become wary of what they’ve recently seen in the media about illnesses surrounding vaping. While there has been a recent uptick in vape-related illness, studies are showing that the recent outbreak has been linked to a vitamin E oil added to some bootlegged THC cartridges, but has not been definitively linked to any vape products produced by reputable sources. Always pick a reputable source when choosing your vape liquids and other products.

Is vaping safer than smoking?

Vaping is generally considered safer than smoking combusted tobacco products. Many people use vape devices as part of a smoking cessation program because it can give them the nicotine they crave, without many of the 7000 or so chemicals associated with smoking tobacco.