What Is Vaping?

Vaping is one of the most talked-about new pastimes of the 21st century – so popular and newsworthy that it’s already made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary. But what is vaping? Especially if you smoke, it’s likely some of your friends will have suggested you take up vaping instead to help you quit. So, what does vaping involve? Is it a good idea? Here’s what you need to know.

Vaping as an alternative to smoking tobacco

Basically, vaping is using an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette or e-cig) as an alternative to smoking tobacco. E-cigarettes were designed to give smokers what they want from tobacco without the harmful smoke. It’s been known for a long time that nicotine is the main reason people smoke, but it’s the smoke itself that kills them. Vaping simply uses technology to give a similar experience in a much safer way.

Instead of burning tobacco to create smoke, e-cigarettes evaporate a liquid, known as e-liquid, vape juice, vape liquid or e-juice, that contains flavouring and, usually, nicotine. The vapour this produces looks like smoke, but it isn’t – nothing has been burned. It’s the process of burning that creates most of the toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke, so simply eliminating this makes it much safer. In fact, the UK’s leading medical organisations – Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians – say there’s at least 95% less risk from electronic cigarettes.

There are a great deal of e-liquid manufacturers out there, but you should ensure you buy your e-liquids from reputable brands and that any vape juice you buy is free from diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, acetoin, colourings, taurine or caffeine. You should also only select manufacturers which are registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and comply with the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

Vapoholic e-liquid, for instance, is manufactured in the UK to be as clean as possible with no additives. Not only that, we strictly comply with the TPD and are registered with the MHRA so you can feel assured you are buying a high quality product.

There are some other advantages in switching to vaping, too. For starters, it’s allowed in many (but not all) places where smoking is banned. If you find an e-cig friendly café or pub, you can socialise without having to stand outside in the rain every half hour! Another advantage is that vaping at home won’t contaminate your walls and furniture with smoke and ash. It’s much cheaper, too; depending on the e-cigarette you use, vaping will cost you up to 40% less than smoking.

Types of e-cigs – cigalikes, pens and mods

There are three main categories of e-cigs available. Cigalikes are the simplest and cheapest e-cigs, some of which are disposable. With cigalikes, you won’t have the option of replacing the parts, such as the battery or heating coil, and you won’t really get a full vaping experience from them.

The next step up is an e-cig pen, such as the Innokin Endura T18E, which usually have a built-in tank where you can usually replace the top, glass and atomiser. The batteries are often built into the device itself.

Finally, there are mods. These are based on e-cigs but MODified. They sport many more features such as screens (displaying battery life, wattage, etc.), and replaceable and often rechargeable batteries. The software is more advanced too allowing users to fully customise their vaping experience, for instance choosing to start the wattage low and gradually increase or vice versa or remain constant.

Mods also have a “tank” which is a piece of kit in itself rather than just a component as with cigalikes or pens. Generally, vapers will have a few mods and a few tanks and interchange them at will.

Popular mods currently on the market include the VOOPOO Drag 2, SMOK R-Kiss and Aegis Mini.

E-cig atomisers

The atomiser is the part of the e-cigarette that turns the e-liquid into vapour. It contains a heating coil, a tank to store e-liquid and a wick to carry liquid from the tank to the coil. Some atomisers combine all these parts into a disposable cartridge, but most modern ones are refillable and you can replace the wicks and coils when needed.

It’s the atomiser that has the biggest effect on the quality of the vape, so it’s important to find one that suits you. Some models are quite specialised and aren’t a good choice for a new vaper. That includes most of the ones designed to be used at very high power levels. If you’re a new vaper, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Vape Starter Kits to help you find the e-cig which will suit you best.

The world of vaping – it’s not only satisfying pastime, it’s also hella fun!

Vaping is a lot more than just puffing away on delicious vape juice; there’s also a vibrant global vaping community to discover. There are numerous online vaping forums and huge vaping events to attend, such as the Vaper Expo UK, where vapers get together to check out the latest vaping tech.

And then there’s the “cloud chasers” who even compete to see who can exhale the largest and most interesting vape clouds! People also learn amazing vape tricks like this:

With all that, along with the vast amount of vaping kit on sale, it’s easy to see that vaping is lot more fun and involved than smoking!

What is vaping? – Simply put, it’s a safer and cheaper alternative to smoking

So, that answers the question: “what is vaping?”, and there can be no doubt that the vaping industry is developing rapidly and the technology is changing fast. Affordable e-cigarettes now have the performance that even the most expensive high-end gear couldn’t deliver just a few years ago. There’s also a much wider variety of e-liquid flavours available, too. The one thing that doesn’t change is that vaping is a safer, cheaper and more enjoyable alternative to smoking.

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Have you started to vape recently? Did you start vaping as alternative to smoking? How’s your vaping experience been so far? Let the community know in the comments below.

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