–disclaimer…this information is unfortunately about 3 years out of date, new updated version coming soon—
I want to try vaping!!!
Of all things people ask about vaping and ecigs, probably the most common question is always “what do I buy”?
This is, of course, a very important question, because if one purchases a poor product, it will turn them away from vaping. Adding to the most popular question above, the most common statement I hear from vapers I meet “in the wild” is that they tried it, and it didn’t work for them.
Now, there’s truth in that statement, and vaping does not satisfy every single person. I must say, personally, I don’t find much validity in that answer though, because so many people that try it impulsively don’t do the research and end up with a lackluster device.
Vaping can be, and is, a very enjoyable experience that can and has replaced conventional tobacco smoking for hundreds of thousands of people. Some people are lucky and take to vaping very quickly, and I was one of those people. However, some people take (or absolutely NEED) more time to find their “groove” so to speak, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The best thing we, as a vaping community, can do for people is to encourage every success we find in people. I’m more excited hearing someone say they’ve vaped exclusively for a whole week and haven’t smoked tobacco, than hearing my veteran friends passing their three year mark. Both are admirable, obviously, but for us that have made it years now, this is second nature. Our glory times were when we also were passing those one week, one month, six month, and forward marks. By that six month milestone, it’s usually safe to say we’ve changed our habits forever. There’s never enough praise for someone struggling those first few weeks to make the change to vaping.
As a new user, don’t expect non-vapers to start thinking your choice is amazing. Even now, over three years vaping, I encounter criticism and opposition regularly. Surprisingly for me, it isn’t non-smokers that don’t approve, it’s the SMOKERS. Don’t ask why, but it seems that regular smokers have more angst toward vapers for finding a “loophole” than they have desire to give up their own habits. Just remember to defend your new habit and choice with politeness and ACCURATE INFORMATION. Please do your research before engaging in a critical discussion or debate about vaping versus tobacco smoking.
I’m not going to give a three plus year education about vaping, especially when my words and lingo aren’t going to register or make sense to a new user that could be reading these words. Instead, I will challenge every person wanting to switch to vaping to do that research on their own terms with the information and research available.
Our biggest ally in saving vaping from misinformed laws and regulations is the fine group at CASAA. Please visit their website at www.CASAA.org for information about what we, as a community, are up against daily. They have a specific section about electronic cigarettes containing links to FAQs, research, and other educated studies to answer the most discerning questions.
Without throwing statistics and scientific jargon at someone, what I can safely say is, vaping has shown time and time again in studies to be “less harmful” than tobacco smoking. Regardless of sensational news articles with misinformation or skewed reports, the ingredients in ecig “e-juice” are not foreign or unknown. The ingredients are in fact, very well known, and very widely used in common household items and food that you quite possibly are using this very moment.
But wait, there’s nicotine in ecigs!!! How is this any different from smoking? Nicotine is addictive and this isn’t helping smokers at all! Let me offer fair warning here, this is a particularly nasty argument, and the hardest to differentiate to someone uneducated about the topic. Yes, nicotine is in fact an addictive substance, and also a DEADLY poison in it’s pure undiluted form. Curious though, for a poison, it’s been used for hundreds of years, and is NOT the dangerous part of smoking. I’m not going to tell you nicotine is safe, because technically it isn’t. Nicotine is, in fact, one of the deadliest poisons known, moreso than arsenic and strychnine. WHAT?? Yep, 100% pure nicotine is incredibly deadly. But, nicotine in ecigs and tobacco cigarettes is HIGHLY diluted. There’s no masking that nicotine is dangerous in pure form, but diluted, is unlikely to outright poison and kill you. Habitually and recreationally used, it’s a similar stimulant to caffeine. For a brief (and non-technical) health related article about caffeine and nicotine, this is just one that I snagged: http://www.livestrong.com/article/91383-caffeine-nicotine/
The general public associates nicotine with smoking, and therefore “death”. Nicotine in cigarettes is not the culprit for killing millions of people, it’s the carcinogens, carbon monoxide, smoke inhalation, and 4000 other toxins that can be found in tobacco cigarettes. The dangerous combustion and all those chemicals are being avoided with ecigs, and have dropped to providing nicotine without those high risk things from tobacco cigarettes. So why do we get nicotine from ecigs when most want to give up smoking? Well, me personally, I like nicotine and I like caffeine. Some people have decade long addictions to nicotine and it’s just difficult to break away from that, but in switching to ecigs they’ve found a way to satisfy that need without all the harm associated with tobacco cigarettes. And if the layperson doesn’t understand that or still wants to argue it, it’s often best to just admit defeat honorably, because that person has no true understanding of what we are trying to do. There’s no point in arguing with a brick wall that has no actual knowledge or desire to admit vaping is better than cigarettes.
So now, after your babbling, what do I buy??
I digress, this is a passionate topic and I could speak on it for hours, but the real question here is “what to buy”.
Well, there isn’t an easy answer, and there are literally hundreds of choices available, but I will try to narrow this down as best and clearly as possible.
No matter how cheap they are, or how convenient, don’t buy an ecig from a gas station. It’s a great way to try out vaping, but it’s never going to give you the high quality experience that a moderately priced kit will give you.
What you should buy, is a Joye (brand) ‘eGo’ kit. There are “copies” of these made by other companies, and most are fine, but my preference is sticking with Joye. Currently this is the “go to” device for the masses, and reasonably priced and very simple to use with decent battery life. The latest incarnation of the “eGo” kit is the “eGo Twist” battery. This is an advanced battery, and the voltage can be adjusted on this one, to vary the vaping experience. There have been multiple changes and variations of the “eGo” kit and it’s bound to change again, with better and different options. With this kit, get either a couple of “low resistance cartomizers” or a couple of “low resistance atomizers”. Make sure the battery charger comes with the kit, and don’t forget a couple bottles of e-juice to try. To be fair, there are literally over one thousand different flavors on the market, and anything you could ever want in a flavor can likely be found. This method should land you under the $100 mark to get started.
In terms of “where to buy” this kit, I don’t want to show bias toward any of my personal favorites, so feel free to choose from my current page of links on my website. Those are folks I know and deal with and trust, and all of them are excellent. Again, the “eGo” kit is a universally sold item, and most all vendors carry them. Find the best price or package for your budget and needs.
Vendor list here: http://vapeordie.com/vape/vape-links/
Aside from the hardware, you’re going to need e-juice, or e-liquid. Incidentally, the “e” doesn’t really mean anything, just associates with “electronic” as in, “electronic cigarette”. The liquid may be referred to simply as “juice” or “liquid”, and it’s all the same with or without the preceding “e”.
E-liquid is one of the most subjective areas in vaping, and everyone has different likes and dislikes. What is horrible to one (like Crab) may be amazing to others, so if you have an interest in a flavor, just try it out. Most people starting out vaping will be drawn toward tobacco flavors to simulate “smoking” which is fine, just don’t discard the many candy and fruit flavored options, because they are delicious. Menthol is available too, either with tobacco flavors or complementing other flavors. The menthol addition to ejuice is NOT the same as tasting a menthol cigarette. With “mentholated” ejuice, it’s more of a crisp, cool, minty overtone. Some love it, some don’t, but again…do yourself a favor and at least try it out.
The ejuice comes in varying strengths, and the heavier you smoke, the higher you should get, as it will help soothe your nicotine cravings quicker. Your body will very quickly tell you if you’re getting too much nicotine, starting with mild headaches and leading to nausea. If at any time you feel ill, either vape less, or try lower content ejuice. Again, it’s VERY UNLIKELY that you’re going to die from nicotine poisoning unless you actually drink the juice, but if you feel discomfort, that’s your body telling you it’s too much.
Again, I don’t want to show impartiality to anyone, so I invite you to visit my links section and peruse the multitudes of flavors available. You can also visit the “question of the day” section to find user opinions on certain things that may steer you in a direction you’d not considered. Your own taste buds are the best judge of what you like, so there’s no judgment if you love or hate something that others don’t.
I will however, for the sake of those wanting tobacco flavors, list my personal favorite tobacco based juices, in no particular order.
‘OMFG Tobacco’ – www.kalamazoovaporshop.com
‘Essence Tobacco’ — http://eliquidplanet.com/
‘Carolina blend’ – www.puresmoker.com
‘Midnight Express’ – www.vaporcaststore.com
Understandably this is a lot of reading, and if you’ve made it this far, thank you. If you have the dedication to read this, I believe you have the dedication to start your vaping journey with at least a bit of an overview and education. The topics mentioned here are also available in more detail in my “intro to vaping” series. If you would like live interaction and ability to ask questions and learn more on a daily basis, there are multiple live internet video chat shows by many lovely people in this community, and they are happening at all different times, and usually long into the night. The best way to learn is to ask questions, and I’m also available through most social media sites or by email if you need more discreet help.
For my intro video series, hosted by VapeTV, please visit them at http://vapetv.com/flitzanu/ or via link on my site, at http://vapeordie.com/vape/what-is-vaping/beginner-instructional-videos/.
To catch me on www.vapetv.com I host a show at 8pm EST every Tuesday.
For other great videos about vaping, reviews on devices, and other great information, there are many wonderful videos on YouTube, and links to my favorites are here: http://vapeordie.com/vape/vaping-videos/
Thanks to everyone who makes vaping a reality, and the amazing community that we all care about and love.
Vape or Die,