Hello new user,
So your new to this ‘vaping lark’, you have loads of questions that you’re afraid to ask in case it makes you look like a whelk! You wish there was a simple FAQ you could read to save your blushes, well this is my attempt at a FAQ; I’m going to keep this as simple and as basic as possible, but first, the legal bit.
DISCLAIMER: All medical and scientific answers to the questions posed below have been sourced solely from the internet, and as such, are subjective and open to debate. I therefore accept no responsibility on the validity of any of the claims made below.
Some answers have obviously been stolen from other peoples webs site as I’m not intelligent enough to come up with those answers on my own, so I’d like to publicly thank all of those people who I have stolen information from and I do not claim it as my own, Thank you!
I will not be held responsible for any Nicotine based products, and/or, Electronic Cigarette device or associated products misuse, by any person or persons resulting in direct injury or otherwise after reading this post. Use at your own risk.
OK, that’s all the nasties dealt with, on with the FAQ!
Q: Will electronic cigarettes help me quit smoking?
There is no scientific or medical proof that they do, but from the testimonials of thousands of people who have been using the e-cig in various guises for many years, say that they have either completely replaced using cigarettes with them, or have stopped smoking or vaping completely. So in a sense, yes, they do help to a degree, but ultimately, it’s down to you wanting to quit.
Q: Are electronic cigarettes safe to use?
So far, there have been no studies that I know of to say that they are ‘not safe’, but those of us who do use them as a replacement for real cigarettes, cigars or pipes, view them as a ‘safer alternative’ to smoking.
Liquid-nicotine in its pure form is a rapid acting, extremely toxic poison, and to ingest pure Liquid-nicotine will result in death. The mean lethal dose has been estimated to be 30 to 60 mg (0.5-1.0 mg/kg) (Gosselin, 1988). Liquid-nicotine quantities added to e-liquid for use in Electronic Cigarette devices and the quantities ingested from using real cigarettes, is considered by some in the Medical Profession to be no more additive than Caffeine.
Propylene Glycol (PG) Polyethylene Glycol (PEG400) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG) are inert ingredients that make up the majority part of the e-liquid used with e-cigs along with nicotine and flavourings. On their own they are safe; there have been plenty of studies conducted in the 1940’s and onwards to verify this.
No one really knows yet what the effects of inhaling the added flavourings are doing. As always, use at your own risk!
Q: What is a look-a-like?
As its name suggests, it looks like a real cigarette, it is a white tube (battery) with an orange coloured tip (cartridge/atomiser/cartomiser), and the end glows red when you use it. Some look-a-likes have blue or green glowing end too and come in many pretty colours. They usually have Automatic (Auto) batteries – the switch operates by the strength of your inhale (it works when you take a drag). Some, however, are Manual – they work when you push a button.
Q: I have purchased a look-a-like from the supermarket/internet/stall/chemist/rail station, but cannot get a decent draw out of it, and when I do, I get a throat hit but there’s no smoke when I exhale, also, the battery wears down quickly after an hour or two, what can I do?
Using an e-cig is not like using a real cigarette, you have to take long, slow, controlled draws to get anything out of them, most people usually take between a 2 – 8 second draw before inhale, this allows the atomiser to heat the e-liquid and nicotine and turn it in to vapour, the longer the draw, the longer the atomiser has to heat up the e-liquid and nicotine to create the vapour.
Most look-a-like e-cigs come with a battery of around 150mah to 240mah (milliAmp/hours) or slightly higher mah, and will not last you all day unless you are a very, very light user. To get round this problem, buy extra batteries and have them fully charged, or buy a kit that has 300mah or higher battery for longer usage (you will still need two or more batteries for a whole day). Some also come with a PCC (Portable Charging Case) which allows a spare battery to charge whilst on the move.
The majority of most kits contain two batteries of 650mah or higher, these will last an average user the whole day before needing a recharge.
As for your lack of ‘smoke’ or ‘vapour’ as its more commonly known, can be put down to a couple of things.
A, you are taking too short or too quick a draw/drag/pull/toke on your e-cig resulting, in little feeling or nothing at all.
B, the pre-filled cartridges or cartomisers are usually PG only based e-liquids. PG is known to give a decent throat hit but produces very little vapour, to get around this, use a mix of PG – VG e-liquid, you will then have the best of both worlds.
C, Your battery has run out of charge and needs replacing.
D, you suck at sucking! Remember, you have to take a long, slow, controlled draw to get any vapour, flavour and throat hit.
Q: I used to smoke 10 – 15 real cigarettes a day, what nicotine level should I start at?
This is quite a loaded question, and very subjective to yourself. It is recommend you buy some small 3ml or 5ml sample bottles of e-liquid of different nicotine strengths, something like 8mg, 12mg, 18mg, 24mg and 36mg to experiment with, you will then find out what ‘works for you’.
Q: I want to buy some e-liquid that tastes exactly like my favourite brand of cigarettes/tobacco, what do you recommend?
Another loaded question and subjective to you personally, what tastes good to me would most likely taste like a cross between a ‘Maltese wrestlers jock-strap and a damp dog-blanket that’s been rolled in fag ash and left to ferment for a month in a cowshed’ to you. I would recommend that you buy some small sample bottles of e-liquid and try for yourself, that way you can try out different flavours.
Q: I’ve had my look-a-like e-cig for a week/month now, and its not really cutting it so I want to upgrade, what’s the best kit?
Again another loaded question (you're full of 'em ain'tchoo) and again, subjective to you. What works for one doesn’t mean it will work for all! The most commonly suggested upgrade from the e-cig look-a-like is an eGo style based kit. I recommend that you look at all the kits available, and contact the vendor directly to ask for their advice. Most, if not all, will steer you in the right direction, after all, they want your repeat business and won’t flog you any old thing if they want you to buy their liquid and peripherals.
Q: I keep seeing these numbers on various web sites and forums, 510, 901, 801 and others, what are they and what do they mean?
These are the thread sizes that various PV’s and PV components come in. The 510 is the most common size made, and as such, are the most widely used. The different threads are NOT compatible – a 510 fitting won’t fit on a 901 or 801 but will fit a eGo style battery – plus adapters are available from most vendors websites to get over this, if in doubt, ask the vendor.
Q: What is a PV?
A PV or Personal Vapouriser is just another name for an Electronic Cigarette.
Q: What is an atty?
An atty or Atomiser/Atomizer is a small electronic heating element that connects to the battery by way of a ‘screw thread’; when the battery button is pushed, the heating element will fire up/get hot and heat the e-liquid enough to create vapour, These are generally used with a cartridge or drip tip for direct dripping. Before using, don’t forget to prime it first with a couple of drops of e-liquid. These are considered to be a disposable item with a user life of ‘between’ 1 day to 2 months (this is subjective to you and your usage/abusage of the atty).
Q: What is a cart?
A Cart or Cartridge is a small plastic tube with a cap on one end that has a hole in it, the other end is open. The cart is filled with a kind of wadding or sponge that soaks up the e-liquid. It takes on average, 12 to 15 drops of e-liquid to fill; this is then put on to an atomiser ready for you to vape, They are generally made out of ‘vegetable graded’ materials. These are considered to be a disposable item. They should last months or longer - it's the wadding/polyester wool that needs changing - I found once a week did it. You can also use the Blue Foam and Fluval (fish tank pads) as suitable 'wool' replacement.
Q: What is a carto?
A Carto or Cartomiser/Cartomizer is an ‘all in one’ steel, tubular combination of an atomiser and cartridge that’s filled with a kind of wadding that your e-liquid soaks in to. They come in different ohms (LR or low resistance, SR or standard resistance and HR or high resistance), lengths (Standard size, XL, XXL, XXXL, XXXXL, XXXXXL), single coil, dual coil (DCC), triple coil, clear, punched (for use in tanks) and un-punched (used directly on to your PV), skirted/flanged and bottom coil. They are generally made out of ‘vegetable graded’ stainless steel. You can refill a cartomiser many times before disposal, making them a very economical alternative to atomisers.
Q: What is a clearo?
A Clearo or Clearomiser/Clearomizer is made out of vegetable grade plastic or polycarbonate. They do basically the same job as a cartomiser does. These are considered to be a disposable item. You can refill a clearomiser many times before disposal, making them a very economical alternative to atomisers.
Q: What does direct dripping mean?
Direct dripping is a process where the user drips 3 to 4 drops of e-liquid directly on to the atomiser through a mouthpiece called a ‘drip tip’. There are some that will swear that dripping is the only way to ‘vape’ as you get a good throat hit, flavour and vapour.
Q: What is a drip tip?
A drip tip is a hollow tube mouthpiece that can be attached to either an atty (see above) or a carto or clearo (see above). They come in various shapes, sizes and colours. They are generally made out of ‘vegetable graded’ materials and are widely used by many vapers.
Q: What does LR, SR, HR and VHR stand for?
LR or Low Resistance, SR or Standard Resistance, HR or High Resistance and VHR or Very High Resistance refers to the ohm-age range of any given atty or carto/clearo.
As a very rough guide:
LR up to about 2.6 Ohms
SR 2.8 – 3.8 Ohms
HR 3.8 – 4.8 Ohms
VHR 4.8 - ?
LR is generally used at a voltage of between 3.2v to 4.2v. Most people who use LR components usually say the best voltage for them is 3.7v – which is the range most starter kits fall into.
SR is generally used at a voltage of between 3.7v to 5.0v. It will be subjective to you as to what voltage suits you best, but a lot agree that attys/carto/clearo’s that are in the 2.0ohms - 3.0ohms range work best at 4.2v.
HR is generally used at a voltage of between 5.0v to 7.4v, although some SR components do also work up to those higher voltages.
VHR I can not comment on as I’ve no idea what voltages these work at, but I suspect its some silly high voltage of 6.0v plus; use at your own risk!
Q: What’s a mod?
A mod or modification is a device that uses a bigger battery, they come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a plastic box to a stainless steel telescopic tube, some mod’s, or modified devices, also come with variable voltage which you can change to suit the atty/carto/clearo you are using at the time and or the ‘Hit’ you want.
Some mods take different sized batteries and some can take two, it all depends on the mod. The most common mod’s only take one battery, these are called ‘mechanical mod’s and are usually set to 3.7volts (actually 4.2v when freshly charged, at 3.7v for the majority of there charge cycle, before dipping again before they’re fully discharged), some are geared up to take two smaller batteries for 6.0v+ vaping.
Q: What is a variable voltage mod?
A VV or variable voltage mod is as the name suggests, you put a single 3.7v battery in to a tube mod, or box mod, you set the voltage to your liking and away you go, delivering for you a consistent Voltage for the batteries life cycle, or the option to change it depending on the Atomiser/Cartomiser/Clearomiser (-Miser) or the liquids (juices) flavour.
The box mod’s that take two 3.7v batteries are usually made for the ‘enthusiast vaper’, and I recommend that you get used to what you have first.
Q: I’ve made up my mind that I want to buy a mod, but don’t know what one … help?
This is a loaded question and you will receive many suggestions on what to buy. My personal advice would be to buy a cheaper mechanical mod, get some LR atomisers, cartomisers or clearomisers and fill with your favourite e-liquid. If you want a Variable Voltage mod, then it is entirely up to you as to how much you want to spend, but if you can afford it, then go for the best.
Q: What is a condom?
If you don’t know the answer to that by now sunny Jim, then you are not old enough to use e-cigs yet, come back when you’re out of school uniform and short trousers.
Q: OK smart arse, what’s the condom method then?
The condom method is an easy way of filling a cartomiser. You take the rubber/silicon caps (condoms) off the ends of the cartomiser, remove the little white/black rubber/silicon bung from the non threaded end, fill one of the rubber/silicon caps ¾ full with e-liquid, then slowly immerse the threaded end in to the liquid until all the liquid has been absorbed. You may have to do this more than once to fill a cartomiser, then let it stand for a while to soak in, once soaked in, get some paper towel and blow through the non threaded end to clear the centre tube of liquid, screw the cartomiser on to your battery or mod device and vape (if it gurgles repeat the process of blowing into a paper towel).
Q: What’s a tank?
A tank is a big metal thing on tracks, usually with a big gun on top that’s used to kill people.
Q: OK, enough with the smart arse comments … just answer the bloody question!
A tank is used with a punched cartomiser and is basically a reservoir for your e-liquid. The tube comes in plastic/polycarbonate, pyrex glass, delrin or stainless steel. It comes with a top and bottom cap that has holes in them; these holes are for the cartomiser and tip. You put the caps on the top and bottom, you then gently push the cartomiser threaded end through the top until is just reaches the bottom, you turn the tank over, pull on the top end of the cartomiser just enough for you to fill the tank with e-liquid, once filled you ease the threaded end through the bottom so the screw end is showing, give the bottom end a wipe, put your favourite drip tip on and screw to your device and vape.
Q: How much e-liquid and other stuff do I need to last me a month?
For e-liquid, this is dependant on how heavy you vape, on average 3 - 5mil per day is considered the norm, if you vape more than that per day, you will need to total your daily usage for a months supply. As for 'other stuff', always have spares of everything!
Q: Why is my battery not working when I press the switch?
Have you switched it on? Three or five clicks for an eGo style battery. Has your battery got a full charge? If not, change for one that has, or charge the one that's depleted. Have you spilled liquid in to the 'switch' area? If so, clean it out as far as you can, if it still doesn't work, then its buggered, time for a new one.
Q: Which is the best battery for me?
That's dependant on what device you are using or wanting to purchase, refer to the manufactures or retailers recommendations.
Q: What is the best carto for VV use?
That all depends on what you want to get out of your VV device, the most common used cartomisers are DCC (Dual Coil Cartomisers) or SR (Standard Resistance) with a higher ohm-age.
Q: When is XXXX going to be back in stock
I have no idea, ask your friendly retailer, they *should* have a rough idea of when new stock will be arriving.
Q: I've bought an atomiser 9 months ago, and the paint is starting to peel off; can I claim warranty?
That all depends on whether the manufacturer or retailer of said item offers a warranty with the product, if not then get a life and buy a new one you cheapskate.
Q: Is there a way I can get the flavour from direct dripping without all the faff?
Yes, you can buy a modified device where you can screw in a bottle of e-liquid. These mods usually have a button on the outside or a hole in the side for you to push on, this will force the e-liquid through a tube that’s attached to the bottle up to the atomiser. If I've got this one wrong, someone will put me right.
Q: I'm looking for an e-liquid that tastes like .....?
The first thing to remember is that with electronic cigarettes there is no combustion - so there will be no taste of burning paper etc.
So the 'juice' will be something like or reminiscent of most flavours - rather like crisps - reminiscent of rather than exact copies.
that being said a lot of vendors juice flavours may vary, depending on their supplier, and yet call the e-liquid by the same name - RY4 is a good example - this is meant to be a sweetish tobacco flavour - some are more tobacco, some more caramel, and some caramel and nutty, yet all call themselves RY4.
Your best bet is to try samples of the flavours you think you might like, try a little and see for yourself. Some juice may take a few ml to adjust to, some may need steeping (or settling/blending time) and some just won't work for you. If you've only used a little you can always offer them for trade on the UK Vapers classifieds!
If any member notices that I've described anything wrong, please let me know, and if there's anything you want me to add, again, let me know.
ALSO RECOMMENDED VIEWING FOR NEW USERS -> http://www.youtube.com/user/argrundy/videos