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Vaping 101

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#1 Ares



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Posted 05 September 2015 - 02:46 PM

Vaping 101


This will quickly guide you through vaping history and terminology. This guide will not go into detail.  For more information see the videos below or post a question in this section of the board.



Vaping is the term given to using an electronic cigarette (E-Cig) or personal vaporizer. Someone who uses traditional tobacco cigarettes is a “smoker” and they “smoke” cigarettes. Also they can be called analog smokers. Someone who uses an e-cigarette is a “vaper” and they “vape” their e-cigarette or personal vaporizer. Vapers either use a disposal cigarette looking container that is soaked with "e-juice", or a refillable tank filled with e-juice".   


First generation e-cigs were created in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik. They entered the UK market in 2004 and the US market 2006. Since then over one hundred companies have created different shapes and sizes of vaporizers.


There are a few things in common with all vapor devices currently on the market. At their simplest all vapor devices use a lithium battery to heat a wire coil. A wick is used to draw e-liquid to the coil. When the e-liquid is heated by the coil it vaporizes and can then be inhaled in a similar fashion to smoking. That however is usually where the similarities end.


Ingredients of e-juice are made up of the following. This liquid can come in a variety of PG/VG ratios and/or nicotine/cannabis THC strengths.

  1. Propylene Glycol 
  2. Vegetable Glycerin
  3. Food flavorings
  4. Sometimes nicotine and/or concentrated THC

Side Effects of Vaping


The side effects are real but please note they just be an initial reaction from stating vaping.  After time they may go away completely. Since this technology is new we haven't had time to study long term effects.  I will not be covering long term side effects.


Dehydration This can be addressed by drinking water right after vaping.

  • Dry Mouth – This is caused by the VG content which can attract moisture.
  • Dry Skin – A common side effect of dehydration. 
  • Itchiness – Another common side effect of being dehydration.

Dizziness This is also a side effect of smoking cigarettes so I associate this with the Nicotine content. Nicotine is a stimulant and can be dangerous if ingested in large amounts.  Chain vaping or quickly vaping large amounts could cause uneasiness or dizzy feelings.  In the right conditions for example vaping in a Vapor shop with other people could cause too much stimulation.  If you feel dizzy put down your vaporizer, drink water, and take a break. 


Allergies There are probably thousands of different flavorings that can be used in e-liquid. Some of these may include chocolate, nuts, and fruits. They are usually naturally derived. If so many vapers may experience a similar allergy to certain juices that contain these substances. In addition,some people may even have an allergic reaction to Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycerin. In that case, they must find a juice that contains only one of those two ingredients. For someone who is allergic headaches are reported fairly quickly or almost instantly after exhaling vapor.  If vaping again the headaches might become worse. Others have reported bleeding gums but this might be from contaminated juice not necessary an allergic reaction.

Canker Sores This is not caused by the actual vaping itself but by the failure to keep your mouthpiece clean. Anything that you are sticking directly into your mouth on a regular basis should be kept sanitary.


Sore throat This is normally something a new person will experience and fades away with constant use.  Introducing something new to your throat and lungs will cause discomfort. One thing to note this can also happen with long term vapors.  Simply put vaping too often in one day or one session could cause a sore throat. Drinking water helps but sometimes the only cure is to stop vaping for the day.  The soreness usually goes away by the next day.


Examples of common vaping parts and setups






It is common for most people to start out using nicotine strengths as high as 18mg/ml (heavy smokers as high as 24mg/ml) but often will soon switch to 12mg/ml e-liquids for their improved flavor (as nicotine content drops flavor increases) I do not recommend use of e-liquid with a nicotine strength above 18mg/ml. In fact I recommend using the minimum nicotine strength needed to sate your nicotine cravings because as nicotine content is decreased flavor is improved. The same thing applies to THC content. It is important to note advanced users using devices that produce more vapor will typically use lower strength nicotine because when more vapor is produced and inhaled, the overall nicotine concentration stays the same. The need for higher nicotine concentrations is exclusive to devices producing smaller amounts of vapor. Those using advanced devices will typically favor liquids in 3mg/ml or 6mg/ml. 






Vaporizers come in many different shapes and sizes.  They can look like a cigarette, wooden boxes, pens, screwdriver, and even real life objects like a grenade. They all serve the same purposes, to house a batter that heats up the e-juice saturated wick inside of the coil.






This is the most important part of the device.  If this fails or runs out of power the device will no longer work.  Many choices and sizes of rechargeable batteries exist. Different voltages and sizes exist.  Some batteries must be removed from the device to be charged and some devices have build in USB power charging.  PLEASE BE AWARE BODILY HARM TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS COULD OCCUR WHEN USING INCORRECT BATTERIES! Overcharging batteries could cause a explosion or fire.  Never leave unattended batteries charging.  Never hold more than one battery at a time.  Never store loose batteries in your pocket.






The Atomizer is what holds the e-juice and the coil(s) you are using. There are many different styles, atomized cartridges (obsolete), Cartomizers, Clearomizers, Rebuildable Tank Atomizers, Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers, Hybrid Atomizers (rebuildable dripping tank atomizers and Genesis Atomizers). Each with their own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages.  






These are small pieces of resistance wire that is made into a coil shape resembling a spring. The type of wire used, the diameter of the coil and the number of wraps will all effect the coil’s resistance. It’s resistance is what determines the amount of electricity it will need to power it and the amount of heat it will produce. Understand and using Ohm's law applies.  Coils are commonly made from Kanthal and NiChrome and more recently Nickel and are considered to be the safest to use for vaping. Some coils are considered "rebuild-able or RBA".  These are rebuilt by replacing the coil and wick by hand as often as you feel. Others are disposal pieces that have pre-installed coils and wicks.  Once finished you throw this away and install a new one.






Wick(s) are made from various materials including cotton, twisted silica cord, eko-wool, ceramic, and stainless steel mesh. The wick(s) carry e-liquid to the coils. Wicking material acts as delivery method e-juice from tank directly on to a coil itself where it is vaporized.



Final Thoughts


I've heard people say vaping is a healthy alternative to smoking tobacco or smoking any substance in general. I personally feel vaping is not "healthy".  I feel it is healthier than smoking cigarettes and cigars. I've talked to ex-smokers who have all explained a few things distinct experiences occurred after they gave up tobacco for vaping. When waking up from sleeping overnight instant coughing no longer occurred. They felt in general they could breathe better.  Their sense of taste and smell started to become increased. Could these experience have a direct correlation to a healthier choice in enjoying the ritual of "smoking"? It is possible, anything is possible. One statement that will always be true is not smoking/vaping is a healthy choice.





A 1 hour public lecture on e-cigarettes delivered by Dr. Lynne Dawkins on 3rd July 2013. This lecture gives an introduction to e-cigarettes, what they are and how they work. It then brings the audience up to date with the current research: who uses them, how and why, nicotine content and delivery, safety issues, harm reduction and regulation.


[Direct Link]


Vaping explained in two minutes.


[Direct Link]


This 3 minute video compares the different types of ecigs and vaporizers. It covers cartomizers, atomiziers, eGo ecigs (vape pens), mechanical mods (RBA), e-juice/e-liquid, and nicotine strengths.


[Direct Link]


This is a tutorial about Ohm's Law and why it is important to understand when building coils for your rebuildable dripping atomizer or rebuildable tank atomizer. Always use an ohm reader!


[Direct Link]

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