New To Electronic Cigarettes? Here’s What You Need To Know Now
If you’ve been vaping for less than a month or so this one’s for you.
It’s hard to believe that you’ve been smoking cigarettes all this time, isn’t it? I mean, with all the evidence pointing out how incredibly dangerous smoking is, how it will surely contribute to an early, agonizing death, it is amazing that you still drove to the store, dropped anywhere from $5 to $10 for 20 cigarettes, and blew through them all in a day… you’re not alone, we have all been there. The good news is, you’ve decided to give this “vaping” thing a try.
Here’s one fact that might make you feel better right now about your decision: If you quit smoking on May 1st and today is May 14th, you are actually healthier today than you were two weeks ago, of that you can be sure.
For the past two weeks, or however long it’s been since you’ve become a “Vaper”, i.e., someone who uses electronic cigarettes, you’ve removed more than 4000 deadly chemicals from your daily consumption, you’ve removed all the carcinogens, and, well, let’s face it, you smell better too. That has to make you feel better about this vaping thing, doesn’t it?
It’s The Journey
So, how’s it going anyway? How often are you craving for a cigarette? Is it difficult not to cheat? Are you still at that stage where you are sneaking a smoke a couple of times a day? That’s okay… this is a process, a journey. Some people are able to cut smoking out of their lives the minute they start vaping, some people slide into it, and some people even go “50/50” for a while. I’m not okay with 50/50, but if you’re still smoking a couple of cigarettes a day for the first couple of weeks you’re in good company. Still, the goal, as you already know, is to leave behind smoking and cigarettes completely, which is easier to do than you might think.
Today I’m going to give you a few pointers on moving forward now. Forget yesterday… forget tomorrow. Think about today.
Know these pointers and you’ll get off cigarettes inside a week, maybe less. If you’re reading this and you’ve already stopped smoking completely, see if you recognize any of these pointers, or maybe add some pointers in the comments below that worked for you. Let’s start a dialog, a support group if you will, right here in the comments. We are all in this together.
- Know your nicotine level – Ask yourself, “Am I feeling 100% satisfied after vaping for a while, or am I still jonesing for a nicotine fix?” Finding the right nicotine level as soon as possible is vital to a successful transition. If you’ve done that already, great, but if not, read on…
The Nicotine in eLiquid takes longer to reach your bloodstream than does the nicotine in tobacco cigarettes. Where a cigarette will deliver your nicotine fix within minutes, seconds even, it could take 15-20 minutes for the nicotine in eCigarettes to get into your bloodstream, at least to a level comparable to the same amount you would get from a cigarette. It’s the nature of the beast. So, I have two suggestions for you with respect to nicotine, finding the right level and discovering how important “clouds” are.
The Nicotine Test
- To find the right nicotine level for your needs you need to invest in the smallest amount of prefilled cartomizers or bottles of eLiquids, (depending of course on what kind of hardware you use), in three different strengths… 6mg, 12mg, and 18mg.
- When you have them in hand, begin an experiment. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. If you’re using prefilled cartomizers remove one from each of the three packs, making sure you know which one is which. If you’re using eLiquid, fill three cartomizers or clearomizers (cartomizers are cheaper for this) and make sure you know which is which.
- Starting with the lowest strength, begin vaping, and vape for about 5 minutes, taking slow, deep drags. You should probably end up taking a total of 12 or so “puffs” using this method.
- Stop vaping after the 5 minutes are up and go about your business. Pay attention to how you feel. You should know within 20 minutes or less if the amount of nicotine you consumed was enough to ‘sate’ your desire for nicotine.
- If you feel fine and don’t have an urge to start vaping immediately after the 15-20 minutes have passed you’ve found you’re nicotine level. But, just to be sure, try the next level anyway, 12mg, and do it all over again.
- After the second level strength, think about how you feel. Wait the same 15-20 minutes and if you feel even better, and not anxious (a sign that you might have consumed too much nicotine), then you might consider 12mg as your starting point. If you feel better at the 6mg then by all means, stay with the 6mg.
- If you needed to go through all three levels that’s perfectly fine. Unless you were a 3-pack-a-day smoker you shouldn’t need to go to 24mg or higher.
This quick test, which can be accomplished in 90 minutes or less, if the fastest way to find out how much nicotine you’ll need for a while. Whatever it is, your choice to remain there for years or to use it as the first stop on the way down to zero-nic and then off eCigarettes for good is your decision, no one else’s.
#2 – Are you a cloud chaser? – If you’ve been using eCigarettes for more than a couple of days you should have a decent handle on this one.
You know as a smoker how much smoke meant to you. Were you the kind of smoker that blew smoke rings, exhaled through your mouth, only to inhale again up through your nose, or simply enjoyed watching the smoke billow outward and create a haze of smoke throughout the room? This is more important that you might think. You see, its not just about replacing the nicotine you’ve been putting into your body all these years, it’s the whole tactile thing, and the pleasure of smoking. Me? I’m a semi-cloud-chaser, I love me some strong clouds of vapor, but not nearly as much as our own Steve Kaderabek. This guys is now a sub-ohm vaper chasing the cloud dragon… How about you?
If you are using a cig-a-like, a small battery and cartomizer that looks like a cigarette and is about the same size, and you’re happy with the amount of vapor you’re getting from it then you’re not a cloud chaser and vapor doesn’t play a huge part in your vaping pleasure. That’s fine, there are plenty of people who love their cig-a-likes, and who are fine with the amount of vapor they produce. Some brands are actually pretty good at producing vapor too.
If, on the other hand, you’re vaping a cig-a-like and you’re struggling with the amount of vapor you’re getting than there are only two possibilities; your chosen brand is a lousy product, or vapor is more important than you might have realized. Here are some pointers for optimal vapor no matter what device you’re using…
- Cig-A-Like users can make sure their batteries are always fully charged (have a few spares around so you can switch out more often) and they can use a PG-Free brand, like Blu Cigs. No PG means your eLiquid is all probably all VG, and VG, or vegetable glycerin, is what makes the vapor thick and voluminous. Well, that and the atomizer + power.
- If you’re using an eGo-sized battery and clearomizers, you’re getting a lot more vapor than cig-a-likes can produce, and if you want more, without moving to larger hardware, consider high VG eLiquids and a “variable voltage” battery. A variable voltage battery will let you dial in a higher or lower voltage setting, giving you some level of control for vapor output. It sounds more complicated than it is.
- Lastly, use a clearomizer that allows you to change out the atomizer (called ‘coils’ ‘coil head’, ‘coil replacements’) and replace your atomizer as soon as you notice the vapor decreasing when you vape, or the flavor becomes muted. That’s the simplest method, and there’s no point in getting into he finer details of all this until you’re well into the whole vaping “thing”.
eLiquids – There are hundreds of brands of eLiquid on the market, and more popping up every day. I would suggest reading some of our eLiquid reviews for pointers on choosing a good, high quality brand. Once you’re completely behind the smoking part of you life you are free to experiment and explore all the eLiquids you want. Until then, remember the most important goal right now is to eliminate the desire to ever pick up a tobacco product again.
#3 – Cig-a-Like or better? – Maybe this one should be the #1 pointer, but since you’ve already began your vaping journey you’ve already invested in some kind of starter kit. Hopefully you’ve haven’t spent more than $65 on your starter kit, but that’s a topic for another day.
If you are currently using a cig-a-like brand, and you’ve gone through Steps 1 and 2, and everything is fine, you’re off tobacco for good and you’re enjoying the vape experience, moving to something “more” is a decision you can make anytime you want. If you’re happy, fine. If you’re not, read on.
If a smoker walked up to me today and asked me how to make the switch to vaping the first thing I would suggest is for him or her to stop off at a nearby Walgreens and pick up any disposable cigarette they have, but preferably a disposable Blu Cigs, but that’s only because I happen to like their classic tobacco flavor and the 24mg nicotine level that will provide a real kick. We need to cut to the chase as fast we can, a disposable will that…I’ve been challenged on this suggestion quite a bit, and my response has always been the following:
“Some people are die-hard smokers. Some people will never be successful in quitting, and some will never be satisfied with vaping. Trust me on this, I know smokers who wouldn’t give up their cigarettes even if they cost $30 a pack. So, the first thing I need to know to guide someone into vaping is to find out if the person is willing to do the things they need to do. If a disposable provides them with enough of a smoking experience that they can truly see themselves kicking the smoking habit forever, then I can guide them further. If, on the other hand, they experience a disposable eCigarette and say, “I can’t do this”, then why try to talk them into investing more than $50 in the first week of an ultimately unsuccessful attempt?”
A Change of Heart
Up until recently I was suggesting that the first few weeks, at least, a new vaper should try cig-a-likes. I’ve changed my mind about that, thanks to input from our readers, and some deep thinking on the subject.
Today I’m all about starting new vapers off on a variable voltage eGo-sized battery, and my choice would be either a JoyeTech eGo Twist, or a Vision Spinner II.
As for the atomizer device I still stand behind the X.Jet Spider, but have also concluded that the Kanger iClear 16D, or better yet, the Kanger AeroTank Mini on any eGo/Spinner battery.
If my neighbor, a heavy smoker, knocked on my door and asked for help, I would give him the same disposable eCigarette advice from above, and tell him to come back in 24 hours with an answer to this question “Do you think you can do this?” If he says he can, than, well, then I would suggest to him one of these two combinations:
JoyeTech eGo-Twist with a Kanger AeroTank Mini or the iClear 16D
Vision Spinner II with an X.Jet Spider (this is what I use 70% of the time)
I believe in these two setups, I know they work, and even seasoned vapers can use these with complete success.
As for eLiquid, that’s a little tougher because the number of brands and flavors that I like are so numerous it would be impossible for me to make a suggestion, but I would point them in the right direction, our eLiquid Review page. I would let them consider the flavors, and our team’s reaction. I would also hand him a few bottles of eLiquids that I use, just to get him going.
Making the decision to leave smoking behind and become a Vaper is just the first part of making it happen. Vaping is by far the most effective smoking cessation system we have to date, and just about anyone can be successful at it. Timing is also important, as is the right hardware, the right eLiquid, and the right nicotine level.
When you stop smoking you are changing something fundamental about yourself, especially if you’ve been smoking for more than five years. You have to want to stop smoking, and then make the right choices, with as little investment as possible, and the fewest bad decisions as possible. This is one of Spinfuel’s main missions, to help people make that switch with the least upfront cost, and the fewest number of missteps.
We, the staff of Spinfuel eMagazine, will never suggest a brand, an eLiquid, or a device that we ourselves wouldn’t use. It’s the reason we refuse to become an affiliate for anyone. Our sole responsibility is to you, our readers, so we will never put one brand over another based on how much they pay to advertise here, or how close we are to the company. We will tell you what works, for ourselves and the people we know, period.
If you’re brand new to this world of vaping, we’re here to help you. Have a question? Use our Contact Page whenever you want and we’ll help. Want to make a comment, then please do. If you really want to be successful at leaving smoking in the dustbin of your own history, then let’s make that happen. Right here, right now.