A beginner’s guide to vaping

It’s been hard to miss the recent boom in people using e-cigarettes, a practice also known as vaping. Euromonitor’s market research group has projected that the number of adults who vape will reach nearly 55 million by 2021. Not only that, but the global market for e-cigarettes is now estimated to be worth a staggering $19.3 billion. The industry hasn’t been without its controversies, but vaping is now widely accepted as a healthier alternative to cigarettes and a great way to kick the tobacco habit.

So if you’re thinking about getting started with vaping as a way to help you quit smoking, here’s the lowdown on what you need to know.

What is vaping?

Let’s start at the very beginning. There is a whole lot of vaping terminology out there that can make the topic seem impenetrable to newbies, but the basics are actually pretty simple. Vaping is the use of an electronic device, or e-cigarette, to inhale vapor. These devices can be either rechargeable or disposable and work by heating an ‘e-liquid’ solution, which then produces the vapor.

This e-liquid generally contains a mixture of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavoring, and nicotine. It comes in an unbelievable variety of flavors – for example strawberry cheesecake, cola, mint, coffee, lemon, and even vanilla ice cream – to enable people to tailor their vaping experience to their own tastes and preferences.

How do I use an e-cigarette?

There are several different types of e-cigarette available, and the one that is right for you will depend on your personal needs and preferences:

  • Cigalike – these are similar in appearance to a regular cigarette, have a small battery, and are either disposable or rechargeable.
  • Vape pen – shaped like a pen or small tube, these have a tank for e-liquid plus replaceable coils and rechargeable batteries.
  • Pod system – these compact, rechargeable devices are shaped a bit like a pebble or USB stick and are used with pre-filled or refillable e-liquid pods.
  • Mod – these are the largest e-cigarette devices, with a refillable tank and long-lasting rechargeable batteries.

It’s best to speak to a vape shop about which device is best for you, as well as what strength of e-liquid to use with it. As a rough guide, however, cigalikes and vape pens are best for light smokers, and vape pens, pod systems, and mods are better for heavier smokers. It has been suggested that rechargeable models deliver nicotine more quickly and effectively than disposable ones and so are more likely to be able to help you quit smoking.

Whichever you choose, you’ll be pleased to know that using them is simple. Just charge it up, fill or attach the e-liquid capsule, and inhale (there may also be a button to press). When you run out of e-liquid, top up the tank, or replace the pod.

Can vaping help me quit smoking?

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes can be helpful when you’re trying to stop smoking. As the devices do not burn tobacco, they don’t produce the same harmful substances as real cigarettes, for example, tar and carbon monoxide. Yet by closely replicating the feel of smoking as well as providing nicotine, they can help to reduce your cigarette cravings.

To get the most benefit from vaping, it’s advisable to stop smoking actual cigarettes completely. Other tactics that can be used alongside e-cigarettes to help you quit include getting support from other people, distracting yourself when you feel the desire to smoke a cigarette, and regularly reminding yourself of your reasons for quitting.

Another benefit of using e-cigarettes is that there is no evidence that it causes harm to the people around you. This is in stark contrast to the second-hand smoke from cigarettes, which has been shown to cause a wide range of health problems in non-smokers, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Are there any negative side effects of vaping?

Over the last couple of years, there have been some concerns raised about the safety of vaping, particularly for young people. However, it is undeniable that they are far less damaging than regular cigarettes. Therefore whilst it’s not advisable to pick up a vaping habit if you are a non-smoker, for people who are trying to quit smoking, they are a far preferable and safer option. The best advice is to always buy your e-liquids from reputable companies to ensure you’re not inadvertently exposed to harmful chemicals.