Everything you should understand about vaping

Welcome to our comprehensive introduction to vaping and addressing common questions!

More and more individuals are swapping traditional cigarettes for e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) due to their proven health benefits. If you're considering making the switch, this practical guide for new users is designed to answer your key queries.

What exactly is an e-cigarette?

An e-cigarette is an electronic alternative to tobacco smoking that produces a vapor mist to simulate the experience of smoking a cigarette. There are various types available catering to beginners, budget-conscious users, and those looking for premium options.

What are the advantages of e-cigarettes over traditional cigarettes?

Traditional cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 carcinogenic compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. E-cigarettes, being non-combustible, do not produce ash, smoke, tar, or carcinogens. They also lack the distinctive smell of regular cigarettes (hooray!), and are widely believed to pose no risk to bystanders. Further details on these topics and more are covered in our popular vaping myths guide.

What exactly is an atomizer?

The vaping world offers a variety of atomizers today. They sit atop an e-cigarette battery and use heat to vaporize e-liquid. They can be self-contained and disposable, use replaceable coils, or be rebuildable for advanced vapers seeking complete control over their vaping experience.

What exactly is a coil?

Coils are the essential components of your vaping device. Typically consisting of a small wire wrapped around cotton, coils are saturated with e-liquid. When the battery heats the wire, it vaporizes the e-liquid. Coil resistance is measured in ohms, indicating the current the coil allows to pass through it. Lower resistance produces more heat, resulting in increased vapor production and more intense flavor from your vape juice. However, this also means you'll use more e-liquid and drain your battery faster.

What is sub-ohm vaping?

You may have encountered this term among vapers. If you've seen someone blowing huge clouds of vapor, chances are they're sub-ohming. Just a few years ago, sub-ohm vaping was mainly for those who built their coils and modified their batteries. Today, sub-ohm tanks, pre-built coils, and powerful batteries are readily available. Increasing battery power to raise heat levels is one way to boost vapor production, but excessive heat can burn the coil, resulting in a bad taste! A sub-ohm coil has less than 1 ohm resistance, combining thicker wire with increased airflow to handle more power before generating excessive heat. The increased wire surface area in contact with the cotton (wick) vaporizes more e-liquid, producing larger clouds.

When should I replace my coil?

Coils require periodic replacement, influenced by device usage, power settings, e-liquid choice, and other factors. Typically, replace your coil when you notice a burnt taste or poor atomizer performance.

How do I prime my coil to prevent premature burnout?

Properly priming your coil before first use is crucial. Here's a simple guide:

1. Drip e-liquid into the top and side holes of the coil, allowing the cotton inside to absorb it between drips.
2. Reinstall the coil and fill your tank with vape juice.
3. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes to fully saturate.
4. Take a few "Primer Puffs" by drawing on the atomizer as if vaping without firing the device.
5. Congratulations, your coil should now be properly primed!

What's the difference between 'mouth to lung' and 'direct to lung' vaping?

These terms have emerged with advancements in vaping technology, which now includes more powerful devices. If you're new to vaping, understanding the difference is crucial for making an informed choice:


In mouth to lung (MTL) vaping, you draw the vapor into your mouth first before inhaling it into your lungs. This method uses atomisers with a tight draw, making it ideal for new vapers transitioning from smoking.

This approach closely resembles the sensation of smoking, which early adopters of vaping are accustomed to since the initial e-cigarette kits only supported MTL vaping. MTL setups typically require fewer power settings (wattage) and can accommodate higher levels of nicotine and PG.


DL devices are more advanced, featuring atomisers with a looser draw that requires inhaling vapor directly into the lungs.

DL vaping produces significantly more vapor (cloud chasing) and enhances flavor with a potentially more intense and satisfying experience. Due to the stronger hit, it's recommended to use lower nicotine content (usually no more than 6mg). Users often prefer higher VG liquids for smoother vapor and opt for vape kits with airflow control.

What is e-liquid?

E-liquid, also known as e-juice, vape liquid, vape juice, or coil sauce, is the fluid you add to your vaping device. When heated by the coil, it produces vapour. Typically composed of four ingredients—propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavouring, and nicotine—e-liquid offers a wide range of options to suit individual preferences.

Choosing the right blend is personal; you might prefer more PG for a stronger throat hit or more VG for enhanced vapour production and richer flavour. Flavour options are virtually limitless, spanning tobacco, menthol, fruits, vanilla, caramel, mixed berries, and beyond. Experimenting with different brands can help you discover your perfect vape juice.

Which nicotine strength should I choose?

Nicotine strength in e-liquid is measured in milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml). For instance, a 10ml bottle of 6mg nicotine e-liquid contains 60mg of nicotine (6mg x 10ml).

European legislation limits e-liquids to a maximum of 20mg/ml nicotine strength. The nicotine content in cigarettes can serve as a reference:

Regular cigarettes (e.g., Marlboro Red): Approximately 1.2mg nicotine per cigarette, or 24mg per pack (1.2mg x 20 cigarettes). Light cigarettes (e.g., Marlboro Light): Approximately 0.7mg nicotine per cigarette, or 14mg per pack (0.7mg x 20 cigarettes). Ultra Light cigarettes (e.g., Silk Cut): Approximately 0.5mg nicotine per cigarette, or 10mg per pack (0.5mg x 20 cigarettes).

Use these as a guide when transitioning from cigarettes to vaping. Factors like VG/PG ratio and flavour choice can influence nicotine delivery, so experimentation with different variants is recommended:

  • 10+ regular cigarettes daily: 18mg nicotine strength
  • Up to 10 light cigarettes daily: 12mg nicotine strength
  • Up to 10 ultra-light cigarettes daily: 6mg nicotine strength
  • Very light/occasional smokers: 3mg nicotine strength
  • Nicotine-free: 0mg nicotine strength
  • What is propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG)?

    PG and VG are food-safe additives used in e-liquid. PG, tasteless and plant-derived, is found in baked goods, medicines, and cosmetics. It produces less vapour than VG but offers a stronger throat hit akin to smoking, making it suitable for lower-powered devices and higher nicotine concentrations. However, high PG e-liquid may cause throat dryness.

    VG, slightly sweet and also plant-derived, is used in sweeteners and as a food filler. Its thicker consistency produces more vapour and enhances flavour intensity. Vapers preferring high VG e-liquids often opt for lower nicotine strengths due to the efficient vapour delivery. These liquids require more powerful hardware for effective heating.

    A typical starting point is a 50/50 VG/PG blend, optimal for smaller starter kits. As you explore different blends—such as 60/40 or 70/30—you may adjust for more vapour or a stronger throat hit.

    Consider potential allergies or sensitivities to PG or VG, opting for blends with lower concentrations of these additives if necessary, as reactions are more common with PG than VG.

    Battery and coil safety

    For information on battery and coil safety, please refer to our dedicated guide.