A Beginner's Guide to Vaping

A Beginner's Guide to Vaping

Vaping is a popular alternative to smoking cigarettes, and it's growing in popularity every day. If you're thinking about making the switch from smoking to vaping, there are a few things you should know.

This beginners guide to vaping will teach you everything you need to get started, including the basics of vaping, the different types of e-cigarettes and e-liquids, and the benefits of vaping over smoking.

Vaping 101

So, what is vaping? Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. E-cigarettes (vape kits) are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution to create vapor that the user inhales. There are many different types of e-cigarettes on the market, including Mods, Pods, and Cigalikes, but they all work in essentially the same way.

How do e-Cigarettes work? 

E-cigarettes consist of three main parts: a battery, a heating element (atomizer), and a cartridge or tank that holds the e-liquid and has a mouthpiece that allows you to inhale.

The atomizer contains a heating element and a wicking material, mostly cotton, which is soaked in e-liquid. The cotton is rapidly heated by the coil and converted to vapour. This vapour can be inhaled through the mouthpiece, and away you go… 

What is e-Liquid?

E-liquid is the liquid that is converted to vapor by the e-cigarette. The main ingredients are Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), and food flavouring. Some e-liquids also contain different amounts of nicotine, and the nicotine concentration varies from 0mg/mL to 36mg/mL.

Why Switch to Vaping?

While we would never recommend non-smokers take up vaping, there are many good reasons for switching to e-cigarettes from smoking.

For example, vaping can help you quit smoking and is less harmful than smoking cigarettes. In fact, according to Public Health England (PHE), vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

In the research, PHE states, ‘best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.’

Vaping can help you quit smoking cigarettes. Many people who switch to vaping find that it helps them cut back on their smoking habit or even quit altogether. If you're looking for a way to quit smoking, vaping can help.

According to another PHE report, vaping helped over 50,000 people quit smoking back in 2017, and quit smoking rates for those using a vaping product were higher than any other method.

Additionally, vaping can be cheaper than smoking cigarettes in the long run. The initial investment in an e-cigarette may be higher than a pack of cigarettes, but over time, you will save money by vaping instead of smoking.

That said, you don’t have to buy full vape kits, and instead you can use disposable vape kits, which are cheap and a great way for any beginner to try vaping out.

For more help on Vaping to Quit Smoking, check this article out.

Getting Started: Vaping for Beginners

There’s a lot of confusing nomenclature in the vaping world that can confuse any vaping beginner. Some people call them e-cigarettes or vapes, while others call them ‘e-Ciggies’ ‘e-Hookas’, and there are many other street names for them.

But don’t be alarmed, because e-Cigarettes are essentially made up of the same components, whatever you call them. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing your first one.

Types of Vaping

There are essentially two types of vaping and depending on your type it will determine which kit you need to buy. There’s Direct to Lung (DTL) and Mouth to Lung (MTL), which is the best type for vaping beginners.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the 2 types of vaping…


Mouth to lung (MTL) vaping is the process of inhaling vapour into your mouth before breathing it into your lungs. This is how most vaping beginners start, as it mimics the act of smoking cigarettes.


Direct to lung (DTL) vaping, also known as Sub Ohm Vaping, is the process of inhaling vapour directly into your lungs, and it’s this type of vaping that you get the big dense clouds.

DTL vaping is usually adopted by more experienced vapers and involves higher powered kits with lower resistance coils. These vaporise e-liquid at higher temperatures, and is more efficient in terms of delivering nicotine, but it can take some time to get used to.

A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Vape Kit 

Now that you know the type of vaping you would like, although we do recommend starting with MTL for vaping beginners, it’s time for you to get a vape kit that suits your needs.

Vape Kits

Vape Pens

Vape pens are slightly larger than cigalikes and have a refillable tank. They look like a large pen or small torch and can be customized with different batteries, atomizers, and other accessories. Vape pens give you more control over your vaping experience and produce a decent amount of vapour.

They’re favoured by both new and more experienced vapers due to their small profile, affordable prices and ease of use. Both MTL & DTL vape pens are available, and some can even offer both styles.


Pods are similar in design to pens but are slightly bigger and have a refillable pod instead of a tank. They’re very easy to use and can be a good option for beginners. Pod vape kits are either pre-filled, or refillable.

Pre-filled pods offer a wide range of flavour and strength options, and are great for vaping beginners as you don’t have to carry any e-liquid or make a mess filling it up. Most refillable pods contain nicotine salts (Nic Salts), which makes a pod perfect for anyone wanting to quit smoking and start their vaping adventure.

You can also get disposable pods, which are as you might expect are disposable. These are very popular with vaping beginners as you can try them out for little cost, and see if you like them. You usually get around 600-800 puffs per disposable, which is roughly the same as a packet of 20 cigs.


Mods are the most unique vape kit and have the largest profile of all e-cigarette vape devices. They have a larger battery capacity than other types of e-cigarettes and can be customized with different atomizers, tanks, and other accessories. Mods give you more control over your vaping experience and can produce more vapour than other types of e-cigarettes.

There are 2 types of mods: Box Mods and Tube Mods and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs. Mods can be more expensive than other types of e-cigarettes, but they offer a more customizable vaping experience

Box Mods

Box mods are the larger type of mod, and they get their name from their box-like shape. Box mods usually have a larger battery capacity than other types of e-cigarettes and can be customized with different atomizers, tanks, and other accessories.

Tube Mods

Tube mods are the smaller type of mod, and they get their name from their tube-like shape. They're long and thin, similar in shape to pods, albeit bulkier. Tube mods usually have a smaller battery capacity than box mods but can still be customized with different atomizers, tanks, and other accessories. Tube mods are easy to use and can be a good option for beginners.


 The cigalike design is made to look like a normal cigarette and is one of the most cost-effective vape kits, making it one of the most popular tools for vaping novices. Cigalikes are really simple to use, and are disposable or rechargeable with prefilled cartridges. These are a good option for beginners as they are easy to use and can be found at most convenience stores.

E-Liquid (Juice)

e-Liquid (juice, e-juice, vape juice, vape liquid) is the liquid that vapers use with a vape device. It’s heated up and inhaled, and is made up of 4 main ingredients:

  • Propylene Glycol – PG
  • Vegetable Glycerin – VG
  • Food Flavourings
  • Nicotine

Propylene Glycol (PG)

PG is a chemical is safe for consumption by humans and is produced to food-safe standards. It's been utilized in the food sector for decades, as well as medicines that we take on a daily basis. This substance aids in the delivery of nicotine and flavour in an e-liquid.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

Sweetener and thickener, VG is gummy substance is another ingredient that's food-safe. This component is made from plant oils and aids in the production of vapor when utilized in an e-cigarette.

All e-liquids will have certain ratios of PG/VG and understanding this differences is an important factor in the type of vaping you want to do. Most e-liquid packaging will show the ratio of PG & VG, so you’ll easily be able to find out.

Food Flavouring 

This is what is used by the food industry to erm, flavour foods. And it’s what helps give e-liquids their amazing and juicy flavours.


Nicotine is is a chemical that contains nitrogen, which is derived from the tobacco plant. It’s a highly addictive substance that can be deadly in large doses. It releases a chemical called dopamine to your brain, causing mood-altering changes that make a person temporarily feel good

Nicotine isn’t in all e-liquids, but even 0mg nicotine vape juices aren’t healthy, and might lead you to start vaping nicotine further down the line. As a result, we advise against starting vaping if you’re not a smoker.

Different Types of e-Liquids

Now you know what exactly e-liquids are and what they’re made of, it’s time to look at the different types of juices available, and what would suit you best.

As we mentioned just above, all e-liquids come in different PG/VG ratios. For example, a 50/50 ratio is equal PG/VG, as you might imagine. Whereas a PG/VG 70/30 ratio has 70% PG in it and 30% VG, and understanding the right ratio is essential for you to enjoy your vaping.

50/50 e-Liquids

As you know 50/50 e-liquids have an equal amount of PG and VG, and as a result the liquid is full of flavour, and will produce a good throat hit and a decent amount of vapor.

They can be used in pretty much any vape kit, and the nicotine levels for 50/50 liquids range from 0mg to 11mg, making them ideal for light to medium smokers.

Higher PG e-Liquids

Higher PG vape liquids are popular for anyone wanting to quit smoking. Juices with over 50% PG are only suitable for classic Mouth to Lung (MTL) devices.

They usually start around 70% PG and are designed to simulate the feel of smoking. You get thinner clouds with high PG ratio juices, so these are no good for doing all the dense cloud tricks.

Generally, ex-smokers will gravitate towards higher PG juices, because of the higher levels of nicotine (up to 20mg nicotine), and they deliver a more intense throat hit than other e-liquid types.

Higher VG e-Liquids

Higher VG vape juices are the liquids that produce the thick dense clouds associated with vaping. Juices with over 50% VG are only suitable for sub ohm (DTL) devices.

They’re very juicy in flavour, and generally a lower nicotine level (6mg and under) is found in these.

Higher VG liquids usually start at 60% VG, and are vaped at a higher temperature than VG juices, which makes them perfect for vapers who demand a nice tasting vape that will produce nice, dense clouds.


e-Liquids come in all different flavours and are ready to vape from the off. Unlike other types of juice you're not supposed to mix these with nicotine - some come with a mix of nicotine anyway. 

You can get standard e-liquid bottles to add to your vape device, or you can get them in Disposable Vape Devices that are ready to vape as soon as you open the product.


Shortfills are larger bottles of e-liquid that do not contain nicotine. They were introduced as a way of getting around the TPD regulations, which states that e-liquids with nicotine can’t have more than 10ml in size.

Shortfills are usually available in 50ml to 100ml sizes and the bottles aren’t 100% full. The space in the bottle is there to allow you to add your own nicotine shot. This is a great way to get high quality e-liquid at a lower price, and it also allows you to mix your own flavours and nicotine strengths.

Nic Salts and Shots are available in different strengths, so you can choose how much nicotine you want to add to your e-liquid. Shortfill e-liquids are usually 70% VG or higher, so they produce great vapour and flavour. Shorfills are also nice to vape without adding nicotine.


Longfills are similar to shortfills, but there’s less juice in a longfill. A 60ml longfill bottle will only have 20ml of base juice in, giving you more control over the type of e-liquid you want to inhale.

A shortfill is a fixed nicotine strength of 3mg and most are fixed with a higher ratio of VG. Longfills are much more versatile, allowing you to have them in any strength from 0mg to 12mg, and the PG/VG ratio is completely up to you.

Nic Salts and Nic Shots

Nicotine salt is a type of naturally forming nicotine found in tobacco leaf. So, if you’ve ever smoked a cigarette you have already experienced nicotine salt.

In the vaping world Nic Salts are a type of e-liquid that have been specifically developed for those who want nicotine consumption while vaping, and are perfect for anyone who wishes to quit smoking.

With Nic Salts the throat hits are less harsh than other e-liquids, and so they can be mixed more powerful liquids, taking in more nicotine for each vape. The recommended PG/VG ratio is 50/50 base but there are a few in a higher VG. Nic Salts are ideal for MTL vapers.

Nic Shots are similar to Nic Salts, but are pure nicotine liquid with no additives. Like Nic Salts, Nic Shots are designed to be used with shortfills, but they’re cheaper, you get more cloud production, and can be used with pretty much any vape device. They’re also m but more complex than Nic Salts and give off harsher throat hits, if you put too much in.

Check this explainer article out for more information on Nic Salts

A Beginners Guide to Vaping

So, there you have it, you now have a firm understanding of the intricacies of vaping. There’s a lot for any beginner to understand with vaping, and there are many nuances that seem to be the same. Really, it’s all about trial and error.

Whether you like a strong throat hit, more nicotine, the juiciest mix of piquant flavours, or just want to get the dense clouds synonymous with vaping, there’s a vape style for you.

And while Dam Fabriek would never recommend any non-smoker to start vaping, we believe it’s a great way to help you stop smoking.

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