You did your research, you read this guide, and you picked out, purchased, and assembled your first e cig setup – but now what? This thing feels nothing like a traditional cigarette (even most cig-a-likes feel different than regular cigarettes), and you might be intimidated by its sheer awesomeness – or by the fact that you don’t want to look like an idiot vaping your e cig in public. We’ve all been there. Even though vapor looks a heck of a lot like smoke, using an e cig is quite a bit different than actually smoking – but that’s part of what makes vaping a-freaking-mazing!
Believe it or not, but that fact that using an e cig is DIFFERENT than smoking a cigarette helps you disassociate the ritual of smoking with satiating your nicotine cravings. However, there’s no doubt that there is a little bit of a learning curve when you first start vaping, but we’ve got you covered.
PRE FIRST VAPE CHECKLIST
With a cigarette, you just need some hands, your mouth, and a flame. E cigs also require some hands and a mouth, but no flame is required – it’s like magic! Okay, it’s not like magic, it’s just electricity (although, electricity does remind me a lot of magic). So instead of a fire, you need to figure out how to operate your e cig – here’s how.
1. FIGURE OUT HOW TO TURN YOUR E CIG ON AND OFF
Most, but not all, e cigs can be turned on and off. Your e cig will not produce vapor if your e cig is off. Feel free to call me captain obvious if you must, but it’s important to figure out how to turn the darn thing on, so do it!
Hint: many manual e cigs require that you hit a button anywhere between 3-5 times. Just read the instructions – you’ll be fine.
2. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE THE E CIG PRODUCE VAPOR
Some cig-a-likes are automatic, so all you have to do is inhale, but most (and the best) e cigs have a button that you’ll need to press. If your e cig has a button, do not let this scare or intimidate you. I will admit, the idea of pushing a button kind of freaked me out (it doesn’t take much to freak me out I guess), but I adapted – so can you.
3. ADJUST YOUR VOLTS OR WATTS TO THE LOWEST SETTING (IF APPLICABLE)
All e cigs are different and some have variable settings. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to start low and adjust to higher temps as you go in order to hone in on the perfect flavor to vapor ratio. Before you begin, make sure your settings are on the lowest setting (for your first time) to ensure a tasty first experience instead of a gross one. To learn more about watts and volts and what they do, feel free to check out a more in depth article here.
4. MAKE SURE THERE’S ENOUGH E JUICE IN YOUR TANK/CARTOMIZER
Again, this might seem like common sense, but there’s nothing worse than taking a dry hit (trust me). Not only does it taste like burning butt hairs (I don’t actually know what burning butt hairs taste like, but I have imagined tasting them, and it’s gross), but it might actually ruin your cartomizer, coil, or wick. So figure out how to fill it up, and make sure everything is properly saturated.
HOW TO TAKE YOUR FIRST MAGICAL PUFF OF VAPOR
Finally, now we’re at the fun part! Here’s how to inhale that sweet sweet nicotine.
1. BEFORE YOU START VAPING, MAKE SURE IT’S ALLOWED
Basically, if you’re on your own property there’s no problem, but don’t vape where it’s not allowed, or where you wouldn’t feel comfortable smoking a traditional cigarette. Why? Because there’s a lot of legislation out there (both pending and passed) limiting where people can vape. So make sure you’re vaping where it’s legal and where it won’t piss anyone off to the point where they’ll try to make it illegal.
2. HIT THE FIRE BUTTON (IF APPLICABLE), PUT THE MOUTHPIECE TO YOUR MOUTH, AND INHALE
You’re not going to have to inhale as hard as you do with a traditional cigarette, so keep that in mind for your first puff. There’s also some debate regarding the superiority of mouth-hits over lung-hits (or vice-versa). Personally, I like lung-hits because I feel like I get a better nicotine buzz, but there are people who prefer mouth hits because there’s better flavor and more vapor. Either way, do what feels right to you, and don’t let anyone tell you what to do (whateva – I do what I want)!
3. WAIT A BEAT THEN EXHALE
Exhale through your mouth or nose – it doesn’t matter. I like doing both because it makes me look like a dragon!
4. RINSE AND REPEAT UNTIL SATISFIED
Keep in mind that there are a few types of atomizer tanks that work best if the e cig is held horizontally to help promote better wicking. Top coil clearomizers are the most notable offenders, but if you’re using a cartomizer/carto tank or an atomizer cartridge combo this shouldn’t be an issue.
OTHER NOTABLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN VAPING AND SMOKING
Now that you got the process down, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a few more differences between vaping and smoking, let’s address a few of these just to clear the air (Get it? No? Yeah, I know, lame pun – I couldn’t resist).
1. YOU WON’T KNOW THAT YOU’RE DONE VAPING AS EASILY AS A CIGARETTE
When you smoke, it’s pretty obvious when you’re done. The cherry has reached the butt, and there’s no tobacco left. However, with e cigs, the battery doesn’t shrink as you’re vaping – so how are you supposed to know when you’re done? Well, there’s a few ways. You could time you’re vaping breaks and stop after 5 or 10 minutes, you could go outside with a friend who’s a smoker and go inside when they’re done, or you could just wing it and vape when you want for however long you want.
The thing is, you’ll still get a nicotine rush, so you have to rely on your body to let you know when enough is enough. The general rule of thumb is that higher nicotine concentrations should be vaped in shorter bursts than lower nicotine concentrations. If you want to start chain vaping (which happens a lot with new vapers – well, all vapers to be honest), then switch to a lower nicotine concentration.
2. YOU’RE PROBABLY GOING TO DRAW SOME ATTENTION (BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE)
People are curious by nature. When I first started vaping around the office I got constant looks and questions. You’d think that this would freak me out since I’m a huge introvert, but it was nice to actually talk about vaping since I find it interesting. Plus, you might even convert a few smokers to vaping – which is always a win!
There’s always going to be people who are freaked out by vaping and have no issue telling you. I’ve had a few people think that my e cig was a bong or drug related. If the person is up for a real dialog, feel free to explain what your e cig actually is and why you chose to use it over smoking, but if they aren’t, don’t sweat it. You know why you decided to switch, and that’s all that matters.
3. WHEN YOUR BATTERY IS DEAD, IT’S DEAD
With cigarettes, if you lose your cherry you can always light it up again, but once your battery loses its charge it’ll take a lot longer for it to come back to life. Because of this, it’s always recommended to carry around a fully charged spare battery (or two). Just remember the saying: “two is one, and one is none.”
NOW GET OUT THERE AND HAVE A GREAT TIME!
We hope that you love your e cig set up and that you’re first lung full of vapor is an amazing one! If you have any questions or have stories about your first vaping experience, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Don’t forget to check out the rest of this guide and the rest of the articles on our site to learn everything you need to know about vaping.