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What Is Vaping?

Vaping Explained

young woman vaping

Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor that is produced by an electronic cigarette (e-cig) or a vaporizer. The materials used in vaping include nicotine-based e-liquids, concentrates, or dry herbs such as marijuana.

Vaping devices, known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are commonly called e-cigarettesvapes, or dry herb vaporizers. ENDS use a battery-powered heating element (atomizer) to heat and vaporize the materials so they can be inhaled. Typical devices contain a battery, a container (tank) for the material being vaporized, and an atomizer.

In an e-cig or vape, the e-liquid suspends in a tank that surrounds the atomizer. The e-liquid is absorbed by a wicking material, such as cotton, that directly contacts the atomizer. The battery heats the atomizer and the e-liquid suspended in the wicking material, producing an inhalable vapor.

Dry herb vaporizers contain a battery, a chamber for the dry herbs, and an atomizer. The atomizer heats the dry herbs (typically marijuana) in the chamber. The herbs get hot enough to release their active compounds into vapor without reaching combustion temperatures. The user inhale of the vapor is then accomplished, producing effects similar to combustion (smoking).

Vaping Nicotine

filling vape tank with e-liquidVape juices, also called e-liquids, are the most popular vaping products. They contain nicotine, flavoring, Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). The PG and VG is the medium for carrying the nicotine and the flavor. Adjusting the ratio between the PG and VG provides the best possible vaping experience.

There are thousands of diverse and appealing e-liquid flavors available today, in addition to traditional tobacco flavors. This huge variety of choices has helped attract smokers into vaping.

There have been many studies about the dangers of e-cigarette vapor, many of them done on the dime of e-cig manufacturers. Data shows that vaping e-liquid is much less toxic than burning tobacco. It should be noted that almost all vaping materials contain nicotine and should not be used by children under the legal smoking age.

Many middle and high school students in the United States have tried vaping. Parents should educate themselves and their children about the health risks for children who vape and the special hazards of the very popular Juul vape devices. Children should be strongly discouraged from vaping until they are of legal smoking age.

History of Vaping

Over the past several decades there have been many attempts to find an alternative to inhaling nicotine. Several patents were filed for e-cig type devices in the 20th century, however, it wasn’t until 2003 that a Chinese scientist by the name of Hon Lik developed a patent for the first commercially successful vaping device. Lik, a pharmacist and inventor, struggled to stop smoking. He created his vaping device after his father, also a heavy smoker, passed away from lung cancer.

It was still a few years before vaping caught on globally, but once it did, the growth of the industry exploded. In 2006 and 2007 the first vapes were introduced to the European and American marketplace. Thousands of smokers turned to vaping in hopes of becoming tobacco free. Since then, vaping and e-cigarettes have gained rapidly in popularity among those looking for alternatives to traditional methods of smoke inhalation.


Why Are People Vaping?

woman vaping outside

Ask any vaper and they will likely share with you more than one reason why they vape—and why they love it.

Vaping Gives You a Less Toxic Option

Smoking is dangerous and extremely harmful to yourself and others. Numerous studies have revealed that e-cigarette vapor provides a safer way to inhale nicotine and eliminate second-hand smoke in comparison to traditional cigarette smoke. Secondhand vapor is less harmful than secondhand cigarette smoke,  making it better for your health and the health of the people around you. These facts have resulted in thousands of smokers turning to vaping.

Vapor Smells Better

You can’t escape the smell of cigarette smoke. Long after you’ve extinguished your cigarette, the smell follows you. It creeps into your clothes, permeates your home and makes your breath less than desirable. E-cigarette vapor does not have the same unpleasant and lingering odors of tobacco smoking. When you do smell vaping, the aroma is the usually pleasant flavor of the e-liquid or concentrate which dissipates quickly.  Forget smelling like an ashtray all day long. With vaping that just doesn’t happen!

Vaping Gives You Variety

One of the wonderful things about vapes is how customizable the devices are and how many options you have for e-liquids. From cigarette-style devices that mimic the look and feel of a traditional smoke to high-powered vape models, there is a style of vape for every user—and every situation. To top it off, you also can choose your favorite flavors, e-liquid mediums, and nicotine levels. There are plenty of options for zero nicotine e-liquids also. All of these choices allow you to make a customized vaping experience that is just right for you.


The Different Types of Vaping Devices



basic e-cigarette vaping deviceE-cigarettes are often thought of as beginner vaping devices because they are usually most peoples' introduction to vapes.  E-cigs are smaller than most other vaping devices on the market. They are easy to find in convenience stores, traditional smoke shops, and vape stores. Unlike other vapes, many e-cigs are disposable. 

Reusable Cig-a-Likes are not disposable. They allow you to cut down on waste by recharging the atomizer and switching out the e-liquid cartridges.

The convenience and affordability of e-cigs make them one of the most popular choices for many casual and newbie vapers. The best e-cig devices, disposable or rechargeable, mimic the feel of traditional cigarettes.  Many vapers agree that e-cigs are a good way to transition from cigarette smoking, although e-cigs don't offer the flavor and fullness of some larger vaping devices.


Vape Pens

vape pen vaporizersVape pens are a significant step up from e-cigs. Vape pens are streamlined, mid-sized devices. They are rechargeable, easy to use, and offer you more power and options to maximize your vaping experience. All vape pens contain a rechargeable battery, charging cable, a clearomizer (or cartridge) for holding e-liquid, and a mouthpiece. The clearomizer, or cartomizer, contains the atomizer (heating element) that turns the liquid into vapor.

Some models come with prefilled cartridges, while others allow you to fill the clearomizer with your favorite vape juice.  The best vape pens create substantial vapor and have expanded battery capacity. Vape pens are usually more expensive than e-cigs, but most users are happy with the extra investment.


Vape Mods/Tube Mods

Vape Mod in handVape Mods are bigger and more powerful than e-cigs and vape pens. These vaping devices evolved from modifying flashlights and metal tubes with electronic cigarette components in the early years of vaping.

Their sleek, tube style makes them a good choice for those who want a smaller device without giving up power and vapor production. Tube vape mods provide a more satisfying vapor than vape pens, due to the bigger batteries and adjustment options.

The most popular vape mods allow you to choose your atomizer and vape juice capacity. Tube mods have fewer options than box mods, making them more convenient for beginners or on-the-go users. Most of these devices have removable batteries that can be exchanged for recharged ones when they are depleted.


Box Mods

dual battery box mod vaping deviceBox mods are the King of power in the vaping world, box mods offer you more power and customizable options than any other device on the market. Box mods come in a box-like shape and are bigger than vape pens or the smaller tube mod styles. If you are seeking the ultimate in custom vapes, a box mod is the only way to go.

Box mods use detachable vape tanks that hold the e-liquid. That allows you to choose the atomizer, as well as the style and capacity that works best for you. The customizability is more than just in the build. The top box mod models have adjustable temperature and voltage or wattage to create your perfect vape. Don’t like dry hits? Just lower your temp until the vapor is just right. Looking for a more intense experience? Raise the wattage to get a more immediate and satisfying throat hit.


Mini Vapes

min vaping device in handMini vaping devices are more powerful than a vape pen but smaller than a box mod. These little guys have fewer options but are big on vapor production. Minis are great for traveling and anyone who wants a smaller device without sacrificing power.  Mini vapes are smaller versions of box mods, but without the LCD screen, battery capacity, and power. Beginners and non-techy users prefer mini vapes and vape pens for their basic features.

While most mini vaping devices have non-replaceable batteries, the best mini vape devices have only one replaceable battery and are usually slightly larger. Mini-vaping devices with either replaceable and non-replaceable batteries can be charged by plugging it into a micro USB cable.


Herbal Vaporizers

portable herbal vaporizer vaping weedA dry herb vaporizer works slightly different than a traditional vape. Traditional e-cigarettes vaporize e-liquid to create vapor, whereas dry herb models vaporize dry material, such as marijuana.

Herbal vaporizers are generally discreet and easy to carry with you. There are larger at home models that work well on tables and desktops. Like regular e-cigarettes, there is no combustion. These features make herbal vapes an increasingly popular choice for those who want to cut down on inhaling potentially harmful toxins.

Many, especially those who use marijuana medicinally, appreciate the safer method of inhalation that dry herb vapes allow. Many users are reporting a much cleaner and more potent vapor than they experience with traditional combustible methods. A good quality herbal vape can be very powerful and effective.


Is Vaping Safe?

Verifying the safety of vaping is difficult because it is a relatively new industry, so scientists have not had enough time to know the long-term effects for vapers. A study In 2015 by Public Health England reported that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than their combustible counterparts. Other recent studies show that former smokers who now vape displayed significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals and carcinogens than current smokers. This information is critical for people who want to make informed decisions about their risks of heart disease, cancer or strokes.


Sub-Ohm Vaping

Ohm symbol

If you are a cloud-chaser, looking for big and intense vapor, then you need to consider sub-ohm vaping. Sub-ohm vaping is vaping using a special atomizer to produce more intense vapor. Sub-ohm vaping produces greater vapor clouds and for many cloud-chasers that translates into a more satisfying vaping experience. The heating element in an atomizer has a resistance level that is measured in ohms. Most e-cigs have an ohm level between 1.5 and 3 ohms, but sub-ohm levels take the resistance below 1 ohm. By lowering the resistance, more power passes through the coil resulting in thicker vapor clouds.


How to Find the Best Vape

Here's how to find a vape that’s right for you:

a. try a variety of devices and e-liquids (which can be cost prohibitive), or b. study online vape reviews so you can make informed decisions before you spend your money. Vaper City has researched reviews from many experienced vapers that can provide you with valuable information to help you make informed choices, create the best possible vaping experience for you, and save you money.

Happy vaping!

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