Every vaper has his or her own story when they started vaping; everyone had underlying reasons for considering vaping until something, or more often, someone convinced them to start vaping. Whatever one’s reason is to start, we can’t take away the fact that e-cigarettes are complicated devices in the sense that there are multiple options and it may get confusing sometimes. In this article, our aim is to inform those who are now considering to start – what options they have, and hopefully, help them narrow down their choices and eventually get the device fit for their style.
Chapter I - The Mod
You probably hear this word a lot with your vaper friends. Showing off their new “mod”, looking online for a new “mod”, watching “mod” reviews. It’s very common but it often sounds like jargon to most people. The word came from the early days of vaping when people MODified different battery powered electronic devices, usually flashlights, and turned them into e-cigarettes. So basically, when you hear the word “mod”, that person is talking about the main e-cigarette devices that houses the battery.
There are two main types of vape mods – the mechanical mod and the regulated mod. The regulated mod is the more common device being sold in shops nowadays. It is called as such because the user can choose different settings to suit their vaping style – change the wattage, voltage, and other temperature control settings. This is done via the built in smart computer chip in the device. Whether you want more flavor, more clouds or somewhere in between, the device has multiple settings that the user can change to get the best experience out of it. Aside from this, the smart chip also hosts a load of safety features to keep the user safe – the most common ones among all devices are short circuit protection, overheat protection, overcharge/over discharge protection, and a ten second puff cutoff. All of these features work flawlessly in modern devices thus providing the user peace of mind when using the mod.
The other type of mod is the classic mechanical mod. It is called as such because of the method of using it where the user simply pushes the battery up from a tube connecting the battery to the atomizer [discussed in chapter 2] completing the circuit. This type of mod does not have a chip inside, hence, whatever charge or voltage the battery has will be fired directly to the atomizer. It also does not have any type of safety feature which is why it is strictly advised that this type of mod to be used by experienced users.
Now, you might wonder why people would still be using mechanical mods since regulated mods sound like a practical choice. Vapers around the world still use mech mods for a multitude of reasons, be it how the mod looks like, how it hits, or to get more experience with building atomizers. It’s simply a different beast that needs to be taken care of in a special way – much like how cars are nowadays – you’ll still see a classic car being driven around simply because the driver wants a unique experience that modern cars simply cannot give.
Chapter II – The Atomizer
In Chapter 1, we touched on the atomizer a little, also known as the “atty” (pronounced ah-tee). This sits on top of the mod, holds the e-liquid [discussed in chapter 3], the coils and wicks. The atty basically delivers the vapor to the user. Like mods, there are different types of atomizers as well. The most common kind found inside starter kits are called Sub-Ohm Tanks. This is the first tank most vapers start with since it is a simple tank to use. It comes pre-assembled in the starter kit - just fill the tank with e-juice and you’re ready to go. Inside the sub-ohm tank is a replaceable coil head. There is no need to build coils which is why this type of tank is easy to maintain.
There are what we call “rebuildable tanks” where users get to build their own coils depending on how they like to vape. For rebuildables, the build deck holds the coils and wicks and the juice flows to the cotton and te coil turns the e-liquid to vapor. The most common one is the RDA or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. This type of atomizer have the coils sitting bare inside the build deck and delivers the vapor straight to the mouth. When using an RDA, one has to remember that the only way to get juice on the cotton is to drip straight on the coils. To some users, it may sound inconvenient, however, the trade off is, more flavors and clouds which is why this type of tank is preferred by most users. It is also one of the first type of tanks to be invented so it has been around longer than the other types of attys.
There’s also the RTA or Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. It is only similar to the RDA such that there is a build deck, however, the deck is housed in a chamber or chimney and juice is held inside a tank outside the chimney. This is a more convenient type of rebuildable atomizer because you don’t have to drip inside the tank all the time to vape. The tank usually holds around 2-5mL of e-liquid which should give enough juice for a coffee break. The same goes for the RDTA or Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer, the only difference is the tank is below the build deck, but the idea is the same – a tank that holds the e-liquid will make vaping more convenient than the regular dripping atomizer.
Chapter III – The E-Liquid
We’ve tackled the e-liquid or e-juice in our previous article “Stop Smoking, Start Vaping”. It has four main ingredients – Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), nicotine and artificial flavors. We’ll get specific on each ingredient and you’ll see what roles they play in one’s vape experience.
1) Propylene Glycol – this synthetic chemical is primarily used in food products to lower their freezing temperature. Ice cream, iced coffee drinks, and whipped cream are some popular examples where PG is being used. In e-liquids, PG plays a role in the overall flavor profile of the e-juice. Usually, the more PG content the e-juice has, the sweeter and more flavorful the vape is. If the PG content is not written on the label, you’ll need to check the viscosity of the liquid. The thicker the e-liquid, the less PG content it has, however, the more PG an e-liquid has, it usually has more throat hit.
2) Vegetable Glyerin – VG plays a vital role in the amount of clouds you produce from your e-liquid. VG. The downside of a high VG e-liquid though is that the liquid gets thick that the cotton may have a harder time absorbing the e-liquid. VG is typically made from natural sources such as soybeans, coconut or palm oils. VG also plays a role in the sweetness of an e-liquid, the more VG, the sweeter the e-juice will taste.
3) nicotine – this is very basic – nicotine is the addictive chemical in cigarettes which make you crave for more. This the main point vapers make when convincing smokers to switch because it will deliver nicotine a safer and more satisfying way. No one can deny that traditional cigarettes cannot compare to vape in terms of flavor variety. So why stick to traditional methods when more modern e-cigarettes give more gratification? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
4) flavorings – this varies for every e-liquid. Pastries, fruits, soda, coffee, you name it, most likely there is an e-liquid for it. This is what flavor-chasers live for, finding the best tasting e-liquid around. There is a very delicate balance in flavorings though in such a way that too less and the e-liquid would taste stale, too much and vapers would usually avoid the juice because it becomes too strong.
Switching from traditional tobacco smoking to e-cigarettes really boils down to the person – we vapers can convince smokers all we want but if they are not given enough education, they might stick to the stinky sticks. It’s all up to our community to provide them with the knowledge and information to help them switch to the safer option.
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Thank you and sorry for the long article, we just wanted to be as detailed as possible without taking too much of your time. See you in the next blog post.