Vaping vs Smoking

Vaping vs smoking

Right, lets get this straight. Just because it’s called an electronic cigarette doesn’t mean you use it in the same way as a traditional cigarette. Apart from the name, they really have nothing in common. A traditional cigarette burns tobacco to create smoke & an e-cig heats a liquid to produce a steam-like vapour. So let’s look at vaping vs smoking:

So much variety

There are many different sorts of e-cig, ranging from the disposable to the temperature controlled device. E-cigs with variable power or voltage are probably more forgiving on the users technique but most people’s first experience with an e-cig is usually a cigalike – something that looks like a traditional cigarette. It’s these smaller devices that this page is mainly concerned with. More experienced users use a wide variety of techniques but what I’m concerned with here is the newer user who is using a low powered device.

I thought the transition would be easy – that’s what they said in the shop

Well, it’s not hard – it’s just different. With a traditional cigarette, most smokers draw quite heavily and take the smoke directly into their lungs. With an e-cig, you don’t draw as hard & you take the vapour into the mouth, at least at first. You can then take it into the lung if you want but the mouth & nose are actually quite good at absorbing nicotine. The trick is really to draw low & slow – effectively taking a longer but less powerful suck than you would with a traditional cigarette.

Why can’t  I use it like a normal cigarette?

The reason behind this is that the liquid needs to be drawn slowly over the heating coil to ensure that enough of the liquid is turned into vapour. If you suck too hard & for too short a time, you’ll either draw the liquid into your mouth (Not nice ) or you won’t heat enough of the liquid to get your nicotine hit.

OK, I get it but the battery doesn’t last long & these cartridges work out as expensive as cigs

These are indeed the main drawbacks of cigalikes. It was using a cigalike that helped me move completely onto e-cigs – so I don’t intend to mock them – but their batteries are so physically small that they can’t be expected to last very long. Similarly the part containing the nicotine (the cartomiser) is relatively small & many cartomisers have a sort of wadding inside that holds the liquid, so there’s not much room for the juice.

Moving on

When I started vaping, I pretty quickly became frustrated by the short battery life & the cost of pre-filled cartomisers. They did work for me (with 24 mg juice – anything less & I think they’d have failed). However, it wasn’t long before I moved onto an Ego-c, which had a larger battery & a small refillable cartridge. Today, there are much better options available.

Great – but I get a dry mouth

The propylene glycol in e-liquid is hygroscopic – meaning it absorbs moisture. So, when you’re vaping it’s best to increase the amount of water that you drink in order to counter this.

If you have any other questions about e-cigs or vaping, leave a comment below & I’ll do my best to help

Originally Published by Dave Upton 2015 – Reproduced by vapers.org.uk with kind permission

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