Switching to e-cigarettes

Millions of people around the world are waking up to the wonders of e-cigarettes and ditching tobacco for good in favour of a more modern setup.

It's not hard to see why; with e-cigarettes you have more control about what you put in your body, can choose your own nicotine level and smoke indoors without ruining the furniture or permanently stinking up your car. You get the same sensation without a lot of the fuss, and it opens up a whole new world of possibility in terms of customisation.

Even so, many people curious about switching to e-cigarettes are reluctant to give it a go because it feels complicated or intimidating. If you're new to the scene, here's the basics you need to get you started.

Making the switch

If you're a smoker now and are thinking of making the switch, you're not alone — millions of smokers around the world have kicked the habit for good and transitioned to vaping instead.

All smokers are different; some find the transition to vaping effortless, while others slowly wean themselves off cigarettes over several months. Be open to trying different e-liquid flavours until you find something you like and that works for you.

How e-cigarettes work

Getting to grips with the hardware is one of the most daunting aspects of vaping and stops many smokers from giving it a try. Once you know the basics it's easy to understand and you'll be able to do it with confidence.

Though they differ in shape and style, all e-cigs have the same basic elements. They are:

  • The battery — The battery powers the e-cigarette and makes it possible to heat the atomizer coil, in turn transforming liquid into vapour and producing the signature cloud when you inhale.
  • The atomizer — The atomizer is the element inside the e-cigarette that heats up to produce a vapour. It's shaped like a hollow tube and is connected to both the battery and a cartridge or chamber where the e-liquid is stored. The liquid is filtered through the atomizer and when it makes contact with the heated coil converts into vapour.
  • The e-liquid — E-liquid is the substance that turns to vapour and gives e-cigarettes their flavour and taste. Though the ingredients vary, in general they are made with a combination of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings and depending on your preferences, nicotine. You can choose simple nicotine-flavoured e-liquids that closely mirror the taste of traditional cigarettes or leave it behind altogether and choose a flavour with no nicotine whatsoever that tastes of anything from strawberries and cream to menthol.

Most people start with a simple vape kit and then upgrade over time to more sophisticated setups that offer features like better battery life and temperature control. We've got plenty of starter kits to help make the process of choosing an electronic cigarette simple and straightforward, putting everything you need all in one place.

Once you've picked out and purchased your e-cigarette setup there's nothing left to do but get started. Using an e-cigarette is different than actual smoking and may take a minute or two to adjust to.

For starters, instead of lighting up, you need to switch your vape pen on. If your setup is automatic, all you need to do is inhale. Most e-cigarettes, however, have a button you need to press to produce the vapour first.

If you haven't loaded enough e-liquid into your tank or cartomizer you'll end up taking a dry hit, which gives off the taste of dry burning in your throat. Read your user guide carefully about how to set up and load liquid into your e-cigarette before you get started.