Beginner’s Guide to Vaping: Devices, E-Liquids, Styles, Costs

Quit Smoking with Vape

Vaping has become increasingly popular over the past two decades, offering an alternative to traditional smoking or a new experience for those who have never smoked before. However, for beginners, the wide array of vaping methods, products, and technology can be overwhelming. This comprehensive guide aims to provide novices with everything they need to know to navigate the world of vaping confidently, ensuring that they make informed decisions and have a positive experience.

Understanding Vaping: The Basics

Vaping involves inhaling vapor from an e-liquid using a personal vaporizer and exhaling it from the lungs. The term “vaping” is derived from the word “vaporize,” which refers to the process of converting a solid or liquid into a gas. Since the introduction of the first vaping devices in 2003, the industry has evolved significantly, offering a diverse range of vape types that cater to various preferences and experiences.

While vaping has gained popularity as a tobacco alternative, it is essential to be aware of both the positive and potential adverse effects associated with this activity. Some of the negative side effects may include:

Although it is not always possible to avoid all negative aspects of vaping, understanding how to prevent and minimize them can greatly enhance your overall vaping experience. Throughout this guide, we will explore various strategies and tips to help you navigate these potential challenges and make the most of your vaping journey.

Making Informed Choices: Devices, Styles, and E-Liquids

Before embarking on your vaping journey, it is crucial to make well-informed decisions regarding the device, vaping style, and e-liquid that best suit your needs and preferences. These choices can significantly impact your overall vaping experience and satisfaction. As an experienced vaper, I have tested numerous devices, styles, and e-liquids, and I will share my insights to help you make the best decisions for your unique situation.

1. Selecting the Right Device

Choosing the appropriate vape device is the first step in ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable vaping experience. Vape components may vary depending on the model, but they typically include:

  • E-liquid tank (cartridge, pod)
  • Mouthpiece
  • Lithium polymer or IMR battery
  • Heating element (atomizer coil)
  • E-liquid
  • Wicking material
  • Charger
  • Accessories (e.g., LED screens, removable batteries, adjustable airflow, or indicator lights)

For beginners, it is advisable to opt for a device with a user-friendly interface that delivers a light, flavorful, and smooth vaping experience without causing discomfort or coughing. Some of the most beginner-friendly devices include:

Different vaping devices

Cig-a-Likes: These discreet, lightweight e-cigarettes resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes and feature replaceable cartomizers and rechargeable batteries. They require minimal maintenance and are available in various flavors and nicotine strengths. In my experience, cig-a-likes are an excellent choice for those transitioning from smoking to vaping, as they closely mimic the feel and draw of a traditional cigarette.

Disposable Vapes: Convenient and easy to use, disposable vapes are an excellent choice for beginners. These portable devices come in vibrant colors and are ready to use immediately after unboxing. Modern versions are pre-charged and filled with the desired e-liquid. Disposable vapes are perfect for those who want to try vaping without committing to a more advanced device or for those who value simplicity and convenience above all else.

Pod Kits (Pod Vape, Pod System, Pod Mod): Pod kits offer a balance of simplicity and functionality, consisting of a pod and a battery. These compact devices are ideal for new users due to their straightforward design and ease of use. In my experience, pod kits provide a satisfying vaping experience while still being portable and user-friendly, making them a popular choice among beginners and experienced vapers alike.

Vape Pens: Small, cylindrical, and discreet, vape pens resemble ball-point pens and can be either disposable or reusable. They feature a battery that powers a heating element, producing vapor for inhaling nicotine-infused juice, concentrates, cannabis oils, or dry herbs. Vape pens are a great option for those who want a bit more versatility in their vaping experience, as they can be used with a variety of substances.

When selecting your first device, consider factors such as portability, ease of use, battery life, and the type of e-liquid or substance you plan to use. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from experienced vapers or knowledgeable staff at reputable vape shops. Remember, the right device for you is the one that meets your specific needs and preferences, so take the time to research and compare different options before making a decision.

2. Choosing Your Vaping Style

Once you have selected your device, the next step is to determine your preferred vaping style. Vape kits are available in two main categories: starter kits and sub-ohm kits. For beginners, starter kits are the most suitable option, as they facilitate a smooth transition from tobacco smoking to vaping.

different Vaping Style

There are three primary vaping styles to choose from:

Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) Vaping: MTL inhalation involves drawing the vapor from the device into your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs. This style mimics the sensation of cigarette smoking and is well-suited for high-nicotine e-liquids. MTL devices are typically small, with circular or narrow mouthpieces that produce lower vapor and allow for restricted airflow. As a former smoker, I found that MTL vaping was the most natural and satisfying way to transition from cigarettes to vaping, as it closely replicates the smoking experience.

Direct-to-Lung (DTL or Sub-Ohm) Vaping: Experienced vapers who enjoy thick, fluffy clouds often prefer DTL vaping. This style requires a larger device with a wider mouthpiece, allowing for higher airflow and larger vapor volume that can be inhaled directly into the lungs without holding it in the mouth first. DTL vaping is best suited for low-nicotine e-liquids. In my experience, DTL vaping provides a more intense flavor and vapor production, but it may not be the best choice for beginners or those sensitive to nicotine.

Restricted Direct-to-Lung (RDL) Vaping: RDL vapes are designed with slight airflow resistance, allowing for direct vapor inhalation into the lungs. This style offers a balance between MTL and DTL vaping, and medium-strength e-liquids are recommended for the best experience. RDL vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it provides a satisfying middle ground between the tight draw of MTL and the airy draw of DTL.

When choosing your vaping style, consider your previous smoking habits (if any), your desired level of vapor production, and your sensitivity to nicotine. It may take some experimentation to find the style that works best for you, but don’t be discouraged if your first choice isn’t a perfect fit. Many vapers switch between styles depending on their mood, environment, or the e-liquid they are using.

Looking for Lite Open Pod Kit?
Ecigator Sticky Open Pod Kit

Ecigator Sticky Open Pod Kit

The Sticky Open Pod Kit is a contemporary vaping device that combines functionality with fashion. This kit is designed with a box-style form factor, offering a compact and stylish appearance that’s ideal for vaping enthusiasts on the move.

At the heart of this kit is a Refillable Open Pod System, with a capacity of 2ml, perfect for accommodating a variety of e-liquids. The pod is equipped with a high-quality Mesh Coil that not only ensures a rich and flavorful vaping experience but also boasts durability for up to 8 Refills.

3. Selecting Your E-Liquid

Investing in high-quality e-liquids is crucial, as they are typically free of additives and contaminants. When choosing an e-liquid, consider the following factors:

PG:VG Ratio: The ratio of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glycerin (VG) in your e-liquid will determine the intensity of the throat hit and the thickness of the vapor. Higher PG levels provide a stronger throat hit, while higher VG levels produce thicker vapor. As a general rule, beginners may prefer e-liquids with a higher PG ratio, as they provide a more pronounced throat hit similar to smoking. However, some may find high PG levels harsh, in which case a balanced 50/50 ratio or higher VG e-liquid may be more suitable.

Flavor: E-liquids are available in a wide range of flavors, from tobacco and mint to desserts and fruits. Experiment with different options to find the flavors that appeal to you most. Many beginners start with tobacco or menthol flavors if they are transitioning from smoking, as these closely mimic the taste of traditional cigarettes. However, don’t be afraid to branch out and try new flavors – you may be surprised by what you enjoy! As an experienced vaper, I have found that my flavor preferences have evolved, and I now enjoy a wide variety of e-liquid profiles.

Nicotine Strength: If you are using vaping as a means to quit smoking, choose an e-liquid with a nicotine strength that corresponds to your current smoking habits. The table below provides a general guideline:


Remember that these are just recommendations, and you may need to experiment to find the nicotine strength that works best for you. Some vapers may find that they need to start with a higher nicotine level and gradually reduce it over time, while others may be comfortable starting with a lower strength. It’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your nicotine level accordingly.

When purchasing e-liquids, always buy from reputable manufacturers or suppliers to ensure that you are getting a safe, high-quality product. Look for e-liquids that have been tested by independent laboratories and have transparent ingredient lists. Avoid e-liquids with unknown or questionable ingredients, as these may pose health risks.

4. Maintaining Your Device and Avoiding Flavor Fatigue

To ensure a consistently enjoyable vaping experience, it is essential to keep your device clean and well-maintained. Clean your tank after replacing e-liquid to prevent residue from affecting the flavor of the new juice. Always shake the e-liquid bottle before use to ensure that the PG, VG, and nicotine are properly mixed for the best possible hit. Store your e-liquid bottles in a cool, dark place to maintain their quality and usability for as long as possible.

To avoid “vaper’s tongue,” a condition where you lose the ability to taste your e-liquid’s flavor due to prolonged use of the same product, consider occasionally switching to a different flavor to give your taste buds and smell glands a break. In my experience, rotating between 3-4 different flavors throughout the day can help prevent flavor fatigue and keep your vaping experience fresh and enjoyable.

In addition to regular cleaning and flavor rotation, it’s important to replace your device’s coils and wicks as needed. Most coils last between 1-2 weeks, depending on usage and e-liquid type. If you notice a burnt taste, reduced vapor production, or diminished flavor, it’s likely time to replace your coil. Failing to replace coils when needed can lead to an unpleasant vaping experience and may even damage your device.

Understanding Vape Costs

While the initial cost of a vaping device may be higher than a pack of cigarettes, vaping can become more cost-effective over time. The table below provides an overview of the prices for various vape types:

vaping cost

In addition to the device itself, there are ongoing costs associated with vaping, such as e-liquids, replacement coils, and other accessories. The table below outlines the prices for common vaping accessories:

While some high-end vape mods can cost several hundred dollars, and luxury models like the gold, diamond, and crystal-encrusted Sofia from Shisha Sticks can reach prices as high as $887,000, most beginners can find affordable options that suit their needs and preferences.

When considering the costs of vaping, it’s important to factor in the potential savings compared to smoking traditional cigarettes. According to a study conducted by Public Health England, vaping is estimated to be 95% less harmful than smoking, and switching completely from smoking to vaping can save the average smoker thousands of dollars per year. While the initial investment in a vaping device and accessories may seem high, the long-term savings in both health and financial costs can be significant.


Starting your vaping journey may seem daunting at first, but with the right knowledge and guidance, you can quickly find the perfect device, e-liquid, and vaping style that works for you. Whether you are transitioning from traditional cigarettes or exploring vaping as a new experience, taking the time to make informed decisions and establish a personalized routine will ensure a smooth and enjoyable vaping experience.

Remember to prioritize device maintenance, experiment with different flavors to avoid vaper’s tongue, and stay informed about the latest developments in the vaping industry. By doing so, you will be well-equipped to navigate the world of vaping confidently and enjoyably.

As an experienced vaper and industry expert, I hope that this comprehensive guide has provided you with the information and insights needed to make the best choices for your vaping journey. Always prioritize safety, quality, and your personal preferences when making decisions about devices, e-liquids, and vaping styles. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek advice from experienced vapers, and take the time to find what works best for you.

Vaping can be a wonderful and enjoyable experience, whether you are using it as a means to quit smoking or simply as a new hobby. By staying informed, making smart choices, and prioritizing your health and well-being, you can ensure that your vaping journey is a positive and rewarding one. Happy vaping!

Matthew Ma