Frequently Asked Questions
What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of vaporising specially designed liquids known as e-liquid. E-liquids are absorbed by a wicking material (traditionally cotton) and then rapidly heated using a metal heating element known as a coil. Typically vaping is used as a smoking cessation tool to help smokers quit or reduce their nicotine/tobacco/cigarette consumption. You can find an in-depth guide to vaping in our guides section.
What are the different types of e-liquid?
E-liquid can be referred to as many things but can generally fall into three widely used categories which are as follows:
50/50 or “Traditional” e-liquids: Generally using a 50% mix of VG/PG, these e-liquids have higher nicotine strengths using freebase nicotine and are more commonly associated with starter kits and new vapers. Freebase nicotine often provides a harsher throat hit than other variants.
High VG or “Sub-Ohm” e-liquids: Generally using a higher mix of VG when compared to PG, these e-liquids are usually found with lower nicotine strengths and can be vaporised at a higher wattage providing more clouds and less of a throat hit.
Nicotine Salts e-liquids: Generally using a 50% mix of VG/PG, these e-liquids use a salt nicotine base instead of freebase, which provides a much smoother throat hit, less vapour & quicker absorption rate while in higher nicotine concentrations.
You can find out more information in our vaping guides section.
What is VG/PG?
VG & PG make up most of the contents of e-liquid, as well as other flavourings.
Why does my vape taste burnt?
Generally, if your vape tastes burnt, it’s a sign that you need to change the coil. Coils are consumable parts and only have a limited lifespan. Eventually through use, your e-liquid will reduce the quality of the cotton and coils, this is especially the case with sweeter e-liquids. Replacing your coils should fix this issue. As the cotton deteriorates, it can also cause some leaking which again is a sign that your coil is reaching the end of its life.
My vape will not turn on, what should I do?
If your kit will not turn on, we suggest you check the following:
Replace your batteries – batteries will eventually reach their end of life. Try replacing your batteries and seeing if that fixes the issue.
Make sure device is charged – if your device has internal batteries, you may need to charge the device. Be sure to use the appropriate charging method for your device.
Ensure you try using different cables to rule out that is not the cause of the issue as well. If this or any of the above does not fix your issue, there may be a problem with your device. Please contact us to see if we can assist you further.
What strength nicotine should I use?
Your nicotine strength will depend on how many cigarettes you were smoking before making the switch. This will require some experimentation to get your preferred strength. Our general recommendations are:
Social Smoker: 0mg – 3mg
Light Smoker: 6mg
Average Smoker: 12mg
Heavy Smoker: 18mg+
Of course, you still may adjust this depending on if your nicotine craving is being satisfied, or if you need to adjust how frequently you are vaping.
What are nicotine salts?
Nicotine Salts e-liquids have been gaining in popularity in the UK market over the last couple of years, having already taken the USA by storm. Rather than using Freebase nicotine, Nic salt e-liquids are derived from the natural nicotine salts found in the tobacco plant rather than extracting them and using ammonia to increase the pH level.
Nicotine Salt e-liquids provide a smoother throat hit, while also acting faster to get your nicotine satisfaction, acting in less than 10 seconds! As a result, they tend to be of a higher nicotine concentration in lower VG/PG mixes to perfectly compliment stealth devices and pod systems.
What type of device should I use?
There are a wide variety of devices out there and finding the right one can be daunting. Vaping has advanced a lot in the last few years. Below we will summarise some of the main variants and their best uses.
Each vaper is different and will have different requirements. Consider what your preferred vaping style is or will be, this will help with your choice of e-cigarette device. Some devices will carry out a specific style or function well, whilst a good number of devices can serve multiple purposes meaning you will not require a change of device as you progress through your vaping experience.
Pen style devices –
These get their name from their shape, generally slim in design and easy to use. They are made from 2 parts, a tank (that you fill with e-liquid) which can be removed freely & a battery base or “battery mod” if you want the technical term. This battery mod usually will have an in-built battery meaning you do not need to purchase anything else.
Pen style devices will have basic function, featuring usually just one button which is designed to turn the device off and on as well as for firing to vape. Some pen style devices may have adjustable airflow but they do not usually have a display or any other additional fancy features.
They are pre-set to operate within a set range, utilising a select number of coils. Changing the coils is easy, and this easy to use “press & go” style is favoured by beginner vapers or those looking for lower power devices or an MTL style of vaping.
All in one kits –
These are similar to the above where the battery mod will have a built in battery but the main design difference is that the device is one complete unit. There are no parts that detach, so the tank cannot be separated or used on a different device as it is built-in and integrated into the body of the device.
Using these devices is just as easy, requiring little expertise or knowledge. Simply fill with e-liquid and use the basic single button design to operate. This style of device doesn’t usually have adjustable airflow like the pen style kits sometimes do, but they have been designed and set to operate at the optimum settings so you get a great consistent experience.
These are also highly favoured by beginner vapers and those looking for lower power devices or MTL style vaping.
Pod Devices –
A pod device is one which uses a pod style cartridge to contain e-liquid rather than the traditional tank design. Some beginner vapers have trouble with accidentally breaking their tanks, so these pod systems are great as the design makes them more robust, compact and more user friendly. They are available in a range of different power capabilities; also in a wider range of styles, colours and designs.
Pod devices can still have that simple functionality you see on the all in one or pen style kits with just a single fire button to operate or even be draw activated. Some additional features that appear on pod devices include adjustable wattage, display and different styles of vaping. They are usually an open type system, where you will fill the pods/cartridges with your own e-liquid and maintain the changing of coils. Some Pod devices are a closed system where you will buy and use prefilled cartridges, disposable upon consumption.
Pod devices are very versatile and use a wide range of coils and can operate across a wider wattage range making them the perfect choice for progressive vaping. We recommend beginner vapers consider this type of device to avoid wanting or needing to purchase more devices in the future.
They can offer a great vaping experience to intermediate and advanced vapers too as they can do sub-ohm vaping as well as DTL & MTL styles of vaping.
Box Mod Kits –
Most variations in terms of design, functionality and style of vaping will be seen here. Box mod kits offer the widest range of choice for functions, wattage range, coil capabilities & vaping style capabilities as well. They are built to be anything from small and discreet to more sturdier & heavy duty or even fancy in design to make a fashion statement.
They enable users to get a very customizable vaping experience making them a great choice for intermediate and advanced vapers. Packed full of features you can adjust your settings to suit your particular requirements. Some beginners may still consider this type of device as they can service the “starter range” in which most beginners start out in terms of wattage range etc, however the features can sometimes cause confusion so only consider this if you feel confident in being able to understand and use the various features offed by each device.
Box mod kits are one of the most popular selling types of kit out there, being able to operate at higher wattages give users bigger clouds and smoother flavour. With the ability to also use a wide variety of tanks, users can also mix and match hardware and settings to further suit their vaping style. Box mods sometimes have a rechargeable built-in battery but very often will use external/removable batteries which are purchased separately. The will require 1, 2 or 3 batteries.
Squonk Kits –
This type of kit features a refillable built-in juice bottle which you press or “squeeze/squonk” to effectively transport that liquid up into your squonk compatible or bottom fed atomiser.
They can be used as a normal battery mod, but that kind of defeats the point of the squonk feature. If you enjoy using re-buildable RDA’s but not so much on the constant reapplication of e-liquid, this is the solution for you. A few presses on the flexible juice bottle sees your favourite e-liquid get reapplied to your cotton enabling you to enjoy hassle free vaping, just re-fill the juice bottle when empty, it’s quite easy to use too.
Due to the nature and the style of atomizer this device is used with, we would recommend that only intermediate or advanced users use such devices. Re-buildable components can sometimes be tricky for beginners and it is not a great choice as a starter device. Again please note, to use the squonk feature, you must have a squonk compatible atomiser, it will not work for standard tanks or atomizers.
Mechanical & unregulated devices –
These devices are capable of operating at high power but they feature absolutely no safety precautions or protection to the device or user. Using such devices is done at your own risk and should be done with great care and only attempted by those with a high level of knowledge and understanding of battery safety and Ohm’s Law.
Incorrect or improper use can result in physical harm to the device, the user and others around them. Mechanical or unregulated devices are designed for competition vaping and use by very advanced vapers only.
No liability will be taken by Vape Store Direct for incorrect or improper use by the user, Mechanical & unregulated devices carry no manufacturer warranty expect for where a manufacture defect is present at point of purchase.
Mod Only –
Sometimes you may have a favourite tank already or perhaps like a tank from one brand and a battery mod from another brand so it isn’t available as a kit. Purchasing a battery mod separately is fine, but this type of product does not come with any tank, spare parts or batteries.
The can have built-in battery but often will require you to purchase external batteries separately. They will usually use 1, 2 or 3 batteries.
These battery mods will be exactly the same specification as you see in the kit format, with all the same product features such as adjustable wattage, colour displays and more. Some products are only available in Battery mod only.
Is vaping safe?
There will be various reports and studies as more research is being done on a regular basis into vaping, as it is still a fairly new technology. What can be said is that the benefits that you gain from vaping include such things as improved smell and taste, lower blood pressure, increased life expectancy* (*vs continuing smoking traditional cigarettes), reduced risk to other health complications later down the line such as cancer, it is far cheaper, cleaner air for you and others around you plus many more reasons. These benefits and improvements to your health can be seen and felt within as little as a month upon your transition to vaping.
Research shows that using vaping as a cessation tool has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to date to help consumers reduce their smoking habits and nicotine consumption and in a wide number of cases be the key reason they were able to stop completely. In one study, 18% of e-cigarette users reported that they were able to quit for good within 1 year compared to only 9.9% of users who trialled other NRT methods.
Public Health England says that vaping is “at least 95% less harmful than smoking…” more information can be found about vaping directly on the Gov.UK website. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaping-in-england-evidence-update-february-2021). There is much more information, documented studies and reports about the pros and cons to vaping, but most importantly the common consensus which applies to all is that vaping is one of the most beneficial, effective and healthier ways to stop.
For more information you can see these posts from Cancer Research UK too (https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/awareness-and-prevention/e-cigarette-hub-information-for-health-professionals/safety) and the NHS. (https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/help-and-advice/e-cigarettes).
Why is my vape leaking e-liquid?
There are several reasons a tank or device might be leaking.
Tank seals are not tight enough: The seals are designed to be tightened properly in order to prevent leakage. Make sure they are properly secure and tight.
Incorrect tank filling: When filling your tank, make sure to follow the instructions provided with the device. Liquid that enters the chimney for example can drop straight through the coil and out of the bottom of the tank.
Check your e-liquid and atomiser combination: Some atomisers and tanks are designed for thinner high PG liquids, while some are designed for higher VG liquids. Check that your tank/atomiser and e-liquid are compatible.
Check your coil: Older coils at the end of their life span are more prone to leaking as the wicking material fibres break down and as less absorbent. Older coils can also become clogged, meaning any liquid that does wick through cannot be absorbed and therefore leaks out from the tank or pod. Replace your coil and see if the issue persists. This fixes over 95% of issues we see regarding leakage.
If you still need assistance, please feel free to contact us.
What are rebuildable coils?
Rebuildable coils are used with RDA / RTA / RDTA atomisers, you can either make them yourself or buy pre-wrapped coils that have been made professionally. These coils are designed for advanced users who want to get the most customisation out of their vaping experience. Rebuildables are known for their much better flavour and cloud production when compared to tanks.
My vape is telling me "Ohms too Low" or "No Atomizer" what does this mean?
Ohmage is the resistance rating of the coils in your atomiser. Vaping devices and batteries are rated for working at certain resistance ranges. If the ohmage of your coils is too low then your device may not be able to use them. We recommend checking the resistance rating of your device and change coils to something more suitable. When using rebuildable coils, some materials require a small burn in time where they read at a lower ohmage before reaching their true ohmage. We recommend using an ohm’s reader to pre-burn the coils to your required resistance.
If your device says no atomiser, you may need to remove the tank and re-attach it. Be sure the coils are secured fully inside the tank and that no liquid, dirt, dust or debris is present in the threaded terminal. Dirty or poorly maintained devices and connections can cause this issue.
How do I add nicotine to my e-liquid?
Shortfill e-liquids are liquids that contain 0mg of nicotine, you can add a “nicotine shot” to your shortfill liquids to make them up to your desired strength. The maximum strength of nicotine available in the UK is 20mg, although nicotine shots are generally provided in multiples of 3 in order to provide the easiest way of obtaining the most common nicotine strength which is 3mg.
For example: 50ml Shortfill @ 0mg + 10ml Nic shot @ 18mg = (18mg/60ml) = 3mg/ml (0.3%)
So a 50ml 0mg shortfill when you add a 10ml 18mg Nic shot to it, it becomes a 60ml 3mg bottle of e-liquid. You add the 50ml and the 10ml to get the 60ml, then the 18mg is now split over 60ml of liquid rather than the original 10ml
If you wish to reach higher levels of nicotine than 3mg, you may need to use extra shots and remove some of the 0mg e-liquid. Please note that this will dilute the flavour of your e-liquid as you are using extra nic shots which are flavourless e-liquid in order to increase the nicotine strength.
What are the most popular flavours to start with?
This will be entirely down to personal preference; a lot of new vapers start with tobacco flavoured e-liquids as they are more familiar to the taste of cigarettes. Finding the flavour that is right for you will be one of the major turning points in your journey to quitting smoking and a healthier life!
There is most certainly a wide range available and you may find as your taste returns, you will enjoy more and more flavours too!
My batteries have rips in them, what should I do?
Battery safety is one of the major things to be looking out for when using your vaping device. Batteries with rips or tears can be extremely dangerous, as the metal component can cause shorts internally within the device causing damage, as well as being a fire risk. You should either replace your batteries or get the re-wrapped immediately.
What is the difference between DTL and MTL?
What is Sub Ohm vaping?
Sub-ohm refers to the resistance rating of the coil, meaning less than one ohm. Sub-ohm vaping provides a smoother throat hit & larger clouds and is generally intended for use with high VG and lower nicotine strength e-liquids.
If using sub-ohm coils, you will find that you will generally use these at higher wattage. If you are considering or using nic salt e-liquids, we do not recommend sub-ohm coils unless you use them at a low wattage.
How do I turn my vape on?
Please refer to your devices instruction manual for how to turn the device on. Most e-cigarettes use a “push the fire button x number of times” style of power, but some may have different options.
What is the benefit from adjusting my airflow?
Adjusting your airflow allows you to control the amount of air that passes through your coils. The more air that passes over the coil, the more vapour production but less flavour. You can adjust airflow on most atomisers to your preferred setting, and customise the way you vape!