Whether you a smoker looking to quit, or a long-time vaper looking to broaden your knowledge on the world of vaping, our handy guides will help you gain a better understanding of what vaping is and the types of products we have to offer. Here you will find explanations to some of the most common aspects of e-cigarettes and vaping.
Anatomy of an E-cigarette
Most E-Cigarettes are made up of similar components that all work in harmony to help turn e-liquid into vapour that is inhaled in order to absorb nicotine into your bloodstream.
Drip Tip - The part that you insert into your mouth and inhale from. Many different designs and sizes are available based on personal preference. Some are more focused toward a Mouth-To-Lung (MTL) draw more like a traditional cigarette, while others are wider and more open to help with large vapour production.
Tank or Pod - This is the area where the e-liquid is stored. Inside will be a coil which will get hot when you fire the device, this converts the e-liquid to vapour. If it is a tank, there will usually be a glass section so you can see your e-liquid level, if it is a pod you can still see but sometimes this is fitted more into the body of the device to keep it compact.
Battery Mod/Base - The base of the device is called the battery mod and provides the power to the coil, some mods will have a built-in battery, while others require you to install the battery yourself which is quite easy. There are many types of battery mod but most commonly in starter kits, you will have a built-in one similar to the image on the right.
Tank and how to fill with e-liquid
Tank / Atomiser - This is where your e-liquid is stored for your coils to absorb. There are various types of tank available with different airflow and coil options. In the image above, you can see an exploded diagram of one type of tank. Each one will differ slightly, but ultimately this is where the e-liquid will be stored and where you will fill your device up. It is important to allow enough time for the coil to become saturated, firing it too early whilst it is still dry will result in damage to the coil and require replacement.
Battery Mod - An electronic device powered by either an internal or external battery. Most devices allow you to control the output power using either wattage (W) or voltage (V). Some devices offer you more customization that allows you to control the temperature of your vapour (TC) too.
Coils & Pods
All devices will use some form of coil or pod system and each particular device requires certain coils. Some will use a coil in the tank; others may use a coil in the pod. Coils can have quite the range, so be sure to check they are compatible with your device before purchasing. Coils are consumable items which deteriorate naturally through use, their lifespan varies and different for each person. Things like, device settings, daily use, puff duration and even the type of liquid all affect the lifespan so there is no “this will last exactly x amount of time” answer.
Vape Battery - Battery capacity is measured in Milliamp Hours (mAh) and can come in various sizes. Typical examples include: 18650, 20700 & 21700. This number is a notation of their physical size, 18650 for example is 18mm (Diameter) x 650 (Height). Ensuring you get a battery that is rated for use with an e-cigarette is paramount. Correct care for batteries must also be adhered to ensuring you a positive and hassle free experience. Click here: battery safety guide for more information on battery safety.
E-liquid is generally comprised of two main ingredients. Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) combined with various natural or synthetic flavourings. There are a huge range of e-liquid flavours on the market from Traditional Tobacco to Fruits, Desserts, Drinks & many more!
VG is a sweet vegetable-based liquid which provides vapour production like a thick smoke when heated. VG is thicker than PG and it used to provide a smooth vaping experience. The higher the VG value, the less harsh the e-liquid is when inhaled. High VG e-liquids are often vaporised at much higher temperatures and contain less nicotine to keep this experience as smooth as possible.
PG is used as a flavour carrier in food products as well as being used in various medicines. PG provides the harsher “throat hit” sensation associated with vaping and is generally found in higher concentrations when nicotine content is higher. Because PG is thinner than VG, a more PG based e-liquid is generally vaporised at lower temperatures.
E-liquid is available in a variety of formats; each one may offer a certain benefit to the user or perform a certain function better than another, so understanding these benefits will help you decide which e-liquid may be right for you.
Standard (Free-base) Nicotine E-liquids
These are the most common type of e-liquid available to consumers and it is usually recommended to start your vaping journey here, they are designed to be especially good for beginners. These liquids offer a balanced vaping experience with rich flavour without having an overwhelming amount of cloud production. Other benefits to note are their great price point and variety of flavours. These e-liquids can simulate the sensation of smoking easily such as the throaty hit of having a cigarette. Usually their VG/PG ratio is 50/50 and they are available in 10ml bottles only.
These are growing more and more in popularity especially among lower powered device users. Nic-salts offer the same benefits as above but rather than using basic nicotine or synthetic options, the type of nicotine that is in these e-liquids is slightly different. They use nicotine salt which is a naturally occurring substance formed in the tobacco leaf itself. This compound is more efficiently absorbed by the body, promoting a quicker and better delivery option for nicotine to subdue those cravings. If you dislike the throat hit of smoking, one extra advantage of using nicotine salts is that they offer a smoother experience and naturally have less of a throat hit compared to standard nicotine containing products. Available in 10ml bottles only.
Shortfills & Nic Shots
Shortfills generally are larger bottles of e-liquid which do not contain nicotine but the rest of the ingredients are all the same as other e-liquids. They are available in various flavours and PG/VG ratios meaning you can choose your liquid easily to suit your vaping style. The term “shortfill” refers to the fact these larger bottles look like they have been filled up short. This is on purpose, the space allows for the addition of a nic shot that then turns this nicotine free e-liquid, into one which does contain nicotine. These vary in price but often are a more cost effective way to purchase your favoured flavour in larger quantities which you just simply mix the nic shot in yourself rather than it being pre-packaged. For more info on this please see our “Nic shots and Shortfills & how to use them” page.
These are “flavour only” e-liquids, usually made from just PG (Propylene Glycol) and used by those who prefer to mix up their own concoctions are fabulous flavours. To create your own e-liquids you will also need a few things such as bottles to decant them into as well as a VG (Vegetable Glycerine) base. The VG base e-liquid you would mix together with the concentrate of your choice to get a balanced PG/VG mix.
Do not vape pure flavour e-liquid.
Vape Pen style kits are in-line pen shaped devices that are generally aimed at newer users. They generally provide the closest experience to analogue cigarettes aimed at a more “MTL” experience. Most pen style kits can be used with either low VG or high VG e-liquids.
Mod and Tank
There is a large selection of designs for both mods and tanks. They are generally larger devices that can use either internal or external batteries, as well as a standard 510 tank connection. They generally have a much larger battery and tank capacity when compared to vape pens and can be used with both low VG & high VG e-liquids. They can also output much more power to help provide thicker and fuller vapour.
Pod devices are a more recent adoption of the vaping industry and have dominated the market in more recent years. They generally consist of a smaller low-wattage device combined with a PCTG “Pod” that is perfect when used with Nicotine Salt e-liquids.
They produce much less vapour than other devices and are sometimes referred to as “Stealth” vapes. These can come either with a replaceable pod that needs to be changed when the coil has burnt out, or with a replaceable coil separate from the pod itself.
Some Pod devices will feature a built-in battery, while others will offer a removable battery option.
Disposable kits have been around for years but having been seeing a resurgence more recently. These are fully set-up devices that have been pre-filled with e-liquid and are extremely easy to use, even for the beginning vaper. Simply vape until the battery & e-liquid have been depleted and then dispose of them safely!
Rebuildable atomisers are designed with the advanced vaper in mind. They allow users to build their own coils to completely customise their vaping experience and are available in a few different variations:
- RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser) – Comprises of a build deck with no e-liquid capacity. Coils are built onto the deck and cotton is inserted into the internal structure of the coil. E-liquid is then applied (dripped) straight onto the cotton. Widely considered to provide the best flavour of any atomiser.
- RDTA (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomiser) – Comprises of a build deck on top of an e-liquid reservoir. Built in the same way as an RDA but cotton is extended into the e-liquid reservoir and soaks up the e-liquid from underneath.
- RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomiser) – Comprises of an enclosed build deck in the centre of a more traditional style tank. Some tanks even provide RBA decks for use in their standard tanks allowing vapers to more freely customise their experience.
Mechanical mods are designed solely for advanced users and require an understanding of Ohm’s Law and battery safety. They consist of a mechanical switch that completes the circuit between battery and atomiser with no safety protections. This generally provides a huge production of vapour & flavour that cloud chasers are after.
Mouth to Lung (MTL)
MTL Vaping is achieved using a tighter and more restrictive airflow, vapour is inhaled into the cheeks before taking down into the lungs more like traditional smoking. MTL devices are usually lower-powered and are perfect for first-time vapers who are transitioning between smoking to vaping.
Direct to Lung (DTL) & Restricted direct to lung (RDL)
DTL Vaping uses a more open airflow and higher-powered devices to provide much larger clouds that are inhaled directly into the lungs.
RDL is a more recent addition to vaping terminology. These styles of devices are designed to provide inhalation directly into the lungs with a more restricted airflow & concentrated flavour.
Sub-Ohm is a term applied to the act of vaping whilst using coils that are under 1.0 Ohm. This style of vaping has larger cloud production and is smoother than the classic MTL style. Sub-ohm vaping is done at higher wattages as the coils can handle more power. It is most common among users that also prefer shortfills as their e-liquid source, due to the nature of these liquids being thicker, and more suitable to sub-ohm vaping.