Technology has advanced a long, long way over the first 10 years of the vaping industry. As far as we’ve come, though, we still don’t have an e-cigarette that’s quite as easy to use as a tobacco cigarette. Think about all the features that tobacco cigarettes have. If you touch a flame to it, it lights. If you aren’t puffing, the burning slows down to make the cigarette last longer. If you puff harder, the paper burns more quickly to give you more smoke. E-cigarettes aren’t there yet, but they will be in time – and tobacco cigarettes will become less and less relevant along the way. Until we have an e-cigarette that anticipates every possible user behaviour, though, it’ll remain important to avoid the most common beginner vaping mistakes if you want to have the best possible experience when vaping. We’ve seen our share of vaping mistakes over the years, and we’d like to shed some light on a few of the most common ones.
Inhaling the Wrong Way
As we just mentioned, tobacco cigarettes have the uncanny ability to produce more smoke and become more satisfying the more firmly you puff on them. However, an e-cigarette doesn’t burn – it uses a battery to heat liquid and turn it to vapour. Puffing too firmly on an e-cigarette can break the vacuum in your tank and send e-liquid into your mouth. Use steady, even air pressure when puffing on an e-cigarette. To get more vapour, increase the duration of your puff.
Pro Tip: If you have a vaping device with adjustable wattage settings, you can increase the vapour production to a certain extent by increasing the wattage. Take care, though, to avoid increasing the wattage so much that you burn your tank’s cotton wick.
Not Experimenting with E-Liquid
It’s normal to start out with tobacco or menthol e-liquids when you’re new to vaping. The first order of business, after all, is finding something that can replace the flavour you’re giving up when you switch from smoking to vaping. Once you’ve found that flavour, though, and you’re no longer feeling those cravings to light up – it’s time to experiment a little! There’s a reason why most long-term vapers no longer bother with tobacco and menthol e-liquids; it’s because the world’s best e-liquids don’t attempt to mimic the flavour of smoking. E-liquid is a palette capable of expressing virtually infinite creativity. Why would you limit yourself to the flavour of tobacco when you can try any of the hundreds of other e-liquid flavours available?
Using Old Coils
Many of today’s vaping devices use tanks with replaceable coils. Vaping is hard on an atomizer coil, and the information that you’ll find online about how long coils last varies widely. Some sources actually say that an atomizer coil can last for weeks. That might have been true several years ago, but vaping has fundamentally changed since then. Today’s vaping devices operate at higher temperatures, and today’s thicker, sweeter e-liquids leave more residue on coils. The result is that you shouldn’t expect a coil to last more than a few days if you use a vaping device optimized to produce large vapour clouds.
If you’ve been using your current atomizer coil for more than a few days, there’s a good chance that the coil is well past its prime – and using coils too long is a common mistake made by new vapers who don’t yet know how to recognize the signs of a failing atomizer coil. As you vape, the sweeteners in the e-liquids that you use caramelize and leave a crust on your coil. Eventually, that crust adds a flavour resembling burned sugar to every puff from your e-cigarette. When the crust becomes a bit thicker, it begins to prevent your coil’s wick from working optimally. At that point, you’ll start to feel irritation in the back of your throat when you vape. If you disassemble your tank and look at the coil from the inside, you’ll notice the dark crust covering the heating wire. Don’t let your coils get to that point – replace them before coil gunk steals all the pleasure from your vaping experience.
Failing to Keep the Wick Wet
Organic cotton is the most popular wick material for atomizer coils, and modern vaping devices operate at temperatures high enough to burn cotton. If the wick in your atomizer coil burns, every puff from your e-cigarette will taste horrible until you replace the coil. Keeping your wick wet, therefore, isn’t just an important part of maximizing your e-cigarette’s vapour production – it’s also important for preserving the life of the coil.
The first part of keeping your wick wet is easy enough; simply ensure that you never use your e-cigarette when the e-liquid in your tank runs low. If your tank is like most vaping tanks, you can see the atomizer coil through the glass. You’ll notice that the coil has a few holes through which you can see the coil’s cotton wick. When the level of e-liquid in the tank dips below those holes, refill the tank immediately.
The second part of keeping your wick wet is something that you’ll have to learn with experience. When you use your e-cigarette, the coil vaporizes the e-liquid in the wick. As you puff, the wick draws more e-liquid in from the tank’s reservoir. If your puff is too long, though – or your device’s wattage setting is too high – you’ll vaporize e-liquid more quickly than your wick can replenish it. Your coils won’t last as long as they should because the wick will dry out briefly – and burn ever so slightly – at the end of each puff.
If you detect a bit of harshness at the end of your puffs when vaping, you need to make an adjustment to prevent your wick from burning. If you prefer long puffs because you like to inhale deeply, then you should consider lowering the wattage of your vaping device to prevent the coil from becoming too hot. If you prefer long puffs because you want your device to produce the most vapour possible, try increasing your device’s wattage and taking shorter puffs. Always give the wick time to replenish itself by waiting up to 30 seconds after each puff.