The Vape Town beginner's guide vaping | Vape Town Online

Our comprehensive beginner's guide to vaping tells you all you need to know about the world of vaping.

So, you're ready to make the switch from smoking to vaping? Congratulations! You will probably need to know a bit more about the terminology so you can make an informed choice about what vaping equipment is right for you.

Our handy beginner's guide to vaping gives you all the terminology that newcomers to the world of vaping need to know.

How do e-cigarettes work?

Ever asked yourself “How does an e-cig work?”. You’re not alone. That's why our team of vaping experts have put together this jargon-free guide. 

Simply put, an e-cigarette is a device that turns e-liquids/vape juice into a vapour that can be inhaled. Unlike traditional cigarettes, there’s absolutely no smoke or combustion involved with vaping.

A major benefit of e-cigarettes is they don’t contain any of the harmful chemicals used in tobacco cigarettes. There is zero carbon monoxide or tar involved.

Another question we often get asked is “Do e-cigarettes work to quit smoking?” Well, according to the NHS, an estimated 1.5 million people in the UK have given up on smoking cigarettes by switching to e-cigarettes. It is quite possibly the best way to transition out of smoking tobacco.

What vaping equipment do I need?

Firstly, you will need to choose a vaping device. Technology has come a long way since vaping first started to become popular back in 2012. However, the vaping kits may look very different, but they are all made up from the same four basic components. 

Drip tip

You inhale the e-liquid vapour through this part.


This is where the e-liquid is held. They all have a 2ml capacity as standard. However, extensions can be purchased for heavier e-liquid users.


This is a metal wire surrounded by wicking material, usually cotton. This is the part of the vaping hardware that will need changing the most often. You can read all about proper care for coils in our dedicated guide.

Battery / Regulated Mod

This contains the power needed to heat your coil and create the vapour. Battery capacity is denoted as milliampere hour (mAh). The power output of the vape mod is shown as Watts (W) or Volts (V). You can read all about battery safety in our comprehensive guide.

What are the different types of vaping device?

So, now you know what components you need and how e-cigarettes work, it’s time to select the vaping kit that is right for you. Some vapers opt for small and discreet, while others prefer to focus on power and features. The choice is yours!

CE4 Kit

These are usually more basic, cheaper devices favoured by beginner's who are unsure if vaping is going to be right for them. There are fewer options available nowadays because vape pens have become much more affordable. They are recommended for use with 50/50 PG/VG e-liquids that give less vapour production.

Vape Pen

Slightly bigger than CE4 kits, yet still inexpensive, vape pens now come with plenty of options. They can usually accommodate lower ohm coils, and higher VG e-liquid to give bigger clouds and more flavour.

Mod with Tank

Hundreds of different designs of mods and tanks exist - you can even mix and match to create your preferred look and functionality. If you are a heavy user and need increased battery life and power, choose a mod and tank combination.

RDAs, RTAs and Mechanical Mods

Rebuildable Dripping Atomisers (RDA), Rebuildable Tank Atomisers (RTA) and Mechanical Mods are only recommended for use by advanced vapers, and people with knowledge of electronics.

RDAs can only hold the amount of e-liquid that the cotton, and a small well at the bottom of the unit, can contain. These work by simply dripping e-liquid onto the coil and powering the mod, hence the nickname ‘Drippers’.

RTAs are a cross between a standard tank and an RDAs. However, instead of using a factory coil, the user builds their own coil to their preference and resistance. Learn more about rebuildable coils in our dedicated coil guide.

Mechanical Mods have no circuitry. Instead they use a firing pin that allows the current in the battery to reach the attached atomiser directly.

What are the different vaping styles?

There are two distinct vaping styles that you might hear people talking about. Learning which style of vaper you are will help you to select the right vaping equipment.

Mouth-to-Lung vaping

This style is most common when people first switch to vaping as it most closely replicates the action of smoking. M-t-L vaping is achieved by using less airflow on the atomiser and using your cheeks to draw the vapour into your mouth before taking it into your lungs.

Direct-to-Lung vaping

This style is more common as people get used to vaping. D-t-L vaping is achieved by using more airflow (from large atomisers and wide drip tips) and using your lungs to inhale the vapour directly into the lungs.

What is in e-liquid?

Also known as e-juice, vape juice or vape liquid, e-liquid typically consists of just four ingredients. The main ingredients are a blend of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) in varying ratios.

The PG and VG are combined with nicotine (unless zero-nic) and flavourings. Today’s e-liquids come in a staggering array of flavours, which means you’ll be sure to find something you can use as an all-day-vape (ADV).

What is Propylene Glycol (PG)?

Propylene Glycol is used to carry flavour in food products, as an ingredient in food colouring, and also as an additive in certain medicines. PG is the ingredient that provides the throat hit sensation that new vapers crave. Propylene Glycol is non toxic and is proven to be safe for use by humans.

What is Vegetable Glycerine (VG)?

Vegetable Glycerine is a sweet, vegetable based liquid. VG provides the vapour production which simulates smoke and is thicker than Propylene Glycol. Vegetable Glycerine is non toxic is proven to be safe for use by humans. The more VG in an e-liquid, the smoother it will be to vape, and the bigger the cloud production will be.

What is sub-ohm vaping?

Sub-ohming is vaping on a device where the coil has a resistance of less than 1.0 ohm. The coil will contain a thicker wire with larger wicking holes to increase the airflow. You will be able to use more power and the thicker wire means that more surface area is in contact with the e-liquid soaked cotton.

The reason that advanced vapers ‘sub-ohm’ is to have the ability to increase the power output from their devices, creating more vapour and flavour from their e-liquid.

Typically sub-ohm vapers favour the direct-to-lung vaping style mentioned above. When the vapour is inhaled straight into the lungs, it increases the amount of vapour they can take in each puff. They also choose high VG e-liquids to increase vapour production even further.

Sub-ohm coils and tanks will only work on a mechanical or regulated mod capable of handling them. Improper use can lead to damaged vaping kit, or injury to yourself and others. If in doubt, always check with your vaping supplier to ensure you have the correct vaping kit for what you’re trying to achieve.

We would also suggest an e-liquid with 6mg of nicotine, or lower, for use with sub-ohm coils. Sub-ohm tanks and atomisers produce a higher throat hit than their standard resistance counterparts. Any more than 6mg of nicotine could taste burnt or harsh.

Always vape responsibly

Vaping technology is evolving at a rapid pace. There is much more to the world of vaping than we can include in a beginner’s guide to vaping - but this is a good place to start. We are here to help you and we want to be sure that you know how to get the best from your e-liquid and vaping equipment. As you make the switch from smoking, please educate yourself about proper safety and maintenance. Our comprehensive battery and coil guides can help you with this.

Should you have any other queries about the best way to switch from smoking to vaping, please don’t hesitate to contact us.