Frequently Asked Questions
Giving up cigarettes isn’t easy. Breaking the cycle by satisfying nicotine cravings is often the key to successfully kicking the habit, and vaping is an excellent way of doing so. Based on feedback, our customers find the most success using cigarette-style devices, also known as ‘cigalikes’, and pod mods.
Cigarette-style devices are small cylindrical vape kits that use screw-on refills known as ‘cartomizers’ which contain the e-liquid (and nicotine). Cigarette-style devices are particularly popular as they’re easy to use and require little investment. You typically only need a battery, a small USB charger and a few cartomizers to get started. Most retailers (ourselves included) supply a starter kit, which contains everything you need in one handy bundle.
Pod mod devices function in a similar way to cigalikes and there are a number of well known brands that sell these.
If you choose a starter kit with a refillable tank, it is the coil housed within the tank that creates your vaping experience and choosing the right coil for your vaping technique and device is key.
You may hear a lot of vaping terminology that may confuse you, such as MTL and DL; which are the two main types of coil.
- MTL (means mouth-to-lung, typically 1.0Ohm, 1.5Ohm) offers a tight, restricted draw and these coils are perfect for new vapers who are looking for a realistic replication of the sensation you get from smoking a cigarette.
- DL (means direct-lung, typically 0.5Ohm) coils are generally used with higher powered devices and will provide a smoother, airier draw with maximum vapour production. These coils are typically favoured by more experienced vapers.
You do need to change your coil …
Coil lifespans will vary depending on the user, their setup and e-liquid. However, we advise that a coil should last for approximately 7-10 tank refills of e-liquid. A new coil refreshes your flavour and inhale/exhale experience (much like changing up your razor blades when they go blunt, as an analogy!)
There’s plenty of advice, support and encouragement available out there, both in person and online. If you’re taking the VApril ‘Switch on to vaping’ plan, any UKVIA member retail store will be able to give you all the advice or support you need. Likewise, the New Nicotine Alliance, who developed the plan, will also be able to provide you with help. Thanks to the very clear advice from Public Health England, which says that vaping doubles the chance of you successfully quitting smoking, NHS stop smoking services also offersupport and guidance.
The ban on smoking in enclosed public places does not extend to vaping, and there are plenty of vape friendly establishments right around the country. However, many places have their own policies. Unfortunately, many places have not taken the opportunity to have a different approach to vaping than they do to smoking so they don’t recognize that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking and represents an opportunity to help millions of smokers switch to a far less harmful alternative.
Smokers who move over initially try and replicate the cigarette experience in terms of taste, so generally they will look at starting on a tobacco or menthol product. As they migrate to a more powerful device they also experiment with other flavours. Bakery is big hit right now with coolade flavours coming in for the summer months.
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking. Public Health England say that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking and Cancer Research UK have found that second-hand vapour doesn’t harm those around you. Many smokers are concerned about so-called ‘popcorn lung’, but diacetyl, the chemical linked to this condition, has been banned in the UK.
The House of Commons Science and Technology committee recently conducted a detailed study on the use of e-cigarettes and heard a broad body of evidence. Their report concluded that e-cigarettes provide a lower comparative harm than tobacco smoking. Their full report is available here
Using an e-cigarette provides a similar experience and closely mimics smoking but there are of course differences a new user will notice. Someone new to vaping may find that they cough a little until they adjust to inhaling a vapour rather than the smoke they have been used to. They may also notice a slight difference in nicotine delivery to the body. A new user will usually try to use an e cigarette in a similar manner to a traditional cigarette going for prolonged lengths of time, such as during working hours, and only using an e-cigarette on a break as an example. Often a new vaper will suck too hard on an e-cigarette and draw the liquid into the coil more quickly than the coil can vaporise which can result in flooding and sometimes spitting from the over wicked coil. They should also understand that an e-liquid will not taste the same as their preferred brand of cigarette and it can take time for their palette to adjust. When using an e-cigarette habits will change. As an example when you light a cigarette you tend to smoke it in a single sitting whereas vapers tend to graze and adjust their intake based on their body’s requirement for nicotine. And because vapers tend to naturally self-regulate they can find that the amount of e-liquid used may increase over time as they reduce the nicotine strength of the liquid they buy.
Sub-ohm vaping involves using specially-formulated e-liquids in a high-powered device. This combination allows you to exhale significantly more vapour and enhances the flavour of your liquid. Sub-ohm e-liquids tend to have lower nicotine content, so this style of vaping is better suited to those who have used e-cigarettes before and are not using their device as a stop-smoking aid.
A sub-ohm vape kit houses a low-resistance coil, which allows for greater heat conductance and therefore more vapour. The first thing you’ll need is a powerful device. Those that are retailed as ‘sub-ohm’ have plenty of power and typically include coils that are suited to the job!
Next, you’ll need to select a tasty sub-ohm e-liquid. These e-liquids are thicker than your standard types as they contain more VG (vegetable glycerin), the vital ingredient to creating big, flavourful clouds!
Mixing liquids in your device enables a vaper to experiment and personalise their vaping experience. Experimenting with flavours can be a very positive and enjoyable experience but one also needs to be mindful that although some flavours will mix well together there are many others that won’t. Mixing will produce a flavour combination based on how the ingredients interact with each other and not the true taste of the liquids being mixed. This can also impact the nicotine strength of the liquid being used and importantly it can also affect the blend and significantly reduce a coils life expectancy, especially if mixing with a higher VG (vegetable glycerin), or particularly sweet liquid.
There are so many devices on the market and the volume of choice can be overwhelming and confusing. You will come across ‘box mods’ and, when it comes to cost, these will generally be more expensive than vape pens and smaller vape devices (starter kits). This is because box mods are the most powerful types of vaporizers which offer a range of different features that other vaping devices do not.
Some of these features include regulating temperature control and adjusting wattage. These devices are great for more experienced vapers who know more about their vape style and the more technical aspects of vaping in general. We would advise beginners against box mods and would suggest a starter kit instead, as they will be much more user friendly and will make the transition from smoking much easier.
Employers should have their own policies, but we’d encourage them not just to add “e-cigarettes” to their existing tobacco policies, because vaping is very different to smoking tobacco. Vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking and represents an opportunity to help millions of smokers switch to a far less harmful alternative. If those smokers are your staff, helping them make the transition by being more permissive around vaping could be a really significant step and help them improve their health. The UKVIA is happy to provide advice to companies who would like to make this change.
Mixing your own juice can be safe if it’s done with care and you take care over the selection of flavours purchased. Under the General Product Safety Regulations suppliers need to conduct tests to ensure their products are safe in use, so if you’re unsure ask your suppliers to demonstrate that their flavours are emissions tested in finished product format.
Vaping is a heavily regulated industry in the UK, and that should provide vapers with confidence that so long as they purchase their equipment from reputable outlets, what they’re purchasing will meet the highest safety standards. All UKVIA members abide by a code of practice which requires them to adhere to fully compliant levels of product quality, manufacturing and safety standards.
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking. Public Health England say that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking and Cancer Research UK have found that second-hand vapour doesn’t harm those around you. The chemical that has been linked to so-called ‘popcorn lung’, diacetyl, has been banned in the UK.
Vaping devices sold in the UK have to pass stringent tests, both to be safe and approved for use in the UK, managed by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
As a rule of thumb it’s better to pay a little more for both hardware and consumables to ensure the quality. Your specialist retailer will have the appropriate testing certification for both the hardware and consumables, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask them whether the product is registered for a TPD notification or has the appropriate RoHS & CE testing and markings? All this data should be available to the retailer.
It shouldn’t as all products should meet the same safety standards, but be aware there will be exceptions as not all will have the same high level quality procedures and safety compliance, particularly of those associated manufacturers in Europe or North America. Another consideration is on whether you are purchasing an e-liquid with nicotine already mixed in or a zero-nicotine e-liquid. A liquid with nicotine pre-mixed will have had to have provided a significant amount of data in the registration process, where as zero-nicotine (or short-fills) e-liquids can be less regulated at this point. I’d suggest purchasing pre-mixed e-liquids and check for an ECID number which is used to register the product in the EU.
There are plenty of vape friendly pubs right across the country. It’s best to check with staff in a new pub before you start vaping because some pubs don’t allow it. The British Beer and Pub Association is currently reviewing the potential impact of encouraging pubs to allow vaping in pubs, and are expected to publish its report soon.
If you know your local doesn’t allow vaping, encourage them to take a look at the VApril website to bust some of the myths around vaping. You never know, you might change their mind.
Smokers who move over initially try and replicate the cigarette experience in terms of strength, so the average smoker who smokes say 10-20 cigarettes a day will normally start on an 18MG nicotine strength. With the introduction of nicotine salt liquids, the smoother (no throat hit) and quicker delivery of nicotine hit mean they actually are closer to the cigarette experience, similar to the “first cig of the day”. As they migrate to a more powerful device, they tend to lower their nicotine intake and start experimenting with other flavours.