An independent introduction to vaping for smokers

This film is going to give you some
practical tips and some facts to help you get the most out of switching
from tobacco to e-cigarettes. I spoke to Sam. He made the switch from smoking to vaping
and has some great experience to share. Well, I started smoking
when I was about 15 or 16 and I was smoking pretty heavily
for about 10 or 12 years until I heard about vaping and I’ve been just vaping
for probably the past two years now. E-cigarettes all have some
things in common: they all contain a battery, an atomiser that turns
the e-liquid into vapour, and, of course, the e-liquid itself. The first and probably the most popular, at least a
few years ago, were the cigalike devices. As you can see some of these look
very much like your standard cigarette thus the name – cigalike. this device is perhaps what springs to mind
when you think of an electronic cigarette. I’ve given these ago before – I didn’t particularly
get on with them very well. It’s the fact you’ve got to draw on them really hard
and it doesn’t really taste like anything and it doesn’t doesn’t give you
much of a kind of nicotine hit at all. Many smokers start on these cigalike
devices – they’re easy to use, they’re familiar to people because
they look like cigarettes and you even vape on
them in a similar way. The downside of the
cigalike devices is that they don’t produce
much vapour or give you as much nicotine as you typically
would have got from your cigarette smoke. So, then I progressed on
to one of these which is a slightly more advanced,
but still quite a basic, e-cigarette. And this gives you the option
of changing the voltage so that you can kind of increase the
heat of the vapour that you’re inhaling and, to some extent,
the strength of it. So, this is the little tank on top that
you’d fill up with your e-liquid and it has a couple of wicks that just draw the
liquid onto a heating element inside here and obviously you’ve got
your battery on the bottom that heats up these little wires inside
that then vaporise the liquid. And by turning this
dial on the bottom you can essentially change the amount
of power going through that coil and increase the
heat of the vapour. When you’re using these it’s quite a
similar smoking action to a cigarette you do a little breath into your mouth
and then chase it down into your lungs but you’ll find you have
to do it for quite a long time to get a similar effect
of smoking a cigarette and that can be quite
frustrating at first. It still didn’t quite give me the hit that
I needed to get off of smoking rollies. You may see reference to
sub-ohm or sub-ohming. This is where the resistance
in the coil is less than 1 ohm. With a sub-ohm device you’re going
to need a bigger, more powerful battery but the advantages perhaps of using a
sub-ohm device is that you generate more vapour which for some
people is important. So, this is the one that finally got me
off smoking cigarettes basically. So, I had to go on a friend’s that
was the same style of tank and it just it gave
you that proper hit. It’s just a battery at the
bottom and tank on the top and they’re both just
a little bit larger which means that the battery
can last for a lot longer but also that it can put
out a lot more power. So, with this one you can adjust the wattage
that flows through the atomiser and that can change the temperature
of the vapour that it produces and also the amount of
vapour that it produces. What sort of maintenance is needed?
What do you need to do buy to keep it going? So they’re quite simple
to maintain really. You just unscrew it like this and
put the battery to one side. And the main bit of maintenance you’ll have to
do is replacing the atomiser inside. How do you know when you need
to change the atomiser? After a while it will start to develop
a sort of a burnt cotton wool taste – it’s really noticeable. Probably have to replace them
about once a week, more or less. You can just unscrew
the bottom of the tank and then the atomiser
just unscrews from there then you can buy
packs of new ones that cost about
two pound each and you just screw another one in
and then you can start vaping again. Different electronic cigarettes
use slightly different atomisers these are usually brand specific so do make sure you read the instructions
when you buy your product. And in terms of maintenance of the tank – is there anything special you need to do for that? It’s really easy to take these
apart to maintain them. You just unscrew the tank
from the battery, the tank breaks down
into three different bits: you’ve got a little mouthpiece
that pops out there, and then you can unscrew
the base of the tank, and this has the atomiser in it. So that can unscrew from there. and then these two parts
can just be rinsed under a tap to help clean them out because you do get a little bit of residue that builds up in the middle of it. And what you can do to clean that
out is just take a little bit of tissue and just clean down
the inside there. You’ll probably want to
do this once every day or two depending on how
much you’re using it. And you can just screw those back
together and connect them back up. This is just a rechargeable battery, it charges up with the USB cable
– really straightforward. I usually just charge up overnight and
it’s ready to go for the whole next day. You may have heard about
e-cigarettes exploding. This is rare and is typically in devices
that have been modified at home or that are unregulated. When you go to buy your electronic cigarettes make
sure you buy these from reputable dealers. You should care for your electronic cigarette much like you do with your other electronic devices – like your mobile phone. For example, make sure you
use the appropriate charger. Is vaping different than smoking – in terms
of how you puff on these things? It is different. The process of inhalation
is different from smoking – you have to do a lot of a deeper draw.
That can take a little bit of getting used to. But I think that’s part of the appeal for it and
part of what made it easier to switch is that you are doing a different process and
it’s a different habit that you’re taking up. Going back to the cigalikes – they were
too similar but not quite good enough and didn’t quite do the job. I had to learn a bit how to do it because, obviously at first, if you try
and smoke this like a cigarette it will be really hot in the back of
your mouth and not be that nice at all. The other thing you find
is that people try this and they’ll think that it’s a lot
harsher than smoking cigarettes and it can be at first, but once you
learn how to inhale it properly and just become slightly
more accustomed to it it’s actually a lot smoother. It takes a little bit of
practice to get used to. With a lot of these devices you need to sometimes
do what’s known as a primer puff if you haven’t been using it for a while
you just need to warm the coil up just to get it up to
optimum efficiency. And so, you can either just hold the
button down till you hear a little click or just have a little warm-up
and then you can do a full inhale. I tend to use this a bit more frequently
than I was smoking rollies say you have a rollie
every hour or so whereas with this you can just take
a few puffs every 20 minutes and you keep your nicotine levels
at much more of a constant than the up-and-down of when
you’re smoking cigarettes. The liquids that you use in your electronic cigarettes
are often termed e-juice or e-liquid. They all vary by the amount
or concentration of nicotine, the flavour, and the ratio of propylene glycol
to vegetable glycerin. Many people try different flavours until
they find one that they like. This is also similar
with nicotine concentration. I just want to make a small point about nicotine. A lot of people worry – they might have heard that
nicotine causes cancer, for example. It doesn’t. Nicotine is the relatively safe
component of tobacco smoke and with electronic cigarettes
you’re getting the nicotine but without all the harmful chemicals
that you get in tobacco smoke. The mix of propylene glycol to vegetable
glycerin is also important: the propylene glycol gives you that scratchiness
or the hit in the back of your throat. The vegetable glycerin
produces more vapour. You’ll need to try some different
strengths and flavours until you find the
one that you like. Sam, can you tell me a little
bit about the e-liquid you use? When I first started I decided to
use a really high strength liquid just to get me fully off of the rollies
–overload myself with nicotine but only for about a week
and then work down: 18, 12 and now I’m on 6 milligrams
– which works for me. Are flavours important? There are a lot of different
e-liquid flavours out there and it can take you a little while to find one
that you actually like and want to use and you’ll probably find that you’ll just stick with
the same flavour for quite a long period of time. So, at the moment I’ve just
got tobacco and nuts which is nice because it’s quite
a sort of savoury taste and I’m not a big fan of the more sweet,
kind of desserty flavoured ones. The thing is you can just
buy little bottles like this so if you try a flavour and
you don’t like it it’s not that you’ve wasted
a huge amount of money and you’ve got loads that
you then have to use up. It’s a lot, lot cheaper than
smoking, for sure. Sam, there may be some places where
you just don’t want to produce as much vapour as you
would in other situations. How do you go about that? So, one of the obvious things about these devices is
that you produce massive clouds of vapour. Which is quite fun a lot of the time but, obviously, there’s
certain situations where it’s not really appropriate you know, if you’re in a public space
or in someone else’s house, for instance. If you don’t want to produce massive clouds of
vapour you can either just take little puffs on it, or you can just hold it in for a bit longer
and the vapour just dissipates and you’re only breathing
out a tiny little little cloud. Sam, if I can ask you
if you had any advice for someone that’s thinking about
switching from smoking to vaping – what would your advice be? Don’t give up on it straight away
because it is a lot different from smoking and it takes a while
to get used to. So, you might find that you have to try
different strengths of nicotine. It might take a while to find
a flavour that you enjoy. Just experiment. One of the key messages I’d like
you to take away from this film is that there are a range of
different electronic cigarettes and a range of
different e-liquids. You’re probably going to have
to try a number of products until you find the one
that’s right for you.