Vaping FAQs and E-cig Troubleshooting

What is vaping, how does it work and is it safer than smoking? Read our vaping FAQs to discover more at Flavour Boss.

 

General Questions

What is Vaping?

The term “vaping” comes from the vapour that is inhaled when you smoke using an electronic cigarette or box mod. The vapour itself is typically produced by e-liquid, though it can come from other materials like concentrates and dry herbs. Vaping is a great way to get a nicotine fix without needing to smoke a traditional combustible cigarette.

I’m a beginner. What vaping gear should I use?

If you’re new to vaping, you’ll need an e-cigarette, a charger for the battery and some e-liquid. For first-time vapers, it’s important that you go for an affordable mod that’s reliable, too. We would recommend a starter kit if you’re brand new to vaping. The Aspire PockeX is a great place to start your journey in vaping. Aspire is one of the main producers of e-cigarette devices and coils for the market.

 

E-Cigarettes

What’s the difference between an e-cig and a vaporiser?

Conventional e-cigarettes are designed to look like a regular cigarette, and effectively mimic the combustion of a cigarette; that is, the feel of the tobacco burning. Vaporisers, on the other hand, use vapour from a liquid instead, meaning there’s typically less of a “throat hit”. Vaporisers can create much bigger clouds than typical e-cigarettes, depending on their build.

What is a mod?

Mods are usually bigger and more complex than e-cigarettes and vape pens. They take their cue from the traditional vape pen style, but are often modified with additional features, like larger batteries, high-capacity tanks to store more e-liquid, or atomisers that can supply a higher wattage. Box mods are a popular pick with seasoned vapers.

How do I ‘smoke’ an e-cigarette?

Vaping is a little different to traditional smoking:

  1. Firstly, you need to warm up your mod. Once you’ve fully charged the battery and screwed in the e-liquid cartridge, you can take a few “primer puffs” on the end of the mouthpiece by closing off the airflow and using the device without pressing the power button. Don’t expect any vapour to come out at this stage, though; you’re just helping the air flow into the device.
  2.  Once your e-cig is ready, it’s time to find your “sweet spot”. Start on a lower wattage and work your way up until the taste is to your liking.
  3. There are two main ways to use an e-cigarette: Direct lung (DL) and Mouth to Lung (MTL). MTL is more similar to the way you would have smoked a traditional cigarette, where you draw air through the mouthpiece, into your mouth then inhale once finished. DL is where you inhale straight into your lungs without collecting vapour in your mouth and is for people who are used to vaping and want more clouds. Effectively you leave your airways open for DL whereas it’s closed for MTL.

 

Batteries

What’s the difference between a built-in and a removable battery?

Built-in batteries and removables supply the same amount of power, but come with their own advantages and disadvantages logistically. Built-in batteries tend to allow for a small vape pen design, making it more portable, but the trade off is that when the battery finally dies, you’ll need to replace the whole mod.

LiPo batteries, however, are an exception to this. These batteries are used in more advanced mods, as well as some starter mods, where the battery is pre-installed into the device. You can change this battery, but only if it is safe to do so and the device can be ‘balanced charged’.

With replaceable batteries, you can simply switch the battery out, so there’s no need to buy another mod. You can also charge multiple batteries, so you can swap one out while the other is charging.

How often should I charge my e-cig battery?

You should recharge your battery when the vapour seems weak, or when the battery gets down to about 3.5 volts: letting it go lower could mean it loses its charge for good. Depending on how often you vape, you could charge as much as twice a day or as little as once a week. Lithium batteries will get the longest life if you charge them frequently (without overcharging).

The majority of mods will tell you the percentage life of your battery – either with numbers or a symbol. When you see your battery below 20%, we recommend charging the battery at this point.

There are other mods that tell you what percentage your battery is at by glowing a certain colour if a specific button is pressed. Take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details and to find out how to charge the battery for the device you own.

Mechanical mods or mods that are unregulated should only be used by advanced users with specific knowledge on ohm’s laws and knowledge on batteries. Using these types of devices do not give you the level of protection that you get from the regulated devices.

How long does an e-cig battery last?

An e-cig battery will typically last for 250-300 charge cycles, though this number can vary depending on the type of battery you get and your charger. Charging your battery at the right time will help get more charge cycles out of it.

You should also be careful not to overcharge your batteries. To avoid overcharging your batteries, we advise getting a charger that has a voltage meter so you can see how charged it is. Most batteries can be deemed “fully charged” when they get to 4.2 volts, so you should stop charging your battery when it reaches this point.

 

E-Liquid

What is e-liquid made from?

Most e-liquids are made up of four basic parts: vegetable glycerine (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavourings and nicotine. VG and PG are both commonly used in foods; they might even be in your home cooking.

E-juices that are high in PG tend to have a harsher throat hit (that sharp or hot feeling you get when smoke hits the back of your throat), whereas those that are high in VG taste a little more viscous, so it’s smoother on the throat, and your mod will typically produce more vapour, too.

Can I use any e-liquid in my tank?

No. The majority of e-liquids on the market are based on a ratio of 70VG/30PG. Most tanks can handle this ratio effectively. Some of vape pens, however, will not handle high viscosity liquid and will be more suited to 50/50 ratio.

It really depends on what sort of vaper you are and the tank you have. So, if you’re a Mouth to Lung user (MTL), MTL tanks are better suited to higher levels of PG liquid as the coils tend to be a lot smaller and cannot deal with the 70%+ ratio of VG.

Direct Lung (DL) users are typically fine with any ratio, but you will need to check that the coils in your tank can handle a higher % of VG juice.

What is e-liquid mg and percentage?

On the ingredients list of an e-liquid, the “mg” stands for the amount of nicotine in milligrams per millilitre. It’s often expressed as mg/ml. Some manufacturers will display this as a percentage instead: e.g. 1.2% represents 12mg/ml.

What strength of e-liquid is best for beginners?

If you’re a beginner, you should select e-liquid based on how much you smoke. Light smokers should go for liquids with lower nicotine content, such as 6 mg. Chain-smokers, on the other hand, might want to start at 15mg or even 18mg, and work their way down from there.

What flavours of e-liquid are available?

Glad you asked! There are really as many flavours as you can think of, because the world of e-liquid flavours is constantly expanding. We specialise in producing as many interesting, delicious flavours as we can. Right now we have over 50 different kinds, and counting.

Can I make my own e-liquid?

Yes, you can! In fact, we even put together a guide to creating your own e-liquid to help you get started.

 

E-Cig Components

What is a rebuildable atomiser (RBA)?

A rebuildable atomiser (commonly abbreviated to RBA) is any atomiser that comes with a deck which the user can customise. With a RBA, a vaper can mount their own coils and wicks to create their own bespoke vaping experience, so RBAs are often preferred over regular e-cigarettes for more seasoned vapers.

What’s the difference between an RDA and an RTA?

A rebuildable drip atomiser (RDA) is a deck with posts to place your own coils that can be connected to the battery, which will heat them up. A rebuildable tank atomiser (RTA) covers the coils with a sealed metal chamber cap, with a tank designed to hold e-liquid. This tank is the main difference between an RDA and an RTA: with an RTA, there’s no “dripping” involved. It’s commonly understood that RDAs produce a purer and more intense flavour than tank mods, so they’re often the first choice for experienced vapers.

What is an atomiser head?

The atomiser head is the small part in an e-cig or mod that gets hot when the coil evaporates the e-liquid. Atomiser heads are often called coil heads, though some users call them “burners” instead.

What is a coil?

A coil is a small, wire-like metal conductor which, when heated, evaporates the e-liquid inside your e-cig, turning it into vapour. Coils are made to have a wick passed through them when they are installed. Some pre-made coils (for tanks like the Clieto 120) already have the cotton around the wick for ease and you do not need to do anything. If you make your own coils, then you need to buy some cotton (of your choosing) and feed this through the coil. The coil connects the positive part of your battery to the negative.

When should I change a coil?

You should change your coil when the flavour of your e-liquid starts becoming less intense. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to replace a coil with most hardware: you just need to remove the old coil and insert the new one. Make sure you buy the correct coil for the model of e-cigarette you’re using.

What is a vaping wick?

A wick is a filament that absorbs the e-liquid and slowly feeds it to the atomiser coil to be evaporated. Wicks can be made of a variety of materials, from silicon to cotton wool. Cotton wicks need to be unbleached and natural, so there are no additive chemicals added to the cotton. Different wicks produce different wicking speeds (the speed at which the liquid gets to the coil and evaporates) which can influence how long it takes for the liquid to vaporise and even the flavour of the vapour produced.

Should I start with a tank or a dripper?

If you’re new to vaping or don’t want to learn ohm’s law, then you’re most certainly safer to use a tank over a dripper or anything that would require you to make your own coils.

As you become more accustomed to vaping, you might want to switch to a dripper instead, which tend to taste a little better and produce much bigger clouds – just make sure you learn about ohm’s law and battery safety!

What is a mechanical mod?

A mechanical mod is a mod that has no circuitry. Instead, the mod runs directly off the battery: they can be activated by pressing a button that pushes the battery to connect with the coil. The downside of a mechanical mod is that you can’t adjust the voltage of the mod, and the vapour it produces will slowly become weaker over time.

These mods are better suited to advanced users who are fully aware of ohm’s law and battery safety. You must also have full knowledge of the coils you are creating and the battery you are using. Please spend time researching these types of devices before using them as you do not have the same protection as you would with a regulated device.

 

Settings and customisation

What has wattage got to do with vaping?

Wattage is the measure of power going into an e-cig. A higher wattage can evaporate more liquid, which in turn allows you to produce more vapour at a faster rate. High wattage can often be combined with low-resistance coils to get particularly high heats for the biggest vapour clouds.

What is the difference between variable voltage and variable wattage?

Both variable voltage and variable wattage control the way your mod uses power: the difference is at what stage the power is controlled. Variable voltage manually controls the input into your atomiser; the amount of energy output will depend on the resistance of the coil. Variable wattage, on the other hand, controls how much power you want the device to output. Wattage is essentially how much energy the mod produces, whereas voltage is the amount of energy put into the device.

What is temperature control?

Temperature control allows you to control the temperature of your coil. Higher temperatures can evaporate more liquid, but running too high can risk burning it. Running too low might mean that not enough liquid evaporates. Having a mod with temperature control allows you to experiment to find the temperature that works best with your setup.

You could use a special coil for temp control. This way your device will tell you what settings they have for temperature control, if any.

What is sub-ohm vaping?

Sub-ohm vaping is the term given to the process of using an atomiser with a level of resistance less than one ohm (Ω). Users can use atomisers with low resistance to increase the power output of devices that have a fixed voltage, such as mechanical vape mods. Creating a higher temperature inside the mod in this way helps create more vapour or flavour.

 

Vaping and smoking

Is vaping safer than smoking?

According to the NHS, long-term vaping is “far safer than smoking”. Public Health England’s 2015 report stated that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco. However, it’s important to know that vaping is not 100% safe, so we would advise that non-smokers do not take up vaping.

Can vaping help me quit smoking?

Yes, because you can control the amount of nicotine based on which e-liquids you use to gradually wean yourself off. Selecting liquids high in nicotine content can help chain-smokers get their initial fix, but once they’ve adjusted, they can begin selected liquids with a lower level of nicotine, or even creating their own.

How expensive is smoking compared with vaping?

For the vast majority of people, vaping is significantly cheaper than smoking. Once you’ve bought your mod, e-liquids are often less than £5 and can last around a week, depending on how often you vape. The Telegraph estimated that vaping costs around £30 a month, compared with the £300 a month it costs to smoke regularly.

Can I vape indoors?

There’s no national law against vaping indoors, but that doesn’t mean you should just start vaping anywhere. In restaurants, pubs and offices, the owner has the right to enforce their own rules about vaping, which you’re obliged to follow. Transport hubs like train stations and airports also tend to operate a strict no-vaping policy. As a general rule, we advise you avoid vaping indoors if you can, but once you’re out in the open, feel free! Just remember to be respectful of others around you.

Is there an age restriction on who can buy vaping equipment?

Yes. In the UK, you need to be over 18 to purchase vape hardware and e-liquid. Proof of identity is asked for under the UK’s Challenge 25 policy.

 

Troubleshooting

Why isn’t my e-cig producing vapour?

Four main problems that tend to stop your e-cig from producing vapour are:

  • A dead battery
  • A dry atomiser coil
  • A heavily flooded atomiser
  • A poor electrical connection between the e-cigarette and atomiser

Check all of these components to identify which one is causing the issue.

My e-cig is leaking. What should I do?

If your coil heads is coming loose, it can allow liquid to leak out of your e-cig and up through the mouthpiece. Faulty or old coils can also cause liquid to leak out, because they don’t vaporise it quickly enough.

What should I do if I’m getting e-liquid in my mouth?

There are a few checks you should make if you’re getting e-liquid in your mouth:

  • Check you’re not overfilling your tank
  • Make sure you’re warming up your e-cig with a few short drags before you try to get any vapour out of it
  • Check you’re holding it at the right angle (the culprit is often as simple as gravity)
  • Check to see if your mod is leaking or the coil head has come loose.

Why can’t I taste the flavour of my e-liquid?

Either your coil is overused or you have “vape mouth”, a condition that can happen if you stay on the same flavour of e-liquid for too long. If the latter, make sure to stay hydrated and switch flavours to cleanse your palate.

Is it normal for my e-cig to get really hot?

Coils do heat up to evaporate, so it’s normal for your e-cig to get warm. If it’s getting too hot to touch, you might want to slow down. Chain-vaping can get the atomiser too warm and you risk burning your e-liquid. Take longer breaks between vapes.

Why won’t my battery charge?

Check you’re using the right charger and that it comes with overcharge protection (you could be overcharging your batteries, which can prevent them from working). Also check all the terminals are clean.

Why can’t I get enough vapour from my e-cig?

There are a couple of reasons your e-cig might not be producing enough vapour:

  • E-liquids with a high level of PG won’t vaporise quite as well as those with more VG. Check the PG/VG ratio of the e-liquid you’re using.
  • If your mod is running at a low wattage or you have a high-resistance atomiser, the coil won’t get hot enough to produce all the vapour you want. Try switching coil or upgrading to a mod with variable voltage or wattage settings.

Why does the vapour from my e-cig taste like it’s burning?

If your vapour tastes like it’s burning, it probably is. It’s most likely time to change your coil; they only have limited lifespans and old ones become less resistant to the voltage input, meaning they can overheat. Running low on e-liquid can also make vapour taste burnt, so try switching out for a fresh cartridge.