Vaping 101: The Comprehensive Guide

Vaping is the smoke-free alternative to cigarettes that everyone has been talking about since the first e-cigarettes began to reach the mass market in the late 2000s. A vaping device heats a nicotine-infused liquid called e-liquid or an herbal extract, creating a vapor that you can inhale to absorb the active compounds through your lungs. No other alternative form of nicotine or herbal consumption feels as much like smoking as vaping does – and in terms of flavor, vaping has no peer. E-liquid is flavored with food-grade flavoring compounds, and it can taste like almost anything that you can possibly imagine. There are e-liquids that taste like fruits, candies, desserts, beverages and more. A cigarette, on the other hand, can only taste like smoke. Herbal vaping is also incredible from a flavor standpoint. It gives you the ability to enjoy the tasty terpenes and other flavorful compounds in your favorite herb without the harshness of smoke getting in the way. Along with its other benefits, vaping also doesn’t have the foul smell of smoking and doesn’t generate any tar or carbon monoxide. Because those compounds are eliminated, some people believe that vaping has the potential to reduce the harm associated with smoking. If you are a smoker and haven’t switched to vaping yet, it’s never too late – and in this comprehensive guide, we’re going to explain everything that you need to know. From understanding how vaping works to buying and using your first vaping device, school is now in session. This is your comprehensive beginner’s guide to vaping. NOTE: Although vaping has many benefits, it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering buying a nicotine vaping device, you should know that nicotine is a highly addictive chemical, and vaping devices are intended as alternatives for adult smokers only. You should not vape if you aren’t already a nicotine user. You should also not vape if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any other health condition for which nicotine use is contraindicated. Like all nicotine products, vaping products are only for adults aged 21 and older.

How Does a Vaping Device Work?

There are many different types of vapes, and we’ll discuss the different types along with their uses in the next section of this guide. Regardless of the type of device you’re using, though, most vapes work in much the same way. Here are the different parts of a vape and how they work together.
  • The Battery: A vaping device uses resistance wire to heat the e-liquid, oil or wax, much like the heating wires in a toaster. Electricity is necessary to make the wire heat up, and the battery supplies that power.
  • The Logic Board and Chipset: Every modern vaping device has an integrated circuit and firmware to manage the device’s operation. Depending on the capabilities of your device, the chipset may just manage basic safety functions such as monitoring the battery’s voltage and checking for a short circuit. In more complex devices, the chipset may also provide the interface that allows you to change the device’s settings.
  • The Tank, Pod or Cartridge: This is the component that holds the e-liquid, oil or wax. Some tanks or pods may require multiple refills during the day, but some devices – such as certain disposable vapes – hold enough e-liquid to supply thousands of puffs.
  • The E-Liquid: If you use a nicotine vaping device, this is the substance that you inhale. An e-liquid usually consists of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine and food-grade flavorings.
  • The Oil or Wax: If you use an herbal vaping device, this is the substance that you inhale. Oils and waxes are usually direct herbal extracts obtained using heat and/or solvents. An herbal extract may also contain terpenes added for flavor and aroma.
  • The Atomizer: The atomizer is the most important component of a vape tank, pod or cartridge. The heating coil in the atomizer becomes hot when an electrical current passes through it, turning the e-liquid, oil or wax into vapor. An atomizer also has a wick – usually made from cotton or ceramic – that manages the flow of the liquid from the tank or pod to the heating coil.
Vaping isn’t just for e-liquid or herbal extracts. Vaping devices also exist for the consumption of loose-leaf herbs. We’ll discuss those in greater detail in the next section.

What Are the Different Types of Vapes?

A vaping device typically falls into one of four main categories. Those are:
  • E-Liquid Devices: These are the traditional vape kits that are designed to use e-liquid with or without nicotine.
  • Dry Herb Vaporizers: A dry herb vaporizer is designed to use loose-leaf or ground tobacco or herbs. This type of vaporizer heats the herbs, causing them to release their active compounds as vapor for inhalation. A dry herb vaporizer doesn’t generate smoke, though, because the herbs don’t get hot enough to combust.
  • Oil Vaporizers: An oil vaporizer is a vape battery that’s designed to work with empty or pre-filled vape cartridges containing herbal extracts.
  • Wax Vaporizers: A wax vaporizer is a device that’s designed to work with waxy herbal concentrates that are solid at room temperature. With this type of device, you usually put a small piece of wax directly on the device’s heating element before vaping.

What Type of Vape Is Right for Me?

With four main types of vaping devices, you may find it difficult to choose the right one for your needs if you’ve never vaped before. In this section of our guide, we’ll provide some advice that can help.
  • You should buy an e-liquid vape if you: Are looking for a smoke-free and tobacco-free alternative to traditional cigarettes. An e-liquid vape replaces the rituals and sensations of traditional smoking, and it also replaces the nicotine if you use an e-liquid that contains nicotine. Nicotine-free e-liquids also exist.
  • You should buy a dry herb vaporizer if you: Are looking for a smoke-free way to consume tobacco or other herbs but want to use the authentic herb rather than a liquid replacement or extract. If you smoke both tobacco and herbs, an additional benefit of buying a dry herb vaporizer is that you can use the same device for both.
  • You should buy an oil vaporizer if you: Are looking for an alternative for herbal smoking that’s extremely discreet and portable while also being very potent. A single filled cartridge contains enough oil for several vaping sessions, and most oil vaporizers are small enough to travel everywhere with you.
  • You should buy a wax vaporizer if you: Are looking to enhance the potency of your herbal experience. Wax-based concentrates are typically the most potent herbal extracts that you can buy.

How to Get Started with Vaping

As you’ve likely surmised from reading this guide, vaping has a bit of a learning curve. Your device will include an instruction manual that walks you through the process, but it can be helpful to understand how your device will work before you get started. These are the key steps in the process of becoming a vaper.

Choose Your Device

In addition to choosing which type of vaping device you want to use – e-liquid, dry herb, oil or wax – you’ll also need to select the specific device. There are many different vape kits in each category, and you’ll need to select the one that’s the best fit for your needs. With most vaping devices, you’ll need to choose between a device that’s small, sleek and portable or one that’s more powerful and feature rich but also larger and heavier. Do your research and choose the device that has the right balance for you.

Load and Use Your Device

Although no two vaping devices are exactly alike, the four main types of devices are similar enough to one another that it’s possible to provide general instructions that apply to almost all of them. We strongly suggest reading the instruction manual before using your first vaping device, but these quick guides will give you an idea of what you can expect. E-Liquid Vaping Device
  • Open the tank or pod. If you’re using a tank-based device, the tank’s top cover will twist or slide open, or it’ll have a release button. If you’re using a pod-based device, you’ll probably see a silicone plug on the side of the pod. Pull the plug to access the pod’s filling hole. Add e-liquid until the tank or pod is almost full and wait at least five minutes before continuing.
  • You can vape by puffing on the mouthpiece if your vaping device doesn’t have a fire button. If it does have a button, puff on the mouthpiece while holding the button.
Dry Herb Vaporizer
  • Use a grinder to reduce your herbs to a fluffy, consistent grind. If you’re using shredded tobacco, there’s no need to grind it.
  • Open your device to reveal the oven. Pack the herbs or tobacco into the oven and close the device. A typical dry herb vaporizer has an oven capacity of around a quarter of a gram. You should pack the herbs into the oven tightly to ensure efficient heat transfer, but don’t load so much material into the oven that you end up hampering your device’s airflow. With practice, you’ll be able to tell when the oven is full. Close the device after loading the oven.
  • Turn the vaporizer on. With most devices, you can do this by holding the power button.
  • If your vaporizer has an adjustable temperature, use the adjustment buttons to change the temperature. It’s usually best to start a dry herb vaporizer at a low temperature for maximum flavor quality and increase the temperature gradually during the session to ensure complete extraction of the herb’s beneficial compounds. When the vaporizer reaches the selected temperature, it’ll probably vibrate or display a message on the screen.
  • Inhale the vapor through the device’s mouthpiece. You can continue vaping until the herbs are fully extracted, which usually takes several minutes. When the herbs begin to taste burnt, your session is over.
Oil Vaporizer
  • Screw the cartridge into the threading at the top of the battery.
  • If you’re using an empty cartridge, you’ll need to fill it before you begin. Twist the cartridge’s mouthpiece to remove it and add oil through the filling port using a blunt-tip syringe. Wait at least 30 minutes before vaping. If you’re using a pre-filled cartridge, you can skip this step.
  • Vape by inhaling through the cartridge’s mouthpiece if your device doesn’t have a fire button. If it does have a fire button, hold it down while inhaling.
Wax Vaporizer
  • Remove the mouthpiece from the device to access the heating coil or ceramic plate.
  • Retrieve a small piece of wax from your storage container using a metal dab tool. Place the wax directly on our device’s heating coil or ceramic plate.
  • Take a few short puffs without inhaling to soften the wax. You don’t want to inhale deeply until the wax is fully melted. In some cases, a wax vaporizer will have an automatic preheating function that does this for you. You can usually enable the preheating mode by pressing your device’s fire button either two or three times.
  • After the wax is fully softened, you can vape by inhaling through the mouthpiece. If your device has a manual fire button, you’ll need to hold the button while inhaling. Note that a small piece of wax only lasts for a few puffs. After you’ve used all of the wax, you’ll need to add more.

Maintain Your Device and Exercise Proper Safety Precautions

No matter what type of vaping device you’re using, you’ll need to perform some occasional maintenance to keep your device working its best. There are also a few basic safety precautions that you’ll need to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know.
  • For the maximum possible battery longevity, you should always charge a new vaping device fully before using it.
  • Don’t charge a vaping device unattended.
  • If your device gives you the ability to adjust the power or temperature, start at a low power level and increase it slowly until you achieve your desired level of intensity. Be careful when selecting your device’s power or temperature because an overly aggressive setting can result in a harsh “dry hit.”
  • If you’re using an herbal vaporizer, clean your device regularly for the maximum possible flavor quality. If you’re using an e-liquid vaping device, replace the coil or pod when the device begins to produce a burnt flavor.
  • If you’re using an oil or wax vaporizer, start very slowly at first. Herbal concentrates can be very potent, so start with just a few puffs and give yourself plenty of time to gauge the effects.

What Can You Do to Make Your Vaping Experience Even Better?

Now that you know the basic operation and controls for any type of vaping device, it’s time to dig a little deeper and discover the tips and tricks that can make your experience even better. We’ve already given you several beginner-oriented tricks in the previous section. In this section, we’ll talk about some advanced tips that can help you to maximize the quality of your experience.
  • If you experience throat irritation when vaping, try drawing the vapor into your mouth before inhaling it instead of inhaling the vapor directly into your lungs. Think of it in terms of taking short “sips” instead of inhaling through the device.
  • If you’re using an e-liquid vaping device, keep your tank or pod full. If you vape when your device is empty, you’ll experience an extremely harsh “dry hit.”
  • If your device has adjustable wattage or temperature settings, go easy on the power level and stop when you ready your desired level of flavor or intensity. If you set your device’s power level too high, the vapor may become extremely harsh.
  • Don’t charge your device with a “quick charge” adapter for a mobile phone or tablet. Quick charging could cause the battery in a vaping device to overheat.
  • If you’re using an herbal vaporizer, keep your device clean. With a dry herb vaporizer, wait for the device to cool down after a vaping session and use a cleaning brush to remove particles from the device’s oven. If you’re using a wax vaporizer with a removable atomizer, soak the atomizer in rubbing alcohol periodically to remove residue.
  • Keep the electronic components of your vaping device away from liquid. You can clean the device with a soft cloth.
  • Don’t store your vaping device in a hot environment like a car parked in direct sunlight. Extreme heat can cause the battery’s temperature to rise to unsafe levels.

How to Vape Responsibly

Just like smoking – which carries a fire risk and requires you to obey rules and regulations pertaining to public usage – you need to be mindful of the fact that vaping entails a certain level of responsibility. Be a responsible vaper and always remember these three pointers.
  • Don’t discard a used vaping device in your household trash. Lithium-ion batteries need to be recycled and should not end up in landfills. Your community’s waste management service probably has a collection program for hazardous waste. You may also have a local recycling company that accepts vaping devices.
  • Don’t vape where smoking isn’t allowed. Virtually all public smoking ordinances apply to both smoking and vaping.
  • If you’re in a public place where vaping is allowed, ask the people around you if they mind before you start puffing. If non-vapers don’t want to inhale secondhand vapor, that’s their right.

Begin Your Vaping Journey Now

Millions of people have already switched from smoking to vaping, and they’ve found it to be absolutely transformative for their lives. Now, it’s your turn. Vaping has so many benefits compared to smoking that it would be almost impossible to list all of them here.
  • It’s significantly less expensive.
  • It doesn’t produce tar or carbon monoxide.
  • It doesn’t make your clothes, hair, house or car smell bad.
  • It tastes better than smoking but provides the same level of satisfaction.
At, we carry a wide variety of vape kits to suit every possible use. Browse our selection now. We’ve scoured the world to find the best devices from the world’s top brands. From vape mods and pod systems to dry herb vaporizers, 510-thread batteries and wax vaporizers, you’ll find it all here – and if you’re not sure what’s right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our friendly vaping experts are always happy to answer questions and make your transition to vaping as smooth as it can be.