What is vaping?
It's called Vaping, it’s not smoking! If you ask any vaper what he or she is smoking, you can be sure to receive some sort of look and subsequent answer in the lines of "its vaping not smoking" or "smoke? What smoke? Where?"
The thing is that most vapers expect members of the public to know a little more about vaping. It’s not a totally new thing after all. I've been vaping for six years now and back then I expected a few raised eyebrows when I took a puff on my ProVari with CE4 Clearomizer.
Take a look below and ask: does this thing look like a cigarette? Definitely not! So why would people in today's age of instant information still confuse vaping with smoking?
Let’s Clear the Smoke
The problem I believe is partly to blame on cigalikes and the media. Even I wouldn't blame myself for mistaking cigalikes for a traditional cigarette. Some brands look pretty much just like a cigarette where the battery is normally disguised as the white bit where the tobacco should be and the atomizer as the filter.
An ecigarette or personal vaporizer (PV) has no tobacco or filter. It’s normally composed of three things.
- A battery, which supplies energy to heat an element
- An atomizer or heating coil / element.
- Some sort of tank or chimney where eliquid is stored or dripped in.
There is no tobacco! In fact there is no combustion, so there can be no smoke! No tar, Benzene, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein etc... Ecigarettes or personal vaporizers (I prefer the latter) use eliquid to create a kind of mist or vapor that normally contains water, nicotine, flavoring, and a VG (vegetable glycerin) / PG (propylene glycol) mixture. There are some with additional ingredients, but these are the basics and most important. So in short, a lot less chemicals than a traditional cigarette! Four basic and well researched ingredients versus five thousand plus chemicals in a cigarette.
I can't imagine a smoker today not being concerned about what they are doing to their body. Vaping isn't 100% safe, but then again so is drinking coffee. None of the reputable venders claim that vaping is 100% safe. Nor do they claim PVs to be a smoking succession devices. Not even quit smoking devices. Doing so would imply that PVs are medical devices and they are not. You also won't find a vendor calling it a NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) device, again implying it to have therapeutic or medicinal properties.
Should I Choose an E-Cigarette or a Vaporizer?
If you’re in the market for a tobacco alternative, then the variety of e-devices available makes this an excellent time to kick the habit. However, you’ll have an important choice to make – do you want an e-cigarette or should you go with a vaporizer? While both of these devices work on similar principals, they’re very different at the same time. What should you know?
Let’s start the discussion with a look at e-cigarettes. They’re slim and small, designed to resemble a traditional cigarette. They’re available in different flavours and strengths, too. Because of their small size, they’re exceptionally portable, and can fit in a coat pocket very easily. Some types actually come with a carry pack that’s roughly the same size as a pack of cigarettes, and can hold a couple of batteries, and several cartridges. Cartridges are completely self-contained, and require no filling. When one’s empty, you toss it in the bin and attach a new one.
With that being said, e-cigarettes have some drawbacks. First and foremost, the smaller battery size means you’ll have less use time. Packs that come with only one battery will mean you’re without a smoke while the battery recharges (some starter kits come with two or more batteries because of this). They also don’t last quite as long as a vaporizer’s fluid does, but this will vary considerably depending on how heavily you vape.
Now let’s look at vaporizers. The principle is the same as e-cigarettes (a nicotine-bearing liquid is heated and vaporized, and then drawn into the lungs, giving you the fix you crave). However, beyond that, they’re pretty dissimilar. Vaporizers are larger than e-cigarettes, and they require filling. E-liquids are sold in different strengths and flavours, but filling can be a messy process for first-time users.
Vaporizers hold more e-liquid than e-cigarettes do, allowing them to last longer. Light smokers might be able to get by with filling their cartridge only once per week or so. Of course, cartridges can be purchased in many different capacities too. The batteries for vaporizers are much larger than e-cigarettes, meaning that while they’re a little more difficult to transport, they last much longer. Where you might get three to four hours out of an e-cigarette battery, vaporizer batteries can last an entire day or longer. Light vapers might go for several days, or even a full week or more with no need to recharge the battery.
Making Your Vaping Choice
Choosing between e-cigarettes and vaporizers can be tough. It really boils down to how frequently you expect to vape, and whether you mind recharging your batteries multiple times per day. Vaporizers are the better option for heavy smokers looking to make the switch, but the learning curve is a bit steeper because they’re more labour intensive to use.
Perhaps the best option is to start with one and experiment. Buy a cheaper e-cigarette starter kit and see if you like it. If it doesn’t work out, you can buy a vaporizer and keep the e-cigarette for a spare.
I then discovered ecigarettes after a Google search about stopping smoking. I ordered my very first PV and never looked back! I remember sitting next to my wife trying the eGo-T and saying to her: "I think I stopped smoking!"
It’s been more than six years now since I last smoked and I cannot recommend it enough. Vaping saved my life.