What Is Vaping and How Does It Work?

We have been answering different, and often complex questions about vaping since we launched in 2009. The one question we get most often is the easiest to answer: “How does it all work?” As a user and a beginner it seems like a pretty overwhelming question, but to us it’s pretty straight forward since we have used, tested, and sold so many different tiers and types of products. The vaping industry has grown in both size and variety, so there are a lot of products to discover and pick from. In this article we will outline the basic set up of a few devices. There are a couple different explanations just based on what you’re looking for, but we’ll do our best to get you the best answer.

So many people I talk to, especially those who jumped on the wagon early, said they had no idea where to start so they picked up a disposable unit, rather than buying a pack, at their usual gas station. Well the outcome with this venture is usually the same - disappointment. I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who said they went back to cigarettes after getting frustrated or unsatisfied with a cheap disposable! So let me break it down for you. These disposables, like blu or vuse, are made by your buddies at big tobacco. So where do these big wigs make the most money? You guessed it folks - cigarettes. This unveils the mystery as to why there is not a lot of quality and thought put into their eCigs, and why they don't branch out into the more advanced systems we will touch on later. The other thing to be said with this is true of most industries, large corporations do not provide the customer service or knowledge which you can find at your local "mom and pop". When the customers at Midwest Vapor have a problem, they call, chat or stop in and get loving, dedicated answers. The New York Post also published many articles this year uncovering studies which have shown eCigarettes to not only be safer than smoking, but also the ignorance the world has about them. It has been stated that many adult smokers don't truly understand how eCigs work nor do they understand the health benefits by extension. So let's move on. The other thing to be said about disposables is that they will not get you the same savings which a kit would. Disposables like the ones sold at a vape shop are great to sample for the sake of flavor, but long term they just aren't a great long term solution. Kits, while a bit of an investment up front, provide so many savings and also satisfy your craving by producing thick, rich, clouds of vapor. There are so many options to weigh when trying to find out what kit to go with, we'll get into that a bit more as we continue. 

The first question we usually ask when someone is new to vaping is: What are you looking to get out of it?

This will determine if you go with a more traditional eCig or a refillable eLiquid set up. This can get pretty complicated but check out our "5 Easy Steps to Discover Your Perfect Kit" blog, here we dive in to terminology, differences, advantages, and so on. If you're looking for more of a guide on what to purchase, that's the article to check out. Here we will take a look at what really goes in to vaping and why the disposables we talked about are best just for sampling flavors, rather than a long term habit. 

Traditional eCigs have two components: pre-filled filters and a lithium ion battery. These pieces are twisted together through a 4081 threaded connection. The traditional eCig battery is an automatic device which doesn't have a button, it is activated and powered by drawing on the filter attached to it.

The look and feel is just like a regular cigarette so it is super discreet and easy to use. Once you unseal your filter and attach it to your fully charged battery, your first "draw" should be a long and stead one. Upon taking your first draw, you will feel and hear a small "click", this is the atomizer (heat source) activating. The heat is not activated for obvious safety reasons inside packaging. If this click does not occur, then you will produce no heat therefore get no vape or nicotine, so make sure this happens. If this does not occur, then we always recommend having a backup battery so you can try a different connection. This is sometimes (rarely) necessary since machines, like humans, are not perfect and threading may not connect correctly between the filter and the battery. After you've established that your connection works, then it is smooth sailing with this easy to use device. The liquid in the filter is the same liquid some users fill their tank systems with, so it's real nice to get the same product without the upkeep.

Speaking of which... the tank based systems are kind of a payoff for said upkeep. It is pretty damn hard to cover all of the varieties under the tank based umbrella. Let's address it all in basic terms for the sake of making a point. With this system there are usually four basic components: The tank, the coil (atomizer), eLiquid, and a battery (a fifth component is brought into the mix if you are using a MOD which houses the battery). Tanks and batteries/MODs connect with a 510 threading and are powered by a push button activation. Tanks are filled with either PG or VG eLiquid, and are centered with the coil. The coil is made up of cotton wick and the heat source for vaping your liquid. This touches on the two main components included in aforementioned "upkeep"; the liquid needs to be refilled and the coil needs to be replaced, both based on how heavy of a user you are. What is the payoff? The satisfaction. The throat hit and feel is way more similar to smoking that it curbs addiction a lot better. The other feature I'd like to mention is the customization available with a tank based unit. If you use a basic twist eGo or a MOD, or MOD style battery, you can find the "sweet spot" you're looking for when vaping. This industry is filled with engineer-minded folks who have brought the product a long way. The wattage and ohm resistance can be customized so your clouds of vapor are either light and breezy, or heavy and stagnant. This circles back to finding the right kit and set up, but it's worth mentioning since it explains some of the more complicated aspects of how it all works.

The atomizer in both traditional and tank based systems has an ohm level, this creates what is called resistance. It basically creates or diminishes the ease of drawing on your eCig. If you go with a harder resistance, then your draw will create more clouds of vapor. Okay, let's move down the line then to the voltage. All basic set-ups, whether it's traditional or tank based, have a standard of 3.7 volts of electricity. However, volts can be adjusted higher in the more advanced MODs and MOD style batteries. The adjustment of the ohms and volts creates a custom level of wattage or power. I often throw in a math problem, and this is going to be one of those times, sorry.

The power P in watts (W) is equal to the squared voltage V in volts (V) divided by the resistance R in ohms (Ω)

If we simplify this, we're basically saying the ohm resistance in our atomizer, combined with the volts of electricity in our battery, create power aka: wattage. So when you talk about how much power you want your set up to have, you have to figure out the best pairing of ohms and volts. This has once again been taken care of by our gurus and tinkerers in the industry, as more MOD units nowadays have settings so the user can simply screw on a new coil and tell the battery how many watts they wish to produce. It does all the math for you - the MOD reads how many ohms are in the current coil, goes off of how many watts you want to produce, and sets the voltage accordingly. Presto! Clouds and clouds of vapor! If you happen to be using a traditional eCig or a disposable all of this has been preset to give you a light, yet satisfying draw each time you use it.

I hope I've answered some of the introductory questions, rather than leave you with more of them! And now all that's left is to find your favorite flavor and find what kit is your best match. So check out the article we mentioned before and check out our variety available online and find the best kit for you! If you're itching to give eCigs a try without the investment, be sure and check out our Black Friday WEEK sale next week which will include some delicious disposables. Give our wonderfully crafted flavors a try and get started today.

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