Buying your first e-cigarette – The 6 things you need to know

If your New Year's Resolution was to quit smoking and start vaping then check out our list of the six things you must know before getting started with e-cigarettes...

Quitting smoking is no easy task, all of us at Vape Emporium have been in your position. That is why we are passionate about providing the correct advice for smokers who are looking to start vaping. We want your new vaping journey to be enjoyable and not a burden!

Vaping is a rapidly growing industry and the innovation in technology is changing at an even faster pace. Every year in January we will update this post with the current advice, and some brand new recommendations for first-time vapers. Here is our 2016 update of tips to get you started...

1. Firstly, there are a lot of different types of e-cigarettes

Don't be scared! The huge range in devices means that you can find the ones that is right for you.


Although this type of e-cigarette has declined in popularity due to its minimal battery life and vapour production, if you want to try vaping for the first time, then a disposable e-cig is a cost-effective way to give it a go. Some disposables are even designed to look and feel like a real cigarettes, so they can provide an easier transition off of the 'analogues'.

Havana E-Cigar – Electronic disposable cigars

Disposable e-cigarette devices can be fun too! We love E-Shish Vape Sticks for a great way to try out new flavours, and Havana ECigars for the true-to life feel (and vast health improvements over real ones!)


Refillables are e-cigarettes that require you to refill the e-liquid and replace the coils that heat up the liquid to produce the vapour, whilst retaining the battery (unlike disposables, where you replaced the whole device). Nowadays the term itself sums up all e-cigarette devices that are not disposable or dry herb vaporizers. The reason for the growth in popularity of these devices is increased power and battery life, with a greater control over the whole vape experience. These refillable devices are now known simply as Mods (modified e-cigarettes).

Starter Kits

If you've chosen to give a disposable e-cig a try, and are getting along with vaping, you will no doubt soon want a device with better battery life and more power; or if you're jumping straight in with refillables, then you'll want to start with one of our Starter Kits.

Vape Emporium's Platinum Kit for beginners

NEW: Try our very own VE-Platinum Vape Kit – perfect for beginners at only £29.99!

The EVOD2 Starter Kit by Kangertech is a reliable favourite of the VE team. The kit features two eGo style batteries, two clearomizers (the tank compartment which holds the e-liquid), replacement coils and a charging cable. This kit is perfect for smokers who are curious about vaping and want to buy a starter kit that isn't too technical or overpowering.

Alternatively you could opt for Kangertech's other starter kits like the Kanger TopBox Nano or the SubVod. Many customers have upgraded from the EVOD2 towards these other products once they felt they were ready for increased vapour production and longer battery life. Thinking about upgrading? Pop into one of our London vaping boutiques to get some advice from one of our vape consultants.

Advanced vaping

Have you tried vaping before, but slipped back into old smoking habits? You may well need a more powerful device to help you. Advanced kits consist of more powerful battery devices for a longer vape time, and higher power for a bigger hit of vapour. Box mods and drippers (RDAs) are growing rapidly in popularity, but require good product knowledge in order to use them safely and effectively. Do ask for advice before getting started with advanced products!

2. You'll need to think about 'throat hit'

Throat hit is that feeling at the back of the throat which you get when inhaling smoke. With e-cigarettes, the throat hit depends on the strength of the nicotine in the e-liquid you are using.

Some people like a light throat hit, while others prefer the strongest they can get. It all depends on your previous smoking habits. From 12mg nicotine you can get a good throat hit; 18mg and 24mg are perfect for people wanting more sensation.

Other factors can also affect your throat hit experience within your vape kit. For example, the ingredients in your e-liquid: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). The higher the PG percentage in the e-liquid, the more flavour you'll get, but also more throat hit. Please be aware that a very small percentage of people can be sensitive to the PG ingredient and we recommend e-liquids with a higher VG ratio if so.

The vape kit you use can also determine what level of nicotine you'll require for the same experience. For example, in our sub-ohm kits (coil resistance below 1.0 ohms) the vapour production is a direct-to-lung hit. Many vapers drop the nicotine levels when sub-ohming due to the greater hit they receive.

3. Know the cost of e-cigarettes

In the long term, e-cigarettes provide huge savings for you compared with 'analogue' cigarettes – approximately a fifth of the cost, once you have bought the vape device itself. But of course you'll need to shell out on all the essentials to get your started. But the on-going cost (and health!) benefits far outweigh that of smoking.

These days it is possible to find starter kits out there for all budgets. If you are buying your first e-cigarette, we recommend going for something medium range, not too cheap, but not too pricey. Go for a starter kit of a decent quality and buy it from a well known e-cigarette manufacturer. This will hopefully avoid leaking clearomizers, batteries that don’t last very long and will give you a much better flavour and vapour production.

I really need to save money, oh look new modsHowever, be warned that vaping has become addictive – but not for the reason you might think! Many vapers treat it as a serious hobby and are always trying to out-do each other with the best, most innovative, and expensive bits of kits they can get their hands on!

Some vaping devices have even become collectors items, such as our exclusive handmade VE-Pipes – utterly beautiful and unique, these aren't for your average all day vape! And coming in at the premium end of the price scale, these are probably best left until you know that you're a committed vaper! (But you'll have plenty of fun trying out all the products on your way.)

4. Be safe while vaping

For starters, always buy your vape device, liquids and accessories from trustworthy brands and manufacturers. Don’t be tempted to try saving a few pounds and end up compromising your safety and health with malfunctioning 'clone' devices or dodgy e-liquid.

It’s vitally important to always use the charger provided with your e-cigarette. Don’t ever attempt to use chargers that are not intended for electronic cigarettes, like mobile phone chargers, even if they fit.

There is risk of causing an explosion from incorrect or cheap chargers or batteries – and these are usually the source of the scare stories that you occasionally hear about in the media.

As with any electronic device, don’t leave your e-cigarette unattended while charging it and don’t leave it plugged in overnight or for long periods of time.

Look for the 'CE' mark that indicates the device complies with European Safety standards, but you should still be careful as these could be forged.

When you are plugging you battery into the charger, be careful to not over-screw it as this might cause mechanical damage that leads to the battery not working properly or to overheat.

5. Be aware of vaping etiquette!

E-cigarettes produce vapour, not smoke, and are therefore are not affected by smoking laws. However, keep in mind that vaping might not be allowed in some public places such as restaurants, bars, public transport or offices.

Read our guide to travelling with your vape device 

Unlike smoke, vapour condenses and disappears in a matter of seconds and has not been shown to cause any harm to those around you. The nicotine level in exhaled vapour is practically undetectable but some e-liquids have a strong (albeit pleasant) aroma that others may not like smelling, particularly if they’re eating.

When you spot another vaper - give them the nodBe ready to get a few funny looks from people in public places. Despite the growing popularity vaping is still relatively new and there are many who still do not know about them. Some will ask questions about them while others may come up with misinformed statements about e-cigs. But if you do see a fellow vaper, don't forget to give the nod.

6. Have fun trying out all the e-liquid options

There is a wide variety of e-liquids brands and a huge variety of flavours to choose from. Flavours range from fruits, desserts, beverages to strong tobaccos. You can even create your own blends by mixing two flavours together.

Apart from the flavour, the other important aspect is the level of nicotine. The beauty of e-cigarettes is that you can choose anything from 0mg nicotine all the way up to 24mg. It is really up to you to pick the strength that’s right for you. The mg rating is the amount of nicotine per ml of liquid. i.e. A 12mg liquid has 12mg of nicotine in every ml of the liquid.

At Vape Emporium we only stock quality e-liquids, using the finest ingredients possible, pharmaceutical grade nicotine and FDA and European Standards compliancy. They are made by chemists in purpose built dust free/clean-room laboratories with the correct sterile equipment. Where possible, the ingredients are sourced locally and  natural flavour extracts are used.

As it can be a bit daunting choosing an e-liquid flavour, we have a juice bar in our vape shop in Richmond and Hampstead in London where you can come and taste the different brands and flavours on offer, before you buy.

If you are not based in London then you can always ask us a question via our social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and G+, or comment below.

We hope we have given you more clarity of buying your first e-cigarette and wish you the best on your new vaping journey!

2 thoughts on “Buying your first e-cigarette – The 6 things you need to know”

  • John

    Great, in-depth guide for first timers. There are so many companies and brands in the market now that it's really blowing up, and people looking to get into vaping might get overwhelmed by all of the options. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hasse Karlgreen

    E-cigarette is an electronic gadget and it is operated through battery. When you buy e-cigarette be carefully about its component quality, battery and charger.

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