I know what the title says, but this [very long] blog post is mostly based on all of the mistakes *I* made as a vaper, over the years. And mistakes my friends made. And my Nan. A couple of boyfriends. Some non-friends …
We’ve all made mistakes, some of which have actually prevented us from becoming vapers at all. Not me, obviously. I’m puffing away as we speak. I can barely see the screen as I type.
(There are affiliate links in this review, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click & make any purchases. Please see Disclaimer for more details.)
19 Mistakes New Vapers Make
A lot of people ask me questions when they first start out on their vaping journey, and quite a few of them are easily-solved problems … But only when you have the know-how to actually solve them. That’s what this blog post is intended to be — recognising the problems BEFORE they arise, and taking steps to ensure those obstacles do not stop you from your quit-smoking, start-vaping journey altogether. I know plenty of people who have vaped a few times but never really given it a “proper” chance (in my opinion). I would hate for you to be the next one.
*If you really want to give vaping a try, obviously. I’m not going to force it down your throat. It’s not for everyone and that’s just fine.
As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences. If you’ve made mistakes, let me know about them. If you want me to add yours to the list, shout them out. Leave your comments in the box below this blog or get in touch via social media.
1 – Underestimating how much you’ll rely on your vape.
Let’s get one thing out the way nice and early — if you’re using vaping as a way of quitting smoking, you’re going to rely on that vape device like it’s your new, bestest lifeline. You’re not going to want to put it down. I didn’t want to put it down at first. Ever. Just having it in my hand made me feel a little better, especially in the first few weeks after I quit smoking.
This seems to be the norm with people that successfully quit smoking cigarettes with vaping, and you shouldn’t be too alarmed if it happens to you. Your new habit will calm down a little bit with time, and you’ll come to rely on your device(s) a little less. You’ll still feel miles better for having it close by, though.
2 – Trying to start vaping the sub-ohm way.
There are two types of vaping — mouth-to-lung vaping and sub-ohm vaping.
Mouth-to-lung vaping (MTL) is just like smoking a cigarette. You inhale, hold the vapour in your mouth, and then inhale it down to the lungs in a two-step process.
Sub-ohm vaping isn’t like that at all. It’s like using a shisha pipe — a one-step process. You inhale right down into the lungs, no holding it in the mouth. It’s probably going to make you cough up a lung. I talk about that a lot more in: Why Does Vaping Make Me Cough?
If you try to vape MTL eliquid + coil + tank the sub-ohm way, you’re probably going to rip your throat to shreds.
If you mouth-to-lung vape with a sub-ohm device + eliquid, you’re probably not going to get a lot from it. I think it’s highly unsatisfying. You might as well not bother doing it.
At the same time, mouth-to-lung eliquid (+ device, etc.) is generally higher in nicotine strength than sub-ohm liquid. Most sub-ohm juices are 3mg now, whereas mouth-to-lung eliquid is usually available in higher strengths, such as 12mg and 18mg. Pre-TPD, you could buy 36mg and 45mg eliquid. That stuff was HARSH.
Don’t get me wrong, you might have the best of luck with sub-ohm vaping on your first try, but most don’t. I would personally recommend going from smoking cigarettes to vaping the mouth-to-lung way, and then experimenting with sub-ohm vaping later on.
I still vape both ways — mouth-to-lung and sub-ohm — seven years after I started. Mouth-to-lung vaping kicked it all off for me (because that was the only type available at the time) before I then moved on to try sub-ohm vaping after a couple of years.
3 – Not trying both sub-ohm and mouth-to-lung.
I recommend starting with mouth-to-lung vaping + juice + device, but I actually think all vapers should try both ways. I love both and couldn’t pick a favourite. Sub-ohm vaping is more of my ‘hobby’ style, and I turn to mouth-to-lung stuff (with the higher nicotine strength) for super stressful times. It would be during those super stressful times that I would want to reach for a REAL cigarette, but the mouth-to-lung + stronger nicotine combo usually puts a stop to any cravings.
Sub-ohm eliquid comes in lower nicotine strengths than MTL eliquid and can be used as a step in your quitting smoking and vaping mission. I also think that sub-ohm vaping is more ‘fun’ in terms of clouds and flavour. It’s hard work trying to pull a neat vape trick with the pitiful clouds that mouth-to-lung vape devices and tanks deliver.
If you try sub-ohm stuff and don’t like it, try mouth-to-lung stuff.
If you don’t try mouth-to-lung stuff and don’t like it, try sub-ohm stuff.
You just don’t know until you try.
*My current mouth-to-lung obsession is the Vype ePen 3 – a pod-style device with prefilled pods 👇🏻
4 – Using your vape device in all the wrong places.
Ya know … like your nan’s house. Or your mum’s. Some of my family have a fit when I pull my vape out in the middle of the living room and start puffing away. Anyone would think I’d just lit a stick of dynamite in the house. Sometimes, though, you just need to respect the boundaries of others.
If your nan doesn’t like vaping in her house, don’t vape in her house.
If it says “No smoking, including e-cigarettes/vaping” on a sign, don’t stand there and puff away on your vape.
You can’t vape in almost as many places as you can’t smoke. It sucks, yes, but them’s the rules. You can get fined and kicked out of places for vaping where you shouldn’t, and you’re not really doing the rest of the vape community any favours. Like … we’re trying to be advocates here, not troublemakers!
5 – Suffering from a bad case of #vapeenvy.
I get vape envy all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. Other people get shiny-shiny vape stuff that I want so bad, but we all need to remember one thing:
All of the vape devices we own or plan to own in the future will essentially do the same thing > keep us vaping, stop us from smoking.
Yep, all the vapes in that picture do pretty much the same damn thing. They vape. (Except for the Artery Lady Q, which doesn’t work at all.) They turn liquid into vapour and curb a nicotine craving.
It’s very easy to get carried away in the land of shiny-shiny, and before you know it you’ll have spent a month’s wages on eliquids, box mods, and coils for a tank that you haven’t even bought yet. But didn’t you stop smoking that you could SAVE money? What’s the point in spending all of your saved money on vape stuff?
Go on holiday. Buy some shoes. Hell, buy me some shoes. I love shoes.
Treat yo’self to some new vape stuff every now and again, please. I urge you to. But don’t feel like you need to keep up with everyone else’s vape habit. There are no awards for the coolest vaper ever. It’d be a pretty dumb award*.
(*I still want it, though.)
6 – Not packing a spare drip tip.
There will always be someone who wants to have a puff on your device, doesn’t ask, and sticks their dirty hands and mouth all around it, using it all wrong. All wrong, dammit!
GET OFF MY SHINY-SHINY.
I HATE it when people use my devices without asking. I don’t like sharing my drip tip. Please don’t put your mouth around the bit that I’m going to put my mouth around. We’re exchanging saliva and bacteria and stuff. I’m absolutely not down with that.
I’ve got hundreds of drip tips here, so feel free to give me a nudge if you want a few. I keep them for those grubby-handed smokers who don’t know what personal boundaries are. I recommend you do the same. Always carry a spare drip tip … just in case.
Jeeez. Seriously. I wouldn’t drive your damn car without asking. Hands off my vape.
7 – Buying cheap vape stuff.
The whole point of vaping is to quit smoking for many people, so you definitely don’t want to spend more money on vape stuff than what you would have done when you were smoking. Sadly, the vaping habit does tend to get a little costly from time to time, especially if you find yourself lusting after the latest vape gear. We all get #vapeenvy, I’ve talked about it already, it’s cool.
I’m not going to say that all cheap vape kits are crap. I’ve had just as much luck with cheap vape stuff as I have with the more expensive devices. What I mean by cheap, is buying something on eBay that seems like too good a deal to be true. That old saying is almost always right.
Going on the hunt for some cheap vape equipment is probably going to land you a few great deals, yes, but at the same time, it’s opening the door for clones and fakes. If you’re looking for a clone, that’s great. If you think you’re buying a genuine device, on the other hand, and you end up with a fake that falls apart in a couple of days, you’re going to be sorely disappointed and also out of pocket.
*P.S. If you want a ‘cheapie’ device that offers both MTL and sub-ohm vaping (DTL), won’t break, and won’t break the bank, I can highly recommend the Jac Vapour VIM 👇🏻
8 – Underestimating your juice usage.
There at times when I go through such a vast amount of juice, I’m actually damn shocked. I tend to go through a 10ml bottle of mouth-to-lung eliquid in two or three days, with what I would class as “regular” vaping — vaping just a tad more than what I would have smoked as a 20-a-dayer.
If I’m sub-ohm vaping, that 10ml bottle will barely last me the day. I’ve gone through 50ml of the tastiest ejuice in just two days on chain-vaping days.
Don’t underestimate how much juice you’ll use, because running out of juice is the most frustrating, scary, and anger-provoking scenario in the world. This is even more so the case if you’re quitting smoking by replacing it with vaping.
You can buy eliquid in so many physical stores now that running out isn’t the end of the world, but if you’re stuck without any options (shops shut late at night, rural areas, etc.), you’ll be stuffed. And it’ll feel like the worst night of your life.
Always have MORE eliquid than what you think you’ll need. Make use of discounts and sales. Like, right now — Stoptober deals are EVERYWHERE.
9 – Not reading the instructions.
Yeah, I know. Nobody reads the instructions … But they should.
True story: I received Jac Vapour’s new Wee VIM in the post the other day and couldn’t wait to tear open the packaging. If I had read the instructions, I wouldn’t have this story to tell 👇🏻
15 minutes after I took the Wee VIM out of its packaging, I was sat in the floor, cross-legged, swaying back and forth, mumbling something that went along the lines of: “It’s not working. Doesn’t work. No worky-worky.”
Mister best-ecig took the device out of my hand, took the cable tie from around the charging lead, and then plugged it into the side of my laptop. After a few minutes, he took my hands in his, pointed towards the device, and said just two words:
The device was charging. It *WASN’T* broken. Phew.
The green light hit about an hour or so later, and I grabbed the Wee Vim, ripping open the plastic wrappers of the Blackcurrant Squash-filled pods, and pieced it all together.
Click, click, click.
“It’s not working.”
Click, click, click.
“It’s not working, Mister.”
Click, click, click.
“IT’S NOT WORKING!”
Mister takes the instruction manual from the box, reads it for a moment, then says to me:
“Have you clicked it five times to turn it on?”
Five times, Kim. Click five times. Not three. Five.
Read the instructions, guys. It’ll save you a lifetime of stress.
10 – Using the wrong juice.
This is actually one of the biggest problems people come to me with, along with questions such as:
Why is my ecig bubbling and not vaping?
Eliquid keeps ending up in my mouth. Why does it keep happening?
Help! Why does it taste like hell in my head when I vape?
I actually talk a lot more about eliquid on this blog, and how to make sure you’re buying the right one for you. By this I mean, using mouth-to-lung eliquid with MTL devices and using sub-ohm eliquid in sub-ohm devices, or knowing which coil to use when you have a tank/device that does both.
It makes a difference!
Mouth-to-lung vaping calls for thinner eliquid, with a higher nicotine strength. (Usually.) This is 50/50 VG/PG eliquid, or more PG than VG.
Sub-ohm vaping vaping calls for thicker eliquid, with a lower nicotine strength. This is 70/30 VG/PG, or more VG than PG.
For more information, check out the following posts on my blog:
- Eliquid: What Does Short Fill Mean?
- Understanding E-Liquid: Why PG & VG Matters
- Why Does Vaping Make Me Cough?
11 – Not having enough batteries.
I could probably get away with having one tank … at a push. I like to have different tanks for sub-ohm and mouth-to-lung vaping, mostly because I vape them both. Mornings usually call for an MTL vape. Evenings in front of the TV call for a sub-ohm (DTL) number, probably a dessert-based eliquid ‘coz I love cake. But at a push, I could probably cope if I had something like the Jac Vapour Series-S22 (shown below) or S17 tank for the rest of my vaping life. I’ve got quite a lot of love for them both, and they vape both ways — MTL and DTL.
I could never get away with only having one battery, though. Oh my gosh, are you mad?
I have different batteries for different moods, that’s how much of a vape hoarder I am. If I know I’m going to be walking by a vape shop, I’ll bring out the big cloud-chuckers so that I can look cool too. If I’m going to be heading to my local shopping centre for some retail therapy, I’ll take a discreet little mouth-to-lung vape for all those times I meltdown over ill-fitting clothes in the changing room of New Look.
Always take an extra device or set of batteries with you when you go out and about for the day, but make sure you know the important stuff as far as keeping those batteries safe are concerned. If you don’t, below are a few blog posts that I really think might help you out.
(Safety is super important when you’re packin’ batteries in your back pocket!)
- Using External Vape Batteries: What You Need to Know (ecigarettedirect)
- HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VAPE BATTERIES (vapeclub)
- Tips to Help Avoid “Vape” Battery Explosions (FDA)
12 – Not leaving your coil to prime for long enough.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve vaped with a brand spanking new coil before I’ve left it to prime for long enough. After all of this time, you’d think I’d have learned a lesson or two, but you’d be wrong. I’m super impatient and I hate waiting.
If you DON’T leave your coil to prime for long enough, you’ll probably make this face 👇🏻
It. Tastes. Horrific.
You’re vaping bare, dry cotton stuff, not the eliquid. That’s why it tastes bad, and it is sometimes enough to ruin the coil completely. I’ve had to throw fresh coils away because I burned the wick material by dry hitting.
I cover coil-priming in a lot more detail here 👇🏻
13 – Not changing the coil in time.
This was something I just couldn’t get the hang of when I first started vaping using coils rather than disposable tanks or cigalikes. I think I stuck with those rather ‘old-fashioned’ devices for much longer than most vape folk, but they worked for me at the time so I think that’s okay.
I never knew when to change the coil. I’d be happily using the same coil (MTL at the time), all gunged-up, wondering why things tasted a little bad, not realising that I’d been using the same one for far too long. Like, I’d get three or four weeks out of an MTL coil with tobacco eliquid, and everyone else was getting a week or two. I just thought I’d figured out a brand new way of economical vaping … 🤣
In reality, I just vaped my coils to death. To ACTUAL death.
When you notice that the taste has changed with your juice in the tank, it’s probably time to change your coil.
If you’ve noticed that the amount of vapour produced by your juice and device has decreased, it’s probably time to change the coil. (Or check the battery.)
If the coil starts bubbling, hissing, sucking eliquid through and into the mouthpiece (after working fine previously), it’s probably time to change your coil.
You’ll learn the little “vaping signs” the more you use and get to know your vape device, but if you’ve been puffing away on the same coil for some time and it starts to act weird all of a sudden, it’s time to make the change.
14 – Running the tank dry.
There might actually be one thing WORSE than dry-hitting your vape because you didn’t leave it to prime for long enough …
Dry hitting because the tank has run dry
It’s pretty bad.
You should always keep an eye on how much juice is left in your tank. If it gets below a certain level, your wick will run dry and you’ll get a dry hit. It’s not nice. It’ll make your throat feel as though it is being ripped apart by the devil himself. I try to always keep my tank about a quarter full at all times, but I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I don’t always pay as much attention as I should. Just yesterday I let Hazelnut Cookie by Gloop run out in my Jac Vapour Series-S22 tank. It made my eyes water.
Doodle by me, because I bought an Apple Pencil + downloaded the Procreate app, so I can call myself an artist now … right? 😝🤣
Keep an eye on your tanks, peeps. That dry taste is enough to make you want to give up on vaping forever.
15 – Not doing your research.
True story: a friend messaged me on Facebook asking why her vape wasn’t working. This was the conversation:
Me: What vape do you have?
Friend: That Mag kit thing.
Me: Smok Mag?
Friend: Yeah, that’s right. The baby one. In pink.
Me: Because pink makes all the difference, right? Haha.
Friend: That’s pretty much the only reason I bought it. The guy in the shop had a black and red one, I think, and I wanted what he had in pink.
Me: Oh, have you been vaping for a while then?
Friend: No, it’s my first vape thingy.
Me: You bought that as your first vape device? Who suggested that?
Friend: The guy in the shop.
Me: Okay … I don’t know if that was the right first-time device, but we’ll work on it. What’s the problem with it?
Friend: Well, he vaped on it fine, but it doesn’t work when I use it. When I breathe in I just get a bunch of juice in my mouth and it feels like my throat is burning.
Me: Are you trying to vape it like a cigarette or a shisha pipe?
Friend: What? A shisha pipe? No. I’m vaping it like a cigarette.
Me: That device isn’t really meant for that kind of vaping, chick. It’s meant to be used like a shisha pipe. You don’t breathe it into the mouth and then down into the lungs, in two stages. You just inhale it right into the lungs.
Friend: The man in the shop didn’t tell me that.
Me: What’s their returns policy like?
Friend: Can’t we just make this one vape the way I want it to?
Me: Um, let me have a look online and see what kind of coils you can buy for it, and then I’ll let you know what I think, okay?
Friend: Will I need to buy more stuff for it? I don’t want to do that. I just want to use this one the way I want to.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the problem lies.
I’m going to say this as diplomatically as I can …
I’m not sure the folk in vape shops are *always* the right people to suggest a device. I have personally been in two different vape shops, asking for a certain type of vape ‘bit’, and the guy in the shop has tried to sell me something that totally wouldn’t have worked for what I wanted.
Do some of your own research before you go out and spend £50 on a device that won’t do what you want it to do. The #vapefam on Twitter and Instagram are absolutely legendary for answering questions … Even the ones that you think are really dumb. (No question is dumb if you don’t know the answer to it.) The #vapefam would have known that the Smok Baby Mag Kit is a sub-ohm device that comes with two sub-ohm coils in the box. If my friend wanted a cigarette-like vape experience, she wouldn’t have got it from that one, and there would have been a string of people waiting to tell her that.
There are some amazing vaping guides out there. Give them a read. Have some knowledge behind you so when some guy in a vape store tries to push unnecessary vape equipment in your direction, you’ll know when you’re not being given good advice.
16 – Not making use of discount codes.
Honestly, what’s the point in paying full price for something when there’s a perfectly good discount code for 20% off? I don’t want to keep pushing the #vapefam out there, but the community is great for finding a cheeky discount code or deal for that particular tank you’re hoping to buy. I’ve seen countless occasions where one person has asked for great deals on a piece of vape equipment and have been offered countless links to cheap prices and discount codes galore.
If you’re buying a few bits of vape stuff, have a little look for a discount code before you hit checkout. You’ll also find that some of the bigger vape shops are on cashback sites, too. (TopCashback has quite a few.)
When you’re spending £50-£60 on a brand new piece of vape kit, that 20% will make enough of a difference to allow for an extra packet of coils or similar.
17 – Not doing the scratch n’ check.
I’ve discussed this before in 8 Tips to Make Your Coils Last Longer, but you really should check that your vape stuff is authentic before you start using it. With most big brands there are scratch-off pieces on the box, with a code behind it. Go on to the manufacturer’s website and enter that code and you’ll be told whether or not you’ve got a real tank/box/whatever or if it has been copied/cloned.
It would be soul-destroying to spend £100+ on vape equipment only to find out it was fake (and a piece of crap) later on.
18 – Buying into the hype.
Right, let’s get one thing straight — a vape device, regardless of what it looks like, will do the same as any other vape device. Some of them are better than others. Some will have more features than others. But they all do the same thing … They’re all MEANT to do the same thing: STOP. YOU. SMOKING.
It’s so easy to buy into the hype of a new vape tank or box mod, but the most-hyped bits don’t usually live up to expectations.
Buy this tank because it has a flat, disc coil-thing!
Check out this new vape pen … IT’S SO SHINY.
Buy this box because THERE’S A SKULL ON IT!
THIS BOX IS BETTER THAN THE REST BECAUSE IT HAS LOTS OF BUTTONS!
Like, yeah, there are a few boxes out there with really cool features on them, but are you really going to use all of those features? The novelty wears off quite quickly with me. Sorry. Not sorry at all.
If you have a vape box and tank that you love, use it to death. Don’t be in a rush to replace it. It’s rare. Some people spend years looking for the perfect vape and then never find it. I’ve had a few vape-loves over the years and I still use some of them today, even though they’re a hundred years old. (Or just three or four.)
Buy spares for YOUR vape-love. Buy a second tank just in case you break the first one. Make sure you’re stocked up on coils. Have a stash of [safely-stored] fully-charged batteries so that you can always use it.
Don’t waste your cash on that brand new shiny-shiny with a skull on it just because everyone else bought into the hype. If you’re lucky it’ll do exactly what your current vape does (once the initial novelty-factor has worn off). If you’re not lucky, however, you’ll have wasted a bunch of money on a piece of vape equipment that might not even work as well as your last one did.
Great products sell themselves.
Crap and mediocre products require maximum hype and lots o’ exposure. (And probably some nudity on Instagram.)
A little further reading (it’s a rant) > A Letter to the Vape Industry: Stop Sending Me Nudes
19 – Not turning devices off.
If you’re throwing your vape device in a back pocket or handbag, turn it off. Some of them have a handy auto-turn-off feature when it hasn’t been used for a while, but you should still make doubly sure.
Turning your devices off serves three purposes:
1 – The device is safer when it’s turned off. If it turns on in your handbag, there’s a chance you could have a little fire going on in there because it gets hot. Or an explosion. At the very least, your bag will be smokin’. I also predict a whole loada eliquid getting into a whole loada places you wouldn’t want it.
2 – You’re saving battery/eliquid. There’s no chance of the device activating when it CAN’T activate. It’ll just be wasting battery and eliquid unnecessarily by activating every five minutes by accident.
3 – Unwanted vape-borrowers can’t use the device when it won’t turn on. This doesn’t necessarily stop them from putting their mouths around it, of course, but it’s still a deterrent. (See my above drip-tip related grumble.) Turning the device off also prevents other LITTLE hands from playing with things they shouldn’t. Ya know, like kids and stuff.
If you aren’t going to use a device for a while, take the batteries out of it. When you take batteries out of vape devices, store them properly and safely. Don’t throw loose batteries into the bottom of your handbag. Don’t let batteries come into contact with keys, etc.
Again, sorry to keep banging on about battery safety but it is really important. Read the blog posts I shared with you above. Seriously … read them.
And there you have them — the 19 mistakes new vapers make … according to me. Do you agree?
Are you a new vaper? Thinking of giving it a go? Maybe wondering where you should start? Say hello! Ask me your questions. Tell me what you’re using and your experiences with it. Shout out the mistakes you made as a brand spanking new vaper, too. Let’s help those newbies find their perfect vape combo!
Thank you so much for reading today!
Happy Vaping! 👩🏼💻✌🏻💨
*Prices & information correct at time of writing.
HONESTY POLICY: Some of the devices in this blog post were sent to me for reviews. These include Jac Vapour devices (sent by Jac Vapour), the Aspire Gusto Mini (sent by Vape Club), and the Vype ePen 3 (sent by Vype). Other vapes mentioned are recommendations based on my own research of products and reviews. I’d never recommend something to you that I wouldn’t consider buying for myself. I did not pay for the vape products sent to me for review. I was not paid for my reviews. All opinions are mine and in no way influenced by affiliate status, store, brand, or manufacture.
AFFILIATE HONESTY: I will earn a small percentage in commission when you buy using certain links or banners on this page. These include ecigarettedirect, Smoko, Cigabuy, and Jac Vapour. Thank you so much for reading & watching my reviews, and for your continued support of best-ecig.co.uk! xo [Please see Disclaimer for more details.]