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What’s the Ideal Vaping Starter Kit for a Beginner?

One of the most intimidating and daunting things that any smoker can do is enter a vape shop for the first time. Buying a first vaping starter kit couldn’t possibly be more different from the experience of buying cigarettes. When you started smoking, you picked your first brand based on some combination of the brand’s flavor and its marketing appeal. How the product worked, however, wasn’t a factor in your decision at all because all cigarettes are fundamentally the same.

Vaping devices, on the other hand, are another matter entirely. Different types of vaping devices operate differently, are designed for users of different experience levels and even require different types of e-liquid. Unless you’re buying from a shop that’s specifically set up to cater to beginning vapers, or Smoke Shops in Alief, Montrose or Houston Westchase, there’s a real possibility that you could walk away with a device you don’t like.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

This article is your quick start guide to vaping for beginners. What’s the best vaping starter kit if you’re ready to make the switch and aren’t sure what to buy? Reading this guide, you’re going to learn the key features that you should look for.

Pod Systems Are the Ideal Vaping Devices for Beginners

Vaping devices break down into three broad categories. They are:

  • Cigalikes are the cigarette-shaped vaping devices that you can find in traditional retail outlets like convenience stores and gas stations. Cigalikes aren’t ideal for most beginning vapers because they’re based on outdated technology and are not as satisfying as tobacco cigarettes.
  • Pod systems are slightly larger than tobacco cigarettes and store their e-liquid in removable pods with translucent windows. For new vapers, pod systems hit the sweet spot in that they’re easy to use and are as satisfying as tobacco cigarettes. We’ll explain why in a moment.
  • Vape pens and mods are significantly larger than tobacco cigarettes and usually include their own refillable glass tanks. These devices are usually poor choices for beginners because they’re fairly complicated to use and because they’re designed for direct-to-lung inhalation rather than the mouth-to-lung inhaling style that you use when smoking.

So, why should pod systems receive your strong consideration when you’re on the hunt for your first vaping device? In short, no other type of vaping device has the same combination of satisfaction and ease of use.

  • They’re designed for beginners. If your device uses pre-filled pods, all that you need to do is charge the battery, push in a pod and puff on the device as if you were smoking a cigarette. If your device uses refillable pods, you’ll also have to fill your pods with e-liquid periodically. The makes the device a bit less simple to use, but refillable pods also have benefits that we’ll discuss in a moment.
  • They’re designed to use nicotine salt e-liquid. Developed in the past half-decade, nicotine salt e-liquid is less alkaline than standard e-liquid and is therefore less irritating to the throat at high nicotine strengths. Nicotine salt e-liquid is smooth and easy to inhale – even when it contains as much nicotine per puff as cigarette smoke.

Pre-Filled vs. Refillable Pod Systems

When you buy your first pod system, the most important decision you’ll need to make is whether to buy a system that uses pre-filled or refillable pods. Although neither option is wrong, your choice will have a significant effect on your vaping experience.

If you buy a device with pre-filled pods, you’ll enjoy the benefits of convenience and ease of use. Using a device with pre-filled pods is as simple as pushing in a pod and vaping. When a pod is empty, you’ll throw it away and start using a new one.

While pre-filled pods give you convenience and simplicity, they also have significant drawbacks. In the United States, the most notable of those drawbacks is that federal law limits the permissible flavors for pre-filled pods to just tobacco and menthol. Since there are many hundreds of e-liquid flavors in the world, being able to use just two of them severely limits your experience. If you use a refillable pod system, on the other hand, you’ll buy bottled e-liquid, which has no flavor restrictions.

The second drawback of using a vaping device with pre-filled pods is that the pods can be quite expensive. The best-known pre-filled pod system is the JUUL, and pods for that device typically cost around $4.00 each. That’s almost as much as a pack of cigarettes in some states. You can buy an entire bottle of e-liquid – containing as much vape juice as about 42 JUUL pods – for around the same price as a pack of four JUUL pods. Vaping is much more affordable when you use a device with refillable pods.

What’s the Right E-Liquid Nicotine Strength for a Beginner?

If you buy a vaping device with pre-filled pods, your choice of nicotine strength is a fairly simple one. If you’re a full-time smoker, you should generally start with the highest nicotine strength that the manufacturer of your vaping device offers.

If you buy a vaping device with refillable pods, your choice is a little more challenging because there are so many different nicotine strengths available for bottled e-liquid. The first thing you should know is that nicotine salt e-liquid is almost always the right choice for a pod system. Nicotine salt vape juice usually comes in small 30 ml bottles. If you visit a brick-and-mortar vape shop, you’ll see many bottles of e-liquid that are much larger than 30 ml. Those e-liquids have lower nicotine strengths and are intended for larger and more powerful vaping devices.

When you buy bottled e-liquid for your refillable pod system, the ideal nicotine strength is usually around 50 mg/ml if you are new to vaping. With that strength, you’ll get about the same nicotine per puff as you would get when smoking a cigarette. If you try that nicotine strength and find vaping unpleasant due to throat irritation, consider switching to a lower nicotine strength.

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