Back in 2018, the number of vapers in the UK passed three million. Back in September ’18, 3.2 million adults in the UK had ditched the cigarettes for vape kits, thanks in part to the rise in affordable eliquids in high street shops.
But even today, 9.4 million British adults smoke cigarettes. That’s almost one in five of us. Even though everyone from Cancer Research UK to the NHS advise them to switch to vaping, they still smoke. We asked ourselves a question. One question.
It’s not because cigarettes taste better (they don’t), cost less (they don’t) or are healthier (they really aren’t). It can only be because people don’t understand vaping.
So as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of vaping products and most popular vape brands, we decided to set things right. To give you the information you need to ditch smoking and start vaping.
Welcome to the 88Vape Complete Guide to Vaping!
Pay attention, because there will be a test.
What is Vaping?
For some, vaping is a hobby. For others, it’s a way to quit smoking that’s been far easier for them than using gum, patches or willpower. And for the team here at 88Vape, vaping is a way of life. But none of those tell you exactly what vaping is.
So let’s get a little bit technical to begin with.
Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapour produced when an eliquid is heated by the coil in a vape kit.
Much like smoking, you’re inhaling something into your lungs (although the way many people vape is entirely different to the way they inhale cigarette smoke, as you’ll see in this article about vaping techniques). Unlike smoking, you won’t inhale things like tar or formaldehyde.
Because there’s no tar and fewer chemicals in eliquid vapour than in cigarette smoke, many people believe that vaping is actually far healthier than smoking. Which leads us nicely into our next question.
Is Vaping Better than Smoking?
Listen, we’re biased. Of course we’ll tell you vaping is brilliant. We sell vape products all over the UK and in all kinds of high street stores. So for this part of the guide, we’ll hand you over to a few impartial experts.
Those experts would seem to suggest that vaping is better than smoking, but feel free to do your own research. Or, carry on reading and we can take a look at the types of vape kit on offer.
What Types of Vape Kit are there?
Let’s go back to what vaping is for a moment. It’s inhaling vapour produced when an eliquid is heated by a coil in a vape kit. We’ll tackle eliquids next, but first let’s look at vape kits.
A vape kit is a really simple device when you break it down. It has a coil to heat eliquid to the point that it vaporises, a tank to hold the eliquid close to the coil, a battery to power the coil, and a mouthpiece to inhale the vapour through.
That could define ALL vape kits. But in reality, it’s a bit more complex. There are three main types of vape kit, that we’ll outline here. Don’t worry, we’ve linked to a more in-depth discussion below, but for now we’re teaching the basics.
- Pod vapes. In a pod vape, the mouthpiece, tank and coil are a single unit called a pod. When the coil burns out, or when the tank is empty (in sealed-tank pod vapes), you replace the pod. They’re not very flexible, but they are easy to use.
- Vape pens. In a vape pen, the coil can be replaced separately. They’re a bit more fiddly to maintain, but a separate coil is cheaper to replace than a pod, and being able to replace individual coils, tanks or mouthpieces means you will invest in spares more often than replacement kits.
- Basically, a mod is a vape pen turned up to 11. Bigger batteries, more powerful low resistance coils, and higher capacity tanks mean that a mod can vapourise lots of eliquid, especially thicker eliquids made with lots of VG (we’ll explain)
Nearly every vape kit on the market is one of these types. If you’re wondering which is best for you, we’ll give you a recommendation at the end of this article!
What is Eliquid?
We’ve mentioned it a few times now, but we’ve not told you what it is. So it’s time to explain eliquid.
Also known as e-cigarette liquid, e-juice, vape juice and cloud juice, eliquid is the fuel for your vape kit. It’s where the flavour, the mouthfeel and yes, the nicotine come from. Without eliquid, you may as well just chew on a pen.
Eliquid is basically a viscous, flavoured liquid that vaporises really quickly when heated by the coil in your vape kit. You then inhale the vapour, taste the flavour and exhale the cloud, which then dissipates in seconds.
You’ll find 88Vape in shops up and down the country, and you’ll see our £1 eliquid advertised on buses. But regardless of the flavour or the strength, it’s still the same four ingredients in various ratios.
Which leads us on to our next point, which is also a key safety concern for many of our customers and especially first-time vapers…
How is Eliquid Made?
Before we tackle how, please let us explain where. There’s this misconception that cheap eliquids must be manufactured overseas, using who-knows-what in factories who-knows-where with no safety or hygiene standards.
This isn’t true.
Our eliquids are made in the UK. In Greater Manchester, in fact. Trafford Park, if you want to get really specific, just across from the Trafford Centre. Every liquid we sell really is born in the UK.
They’re made in our vape labs, by chemists in clean suits, who use powerful equipment to test each batch for safety, quality, and adherence to EU and UK government rules.
And each batch is made the same way. By combining four ingredients in various ratios:
PG – the ingredient that gives vapour its texture and “throat hit,” and that lets the flavours dissolve and vaporise.
VG – the ingredient that gives vapour its thickness and mouthfeel, and that creates the big clouds.
Food-safe Flavourings – the ingredients that give the flavour, all of which are the same quality as those used in food, drinks and sweets.
Nicotine – the ingredient that stops you wanting to get your nicotine fix from a cigarette.
Various ratios of these ingredients – specifically the balance of PG to VG – creates the various types of eliquid that we (and other manufacturers) produce. So let’s move on to the next question.
What Types of Eliquid Are There?
When you boil it down, there are four main types of eliquid on the market, and 88Vape make all four of them.
They are as follows:
Short Fill Eliquids
Head up to the menu above, and you’ll see that we stock all four. But that doesn’t tell you what they are or how they differ. So let’s go into a bit of detail on each one.
These make up the majority of our famous £1 vape range, and they’re widely considered to be the standard eliquid on the market today. Why standard? Because they work with most of the standard vape pens and refillable pod vapes that you can buy, with no need for a sub ohm coil or a high powered battery.
A PG liquid, as the name suggest has more PG than VG, at a ratio of 70/30. That means they’re 70% PG. PG carries flavour more easily than VG, allowing for flavourful, great tasting vapes. Because other ingredients dissolve in it, it also allows for higher concentrations of nicotine and a more satisfying throat hit. That means that of all types of eliquid, PG liquids give a vaping experience closest to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
For VG liquids, you flip the ratios around. At least 70% VG to 30% PG, but sometimes as high as 75/25 or even 80/20. But why? If PG carries flavour and nicotine, why would you want a high VG liquid?
It’s all about the vaping experience. VG gives a sweeter, thicker vape making it perfect for dessert flavours. And because you inhale that deeper, for longer, you don’t need as much nicotine at all.
And then there’s the clouds. A high VG liquid delivers clouds. Lots of them. Big, thick billowing clouds that can fill a room. Making them perfect for vape tricks.
50% PG, 50% VG, for the best of both worlds. These liquids work with almost any device, and give an experience that’s half way between a PG and a VG vape.
It’s perfect when you want flavour and clouds. And with a variable battery, you can use the same bottle for anything from a zero vape to a huge reverse waterfall cloud.
A short fill is just a nicotine free VG liquid. But because it’s nicotine free, we’re not forced to use a smaller bottle by TBD rules. So we use a big bottle and leave space in for you to add your own nicotine in the form of a nic shot.
You set the strength, and because it’s in a big bottle, you’ll enjoy it for longer. There’s a reason sub ohm vapers are flocking to short fills in huge numbers!
Getting Started – Your Vape Kit Recommendations
We appreciate we’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, to give you everything you need to know about the vaping hobby. But there’s one question you might still have as a potential first-time vaper.
What vape kit is right for me?
Well, remember right at the start when we said there’d be a test? This is the test. We’ll ask you a handful of questions, look at your answers and recommend a kit from the 88Vape range.
Don’t worry. There are no wrong answers.
Q1: How often do you smoke?
Q2: Which of these things is most important to you?
Q3: Which of the following appeals to you more?
Q4: How much would you spend on a bottle of Eliquid?
Mostly a’s: Sounds like you’re a social smoker who wants something discreet, pocket-sized and flexible that you can use to have fun with while you’re out on the town. We’d recommend starting with the Zillion Pod Vape, a spare pod or two, and a selection of £1 eliquids. If you enjoy that, the Zillion can also handle a 50/50 vape juice.
Mostly b’s: So, you’re looking to quit smoking and save money? We can’t blame you. Most 88Vape customers have been where you are, and they all swear by our deluxe vape pen, with a £1 eliquid. As a soon-to-be-ex-smoker, why not start with a mid-strength tobacco eliquid?
Mostly c’s: Hello cloud chaser! If you’re looking for fun, grab an 88Vape ProMod and a nicotine-free short fill bottle. We love the lime zest cookie liquid as a first vape. And if you’re trying to get a little bit of nicotine, add on a nic shot for an extra pound.