Choosing your First E-Cigarette

In many ways, choosing your first e-cigarette is like picking out your first car. You walk onto a car lot and are over-whelmed by all the options —big or small, red or blue, diesel or regular. Similarly, e-cigarettes have a myriad of styles and preferences for every type of user, and, like purchasing a car, users need to know what they want in order to have the best vaping experience.

So take a breath and don’t be over-whelmed, here are the options:

Manual vs. Automatic
Similar to cars, the two primary and important distinctions between e-cigarettes are manual vs. automatic, and like car owners, users of both sides tend to swear by their preferred type.
The difference between manual and automatic lies in the way the e-cigarette is used. In the manual style, users must press down a button located on the battery to engage the heating and breathe in the nicotine. Instead, automatic e-cigarettes are engaged when air is drawn through the pressure switch and remain on for a few seconds.

The advantage of a manual e-cigarette is that it allows the user more control over the length and strength of vaping, and it also tends to be more durable since it is sealed, but automatic e-cigarettes seem to be the style of choice for first time users. This is because it most closely resembles the analog smoking experience and typically has a longer battery life.

The good news is that you don’t have to pick one or the other forever. In fact, the manual and automatic batteries both attach to the same cartomizer, so many users simply purchase both and change them depending on how they’re feeling.  

Nicotine Strength
Picking the horsepower you want for your car depends on what you plan on using it for, and likewise, as with most aspects of choosing your first e-cigarette, the recommended nicotine strength depends on the user.

Nicotine strength can typically be broken into four categories:

To find your preferred nicotine strength, and get a feel for the differences between them, try out the options and see what works best for you. For example, you may want to start with full strength and eventually wean yourself down to no nicotine, or maybe you usually like an ultra light strength but don’t have the time and want to try a medium.

The rule of thumb for new e-cigarette users is to pick the strength that most closely resembles your analog cigarette preferences, then go from there.

Choosing the size of your e-cigarette depends on how much you traditionally smoke. Do you want the strong, heavy-duty F150 of the e-cigarette world, or perhaps the small, light Prius? E-cigarettes are broken into three sizes: mini, mid-size, and AVPs (Advanced Personal Vaporizers), and each function in different ways.

For instance, if you are a heavy smoker, then perhaps starting out with a mid-size model, such as the eGo or other similar styles, would be the best pick. The mid-size model provides longer battery life for extended vaping, and has a stronger throat hit than other styles.

The drawback to models like the eGo is that the larger size does not mimic the traditional cigarette smoking experience like the KR8 or 510 e-cigarettes, otherwise known as “minis.” The minis are preferred by most new vapers because the size is similar to that of the analog cigarette, but the battery life is not as long as mid-size models. For those trying to move away from analog cigarettes, the minis provide the easiest transition, but many end up switching to mid-size when they get the hang of it.

There is also the type of e-cigarette known as AVPs, which typically have more features than minis or mid-size styles, such as digital readout and high voltage, but are also much larger and more complex. They only come in manual mode, so AVPs are not usually comfortable or easy for new vapers to use, but approximately “92% of experienced users upgrade from a mini” to AVPs, according to ECF (E-cigarette forum).

In other words, don’t worry about it too much, because, unlike buying a car, you can always change and experiment to see what e-cigarette works best for you. For the best vaping experience, choose the preferred size of your e-cigarette based on whether you would rather vape longer and more frequently or simulate the analog smoking experience.

Now that you know the options available for e-cigarette users you can be prepared in making your first pick. But most importantly, be sure to experiment a little, take it for a test drive, and find your fit.

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