A Beginners Guide to Vaping

Getting Started With E-Cigarettes

A simple, clear beginners guide to buying your first e-cigarette or vape kit

Making the Switch

So, you want to make the switch from smoking to vaping? That’s great news! If you’re completely new to vaping this guide will walk you through three simple steps to buying your first e-cigarette or vape kit.

Along the way you’ll learn about the different styles of vaping, the various types of e-cigarette devices, and what you’ll need for your first kit.

First, here’s a little bit of background before we get started.

Skip to getting started guide >

How do E-Cigarettes Work?

There are many different devices available, but most e-cigarettes consist of essentially the same parts:

  • A battery contained in an outer casing
  • An atomizer
  • A refill cartridge or tank with mouthpiece

The battery can either be activated by a button or automatically when you inhale through the mouthpiece. Activating the battery will in turn, activate the atomizer.

The atomizer contains a heating coil and a wicking material, usually cotton, which is soaked in e-liquid. The coil rapidly heats the e-liquid in the cotton and turns it into vapour. This vapour can then be inhaled via the mouthpiece.

Why Switch to Vaping?

Here’s three great reasons to consider switching from smoking to vaping:

1. Vaping is Less Harmful Than Smoking
Despite some negative press, particularly regarding illnesses in the US related to vaping, Public Health England continue to declare that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Although we can’t guarantee that vaping is completely safe, e-cigarettes are a far better alternative to cigarettes

2. Vaping Doesn’t Make You Smell
Granted, the odd person doesn’t like the smell of strawberries or candy floss wafting across a beer garden. However, it’s far more pleasant than the noxious smell of cigarette smoke. Additionally, vapour dissipates much faster than smoke and the smell won’t stick to your clothes or hair.

3. Vaping is Cheaper Than Smoking
Vaping is considerably cheaper than smoking, especially considering the increasing cost of cigarettes and tobacco. It can be difficult to compare the cost of cigarettes versus e-cigarettes as we often have different behaviours with vaping. However, our nifty savings calculator below will give you an idea of how much you could save by switching to vaping.

How much could you save by switching to vaping?

Cigarettes smoked per day:

Cost per pack (20):

Calculate Savings

3 Steps To Buying Your First E-Cigarette

Some people call them e-cigarettes or e-cigs, others call them ‘vapes’. No matter what you call them, as you can see from the diagram above, e-cigarettes essentially consist of the same components. There are, however, a few things you should know before you buy your first e-cigarette, so we’re here to fill you in with this handy 3 step guide.

It might seem a little intimidating but once you understand the basics it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Confused by any of the vaping jargon? Click here to open our vaping glossary in a new tab.

Beginners Guide to Vaping Step 2: Choose a Vaping Style Graphic
Beginners Guide to Vaping Step 2: Choose a Kit Graphic
Beginners Guide to Vaping Step 2: Choose an e-liquid or refill Graphic

First you need to decide which type of vaping style will suit you. This will then help you when it comes to choosing a suitable e-cigarette. Finally, you’ll then need to choose an e-liquid or refill for your kit.

Keep scrolling and we’ll walk you through each step below.

Types of Vaping: ‘Classic’ & ‘Sub Ohm’

There are essentially two types of vaping ‘style’. The style that you choose to go with will impact which type of kit you need to buy. However, classic or ‘mouth-to-lung (MTL)’ is usually the best place to start for beginners. Click or tap on the tiles below to find out more about the two vaping styles.

Classic or 'Mouth-to Lung' Vaping

What is Mouth to Lung Vaping?

As the name suggests, MTL vaping is where you inhale the vapour into your mouth first, then into your lungs. This is also sometimes referred to as ‘classic vaping’.  Inhaling the vapour in this way tends to feel more natural as it replicates the way you would smoke a cigarette. Therefore, this is often the best style of vaping for beginners.

Sub Ohm or 'Direct-to Lung' Vaping

What is Direct to Lung Vaping?

Otherwise known as ‘sub ohm vaping’, DTL vaping is where you inhale the vapour directly from the mouthpiece into your lungs. This is usually a style adopted by more experienced vapers and involves higher powered kits with lower resistance coils. These vapourise e-liquid at higher temperatures, creating bigger, denser clouds of vapour.

Find out more about Mouth to Lung & Direct to Lung vaping

Choose a Starter Kit

Once you’ve decided whether you would like to try classic or sub ohm vaping, you can then take a look at the different devices shown below.

Hover or tap on the images below to find out more about each type of kit.

The cigalike style of e-cigarette is one of the most popular devices for beginners due to it’s resemblance to a traditional cigarette. These are incredibly easy to use and offer menthol or tobacco flavours in a range of nicotine strengths.

They are also very affordable, with the OK Cigalike Starter Kit available for just £6.

Classic Vape Kits can either be pen or box shaped and are designed for mouth to lung vaping. They all feature a refillable tank and will require you to regularly change the coils. This makes them a little more fiddly to use than a cigalike but they are still a great option for new vapers who want more customisation and flavour options.

Sub ohm or ‘direct to lung’ devices create bigger clouds of vapour that are inhaled directly into the lungs. They are generally suited to more experienced vapers as beginners can find it somewhat unnatural to inhale in this way. Many Sub Ohm devices feature LED displays and buttons allowing the user to customise various settings.

If you are completely new to vaping, we recommend that you choose either a Cigalike or Classic Vape Kit. Sub Ohm kits are generally better suited to more experienced vapers.

If you’re still not sure which kit you should choose, you can find out more about each device in our guide to different types of e-cigarette.

Choosing Flavours & Nicotine Strengths for Your Refills or E-Liquid

Finally, it’s time to choose which e-liquid or refill flavours and nicotine strength you would like for your new kit.

We’ve split this information up into the different devices to make things easier. Click or tap on the corresponding tab below for information specific to your chosen device.

How to Choose Which Cigalike E-Cig Refills You Should Buy

Cigalike e-cigarettes are different to refillable kits in that they use pre-filled cartridges. We tend to refer to these as ‘refills’.

They are supplied pre-filled with e-liquid so you don’t need to fill them up yourself. You simply screw the refill onto the end of the battery and replace it with a new one once the flavour starts diminishing. This makes them cleaner and less fiddly to use than refillable kits.

Choose Your Flavour

Our OK Cigalike E-Cig Refills are available in tobacco or menthol flavours. This ties in perfectly with the simplicity of the device and is another reason that they’re a great choice for beginners switching from smoking to vaping. We have worked hard to produce authentic tasting flavours in order to make the switch as smooth as possible for our customers.

Our Cigalike Starter Kit comes with two Tobacco flavoured refills. However, when you buy online with us you can choose to add two menthol refills completely free of charge.

Our Flavours:

For traditional smokers:

Tobacco Flavour Cigalike Refills

Tobacco Flavour
6mg, 12mg, 18mg or 20mg

For menthol cigarette smokers:

Tobacco Menthol Flavour Cigalike Refills

Tobacco Menthol Flavour
12mg or 18mg

Menthol without tobacco:

Menthol Flavour Cigalike Refills

Plain Menthol Flavour
0mg, 6mg, 12mg or 18mg

Choose Your Nicotine Strength

Our cigalike starter kit comes with two refills; one with 18mg and one with 12mg nicotine. This means you can try both to see which works best for you.

18mg is our most popular strength of refill, however some people find them a little too harsh on the throat. In this case we would recommend you try 12mg. Our refills are also available in lower strengths of 6mg and even nicotine-free. On the other hand, if 18mg isn’t quite doing it for you then we also offer our tobacco flavour refills in 20mg.

As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend the following:

How to Choose Which E-Liquid to Buy

When it comes to e-liquid it’s important to know the basics of PG & VG ratios. It might sound a little complicated but it’s actually pretty straightforward. Once you know what PG & VG are, you’ll be able to confidently choose the right e-liquid for your vape kit.

Getting this right will really help you get off on the right foot if you’re committed to switching from smoking to vaping.

What are PG & VG?

PG stands for propylene glycol and VG stands for vegetable glycerine. Along with flavourings, these are the two main ingredients in most vape juices. All e-liquids will have a certain ratio of these two ingredients and you’ll find that most e-liquid packaging will indicate what ratio of PG & VG they contain.

Juices with over 50% PG are only suitable for classic (MTL) devices. Juices with over 50% VG content are only suitable for sub ohm (DTL) devices. It’s important to know this because if you use a high PG juice in a sub ohm kit for example, you’ll most likely get a burnt tasting, harsh vape.

E-Liquids with a balanced 50/50 ratio of PG & VG tend to work well in most vape kits and tanks.

The majority of the OK Vape range of e-liquids contain a 50/50 PG/VG ratio so all you’ll need to do after you’ve chosen your kit is to choose your flavours & nicotine strength!

Want to find out more about PG & VG? Click here for our guide to e-liquid ingredients.

Choose a Flavour

There is an unbelievable variety of e-liquid flavours out there so you can really go to town and experiment. If you’re completely new to vaping you may prefer to start with a traditional tobacco or menthol flavour such as our popular Classic Tobacco or Iced Menthol e-liquids.

Top Flavours For New Vapers:

For menthol cigarette smokers:

tobacco menthol

Tobacco Menthol
12mg Nicotine

For traditional smokers:

Classic Tobacco 18mg

Classic Tobacco
6mg, 12mg or 18mg Nicotine

For fruity flavour lovers:

blackcurrant e liquid

Blackcurrant
6mg Nicotine

Tip: All of the vape kits we sell come with your choice of two free e-liquids!

Choose a Nicotine Strength

Both e-liquids and cigalike refills are available in a variety of nicotine strengths. We usually advise customers to start off with a higher strength, although this depends somewhat on which type of kit you choose.

Hover or tap on your chosen kit type below for some guidance on which nicotine strengths to start with.

Classic Vape Kit

Most new vapers tend to start with either 12mg or 18mg nicotine strength to help curb cravings.

However, if you find these strengths too harsh or strong, you may prefer a 6mg strength vape juice. Click below to browse our full range of 50/50 e liquids, designed for use in all devices and available in strengths from 6mg up to 18mg.

Sub Ohm Vape Kit

Sub ohm kits tend to vapourise e-liquid more quickly. This means you will inhale more vapour in one go which, in turn, means you’re getting a higher concentration of nicotine.

Considering this, most sub ohm vapers opt for lower nicotine strengths than they would with a classic kit. The most common nicotine strengths for sub ohm vaping are 3 to 6mg.

Still Need Some Help Getting Started?

If you would like any further advice or have any questions, you’ll find plenty of helpful guides and articles in our dedicated vaping blog.

Our friendly customer service team is also on hand to answer any questions you have or help you get started, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

All information, products and other content on this site is intended for smokers aged 18 and over.
If you don’t smoke, don’t vape.

« What is 50/50 E Liquid?
The UK Menthol Cigarette Ban May 2020 »