If you’re looking to quit smoking and make the switch to vaping, it can be a bit daunting when you’re figuring out how to get going. Leaving behind the familiar feeling of lighting up a cigarette is as much a part of the habit as the nicotine itself is. The sensation of dragging and inhaling is often the part you can miss too. Well, we have good news - with all the technological advances in e-cigarettes in the past few years, you can have a very comparable experience without all the nasties.
There are kits that emulate that similar inhalation style, as well as e-liquids to use in your vape that offer a similar nicotine rush to cigs as well. We’ll explain the difference between the two vaping styles, which e-liquids you should be using (and why) and give you a list of kits we’d recommend too.
MTL VS DTL
You’ll find there’s a lot of acronyms in the vaping world, one of the first ones you’ll come across is MTL vs DTL - used to describe the two vaping styles. MTL stands for “mouth to lung” which is essentially the same process you used for smoking. It’s when you draw some vapour into your mouth, then inhale down into your lungs. This style has a much tighter inhale and will give off less vapour.
DTL on the other hand stands for “direct to lung” where the inhale is much more loose and bypasses the mouth to be inhaled directly into the lungs. It’s a much deeper way of inhaling, a little like how you’d imagine someone using an inhaler. This kind of vaping will give you a lot more vapour, so if you’ve seen someone on the street blowing huge clouds, this is what they were doing.
As you might have guessed, if you’re trying to leave a heavy smoking habit behind, we’d recommend MTL vaping. You’re already familiar with how it feels given the similarities to how you’d smoke a conventional cigarette which will make the transition easier. Mouth to lung vaping is pretty intuitive to most people and it likely won’t take you long to get used to it once you’ve had a few puffs too. If you find you enjoy vaping and eventually want to give direct to lung vaping a go, there’s nothing stopping you but starting off easy will give you the best chance of a successful quit attempt.
COIL RESISTANCE AND WHY IT MATTERS
Now we’ve established mouth to lung is your best course of action (to start out with, at least), let’s talk about coils. The coil is the little part in the vape that heats up to evaporate your e-liquid to turn it into vapour. Coils need to be replaced every one to two weeks depending on use. Every coil comes with a resistance level - essentially the higher the resistance (measured in Ohms) the more restricted the inhale will be. What we call Sub Ohm coils are those with a resistance of <1.0ohm, which can handle a lot more power and in turn create a lot more vapour. They’re designed to be used by DTL vapers. The ones you’ll want if you’re mouth to lung vaping are plus Ohm coils. Typically you’ll find coils in the range of 1.0ohm up to 1.8ohm. They’re designed for less power, give a tight inhale and go perfectly with the kind of e-liquids we’d recommend for you too - which brings us nicely to our next point.
WHICH E-LIQUIDS ARE BEST?
While your enormous choice of flavours is the most exciting part of vaping, first you need to pick which type of e-liquid is going to best for you and your vaping style. Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of acronyms in vaping - here’s the next two to remember: VG and PG.
VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (propylene glycol) are the two main ingredients you’ll find in any e-liquid. The important thing to consider is how much of each. VG is much thicker and needs more power to vaporise properly (it creates most of the vapour in your e-cig). PG is thinner and vaporises more easily, creates less vapour and has a little more of a throat hit that replicates that smoky sensation.
When you’re vaping mouth to lung, you’ll need a 50:50 ratio. This is the “just right” balance. It won’t be so thick that your mouth to lung coil can’t evaporate it and it’ll also give you a satisfying level of flavour with that familiar throat hit feeling too. If you want to know which ratio an e-liquid is, just look on the label (or browse our full 50:50 e-liquid section to save yourself a trip to the vape shop).
WHICH STRENGTH IS RIGHT FOR ME?
When you’re looking at quitting a heavy smoking habit, you’ll more than likely need the strongest nicotine level. If you’re in the realm of 20 plus cigarettes a day, pick an 18mg or 20mg strength. In order to break a habit, you’ll need your e-cig to give you a hit that’s strong enough to relieve any cigarette cravings (which, for the most part, stems from the addictive chemical nicotine). There are plenty of high strength e-liquids in a 50:50 ratio, but the kind of nicotine is also important too.
WHY NIC SALTS SHOULD BE YOUR GO-TO
Next, let’s look at the two kinds of nicotine (and why one of them is better for you soon to be ex-heavy smokers). The first kind is one that’s been used in e-liquids since day one - it’s called freebase nicotine. It’s the more slow to absorb of the two and has quite a harsh sensation when used in high concentrations. E-liquids come in a range of freebase nicotine strengths, ranging from a very low 3mg, to intermediate levels of 6mg and 12mg to a strong 18mg.
The other kind of nicotine is called a nicotine salt - or nic salts for short. These are more mild on the throat hit but also absorb more rapidly. So, like mentioned earlier, getting something that relieves that nicotine itch as fast as possible is key and the answer here is nic salts. Nic salts are designed especially for mouth to lung vapers and will generally come in a 10mg or 20mg strength - we’d recommend you start off with the 20mg. You can drop it lower over time, but starting off with something strong will help keep those cravings away.
WHICH KIND OF KITS TO LOOK AT FIRST:
With all of the specifications we’ve mentioned, it can be difficult to pick a vape kit that’ll tick all the boxes for you. So, we’ve taken the hard work away and have a list of top kits for heavy smokers. There’s a full range from simple to more complex, but all of them will work well with nic salts and can give you that mouth to lung inhale.
PockeX Pen Kit by Aspire
The PockeX kit from Aspire has practically reached a cult status at this point and it’s been a favourite for beginner vapers for years. It’s affordable, easy to use and with just a single button to activate, the PockeX is a great starting point. To use, you just fill the tank with e-liquid, let it settle for 10 minutes, switch it on and press the button as you inhale. The battery inside is fully rechargeable and will give you a full day of vaping before you need to worry about plugging it in. It’ll also work with direct to lung vaping too (if you use the 0.6ohm coils included in the kit) meaning if your vaping style changes over time, you don’t need to buy a whole new kit. Refilling is simple, just unscrew the top cap of the tank and pour in your e-liquid. If you pick this one up, make sure you grab the MTL coils in the 1.2ohm resistance.
INNOKIN ENDURA T18E
Endura T18E Vape Pen by Innokin
Another simple yet hardy little kit, the Endura T18E from Innokin is made from durable stainless steel and Pyrex with a case around the tank for extra protection. It comes pre-installed with a nic salt friendly 1.5ohm coil and fires at an optimised power level of 14 watts. The narrow drip tip mouthpiece enhances flavour and the Japanese cotton wicking inside the coil will give you super crisp flavour. Much like the PockeX, all you need to do to set it up is open the top of the tank and pour in your e-liquid. Changing the coil is just as simple, you remove the tank from the battery which exposes the coil at the bottom. Pull the old coil out and fit a new one in its place. There’s no need to change any settings or airflow, this one is designed to be used just as it comes.
SMOK Nord Pod Kit
If you’d like something with even more simplicity as far as coil maintenance goes, the SMOK Nord pod kit is a great option. It comes with two different coils to choose from in the kit - a Sub Ohm 0.6ohm and the one you’ll want for using with nic salts which is a 1.4ohm coil. To fit your 1.2ohm option, you just click the pod out of the battery and remove the coil from the base then pop the one you want to use in. Fill it up, place it back on the battery and you’re ready to go. The Nord pod kit will automatically detect the resistance level of the coil you’ve selected and change the power level to give you the perfect puff with no extra effort. If you do want to try other resistance levels, this kit is compatible with the Nord coil range, so if you find you’re ready to drop your nicotine level in time, you can also try out a lower resistance coil too.
VAPORESSO GTX ONE
GTX One Vape Kit by Vaporesso
Vaporesso are another much loved vape brand and they designed the GTX One to cater to both the totally new vapers and more experienced practitioners. It’s a slim line design with plenty of battery life and enables you to change your power output with the press of a button. Your vape settings like wattage and coil resistance are displayed on the OLED screen so you can see just how you’ve got things set up. It comes with two coils to get you going, a 1.2ohm for your nic salts and a 0.8ohm for if you want to try a direct to lung vape. The tank also has adjustable airflow, so you can refine how tight your inhale is even further. To use, open up the tank and put your 1.2ohm coil in, pour in your nic salt and once you’ve switched it on, set the output between 7 and 11 watts for the best results.
SMOK PRIV N19
Priv N19 Vape Kit by SMOK
If you want something that’s just for mouth to lung vaping to get you going with less settings to worry about, you might like the Priv N19 from SMOK. It’s similar to the GTX One, but this time it has just four output levels to choose from. They range from a super low 5 watts in the minimum setting through soft and normal for more heat and vapour, going up to 30 watts in hard mode. You’ll really only ever need the minimum or soft mode when you’re using the 1.4ohm coils, which will work perfectly with nic salts for a restricted mouth to lung inhale. Bearing that in mind, if you want to try Sub Ohm coils later on, the tank has adjustable airflow and will fit any of the coils from the Nord range. This one is easy to use, versatile and setup. Just unscrew the top cap, pour in some e-liquid and you’re ready to vape.
Hopefully we’ve cleared up a few questions and concerns about getting into vaping if you’re trying to drop a heavy smoking habit. We’ve also got a whole range of guides - including one on quitting smoking to help get you prepared.