We all know the dangers of smoking for your health and those around you. As the NHS states, your lung capacity will increase by up to 10% within nine months, your blood circulation improves within 2-12 weeks and stress levels are lower after you quit - despite the popular theory it helps to reduce anxiety. If you’re a heavy smoker, which is classed as inhaling 20 cigarettes or more per day, you will feel these effects even more. This is why health organisations like the NHS, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation urge people to quit smoking for good. However, we all know because of the thousands of chemicals in cigarettes, two spoons of sugar per cigarette and addictive substances such as nicotine, this is an uphill battle at the best of times.
While cessation tools like nicotine gum and patches were previously the most used Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT), we have quickly seen over the past decade the rise of vaping as the number one cessation tool. An e-cigarette needs a battery, coil and e-liquid tank to fire up a vaporiser containing nicotine to help heavy smokers quit cigarettes for good as you wean yourself off nicotine. But which is the best vape for heavy smokers and why? What do you need to successfully give up smoking once and for all and not look back? Is it all about convenience, the easy set-up of your vape or simply trying something new that replicates smoking without inhaling tobacco and getting sticky tar in your lungs? We investigate which could be the best vape for heavy smokers based on the criteria stated below.
8 Best Vapes for a Heavy Smoker
Best Vape Setup That Resembles a Cigarette
To give up cigarettes as a heavy smoker, meaning more than 20 a day, is a monumental task for anybody. Doing so by going ‘cold turkey’ presents even more of a challenge. In the past, heavy smokers have often tried other cessation tools such as gum or patches. However, that sense of familiarity holding a cigarette in your hand and pressing it to your lips was very difficult to replace until vaping.
You get the same sensation and suppress nicotine craving but you can control the amount of nicotine you inhale, eventually reducing it to zero. In many cases, a new vaper and in particular, a former heavy smoker, will prefer a vape pen that offers similar dimensions, weight and look to a cigarette.
Long-Lasting Internal Battery Device
Another important consideration as mentioned earlier is the battery power of your vape. The more you have, the less frequently you’ll need to charge, which is always handy during a busy schedule! Vape pod and mod systems vary from 300mAh up to a huge 3000mAh in some cases. However, you’ll find that most range between 1000-2000mAh with the Aspire PockeX Box Kit hitting that top bracket at 2000mAh.
If that wasn’t enough, this stylish box mod boasts intelligent coil recognition, a sliding top-fill port for the easy topping up of e-liquid and adjustable airflow. It stands at 86mm so it’s small enough to put the PockeX in your pocket!
Useful Removable External Battery
Electronic cigarettes are either powered by an internal battery that you can not remove but charge through a USB or an external battery like the Innokin Coolfire Z80 supports. The latter is ideal for vaping on the go - simply carry a spare around you, remove it when it’s empty and put a fresh one back in to start vaping again. No need to carry around cables and look for a USB port as it offers minimal fuss.
This convenience goes hand in hand with the Innokin Coolfire Z80 kit, which utilises the latest technology to maximise the performance from this single 18650 mod. It’s the ideal companion for a heavy smoker because it’s compatible with a range of coils in different resistances for mouth to lung vaping. That can complement your style of preferred vaping and you can then use the FO mode to improve the flavour when it’s starting to diminish with your e-liquid.
It’s aimed more towards beginners and MTL vapers than direct to lung vapers. The screen is easy to navigate and a nice size, it fires up to 80W so there is more than enough power to play around with and it supports 50VG/50PG e-liquids, as well as high PG e-liquids or nic salts for a throat hit similar to smoking.
Easiest Kit to Transition as a Heavy Smoker
This easy-to-use yet stylish pod kit is just what’s needed when trying to give up 20 cigarettes or more a day for vaping. There are several reasons for that, with its sleek design and compact nature just one key factor. In terms of functionality, it’s right up there with one of the best starter kits around because of how user-friendly the Smok Stick G15 kit is for heavy smokers.
To begin with, it offers a fixed wattage. For those new to vaping, even knowing what wattage is right for you can seem daunting. With the low wattage fixed at a low 15 watts, it provides a discrete amount of vapour for all-day vaping.
Couple that with a 700mAh battery and a type-C USB and that leaves nothing to worry about for heavy smokers making the switch. The G15 Smok stick offers refillable pods with a 0.8 Ohm built-in coil so you can top with your e-liquid when you like for added flexibility. These are super easy to fill and swap, slotting into place by a magnet and transparent so you know when you’re getting low. It’s auto-draw too so it mimics the action of smoking and you don’t need to press any buttons!
Best No Thrills Setup to Avoid E-Liquid Spills
You start vaping and it feels like a whole other world to smoking. So many choices to make before getting the perfect hit of nicotine satisfaction. You want to avoid the worst-case scenario of a relapse where your mind and body craves a cigarette because we all know the high risks it poses. Therefore, when switching as a heavy smoker, it’s important to start with an e-cigarette that helps to ease the transition and prevent that temptation. A smoker will not be used to coils, adjusting voltage, changing batteries or even e-liquids.
With your vape juice, it requires topping up at least once a week but in most cases for heavy smokers (at least initially), you’ll need to add e-liquid often. Most devices have pods or tanks that have a range of designs to top up your juice, ranging from top-fill, pouring into a side fill but with the XEO Void, we haven’t found a better straightforward design to add your e-liquid. All you have to do is unscrew the cap which contains the mouthpiece and fill the hole to no more than the max level. This sturdy vape with an ergonomic design is essentially leakproof and ideal for heavy smokers who will top up their device more often unless they use nic salts.
The Auto-Fire or Manual Option
What’s great about vaping that you would not get with smoking is versatility. You can not just control the amount of nicotine in your vape (although this is the most important factor) but you can adjust the settings on a wide range of devices. Doing this and tailoring your experience is a culture shock at the start for any heavy smoker.
With the Vinci 2 pod kit, what’s great about this option is the ability to press the fire button or auto-inhale. Just little criteria like that make all the difference for vapers. In addition, the Vinci 2 has a large 1500mAh battery so you have enough battery to last the day and a fully adjustable airflow system to get the right hit from your Vinci 2.
Best Vape With Nicotine Salts
Because former heavy smokers need to replicate a larger amount of nicotine in the system, many now turn to nic salt e-liquids as their go-to option. This is because of its smoother intake and faster at getting into the bloodstream for more efficient delivery of nicotine. What you need to get the full benefit of nicotine salt compared to traditional freebase nicotine is a low wattage device with a high resistance coil to support the thinner consistency of the e-liquid, which should have a ratio of at least 50PG/50VG but ideally a higher ratio of PG acting as the carrier. Combine that with a high battery capacity and it’s the perfect formula for nic salt vaping.
To tick all of these boxes is no mean feat but the Smok Stick N18 Kit does exactly that with a 1300mAh vape pen that’s convenient thanks to five fixed wattage settings and five safety function features.
You don’t want to vape too much nicotine in one day because it can make you feel nauseous so the idea with nic salts is to vape less often yet still get the high fix of nicotine. The N18 is easy to fill with a top fill design like many Smok kits while offering adjustable airflow and a max output of 30W for minimalist vapour. The best part of all - it’s compatible with the whole range of Smok Nord Coils so you can pick based on flavour preference! We advise vaping at 15W with the 1.4 Ohm coil when choosing a nic salt as a heavy vaper. This will help to keep the battery going longer and reduce the chance of burning the coils.
Best MTL and DTL Crossover Device
Everybody has a different goal when they become a vaper. For heavy smokers, it may be due to concerns about your health, the cost of smoking more than a pack a day, wanting to try something different or all of the above. Simple starter kits are usually the way to go when you first start vaping but that can quickly change if you’re feeling more adventurous and want to learn more about vaping. A crossover device like the Voopoo Drag X might be just what you’re after.
A seriously slick hybrid vape pod/mod kit, you can vape up to 80W with an enhanced Gene TT chip system, a wide range of PnP coils compatible with other Voopoo devices and adjustable airflow.
That way, you can pair different e-liquids, coils and airflow to find just the right hit for your vape at the best wattage.
Key Considerations for Heavy Smokers After Switching to Vaping
You have now seen our top choices of the best vape for a heavy smoker and are still undecided? It all comes down to personal preference, what you think is the most important factor to get your vaping experience underway. Because you’re used to smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day, nicotine intake will be crucial, along with the vaping technique you use (should be mouth to lung but this is discussed in greater depth below) and the battery life of your device. Let’s go through each consideration step by step for UK vapers.
Mouth to Lung or Direct to Lung - What’s the Difference?
First up, we have the vaping technique. Typically when heavy smokers switch to vaping, they will be used to mouth to lung vaping more than anyone. This technique is the drag all smokers are familiar with. What you do as second nature is inhaling the smoke into the mouth, hold for a few seconds and then into the lungs before exhaling back out. In contrast, direct lung vaping bypasses the mouth and goes straight down into the lungs before exhaling back out. The latter is a smoother process with a high VG e-liquid that’s popular with experienced vapers of a higher wattage seeking a looser draw.
Vaping Nicotine - All You Need to Know
As a heavy smoker, to begin with, you’ll want to get an equivalent amount of nicotine in the system to replicate cigarettes. While you will feel better short-term and long term by giving up tobacco and tar in the lungs as well as thousands of other chemicals, nicotine, although harmless on its own, is still an addiction you want to continue with. Vapers can select from a range of strengths in their liquid - nic salts at 2% or 20mg being the highest amount and 0.6% often being the lowest.
Because vaping is easier to inhale than smoking, you want to be careful not to vape too much nicotine in one go or throughout the day as it can still cause side effects such as nausea and headaches. Eventually, the aim should be to cut down your nicotine intake slowly, working towards vaping nicotine-free, which is possible with the right mindset, determination and willpower. We advise starting with a low powered device from the list above and working your way down from nic salts a small amount during the day to as close as possible 0% nicotine vape juice.
What’s the Ideal Battery Power for Heavy Smokers?
Even if you’re not a heavy smoker, we recommend a generous amount of battery capacity to fulfill your vaping needs daily. Depending on how much you vape, a decent battery ranges from 1000mAh up to 2000mAh+. What you want when switching from heavy smoking is convenience above all else, as you’re used to smoking and throwing it away and picking up another. Messing about with USB cables or external batteries may feel like a hassle so if you can charge up overnight using either power source and have enough to last the full next day that’s ideal. Opting for a single external battery 18650 device may be your best option initially because it will mean the device will not weigh too much or feel too uncomfortably big in the hand when vaping, as two batteries take up a large amount of space in most cases.
Is Replicating the Cigarette Throat Hit Possible With a Vape?
Smokers will nearly always seek out that throat hit that they know like the back of their hand. No throat hit can often be a deal-breaker when first starting with vaping, causing a dual use of cigarettes and e-cigs or completely going back to smoking. Therefore, it’s important to pick up a vape and pair it with an e-liquid that does just the trick.
What you need to do is find an e-liquid that’s a higher ratio of PG but at the very least 50PG/50VG. Alternatively, you could go for nic salts if you want a smoother sensation that still gives a bit of oomph on the back of the throat. Keep your vape at a low wattage and use a high resistance coil too, ideally above one Ohm.
Other Important Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking
Giving up heavy smoking for vaping is a no brainer, although a few sceptics remain. Larger clouds of vapour may feel different initially but it will be worth it in the long run as the cessation tool gives you a better chance of giving up smoking for good and reducing your nicotine levels. In addition to that, there are a few other notable benefits when weighing up smoking vs vaping:
·Second-hand vapour is much less dangerous than passive smoke
·Vaping saves you money on average compared to heavy smoking habits
·Thousands of different flavours e-liquids compared to traditional tobacco with cigarettes
·Varied styles and shapes to vape devices with some amazing technical features to keep heavy smokers interested
Important E-Liquid Considerations
As stated before, nic salts could be the solution for heavy smokers depending on what you want to get out of the vaping experience. For a quicker intake of nicotine that’s smoother on the throat, this is the best option. You also need to consider the ratio of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) that act as the carriers in the e-liquid. A higher ratio of PG will be thinner in consistency and provides a cooler vape while more VG creates thicker denser clouds of vapour that feel warmer in the throat. Keep experimenting with the ratio, nicotine strength and mix it up with different flavours till you find a good balance to avoid vaper’s tongue.
Take Away - Patience is a Virtue and Every Vaper is Different
The key is taking your time and finding the right balance to suit your needs as a heavy smoker. Vaping too much nicotine straight away or not finding the right device can stall your progression as you look to quit smoking for good. You can read all the information needed about starting to use a vape with our handy guides, walking you through every vital aspect from vaping equipment to important tips for maintaining your vape kits. No vaper is the same so it’s about discovering what works for you.