Beginners Guides

What are e-cigarettes?

Some of our suggestions to get you into the fantastic world of vaping.

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What kind of device do I need?

The Gen One Cigalike

The cigalike is a simple device and you will recognise it as being highly visible in your local stores. People chose them because they look like cigarettes, the initial cost and the convenience.

The downsides to these devices are that they are not very efficient at delivering flavour or vape when compared to other devices available. The battery in the cigalike is weaker and means a poorer quality experience.

With these devices you need to be aware that some are on sale at ridiculously cheap prices – those are the types of devices associated with the stories of things going wrong carried in the newspapers. When compared to the cost of smoking devices and juice are much cheaper, it doesn’t make sense to buy the cheapest items you can find.

Of those who claim to have tried vaping and gone back to cigarettes citing that the experience was unfulfilling most did so with a cigalike.

Surveys show that people who stick with vaping move quickly from these Gen.1 devices to the Gen Two products described below.

The Gen Two Device

This section of the market has expanded exponentially and covering every named device is impossible in this short article.

You will find almost every online or high street vendor carries a version of the Gen Two starter kit. Devices like the Twist, Evod, Protank and the Nautilus make ideal starter options for the new vaper. Not only are they simple in use but also changing the coils couldn’t be easier.

The Planet Of The Vapes forum contains many experienced vapers who can offer advice on the particular starter kit that you’re interested in. What you need to bear in mind tis that price is reflective of the construction of the unit – you will get a device that will perform better, last longer, be less prone to leaking and will probably come with a reliable charger.

Members of the forum will also be happy to share their experiences of vendors and who offers great aftersales service. Also, remember that many vendors offer a special discount to POTV members that can offer anything from 5-20% off your purchase.

These devices have improved so much recently that many vapers stick with them for the long-term and those experienced 3rd-Gen users often have one in the kit as a back-up or for a bit of stealth vaping.

The Gen Three Advanced Devices

Some Third Generation mods allow you to adjust the power, like the Provari and the DNA30, others are commonly referred to as “mech mods” offer a vast range of looks but rely on the user knowing a bit about safety with electricity.

You can read more about mechanical mods here.

The atomisers are bought in addition to the mod and run with a range of wick types, allowing for different wires to be used for the coils.

People go for these devices to push the quality of the vape and flavour to the max. Be careful though – once you start buying Gen Three mods you may find it hard to stop.



The mAh (milliampere-hour) rating of a battery indicates how long the manufacturer claims it will last for between charges. Remember that while your vaping battery is charging you will not be able to use it (except for some advanced mods). For this reason many vapers will tell you that you ought to always have a back-up to your back-up to your back-up.

Always keep an eye on your battery while it is recharging, take it off charge when it is indicated that the process has finished and always use a reliable, quality-made charging unit.

Lithium-ion batteries work by storing energy as part of a reversible chemical reaction; damaged batteries (ones that got very hot, physically damaged or covered in e-Liquid) should be disposed of at a recycling centre.



Clean all atomiser parts with luke warm water and allow to dry as wicks will retain water and make the juice taste diluted unless it is fully dried afterwards. You can speed up the process by dry burning the coil to vaporise the water contained in the wick.

*Do not wash your battery – electricity and water are not friends*

You can clean the contact on the battery with some tissue or a cotton bud – some isopropanol alcohol can be used as it will evaporate quickly. A clean contact area allows electricity to flow better which gives a better vape.



You will need an e-Liquid to pop into your atomiser. Remember that bit about back-ups? It works here too. You can’t vape what you’ve run out of.

What is the best e-Liquid to buy? The one you enjoy the most. There’s nothing for it but to accept that you are embarking on a flavour journey.

As with all cheap products, there is little in the way of control over what goes into the budget brands and you want to avoid all liquids that don’t state they are free of diacetyl.

Some people find that their throat dries out; it is advised that you keep hydrated while vaping to avoid this. A small minority of vapers have a reaction to the “PG” component in the e-liquid; it is possible to find high “VG” concentration liquids to use instead.

Higher VG concentrations tend to produce more ‘cloud’ but they wick slower so with more basic devices you may find you have to take fewer vapes and may have to increase your nicotine content.

As for the other sections – the Planet Of The Vapes forum and the other members will provide you with a huge volume of information.

Toby Kilroy avatar

Toby Kilroy

Writer at POTV
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Toby has been vaping since early 2012 and has used an array of devices and kit in that time. He sometimes writes up reviews but is often found with his head stuck in pages of code with a confused smile on his face. Toby also helps run his wife's site and has two children. He sometimes fondly remembers having free time and occasionally manages to sneak away to put his head into a good book!

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