What is Vaping? What is an electronic cigarette?  Is it really helping people quit?  Is it even healthy?

Anyone new to the world of Vaping has similar questions.  Trying to find legitimate answers online can be confusing and at times disparaging.  Sorting through the real answers and eliminating the bogus information cleverly disguised as marketing materials is quite an undertaking.  Everyone that works at East Coast Vapers has been there.  We’ve all been smokers, some for almost four decades, and we’ve all kicked the habit thanks to vaping.

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While no long term studies have been made to safely claim vaping is healthy, everyday there is more and more research being undertaken whose preliminary results do indeed point towards the short term benefits of quitting smoking and beginning to vape.  Let’s just say that vaping is a healthier lifestyle alternative to smoking whose long term benefits will eventually be proven.  Instead of inhaling 4000+ chemicals from a cigarette, as well as the tar and carcinogens released when the tobacco is burned, vapers inhale a clean water vapor created by the superheating of a glycerin based fluid that contains nicotine.

So, you’re looking for a smoking alternative, but you’re not sure how e-cigarettes work.  Let’s start there.

There are a number of variations and definitions of what electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vaporizers, etc) are and look like. From the simple NJoy or Blu style cig-a-like’s to larger eGo style batteries, to even larger APV’s (Advanced Personal Vaporizers, often called Mods)- all function in the exact same way.
An electronic cigarette, e-cig, or APV, iis simply a rechargeable lithium battery attached to a device that contains a heating element (called an atomizer) which superheats and vaporizes a glycerine based liquid that can contain nicotine, if you wish, (called e-liquid or e-juice, or simply juice) and some kind of e-liquid chamber (a tank or cartridge). In most simple electronic cigarettes, the atomizer and e-liquid cartridge are combined into one device called a cartomizer. You’ll find cartomizers on the cig-a-likes, such as NJoy or Blu. As e-cig’s create water vapor and not smoke, people that use these devices refer to themselves as Vapers. The act of inhaling a vapor is simply referred to as Vaping.


Using an e-cig or APV is extremely simple, possibly easier than smoking! There are two variations of electronic cigarettes: A “manual” electronic cigarette has a button which activates the heating element allowing you to take a puff of the superheated and vaporized juice, and, an “automatic” e-cigarette activates the heating element when you take a puff from the device. The former is what most Vapers use, while the latter is excellent for those just quitting smoking as it closely mimics the actions of smoking.


So, if you think about it, an automatic electronic cigarette is easier to use than a real cigarette or “analog” cigarette, since you don’t have to light it. Just take a drag like you would on an analog cigarette. Even a manual electronic cigarette isn’t much more complicated. The only difference is you’re pressing on a comfortably positioned button while you take the drag off the device.


What exactly is in the vapor? It’s not smoke as nothing is being burned. The juice that is used to create these vapors consist of 3 or 4 components- vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, food extract flavorings, and for those that want it, nicotine. There is no ash, no tar, no carcinogens- byproducts of something being burned, as is found in cigarettes.

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Vaping is simple. As described above, only a few components are needed- some liquid to produce a vapor, and something to create the vapor. And of course, a vaper to enjoy it! Easy, right?


What most people tend to start with due to the huge market exposure is the Blu or Njoy style cig-a-like’s. You’ve seen them at Wal-Mart, in 7-11, in the news, and across all different types of advertising media. For the most part, these cig-a-likes tend to be very disposable self contained units. The components in them don’t tend to last that long, or the rechargeable batteries only last a month. Most vapers all start with something like this- it’s easy, it’s quite inexpensive, and we start realizing that we can replace our smoking habit with something else.


These tiny self contained cig-a-likes have a very minimal battery life, which is probably the greatest flaw of them. What use is it after it runs out of batteries in 45 minutes and you feel like smoking? Generally, the larger the battery, the longer the battery life. With an APV (remember, that refers to Advanced Personal Vaporizers, or, Mods) a battery is used that is removable and rechargeable. It can be taken out, and replaced with a freshly charged battery. You did know that most Vapers tend to have a few fully charged batteries on them at all times didnt you?




A milli-amp hour is a unit for measuring electric power over time. It’s used to describe the total amount of energy that a battery can store at one time. The lower the mAh of your battery, the less time you’ll have to vape with. Cig-a-likes generally fall into the 150 mAh range. This gives you about 45 – 70 minutes of vaping time, depending on how deep you inhale, and number of consecutive inhales over a short period of time.


An eGo style battery, or pen-style, is the next step up from the cig-a-like’s. eGo’s range from 350 mAh to 1600 mAh. Over the years, as the numbers of Vapers have grown, demand has risen for higher mAh’s, and suppliers have introduced newer batteries with greater mAh’s. Keep in mind, the eGo style battery is still self contained in a metal tube, that you can’t normally remove the battery to charge it, but instead charge it via a USB cable.


Advanced Vapers use APV’s, or mods, with removable batteries. Generally, these batteries are lithium-ion based, slightly larger than a AA size battery (18mm x 65mm), and have a mAh rating of 2600…and this would be a “18650”. While there are different sizes (18490, 26650), this type of Li-On battery is usually what powers most APV’s.


One thing to keep in mind- almost every Vaper who quits smoking with the use of electronic cigarettes goes from a cig-a-like, or, pen-style vaporizer to an APV within a few weeks.


We know what Vaping is… We know what Vapers are. We need juice to produce a vapor, and a battery to superheat the juice. What makes it work? Science!


Vaporizers of any type operate on an extremely simple and easy theory, power meets resistance = heat.


Think of a flashlight. It needs power (a battery), a light bulb (resistance device), and a switch or a button (to establish the circuit). When you flip the switch or press the button of a flashlight, you complete the circuit between the battery and the bulb, allowing electricity to flow through the resistance wire inside the bulb, creating (minimal) heat, and producing light.


The same theory works with any vaporizer. A button is pressed to establish the circuit between the battery and the resistance wire found in the coil (of the cartridge, tank, or rebuildable device) which is wrapped around a wicking material (cotton, ekowool, rayon, etc) that superheats (up to 375F) and vaporizes the juice in the wicking material. As you inhale the vapor, more juice is suctioned into the wicking material.


Simple, right?


Battery + coil + wick + juice = vapor!


These components can be selected and modified by the Vaper to provide the best vaping experience for them. Everyone’s different. Some may prefer one type of wicking material over another, some prefer the taste of one juice over another, some prefer one brand of battery to another brand, and the number of coils that can be used or created is staggering!


Simply put, e-juice, or just juice, is the liquid that produces a vapor after being superheated to 350F.  It can be dripped into a rebuildable atomizer, it can be put into a Kanger or Aspire type tank.  It doesnt have to contain nicotine, but those using vaporizers as a smoking cessation method tend to buy their juice with nicotine, then gradually decrease their intake.

Juice is usually sold by nicotine levels:

  • 0% for those that have no nicotine,
  • 3% (0.3 mg/ml) for those almost done with their nicotine addiction,
  • 6% (0.6 mg/ml),
  • 12% (1.2 mg/ml),
  • 18% (1.8 mg/ml), usually for those that smoked a pack a day
  • 24% (2.4 mg/ml), for those that smoked  1 1/2 to 2 packs a day
  • 36% (3.6 mg/ml) for very heavy smokers.


Juice is generally composed of 4 ingredients:

  • propylene glycol,
  • vegetable glycerin,
  • flavoring,
  • nicotine

The flavorings that are contained in juice are usually the same type of flavorings that can be added to a cake, or used in baking.  The are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and have been FDA approved.  Actually, the 4 ingredients in juice have all been individually approved by the FDA.

Juices, Batteries, Mods, Tanks or Drippers… when combined, you have a healthier lifestyle alternative to smoking.  Many have used this simple formula to quit smoking for good.  When pills, lozenges, patches, hypnotherapy, and cold turkey havent worked, vaping usually does.

Vaping mimics the hand to mouth action smokers have become accustomed to.  It delivers a throat hit that smokers are used to from their cigarettes.  It also delivers the nicotine their body has become addicted to.  Since you’re not burning anything when vaping, there are no carcinogens or tar as with smoking.  When you start to vape, your body starts to heal itself from the negative effects of smoking.  You begin to smell and taste again.  you regain lung capacity and can breathe deeper without wheezing and coughing.  You can walk up stairs without getting winded.  Vaping is changing lives around the globe- isn’t it time you tried it?