How to Use an E-Cigarette
You’ve done your research, ordered your first e-cigarette and it’s going to arrive any day now. Congratulations! Switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes after years of smoking was one of the most exciting experiences of my life and I can virtually guarantee that if you made a wise choice when choosing your product, you’re going to be extremely happy with the switch. During the couple of days while I waited for my first e-cigarette to arrive, I spent as much time as possible online researching how to use an e-cigarette. I found that people’s opinions sometimes differed on certain topics, but virtually everyone agreed that e-smoking has a bit of a learning curve and it can take a little bit of time before you learn how to have the best possible experience. This article is a basic guide that explains how to use an e-cigarette. I’m confident that this guide will help you get more vapor, superior flavor and a better sense of satisfaction from your new e-cigarette.
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[green_box]Tip: If you haven’t purchased your first e-cigarette yet, take a look at my article about the best e-cigarette for beginners to get a recommendation.[/green_box]
Charging the Battery
Most e-cigarette kits include USB chargers. They may also include chargers for wall outlets and car cigarette lighters, but in most cases these accessories have USB ports. This makes the USB charger one of the most important components in your e-cigarette kit — don’t lose it. To charge your e-cigarette battery, screw the end of the battery into the threaded port on the end of the USB charger. You can then connect the USB charger to your computer or a wall or car charger. Usually, the light on the e-cigarette battery blinks at this point to let you know it’s receiving power. Depending on the type of e-cigarette you’re using, the light on the battery or charger will turn off or change color when the battery is fully charged. Hopefully, you’re here learning how to use an e-cigarette while you wait.
[green_box]Tip: Most manufacturers recommend charging new lithium ion batteries completely before using them for the first time. With most e-cigarette batteries, this should take no longer than three hours. Many batteries charge in two hours or less.[/green_box]
A few e-cigarettes come with portable battery charging cases in addition to — or instead of — the traditional USB, wall and car chargers. Since your e-cigarette’s charging case has a battery of its own, you’ll need to charge it before using it to charge an e-cigarette battery. This is done by connecting the charging case to a USB port or wall outlet using the included cable. Most charging cases have indicators displaying the charge level of the internal battery. After charging the case, you can charge an e-cigarette battery by screwing it into the case’s battery threading and holding the button on the case until the display or indicator light blinks.
[green_box]Tip: An e-cigarette charging case is best utilized on the go, when your battery is dead and you can’t get to a USB port or power outlet. It’s generally unwise to buy an e-cigarette that includes no accessories other than a charging case, as cases charge batteries more slowly than USB ports or power outlets.[/green_box]
Using a Cartridge or Cartomizer
Your e-cigarette most likely uses one of two designs. It’s either a three-part e-cigarette with a battery, atomizer and hollow cartridge or a two-part e-cigarette with a battery and atomized cartridge or “cartomizer.” To connect a cartomizer, simply screw it into the threading at the top of your e-cigarette battery. To use a cartridge, locate the small metal atomizer included with your e-cigarette and screw it into the battery. Gently push a cartridge fully into or on top of the atomizer, and you’re ready to go.
[green_box]Tip: I strongly suggest choosing an e-cigarette that uses cartomizers if you’re buying your first starter kit. Cartomizers were developed more recently and produce more vapor than cartridges. They are also more reliable and resistant to leaking. VaporFi uses cartomizers or tanks, depending on the model, and is the e-cigarette company I recommend for beginners.[/green_box]
How to Use Your E-Cigarette
Your e-cigarette may include manual batteries, automatic batteries or both. I suggest choosing a kit with one of each, as this can help you decide which style you prefer. A manual battery requires you to press a button to produce vapor, while an automatic battery has a membrane that moves in response to air pressure when you puff. When you puff on an e-cigarette with an automatic battery, it should generate vapor immediately. If you buy an e-cigarette with an automatic battery, it’s always wise to look for the most sensitive battery possible. In my e-cigarette reviews, I always mention when an e-cigarette battery has a sensitivity problem as this makes learning how to use an e-cigarette difficult and unpleasant.
With a manual battery, you have complete control over how much vapor your e-cigarette produces. When you use one, the trick is to press the button just before you start puffing. This way, you inhale more vapor and less air. You can’t do that with an automatic battery, but you can pre-heat the e-cigarette’s heating element by taking a short puff followed by a longer one. Automatic batteries may be more fun to use, but manual batteries always produce more vapor.
[green_box]Tip: A real cigarette burns faster and produces more smoke when you take fast, hard puffs. This isn’t true of e-cigarettes. To get more vapor out of an e-cigarette, take long, slow puffs.[/green_box]
Replacing a Cartridge or Cartomizer
If the flavor quality or vapor production of your e-cigarette is diminished and the battery still has plenty of life left, it’s time to replace your cartridge or cartomizer. Simply unscrew the cartomizer or pull the cartridge off of the atomizer and replace it as I described at the top of this guide on how to use an e-cigarette.
Refilling a Cartridge or Cartomizer
Once you have a bit more experience and really understand how to use an e-cigarette, you might begin looking for ways to save money or start experimenting with new flavors. There are dozens of different e-liquid companies throughout the United States and the rest of the world that make their own e-cigarette liquids from scratch and have created some truly amazing flavors. Most e-cigarettes come with e-liquids made in China. These e-liquids are passable, but I encourage you to experiment with locally made products — I think you’ll enjoy them.
To refill an e-cigarette cartridge, simply pull it off of the e-cigarette and turn it so you can see the sponge on the inside. Add several drops of e-liquid from a bottle until the sponge appears wet and place it back on the atomizer. Eventually, the sponge will start to degrade. You may also see signs of leaking. This means it’s time to begin using a new cartridge.
If your e-cigarette uses a cartomizer, I recommend refilling it before it becomes completely dry. The hardest part about filling a cartomizer is getting the e-liquid down to the heating coil. A cartomizer that isn’t completely dry will still produce vapor, but you’ll notice that when you pry the cover off, the filler material at the top of the cartomizer will appear dry. Slowly add e-liquid to the filler material a few drops at a time until the filler material looks wet and replace the cover. Avoid the hole in the center of the cartomizer, as vapor needs to travel through the hole to reach your mouth.