The Wonderful World of Vaping

Version 2

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About E-cigs … But Didn’t Know What To Ask

Men and women of all ages and nationalities are enjoying the wonders of vaping. It appears that you are considering becoming (or have decided to be) one of us. Welcome!

This multi-part series began as an email to a smoker friend, whom I was attempting to convert to – what has become my all-consuming hobby and one of my greatest pleasures – vaping. I had referred him to the E-Cigarette Forum, but he was overwhelmed and found it difficult to wade through the myriad choices, details, and opinions. [ECF’s greatest strength (which I stole as the subtitle for this series) is its greatest weakness. You could earn a doctorate getting a handle on all that’s there!]

What follows is an expanded version of my attempt to guide him, providing (in one place) the overview I wish that I had had when I first started. It became a bit of a magnum opus … and I realized that it might have some use to other new or potential vapers.

[NOTE: The first version of this guide was originally created and posted on ECF in the fall of 2009. I am in the process of updating and enhancing it here (Parts I through IV  and most of Part V are now completed!), but it’s a herculean task. Please be patient. 🙂 Thanks!]

Here’s what we’ll be covering in this six-part series:

Table of Contents

Part I – The Wonderful World

Caveats and Jargon

Initial Concerns

  • Health – I present the facts … you decide
  • Cost – upfront = carton of cigs; ongoing = half the cost of smoking

What It Is … and Why to Do It

Part II – The Hardware

Three Components (sometimes just two)

Accessories: USB Passthroughs, PCCs, Car Chargers

Categories of e-cigs: Super-Minis / Minis / Penstyles / Mods / Fat Batts

Evaluation factors and Volts/Ohms/Watts

Part III – The Software and the Process

A. The Juice – What Vaping is All About

B. The Process – lots of tutorial videos here

Part IV – Purchasing Your First E-cig: The Little Guys

A. How to decide

B. Specific Recommendations and Supplier Links Based on Your Priorities

1. The Super-Minis – size and shape of an analog; frequent recharging

2. The Minis – better performance; somewhat longer; most popular

3. The Cartomizers – simple, convenient; Mini but more puffs per charge

Part V – Purchasing Your First E-cig: Big Guys and Juice

A. Specific Recommendations and Supplier Links – Big Guys

4. The Penstyles – less charging; good vapor, flavor, throat hit; long

5. Cigars & Pipesobvious choice for cigar/pipe smoker; consider…

6. Fat Batts – new high-mAh category: eGO, Riva, Hello 016, Elegant

7. The Mods – now over 100 models; explore using parameters:

Size and Shape

Voltage and mAh

Juice-fed … Switch … Price … Mods Wrap-up

B. The Juice – even more important than hardware; price per ml

  • How to Decide: China vs. US/UK juice / Nicotine Level / Flavors
  • Samplers: Where to get them / 10 ml Bottles

Part VI – During the Weeks and Months to Come

A. Supplies & Accessories:

  • Filling/Dripping/Dipping Supplies and Tools
  • Replacement Parts – attys and batts (manual/auto, sizes, mega)
  • PCCs and USB Passthroughs – why, by model, “true” vs. inline battery
  • Storage Containers – various sizes; multi-tier tackle and tool boxes
  • Carrying Cases – cases; PCC; flashdrive or diabetes supplies case
  • E-liquid – additional suppliers, e.g., Cignot and Tasty Vapor

B. DIY: Simple or Scratch Cook

  • Simple – combine premixed
  • Scratch Cook – hi-nic juice + cheap PG/VG + flavorings; tools; kits

C. Onward and Upward: Your Next E-cig – factors to consider; new models

D. Modding: Invent Your Own – lots of photos and videos

  • Cosmetic Mods – clip holders, markers, nail art, plastics, Etch-O-Matic
  • Cartridge Mods – fluval, pyramid tea bag, blue foam, spring mod
  • Atomizer Mods – staple mod, dual atty Shotgun, the Carlos Atomizer
  • Battery Mods – e.g., NicoStick and Cisco Laser Mod
  • Juice Injection – UPAC, Juice Box, mAhmba, skull mod

E. Wrapping Up

  • Campaigning – ECA, CASAA, ECF need your participation and support
  • Conclusion – so much more; acknowledgments; bon voyage, have fun!

I hope you enjoy and find value in this guide. Use it as a springboard for further exploration of this truly exciting world of vaping!


  1. Nick Orlando says:

    I think you are starting to see E Cigs become a real force in the smoking market now that you are seeing smoking being banned in public places.

    • Don says:

      I’ve not witnessed that myself in my personal experience, Nick. I still am the only vaper in the social settings I inhabit (other than when Eric and I have a luncheon meeting). But it makes sense and I do hear about more and more people vaping.

  2. songoku777 says:

    aloha! im new to vaping but almost a quarter of a century into analogs. i wanted to try PVs out. tried researching, most forums are honestly misleading, hard to understand, self centered & boring.. and made me more confused after i finish reading them.

    your page / site is different tho. i learned (and continuing to) learn a lot. i also like the way you write, not very stiff.. neither too vulgar. very good info. the examples, complete descriptions ..and of course VISUALS make it so simple and easy to learn. it gets the reader’s interest. plus your page / words / thoughts & illustrations have charisma.. thanks and keep it going!

  3. Cherokee Osborne says:

    I’m brand new to your site, referred by a lady friend. I know nothing of how to order, or exactly what to order as a first time buyer. I normally smoke 100 winston full flavor (red pack). I like the idea of NO chemicals & just nicitine only. So perhaps you could share what exactly I would need??? I’d like to replace my cig’s with your eletric cig’s. I normally smoke less then a 1/2 a pack a day. Trying with all my heart to quite with no real luck…….. I was told the price was $32.00 through the internet for 3 cartoons of eletric cig’s.??? So I truly would appreciate your sugguestions. I did look at your entire site & I’m just as lost as I was before I looked through it, sorry! Yes I have age on me….. Much appreciated.
    Blessings Cherokee

    • Don says:

      Thank you for joining us and asking your questions, Cherokee! [At 65, I also “have age on me.” :)]

      First: You cannot purchase three cartons of e-cigarettes (i.e., 600 of them) for $32 – on the Internet or elsewhere. Two e-cigs maybe. On the other hand, those two may last you the 60 days that three cartons of tobacco cigarettes would (at your pace of half a pack a day). You see, electronic cigarettes are long-term use hardware (basically a rechargeable battery and an atomizer), which vaporizes the “e-liquid” you put into the atomizer. [The e-liquid does need to be replenished … and the hardware doesn’t last forever.]

      Second: Electronic cigarettes are not mine or my partner, Eric’s (CyberWolf), any more than they are any of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who vape them. [“Vaping” is what we do with this vapor-generating e-cig, instead of “smoking” the burnt tobacco of a traditional cigarette.] We don’t even sell e-cigs. Eric and I just tell people about them and point to the scores (hundreds?) of suppliers, which do sell them.

      Third (before I finally provide the suggestions your requested): What I’ve just done so far is encapsulate a very small portion of the information contained in the first part of this WWV guide. You’ve posted your question on the first Introduction/Table-of-Contents page of the guide. I urge you strongly to read at least Part I, if not Parts II and III as well. Although vaping is simple and easy to do – and much more enjoyable and less health-damaging than smoking – it is very different from smoking. You really need to get an understanding of what it is … and isn’t. After that, read The “Best” E-Cig article. Don’t worry! It’s easy reading and with lots of illustrative pictures and even some videos.

      Now, finally: I recommend any of the following three e-cig models (and suppliers of them) for a new vaper:

      1. If you want the simplest, most convenient e-cig (with a size and shape closest to a Winston 100): Get the VOLT from Smokeless Image. It is the least expensive brand of the best version of the KR808D-1 model mentioned in that “Best” E-Cig article. The length of battery I’m about to recommend has 220 “mAh”. [mAh = milliamp hours, which determines how long you can vape before recharging the battery. Just think of it relative to the other two models I’ll recommend.]

      Standard Starter Kit” (and choose the 65mm batteries for total length e-cig virtually the same size as your Winstons and the “Smooth Sample – High” cartridges for a sampling of tobacco flavors at approximately the nicotine strength you are used to). The five cartomizers included in that kit will last you only about three days at your rate of smoking, so supplement the kit with a five-pack of blank cartomizers and a bottle of e-liquid in a flavor that sounds appealing.

      2. If you want much more mAh (750) – and to spend less money – and are open to an e-cig slightly longer and noticeably fatter, get the $30 Riva-510 kit (“Lite Bundle” version) from Liberty-Flights, plus an $8 five-pack of Smok Tech Cartomizers and a $13.60 30-ml bottle of E-Liquid (I suggest “USA-Mix” to start with).

      3. For something in between – 380 mAh and the same length as the Riva, but only slightly wider than the VOLT – get my current favorite: the $50 Elite 808 from CigEasy. Supplement with a $15 five-pack of blank cartomizers and three $5 10-ml bottles of e-liquid in different flavors (e.g., Winston, Easy-Boro-USA Mix, Flue Cured Tobacco).

      All those kits come with two batteries, a battery charger, and two “atomizers” or five “cartomizers.” You can get started with the first kit without having to insert any e-liquid, but the other two will require dripping in the e-liquid mentioned. [It’s easy and takes one to two minutes. The second half of Part III of the WWV shows you how to do it.]

      Enjoy the adventure! … And don’t hesitate to come back here (preferably to the Ask DaBoom & Wolf page) to ask more questions.

  4. Jackie Phillips says:

    My charger broke and I am lost without my Ego E-Cigarette. How can I buy another one? I have purchased other kinds of E-cigarettes and theu just don’t
    compare in any way to the eGo. I have called your office but only get recordings.
    Please help me.

    Jackie Phillips
    [phone number deleted by website administrator]

    • Don says:

      Jackie, I debated long and hard about your comment. You see, we have no office phone number (and therefore no recordings you could have listened to). And the fact that you included your phone number (which no one does and which I have edited out), led me to suspect that your note might be spam (and we get a lot of it, which we ensure never sees the light of day).

      But it’s a valid question, so let’s go with it:

      You can get an eGo charger from any supplier which carries the eGo (or the Riva) … that is, the vast majority of suppliers. Low-priced ones include: e-Vape ($5.60), Good Prophets ($7), Kalamazoo Vapor Shop ($7), and Liberty-Flights ($7.50).

      Obviously, e-Vape‘s $5.60 is the best deal “in town” (or anywhere else in the US, at least that I have found). I’ve included the other low-priced (and equally reliable) suppliers in case: e-Vape is out of stock … or you are purchasing other vaping products from them (where the eliminated dual shipping charges would more than make up for the small difference in price).

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