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. Bruce Alexander says:

    Absolutely spectacular, Don!
    I was in exactly your shoes…going to write an email to my step daughter and her hubbie about vaping and the stuff required when I ran across your guide. Could not have done a better job if I had quite a long time to do it!
    Now I just put in a link to your guide and added my thoughts in the email…couldn’t be better.

    Thanks for the effort and the wit!

  2. Rich Gavina says:

    I find this guide not only helpful for those starting out on the vaping path away from smoking, but for those in my circle who haven’t a CLUE what I’m talking about when I say that I vape now…that I don’t smoke cigarettes. It doesn’t hurt that you get even more granular with details so there’s no stone unturned…and if there were, there’s always the ECF 🙂

    Thanks again – R

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