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How To Use a Vape Pen Properly

December 20, 2023

If you're new to vaping, you might be feeling confused. There are so many vape pens and ways to use them that it can all be overwhelming. 

The good news is that the process is simple once you know how vaping works. That means understanding how the device is powered and creates the vapour that you inhale. 

On top of that, you'll need to know about the most common types of inhalation techniques like Mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct lung (DL). 

In this guide, we'll cover everything about using a vape pen properly, including how it works and how to inhale a vape pen using each technique. 

How Does a Vape Work?

Vaping is when you use a handheld device to inhale e-liquid and nicotine. It is similar to traditional cigarettes, but the inner workings of the vape heats the tiny particles out of a liquid instead of burning tobacco. 

When the device heats the e-liquid, it creates a vapour that you exhale. 

Vapes are usually activated either by inhaling through the mouthpiece or by a button. Generally, once you activate the device, the battery sends the power to an atomizer, which heats the coil and vaporizes the e-liquid. This all happens instantaneously, so you immediately inhale the vapour when activated. 

The Power Source

Vape pens are often powered by rechargeable batteries (except disposable vapes) that provide the electrical energy to heal the coil, vaporize the e-liquid, and produce the vapour you inhale. 

Most devices use a lithium-ion battery since they can be recharged multiple times. 

Vapes have varying levels of battery capacity, voltage and wattage depending on the type of vape and how much power they need to consume. 

For instance, the most common types of vape pens are: 

  • E-cigarettes 
  • Vape pens
  • Pod vapes
  • Box mods 
  • Tube mods 

Low-power devices like e-cigarettes, vape pens and pod vapes often use lithium batteries. On the flip side, high-powered box mods and mechanical mods need bigger batteries like the 18650, 20700 or 21700 batteries. They may have adjustable power of over 200 watts. 

The higher wattage in those batteries allows for increased vapour production. That's because more power is supplied to the coil so that it can heat the e-liquid more quickly and produce a larger aerosol. 

Also, more power means a stronger throat hit and flavour intensity. 

The Vapour Source

At the heart of vaping comes down to the e-liquid you choose, and that can vary depending on the device you use since it needs to be compatible. 

Vape juices contain a mix of base, flavouring, and nicotine. The base contains propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), which determines the flavour, vapour production, and smoothness of the inhalation. 

Your vaping unit uses a tank or atomizer to store the e-liquid. This part is connected to the device, and inside, it contains a heating element like a metal coil, along with the vape juice and cotton wick. 

When you inhale a puff, the coil instantly goes to work and heats the liquid on the wick, making the smoke-like vapour you inhale. Over time, you'll have to switch out the coil in the vape setup. 

After several days or weeks, you may start noticing a dip in the flavour, which could also provide a not-so-great experience. 

If you're getting a vape setup, think about how you want your vape juice stored.

  • Pre-filled pods, cartomizers, and cartridges: These are super handy and easy to carry. You replace all the tank components with each pod, so there's less upkeep. Since they come pre-filled with e-liquid, you don't have to worry about refilling or handling separate bottles. The best manufacturers, like RELX, offer a wide range of flavours that fit exactly with their collection of vape pens, so you can easily swap out pods and test out all of the flavours that are your favourites. 
  • Refillable atomizers: These are reusable, so they’ll be able to be utilized over and over again. More advanced options like sub-ohm tanks have coils you can swap out, while pods, cartridges, and cartomizers may need replacing after several refills.
  • Rebuildable tanks: Rebuildable tanks for vaping are devices that allow users to build and install their own coils. These tanks have a reservoir for e-liquid, and vapers can customize their vaping experience by experimenting with different coils and wicking materials.

Make sure the atomizer you pick matches your vape mod; fitting them together is only part of it. You should also check that their coil resistance and power work well together.

The coils in your vape can come in various resistance levels, which are labelled in ohms. Generally, if they’re less than 1.0 ohm, they’re categorized as low-resistance coils and can generate larger vapour clouds. These are often left to more seasoned vapers. Resistance coils with over 1.0 ohm are designed for smaller and discreet vapour clouds. 

Also, keep in mind that each e-liquid will have its own nicotine content, so make sure you pick the ones that fit your vaping preferences. For instance, here are a few common nicotine levels that you'll usually find in most vape devices:

  • Nicotine-Free (0 mg/ml): No nicotine is in the e-liquid. It's great for people who like vaping for the flavours without the addictive properties of nicotine. 
  • Low Nicotine (1 mg/ml - 6 mg/ml): This is for those who want a bit of nicotine or are trying to cut down. It's perfect for casual or social vapers.
  • Medium Nicotine (9 mg/ml - 16 mg/ml): Just right for moderate vapers used to a bit stronger nicotine feeling. It is often chosen by people switching from regular cigarettes to vaping.
  • High Nicotine (18 mg/ml - 36 mg/ml): This is typically picked by heavy smokers.

How To Inhale a Vape Properly

Now that you know all about how vapes work, you need to know how to inhale a vape properly. There are three primary ways to do so. 

1. Mouth-to-lung 

Mouth-to-lung vaping is the go-to method for new vapers. When you MTL vape, you take a slow breath, bringing the vapour into your mouth, pause for a moment, and then open your mouth to breathe the vapour into your lungs before exhaling.

Here's how to perform the MTL method:

  1. Hold the vape button and pull the vapour into your mouth for a bit.
  2. Let go of the button and keep the vapour in your mouth a little longer.
  3. Open your mouth and breathe (don't swallow!) the vapour into your lungs.
  4. Breathe out.

MTL inhalation works well with devices that have a tighter draw, providing a more intense throat hit and higher nicotine levels. Because this vaping style closely mirrors how people smoke cigarettes, it's ideal for beginners.

2. Direct Lung 

DTL vaping, also known as sub-ohm vaping, involves inhaling vapour directly into the lungs, similar to a regular breath. Unlike MTL vaping, there's no need to hold the vapour in the mouth to increase its density.

Here's how you would perform a direct-lung inhale:

  1. Press your vape button and take a quick breath, sending the vapour directly into your lungs without holding it in your mouth.
  2. Breathe out almost right away after inhaling.
  3. You may want to continue breathing in for a second after releasing the button to ensure all the vapour goes into your lungs. 

Achieving sub-ohm vaping requires low-resistance coils and high-powered devices. Since this method differs from inhaling cigarette smoke, it might take some adjustment and is typically favoured by experienced vapers.

3. Cigar Puffs on a Vape 

Cigar puffs on a vape are when you mimic the style of puffing a cigar. It focuses on taking longer and slower draws so that you can savour all the flavour. 

Here's how to do it:

  1. First, you'll need a vape with adjustable airflow for a mouth-to-lung inhale. You may also want to set the airflow to a tighter setting for resistance and opt for a tobacco-flavoured e-liquid. 
  2. Then, inhale slowly, savouring the flavour in your mouth. 
  3. Release the vapour slowly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Times Do You Press a Vape Pen?

The number of times you press a vape pen to activate it all depends on the device itself. Some vapes activate with a button, and you'll need to press the button a few times to turn it on and another few times for the oil to heat. 

Final Thoughts

Vaping has certainly grown in popularity over the years. It's more important than ever to know how to vape properly and follow all the best practices to avoid the many pitfalls beginners make. 

That said, you now have the basics of how to use a vape pen under your belt. The next step is to make sure you have a high-quality vape device. RELX offers a wide range of premium vape pens, all designed to provide a super smooth performance so that you enjoy a great experience from the first puff to the very last. Try RELX today and feel the difference that our devices bring.

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