Understanding what kind of equipment to buy is critical when first starting out
When we first started OffBeat and Unique, there were very few actual stores that sold electronic cigarettes and fewer still that were dedicated to that purpose. Most ordering and education was done online. Easy as that may seem to be, many first-time e-cigarette users were left to their own devices with the sometimes daunting task of which setup was right for them. OffBeat and Unique was created to not only carry BetTer Electronic Cigarettes, liquids and accessories, but to educate and support our customers with all of their vaping needs – from stone beginners to seasoned aficionados looking for the latest mods and everything in-between.
The use of an electronic cigarette (“vaping”) is one of the best alternatives (or “analogs” for) to traditional smoking available. The purpose of this article is to provide you with a good jump on the information you will need to make an informed decision in your first step to vaping and quitting traditional cigarettes for good. While at first glance, the sheer number of products can be mind-boggling, rest assured that by the end of this article, you will be familiar with all of the equipment, liquid and accessory options to be absolutely comfortable choosing the right setup for you.
When choosing the best electronic cigarette for you, here is a list of some of the things you will want to consider:
How long… Decide if vaping is going to be a short term or long term activity for you. What are your goals? Do you just plan on vaping for 3 to 6 months to help you quit smoking? Or do think this will become a hobby of yours and you plan on vaping for the foreseeable future? This is important – it will help you set goals and expectations as well as a budget, giving you a strong sense of what type of electronic cigarette to start with.
How much… It’s all about the dollar bills, right? Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for, and e-cigs are no different. If you plan on vaping as a means to help you quit smoking, a starter kit in the $40-$90 range would likely be ideal. These kits are generally comprised of a smaller rechargeable battery (The G6 cigalike and cartridge setup or the tank-style Vision Spinner II or an iTaste VV), the charging system and a tank (in this case, a mini Protank 3 or an Aspire ET-S). The cartridge, cartomizer or tank is the heart of the operation, the most critical part as it will dictate things like taste, mouth, throat and lung feel and vapor volume. If you plan vaping for a long time, a feature rich, more durable and customizable e-cigarette (such as a Provari), is the way to go. These are the top of the line and can range anywhere from $150 to $250.
How often… Along with your end goal, how you plan to use it daily is a major factor in choosing your first e-cig. Will you be using your electronic cigarette just a few minutes at a time during work breaks throughout the day or you will be puffing away every chance you get? Sometimes its hard to know. In this case, the disposable cartomizers in conjunction with a G6 battery are a great way to start, and their price range of $5 – $10 makes them ideal if you’re unsure or just planning on using it during a social gathering. Generally, a pack-a-day smoker will go through one cartridge per day and need to charge their battery at some point throughout the day.
In the $40-$90 range, you will have a realistic battery range of half to one full day use, if used as you would typically use an analog cigarette. Higher-end electronic cigarettes will have a larger battery capacity, therefore allowing you to vape more throughout the day and/or go more days between battery charges.
What kind… Once you have decided how you plan to use your new electronic cigarette, you will need to decide which platform will give you the best experience for that use. Did you realize there are only two general types of electronic cigarettes? There are one-piece disposable e-cigarettes and tank-style, refillable e-cigs, each with its own features and advantages.
Broken down to the basics:
With their low cost, ease of use and low maintenance, disposables are a great way to start. Though somewhat limited in battery life and offer fewer choices of flavors and strengths.
Tank style e-cigs require a bit more maintenance, but allow you to dial in the exact flavor and nicotine strength People who want more control and adaptability from their electronic cigarette experience prefer re-fillable, tank style e-cigarettes.
Where to buy… These days, you can easily buy electronic cigarettes, e-liquids and accessories both in your local store and online, each option with their own pros & cons. Online prices are generally slightly lower and can be great way to order when you know exactly what you want.
Your local e-cig store can help you choose an electronic cigarette to fit your needs, but their prices are often slightly higher than online. When purchasing from a local shop, you support your local community in a major way. Local shops can also offer you professionals whose experience can save you money in the long run – they’ll assist with all manner of issues and questions most people face when starting out. And when starting out, you just can’t beat the face to face experience. Additionally, Offbeat and Unique also provides “How To” videos at Offbeat and Unique University. These videos will show you the step by step the process we go through with each and every customer and what you can expect when you come down to see us.
Where will you be vaping… When out at a bar or restaurant, you’ll probably love the discreet appearance of cartridge style electronic cigarettes. Built to look like traditional cigarette, down to a glowing (red, blue, green etc) tip. At work and don’t want to draw attention to yourself? Cartridge style electronic cigarettes could also be a great fit. Simple, familiar and comfortable.
Of course, if you want to enjoy the complete e-cig experience and don’t mind or even encourage the curiousity about what you are doing – by all means go with the refillable liquid and customization of the tank-style e-cigs.
Do your friends use e-cigs… If you have friends who are already using e-cigarettes and will be vaping with others, you’ve probably already got a good idea of what you are looking for. You’ll find that vaping is an incredibly social experience, and everyone loves to share their favorite mods, flavors and tips. You’ll be more likely to use a tank style electronic cigarette as you begin to recommend, share and find new types of liquids yourself.
Do you like simplicity or are you a tinkerer… If you want the simplicity of plug and play with no desire to tweak or mod your e-cig, then stick with either cartridge style or tank style e-cigarettes up to the $60 range. Some cartridge style electronic cigarettes are “auto” cigs and will automatically turn on when drawn on, turn off when you stop – the ultimate in simplicity and traditional feel. E-cigs in this range are generally no more techie than an on/off switch. And if you are a tinkerer – or even just want more in the way of customization – go with a tank style electronic cigarette and adjust your vaping experience to your exact specifications.
How strong… One of the great things about electronic cigarettes is that you can choose your nicotine strength. Unlike regular cigarettes where nicotine strength is gradually increased to keep you from quitting smoking, e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes allow you to control the nicotine strength in your vape without sacrificing flavor. This is perfect for someone trying to reduce dependency on traditional cigarettes. If you’ve been a heavy smoker for many years, you can start vaping with a strong nicotine strength to match your previous smoking patterns. Then, once cigarettes have been replaced by an e-cig, you can gradually decrease the nicotine strength at your own pace. This just isn’t possible with regular cigarettes. With e-liquids you choose your nicotine strength in a way that will help to achieve your goals.
Which flavor… With e-liquids, there are thousands of different flavors to choose from. Literally thousands. Of course, there are your more traditional tobacco and menthol flavors, and many people do start out with those. But there so many more options to branch out with from there. From liqueur flavored to fruit flavor to dessert flavors and almost anything in-between, and most come in a wide range of nicotine strengths. You can even find limited-edition, custom mixes or mix some of your own favorites for a truly personal and unique vaping experience.
Are you ready to start vaping… Now that you have a better understanding of what vaping is, the benefits of e-cigarettes and the multiple options available to suit your needs, all that is left is to take the plunge. We understand that it is sometimes hard and maybe even a little bit overwhelming to make the choice to give something so familiar and comforting for something new and different. Change is hard. But come to Offbeat and Unique or have a look at this helpful guide and we’ll help get you set up with the proper equipment to best suit your comfort level, and make sure you are well-educated and happy with your choice, ready to begin a new phase of life.
We’ve helped hundreds of people put down their traditional cigarettes and make a smooth transition to vaping. Let Offbeat and Unique help you today!