Approximate reading time: 10 minutes

How to Avoid Beginner Mistakes When You First Try Vaping

Vaping is widely regarded as the easiest way to quit smoking, but such an easy task can be tricky for beginners.

The most common mistakes occur when you first try vaping and can even start with the way we inhale the vapour.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) can be difficult to understand at the beginning, too many settings, different coil types, leakages amongst many other issues which make vaping a touch daunting.

So, before you get your hands on that delicious e-liquid you just bought, or to solve a small issue you just encountered when vaping for the first time, let’s talk about the six most common mistakes people make when they vape for the first time.


Dry Hits

When you buy your first vaporiser or e-cigarette, you will receive an atomiser (aka tank) with an assembled coil; that’s basically the metal piece inside the atomiser that receives a current and heats up the cotton, which has soaked up the juice to produce the flavour and smoke.

And of course, you are excited, you get the device out of the box, fill in the tank and turn it up… only to find a terrible burnt cotton taste, this is what’s known as dry hit that will make your throat feel raspy, and make your face cringe.

When your device is brand new, you will need to completely saturate the cotton. Which means you have to remove the coil from the tank and soak the exposed cotton with juice, thereby wicking the cotton and putting a drop or two of your favourite e-liquid in the centre to make sure the cotton is ready.

It is not enough to simply fill the tank because it takes a few minutes for the cotton to absorb enough liquid, and we know you don’t really want to wait that much to start vaping.

Now you have started on the right foot, but before you go and take a full hit you still need to break in your primed coil. This is a general guide because of the variety of coils and tanks on the market.

Firstly, your newly primed coil will have an optimum wattage range, meaning that the sweet spot for flavour and vapor production lies somewhere within this range.

Start taking short hits below the recommended vaping wattage, allowing the coil enough time within pulls to wick, and slowly let the coil heat the cotton, and slowly increase the wattage to the recommended range.

Don’t forget to check for air bubbles rising to the top of the tank as this is proof that the coil is wicking correctly.

Remember to never rush the priming and breaking in of your coil, you only have to do this process once for each new coil you use, otherwise you will be vaping for hours and the dry hit will come back to haunt you.

So, make sure the cotton is always wet and that the coil is not burnt, if they both end up like this, simply change it.

If you have DIY re-buildable coils, you can assemble a new one and replace the burnt cotton in less than 10 minutes.

Basically, never let the liquid run out completely, and change your coils when necessary.


Vaping Like You Were Smoking a Cigarette


This is the second most common mistake when vaping for the first time. Remember, vaping and smoking are totally different.

Maybe you haven’t considered how to inhale vapour when you are so used to smoking cigarettes, but there’s a huge difference between that and a vaporiser’s smoke.

With regular cigarettes, you first inhale the smoke to your mouth and then it goes through your lungs.

With an electronic cigarette, you can do this, of course, but at the beginning it will make you cough a lot because the vapour is denser than regular smoke.

People often describe it as if their throats rejected the vapour immediately and that’s why they cough.

To get the best result possible with a vaporiser it is better if you take a long soft inhale that goes directly to your lungs. If you vape otherwise, you can get used to it but you won’t create a nice cloud of vapor.

Passing the vapour straight into the lungs gives you a better taste of your e liquid and allows you to exhale lots of vapour clouds.

If you try to do this the first time and still end up coughing, don’t worry, it happens to all of us because we are not used to it. Simply keep trying and find the most comfortable inhaling method.

Short advice: if you get a dry hit or you inhale the vapour incorrectly, your throat can feel a little irritated, it is better to drink a sip of water or to let it cool down for a little while before trying to inhale again, otherwise there’s a high chance you will cough again because your throat is irritated.


Not Washing the Tank or Not Replacing the Cotton Often

There are thousands of e-liquids available, you can find regular flavours like fruits, chocolate, minty flavours, and more; but you can also find strange combinations like fruits with creams, coffee and alcoholic drinks, etcetera.

People who vape want to taste as many flavours as possible, especially if they are new to this practice.

But sometimes they end up buying extremely different flavours that they want to taste one after the other, and by the third one you try without cleaning the tank or the cotton, the experience can be very unpleasant.

If you, for example, buy an e-liquid that tastes like watermelon and want to try a cherry flavour after it, it won’t be so dramatic to keep using the same coil or not washing the tank, since they are both fruity flavours.

Maybe you will still get traces of watermelon when you change to cherry, but if you go from watermelon to coffee… the residual flavour will taste weird.

Our recommendation is to buy similar flavours the first time, and then if you feel more adventurous, remember to wash the tank and to change the cotton of DIY coils after using strong flavours.

Also, beware of mixing flavours on purpose. Many people like to mix fruity flavours with minty e-liquids, it’s extremely refreshing and a great idea to do this, but if you want to get rid of the minty essence that’s left in the cotton or tank, better change it and wash it as it’s going to stay there for a while.


Using the Wrong Nicotine Strength

Most vapers are vaping to quit smoking, and a good way to accelerate this process is buying e-liquids with nicotine.

You can find nicotine concentrations between 1mg to 20mg, heavy smokers should not start vaping with the highest nicotine concentration available.

First of all, nicotine strength can influence the flavour of your e-liquid, on its own it possesses little taste but is still able to modify the flavour. (However, this only holds true for freebase nicotine, and not nic salts).

A direct consequence of high nicotine concentrations is coughing much more than you would with a smaller nicotine strength.

We don’t want you to waste your money, instead, we want you to have an amazing experience when vaping for the first time, so if you are a heavy smoker, try to choose e-liquids between 12mg to 20mg of nicotine, as a test.

Once you feel comfortable with it, you can decrease the levels to 9mg, 6mg and 3mg, which is the standard measure especially when using sub ohm liquids.

If you are not a strong smoker, you can jump directly to liquids between 1mg to 6mg.

If you are not entirely sure which level is right for you, you can talk about it with your vape store, or send us a quick message as we’d love to help (or check out our FAQ section at the end of this article, which holds lots of useful information before you buy).

We can’t tell you how long it will take you to decrease the nicotine levels in your e liquids, it depends strongly on how much you smoke regularly and how comfortable you feel with the level you have at the moment, but that’s the beauty of vaping, you can control everything you do, down to the concentration of nicotine you are inhaling.

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the taste, the throat hit and the sensation from the nicotine concentration that you have chosen.

We want you to feel satisfied to avoid reaching for another “last cigarette”.


Buying Too Many Vaping Items & Equipment


When you start vaping you want to make sure you have all the right items and accessories to enjoy the experience to the maximum, but it is better if you only choose the items that are strictly necessary at first.

What you will need is a good vape tank. There are many devices out there designed for different types of users, but if you are just starting out, we recommend you to go for beginners’ kits or medium range equipment.

They are not the best, but they are good enough for you to feel comfortable and to learn how to use them properly, without breaking the bank.

You shouldn’t buy 5 liquids the first time, but most importantly, do not buy the biggest e-liquid bottles you can find. You still don’t know how to vape properly and you don’t know for sure if you will like the flavours.

We strongly recommend you to purchase two liquids of 10ml size, as that will be enough to learn how to vape and to see which kind of flavours you are really into. And of course, if you are buying two e-liquids, try to buy related flavours so you won’t have to clean the device every time you want to vape a different flavour.

If you buy a DIY coil, make sure you also buy high quality Japanese cotton and coils to replace the old ones.

Oh, and do not jump into buying batteries or e-cigarette kits to assemble coils. Test the one you have already, see how you feel about it, how it works, and if there’s something you are not entirely convinced about.

After truly testing your vaporiser and e-liquids, then you can decide if you need a different one.


Smoking Where It’s Not Allowed

Vaping is not smoking. Trust us, we get it. But not everyone else does.

One of the advantages of vaping is not leaving a trace of that terrible cigarette smoke wherever you pass by, but not everyone is 100% comfortable with how e-liquids smell or with how much vapour smoke they release.

Of course, the smell of any e-liquid is better than a cigarette smell, but you must also think that not everyone is into the scent you like, so they may still feel uncomfortable and ask you to stop vaping.

Besides, you will produce heavy clouds of vapour, and that may not be well received by the general public.

If somebody tells you to stop vaping in a closed environment, please do it. Even if they are not getting harmed by the smoke, it’s not nice to breath second-hand vapour clouds.

We hope you have learnt a lot. We thank you for reading.




Do I have to Turn Off My Device When I’m Not Using It?

Yes, even though most e-cigs have a function where they shut down automatically if they detect it’s way too hot, we recommend you to turn it off when you have it in your pocket or backpack.


How Do I Know I Picked the Right E-liquid?

Beginners tend to not know what to look for in e liquid, so they make mistakes.

Always buy liquids from professional manufacturers, avoid buying artisan liquids, you don’t really know how they are made and what they have mixed in them.

The right e-liquid is the one you like and the one that produces good flavour. If you bought one that tastes “weird”, stop using it.


How Do I Change the Coils?

Every tank has its coil, you should check for video tutorials on how to assemble the coil correctly and how to remove it.

Do not try to do this without watching tutorials, and if you think it’s too complicated, go to your local vape store and ask for help.

Eventually, you will learn how to remove a coil and replace it. It’s a matter of practice and attention.


How Often Should I Clean My Tank?

You should clean it every time you change your liquid, but if you stick to one permanently, try to clean it once a week.

High VG e-liquids are thick and viscous, so when heated, they sometimes stick to the coil and create a paste that modifies the flavour and the durability of the coil.

So, clean it once a week to avoid this and to ensure you are using it correctly.


Have we missed any other common mistakes for first-time vapours? Anything else to add to the FAQ? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Xavier August 1, 2019

    I’ve been vaping for a few years now so I already knew all this but it’s definitely a great starting point for newcomers. Well done!


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