In its simplest form, vaping is the process of vaporizing a substance so it can be inhaled. The substance that is vaporised is called e-liquid. There are two basic bases for e-liquid; it can be made from either propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or some combination of the two. Typically, an e-liquid is made from a combination of the two. Vegetable glycerin is slightly sweet and responsible for the thickness of clouds. Propylene glycol is flavourless and responsible for the feeling of the vapour in your throat. A combination liquid will try to balance the thickness of clouds with the sensation of inhaling. Such liquids are vapourised by heating them from a coil. A vaping kit comes with a couple of parts. You can build your own kit, but is most likely easier to buy one that comes already assembled.
Your First Kit
A vape pen is made from a tank that holds the liquid, a coil that provides the heat to vapourise, the battery that powers the coil, and the mouthpiece from which you actually inhale. The T18 is a great starter kit if you have never built a kit before. The kit needs a way to charge as well; typically, this is done by a USB connection. You can charge it from a wall charger if you have the proper adapter, or just by plugging it into a computer. When the battery is fully charged, it supplies a direct current to the coil. The coil then heats up the liquid. It heats it hot enough to turn the liquid to vapour, but not so hot that it burns; it’s more like steam than smoke.
Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine both break down when you heat them into water vapour. The water vapour serves as a delivery mechanism for the chemicals in the e-liquid. Typically, there are two chemicals that comprise e-liquid other than the base liquids.
E-liquid is made of a flavouring agent and nicotine; the nicotine is not actually a necessary component. Some people choose nicotine in their e-liquid because they enjoy the sensation; others choose it because they are switching over from analogue cigarettes. However, there is no scientific proof that switching to a vape kit will help you quit smoking. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence on this subject.
The flavouring agents tend to fall on a couple of different axes. There are agents that are sweet and designed to mimic fruit, which are some of the most popular flavours. They are made from extracts of various substances to taste and smell like the fruit they’re designed to mimic. There are also some more complex flavours such as cake and pie that use a combination of extracts to achieve a distinct flavour. Finally, there are some that are designed to mimic substances such as tobacco or chocolate.