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How to Vape for Beginners

How to Vape for Beginners

If you’re transitioning, or planning to transition, from traditional cigarettes to a vape device, one of the first differences you’ll notice is the inhale. More often than not, when someone tries inhaling off a vape for the first time, they will try to use their device the same way they’ve used a cigarette. Depending on which style of vaping device they’re using this could lead to a very uncomfortable or unenjoyable experience, especially if they are using a high-powered sub-ohm vape that produces a large, dense cloud of vapor.  

To get the most out of your vape, the first step is to know how to properly inhale the vapor based on the style of device you are using. In this article we will go over the different styles of vape devices and how to properly inhale off them. Let’s get started. 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew 

If you’ve never used a vape before, your best route to success starts with a simple, easy to use device that doesn’t require a lot of previous knowledge. While it may seem tempting to jump right into variable wattage and large, powerful box mods, you’re going to have a better experience starting your vaping journey with a smaller, easy to use device that won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Be it metaphorically or literally.  

Beginner Starter Kits 

As vaping has become more of a mainstream alternative to cigarettes, more and more easy to use and portable devices have hit the market and since surpassed sub-ohm vape kits in popularity and preference of the average vape user. Some of these devices hit extremely similar to their larger counterparts and are often more affordable. The devices we cover here focus more on ease-of-use, portability and efficiency.  

  • Open-Pod Style Vapes – These devices are noted for their refillable pod-style cartridges. Most are draw-activated, with no buttons, screens or setting to worry about. That being said, there are also pod-style devices that feature many similarities to sub-ohm vape kits such as adjustable wattage, OLED displays, and more. These devices typically have a more open air-flow and higher power, offering the user a large, dense cloud, full of flavour. This style of device will benefit you most if you’re comfortable filling your device and enjoy a stronger hit of nicotine.  

Our Favourite refillable Open-Pod style starter kit: Uwell Caliburn G Pod System

Uwell caliburn G Pod kit

  • Closed-Pod or Pre-Filled Pod Style Vapes – A middle ground between an open-pod style device and a disposable device. Closed-pod systems consist of a re-useable, rechargeable battery and pre-filled pods, usually containing salt-nicotine e-juice. These devices are great if you want a simple set up, without the mess that can come with filling a device or having to bring a bottle of e-juice everywhere you go. Pre-filled pods can be especially convenient if you like to switch up your flavours a lot or aren’t sure exactly what flavours you enjoy yet, if you’re just getting started. Typically Closed-Pod systems have a set power output that cannot be adjusted. 

Our Favourite Closed-Pod system: STLTH Vape 

Stlth vape canada closed pod kit vape shop online

  • Disposable Vapes – Disposable style devices are exactly what they sound like, a small vape device, pre-filled with salt-nicotine e-juice that can be thrown away after use (although we do recommend disposing of these devices by taking them to a battery recycling facility or drop-off, as they contain a lithium-ion battery that can be damaging to the environment). Disposable style devices are great for those who are just transitioning from cigarettes as they are incredibly simple to use and offer a similar hit to that of a cigarette, some are even designed to mimic the hand-feel of a cigarette. You can also benefit from disposable devices if you aren’t sure what flavour or nicotine concentration will work best for you. 

Our Favourite Disposable Vape: Allo Ultra 500 

allo ultra disposable vape 500 online shop canada vapestreet


Every vape kit comes with some sort of instructional booklet or user manual that will give you a good idea of how to operate the device. Sometimes these manuals can be hard to understand due to translation errors from their Chinese manufacturers, if you’re ever having issues setting up your device, you can visit one of our retail locations or contact us online and our staff will be happy to help you better understand whichever device it is you may have.   

Choosing the E-Juice that is right for you 

Finding the e-juice that is right for you can be one of most important and most tedious parts of starting your vaping journey. To get the most out of your vape, it is crucial that you find a flavour you enjoy with a nicotine level that satisfies your cravings, without being over-powering. 

High Nicotine Concentration: 12mg to 20mg/ml – Best used with low powered devices, often formulated with salt-nicotine. Higher nicotine concentration can be most beneficial to those who are fresh off cigarettes.  

Medium Nicotine Concentration: 6mg to 12mg/ml - Best used with low-medium power devices, often formulated with freebase nicotine, also available formulated with salt-nicotine. These concentration levels can be helpful as a steppingstone when you’re ready to start lowering your nicotine intake.  

Low Nicotine Concentration: 0.1mg to 6mg/ml - Best used with high-powered devices, such as sub-ohm devices, but can be used with any device.  

Finding the nicotine level that will work best for you can be a daunting task, we recommend starting at a lower nicotine level before trying a higher nicotine level. If you find the level you chose to be too weak, you can simply vape more. On the other hand, if you choose a nicotine level that is too strong, you may find yourself feeling unwell if your nicotine tolerance does not match up with the strength of nicotine you chose.  

Some find it easiest to calculate how much nicotine you will need based on how many cigarettes you smoke per day. For example: 

 A person who typically smokes half a pack of regular strength cigarettes or less per day may benefit from 10mg salt-nicotine, or 3mg freebase-nicotine. 

A person who typically smokes 1-2 packs of regular strength cigarettes may benefit from 20mg salt-nicotine, or 6mg-12mg freebase-nicotine. 

*Please note these are estimated recommendations. If you’d like a personalized recommendation, please contact us, we will gladly help you.  

How to Inhale Properly 

Just like a first impression when meeting somebody new, the first hit off a vape can make or break someone's entire outlook on vaping. An improper inhale can easily lead to an unpleasent experience. If the device is too strong, a powerful inhale may lead to a harsh throat hit, heavy coughing and even an overwhelming rush of nicotine. If the device isn’t strong enough, you may not get the satisfaction you’re looking for. Unfortunately, many would be vapers encounter these issues the first time they pick up a vape and may never look back.  

In this next section we will look at the 2 most common inhalation techniques and which devices are best suited for them respectively.  

If you’d like a device that offers both MTL and DTL coils and air-flow adjustment to decide which is best for you, we recommend the Freemax Twister 30W Starter kit. This device comes with 2 different coils, 2 different drip-tips (mouthpiece) and adjustable air-flow, offering the best of both worlds.  


This technique is often referred to as the abbreviated version, MTL. You will find this most often on the packaging of smaller devices or tanks with higher resistance coils. All MTL style devices feature a more restricted air-flow and are designed to mimic the sensation of smoking a cigarette, producing far less vapor than your average sub-ohm set up. This technique will be closest to the method used when smoking a traditional cigarette.  

For this technique, you will need to; 

  1. Slowing draw vapor into your mouth, not so much as to bring it into your lungs right away 
  2. Hold the vapor in your mouth while slowing breathing in air to direct the vapor down into your lungs 
  3. Exhale the vapor slowly  

This method is best used with a small, low powered device, typically with a higher nicotine concentration (6mg or above). 

A good example of a Mouth-to-Lung device is the Vaporesso XRos Open Pod Kit 


Most commonly referred to as the abbreviated version, DTL. This technique is best when used with a larger, more powerful device that has plenty of air-flow, like a sub-ohm device. Inhaling off a DTL style device is like sucking air through a thick straw, this will provide you with a large amount of vapor, which increases the strength of both the flavour and the nicotine. If you’re new to vaping or have simply never used a DTL style vape, be sure to start off using the lowest recommended wattage, usually shown on the coil head. Some sub-ohm devices produce a lot of vapor and if you’re not accustomed to it, it can lead to the unpleasant experiences mentioned above. DTL style vaping is best suited for nicotine strengths 6mg/ml or lower.  

For this technique, you will need to;  

  1. Quickly inhale vapor directly into your lungs, as if taking a deep breath 
  2. Exhale the vapor quickly  

A good example of a Direct-to-Lung device is the Smok Rigel 230W Starter Kit



Whichever technique or device you choose use, remember to start off slowly. It is crucial that you learn about your device and give yourself the time to adjust and figure out your own style of vaping.  


Pro Tip: No matter what device you have, we advise taking some time in between puffs. The vapor coming out of your device comes from the e-juice-soaked cotton that is housed inside the coil. Too many puffs too quickly can lead to a dry or burnt hit if the e-juice in the cotton gets depleted. Even just 30 seconds in between puffs can give the cotton time to re-saturate.