Is vaping bad for you? Well, it’s certainly not as bad for you as smoking and that’s why we have this guide to the best vapes. We don’t exactly endorse vape pens, but hey, you have the right to choose what you suck on, within the law. These, then, are the best vape pens and e cigarettes you can get. There are also some tobacco heating products – Philip Morris’ iQOS, for instance – that the manufacturers insist are not vapes… But for simplicity’s sake, that’s what we’re going to call them.
The best vapes fit into two categories really. There are the premium ones made by big legacy tobacco brands, aimed at people trying to give up smoking cigarettes. And there are those aimed at a slightly more underground culture, which involves people who vape because they like it, and feel reasonably confident about the health risks.
Certainly, one obvious use for the best vapes and e-cigarettes is as part of a process of giving up smoking entirely. However, we’re starting from the assumption here that you’re intending to vape because you like it and you are finally getting away from the realism of combustion (smoking).
Most smokers dread the thought of giving up or not being able to have a puff when they feel like it. Nicotine patches quell the urge to some degree but it’s not an instant solution. Vaporisers and e-Cigarettes (their ciggie-shaped counterparts) are the best options in this respect because they fulfil the two main prerequisites of a smoker: nicotine grip in the throat and the sight of smoke being exhaled.
The great thing about the best vapes is that the smoke being exhaled isn’t actually smoke; it’s nicotine-infused vapour (or steam) which appears to be, on balance of current medical evidence, less harmful than carcinogen-laden tobacco smoke.
What’s more, it evaporates in a flash leaving no nasty smells or residues in its wake. Okay, if you’re a non-vaper, it does stink if you walk through a cloud of it, but your clothes won’t smell of synthetic fruit afterwards, which is a step up from fags
A vape pen or vaporiser doesn’t necessarily look anything like a cigarette and that can be a good thing since no one can mistake it for a proper cigarette when used in a public place or at least those venues that allow it.
Most vapes use a screw-in atomizer or clearomiser that encompasses a heating coil and a transparent e-liquid chamber. To prepare, fill the chamber with e-liquid (there’s a huge range of flavours and nicotine strengths to choose from, but more on that below), press the button a few times to turn it on, then press and hold the button while drawing on the mouthpiece.
Vaporisers produce far more vapour than e-cigarettes and ordinary ciggies (we’re talking plumes of the stuff – like an oral bonfire). Indeed, most ‘cloud chasers’ tend to opt for customisable sub-ohm models that are capable of producing massive quantities of vapour from a single draw. However, many of the more highfalutin models are so ludicrously complicated you’d need a degree in electrical engineering to operate them
Many vaporisers also leak e-liquid occasionally which is why this writer much prefers the sealed cartridge versions which involve zero maintenance. Why do some vaporisers leak? I haven’t a clue but clearly the system has a design fault in there somewhere. Answers on a postcard please.
The other downside with refillable vaporisers is that, depending on usage, the small screw-in coil section (the part that heats the liquid) will need to be replaced roughly every two weeks, but thankfully they’re cheap to buy. Vaporisers are widely available through online outlets and on most high streets
What is eliquid?
Most vaporisers use a liquid suspension called e-liquid to deliver nicotine, throat hit and flavour. The vast majority of e-liquids are comprised of vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG) and nicotine.
VG is a thick, sticky, sweet liquid that produces maximum vapour at the expense of throat grip and flavour. Hence, E-liquids with higher VG to PG ratios are preferred by ardent cloud chasers who tend to use the direct to lung technique (DTL), a method that involves literally sucking in a full lungful of vapour as if breathing through a pipe.
PG liquid, on the other hand, provides a much better throat hit similar to that of a tobacco cigarette. E-liquids with a higher PG ratio are therefore better suited to those more used to the mouth to lung (MTL) technique of cigarette smoking.
In a nutshell, a VG50/PG50 mix is best for those who like an intense flavour as well as a throat hit, while a PG20/VG80 provides a much smoother inhale with bigger clouds and a mild flavour.
Nicotine is the final ingredient that indicates the amount of throat grip and overall satisfaction. As a general rule, consider choosing a 3mg e-liquid if you only smoked one or two cigarettes a day, 6mg if you smoked under 10 per day and want a decent throat hit, 12mg if you were up to and above 20 a day and 18mg and higher if you puffed like a chimney
Best Vape Mods / Pens to look out for: