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Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Vape Pen

June 29, 2020


What Is Vape/Vaping?
Components of Vapes
How Do Vape Pens Work?
Is Vaping Safe?
How Can I Find The Right Vape Pen For Me?

The vape pen is an object that has become as familiar to see as the cigarette once was. But, there's still a lot many of us don't understand about them. There's an enormous variety on the market right now, which means if you're new to the world of vaping, you're going to feel overwhelmed.

Besides the enormous variety of vape pen models on the market, there are also numerous misconceptions surrounding them. Accusations of vapes causing cancer and pens exploding in a user's hand are prevalent, but how many are truthful?

In this vape guide, we'll be walking you through what exactly a vape is, how vaping works, where you can purchase a vape pen, and all the details in between. That way, you can make an informed first purchase.

What Is Vape/Vaping?

There are numerous names given to vape pens, from electronic cigarettes to the shortened e-cig, to the vaporizer among countless others. While their names and designs may differ, they all share the same function. They're popular among those trying to quit traditional smoking as they can provide the same feeling without less of the adverse side effects.

How does Nicotine work?

What happens when you are using vape pen?

Vaping feels like smoking a cigarette, except instead of huffing in smoke, you're breathing in a vaporized range of ingredients that contain glycerol, propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavors. Compared with traditional cigarettes, the above ingredients are more environmentally friendly. Unlike cigarettes, vapes were considered a reliable alternative in health level.

The similar physical motions between smoking and vaping are part of why so many ex-smokers switch to vaping as a better alternative.

The sheer variety of flavors and mods available with vape pens makes them tempting for just about anybody, but what are you inhaling? Vaporized nicotine sounds pretty self-explanatory, but is that all that's in there? The answer is no, but that doesn't mean you should be afraid of vape. 

There're plenty of reports in the media regarding vaping, including accusations that the chemicals inside a vape pen can lead to life-ruining diseases. There are specific health concerns, you should be aware of before starting to vape (which we'll unpack further down). However, a lot of the stuff you read online is shock-bait. The vape guide you're reading here will help you cut through all the noise to uncover the truth.

Components of Vapes

There are two chemicals included in most vape pens. The word 'chemicals' can seem intimidating right off the bat, but they're just the building blocks of your vapor.

The two chemicals most often present in vapes are Glycerine and Propylene Glycol (see also What is Vape Juice?):

What Chemical Component in Vape?

Chemical Component in Vape


Glycerine is a sweetener used in foods that you can find in your local supermarket. It's also present in soaps and various skincare products. Even some medicines have glycerine in it. The clear liquid often derives from palm, soy, or coconut oil.

The glycerine in vapes helps to create a range of desirable flavors. It is the base of most e-liquids and helps to thicken the vaporized substance to give it a smoke-like appearance.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol complements glycerine. While Glycerine creates a desirable flavor, it is thick as molasses. Propylene glycol helps to thin the mixture so that it can go through a vape pens atomizer without clogging up the device.

Again, as is the case with glycerine. It's stock in a variety of foods to ensure they don't lose their moisture. It's also in various kinds of toothpaste and medicines. No poison detected here.

Of course, these two chemicals aren't the only ingredients you're going to find in your vape. There's also nicotine.

How Do Vape Pens Work?

Besides the natural chemical compounds, the design and function of vape pens make them a much reliable alternative to cigarettes.

The first thing you should acquaint yourself with is the atomizer. This component is the part of the pen that heats the liquid to create vapor.

In the past, there have been accusations that this is where dangerous battery chemicals reside, which will severely damage your lungs. This is a myth and isn't the case.

While it will vary from pen to pen, generally, the battery is at the bottom of the vape with the atomizer positioned next to the liquid cartridge. While the components work together, there is no chance of cross-contamination.

Component of Vape Pen

Component of Vape Pen

The entire vaping process goes like this:

  1. The battery provides power to the atomizer.
  2. The atomizer receives liquid from the cartridge.
  3. The atomizer heats up said liquid.
  4. This liquid gets vaporized and inhaled via the mouthpiece.

There is never any crossover between the battery and the liquid, so there's no danger of battery chemicals ending up in your lungs somehow. As an extra safety precaution, the atomizer usually consists of glass, stainless steel, or food-safe plastic, so everything the liquid comes into contact with is reliable.

Find more detailed information about How Does a Vape Pen Work.

Is Vaping Safe?

Generally speaking, yes, it is. The only time you should be cautious around vaping is if you already possess a respiratory condition. For people with these conditions, the only thing you should be inhaling is clean air.

It's also essential to recognize that, as of yet, vape pens are not FDA-certified. There simply isn't enough data yet to confirm the long-term effects of vaping, but that is because of the relative newness of vape pens. However, authorities at Public Health England have indicated that e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than smoking. 

When Should I Buy a Vape Pen?

So, are you ready to invest in a vape pen? Before trying a vape pen, please note the vape pen should be the alternative of a traditional cigarette rather than an occasional recreational pastime. If you are not a traditional cigarette user, CLOSE this page!

It is worth noting that the legal age to buy a vape differs across states. Usually, the minimum age is between 18 to 25 years old. You'll need to check with your state regulations to find out if you are of age.

Where Can I Buy a Vape Pen?

There's an enormous market for vape pens out there, especially on the internet. All you need to do is Google 'vape pen,' and you're met with thousands upon thousands of results all vying for your business. Or you can use the store locator to find the vape store near you.

Even once you've decided upon a supplier, the massive amount of choice doesn't end there. There are numerous designs available, from cig-a-like to box mod, and that's all before we even start talking about all the different flavors.

So, how can you know which vape pen is the one for you? Well, it all comes down to personal choice.

How Can I Find The Right Vape Pen For Me?

One of the most common questions for new users is: What can I do before buying a new vape pen?

Choosing a flavor is self-explanatory, so we won't get into that. Only you can decide if the blueberry explosion is more your speed than strawberry delight, and we respect your decision either way.

One thing you can do to narrow your choices is to research and know your options. That way, you can make an informed purchase.

To that end, let's break down some of the most common types of vape pen available:

  • Cig-A-Like: the first to emerge on the scene, this model is what it sounds like: a cigarette replacement. It looks like one and functions like one, and it's supremely portable. Its biggest downside is its lack of battery life.
  • Box-Mods: as their name may reveal, these are the chunkier forms of vape pens. They aren't as portable or as streamlined. However, they offer a more controlled experience and a much longer battery life.
  • Classic Vape Pen: while they may arrive in all shapes and sizes, the standard vape pen features a balance between cig-a-like and box-mods. These types boast a wide variety of e-juice flavors and are by far the most user-friendly, making them perfect for beginners.

Beyond design, you need to ask yourself some critical questions before making a purchase:

  • How often do you smoke?
  • How much battery life do you need?
  • When will you use it most (e.g., outside or primarily at home)?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you interested in customization and accessories?

The answers to these questions will point you in your purchase direction. Longer battery life and portability isn't a crucial factor if you're only vaping at home. Similarly, if this is simply going to be a cigarette alternative, you don't need to buy a pricey vape pen that comes with seven different mods.

The Takeaway

Whatever vape pen that you decide on to help you switch away from traditional smoking, there is definitely a vape pen for you. The world of vape is only getting bigger. We hope this vape pen guide can help you navigate it.

Related Readings

How to Use a Vape Pen Properly
How Much Does It Cost to Vape?
Tips When Using a Vape Pen
How Much Nicotine is in a Cigarette Compared to Vape?

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