When you smoke cigarettes, that dangerous combination of tobacco and sticky tar substances that form in the lungs are the main causes of smoking-related deaths. This is despite the fact many believe nicotine to be the culprit. It’s advised by many organisations such as the NHS to stop smoking and Vaping is the potential gateway to make it all possible. Maybe you only smoke a couple of cigarettes a day or are a heavy smoker who ‘chain smokes’ twenty plus a day. How much nicotine you consume when you smoke will be a good indicator of how much you vape. If the levels you smoke are excessive, what’s the best vaping device to ease your transition as a heavy smoker?
There are lots of questions to consider before you can get down to zero nicotine and quit smoking alongside vaping altogether. The type of e-liquid chosen, which coil resistance you use and the type of technique you use to inhale all matters. Then you have to consider how much nicotine you will need in a day and when. Because you don’t need to finish your vaping e-liquid in one go like you would a cigarette, it’s very handy to be able to pick up and vape your nicotine fix, putting back down again when you like for flexibility and to essentially feed your habit less when necessary. The trick is to not go over your limit of nicotine which can easily be done. It’s our job to explain everything vaping in a simplified way, in addition to showing some compatible devices so you can get to it and start living a healthier life.
There are a number of resources related to vaping and heavy smokers. If you are hesitant about transitioning away from smoking or need more information you owe it to yourself to look for further information in order to convince yourself what is right for you .... and how vaping is a better alternative.
Further information on all our best vape devices can be found further down the page. Below we summarise our top 3 vapes for heavier smokers
1. Riptide Ripstick
2. Vsavi Vape Kit
3. Xeo Void Pen
Mouth to Lung or Direct to Lung?
We’re all on a different path and vapers will feel no different. Before you start, create a checklist of goals and tick them off when you’ve hit the milestone. Then it’s about knowing what your preferred vaping technique is. For instance, a heavy vaper will be extremely used to the feeling of an intense throat hit, holding the smoke in the mouth first before inhaling to the lungs, known as Mouth to Lung (MTL). Do you want to quit smoking completely? If so you have to replace your nicotine hit by using the correct vape device and optimum vaping method. The best way to do that is by keeping the nicotine level high, at least initially, so that you are not tempted to light up a cigarette.
The method is one of the most important aspects because it will determine whether you get the most out of vaping, at least initially for beginners switching from cigarettes. If you smoke 15-20 cigarettes a day, it’s likely your addiction will be high and classed as a ‘heavy smoker’, meaning you need to replicate that same pattern when you vape. That means starting high at around 18-20mg of nicotine in your vape and slowly working your way down, ideally to 0mg. For advanced vapers that like to create big clouds and enjoy thicker e-liquids, they vape directly to the lungs. Picking the right device to pair up with your technique is a key element when choosing your vape as a heavy smoker. Also, you need to think about whether you have the right e-liquid, as well as the VG/PG ratio in that bottle. Will you fill it up yourself or go for a prefilled pod that’s easy and side steps any issues for beginners? It’s all about finding the perfect combination of multiple factors to achieve the desired result.
Keeping it simple with a small highly effective prefilled vape device will give you the best chance of kicking the smoking habit. Large devices and messing around with e liquid will not feel familiar.
Vaping 101 - Back to Basics
Vaping can be a very technical subject, especially when you get into the realms of trying different modified devices with settings such as temperature and wattage control. But as a beginner vaper switching from heavy smoking, you want your device as simple as possible. Areas to consider include your battery life and how you take a draw from your vape. Most devices range between 300mAh up to 2100mAh, which is a huge jump between minimal casual vaping and long-life vaping. Generally the thicker the e-liquid due to a higher level of VG, the quicker your battery will go flat. For those who can not use PG based e liquids our 100% VG e liquid has been formulated and made in a way than ensures it is not too thick.
If you consider getting a bigger battery-powered vape, that will mean needing to adjust the wattage levels. As a beginner vaper using MTL, it’s better to vape lower wattage and higher PG ratio, which is explained more below.
When you inhale the nicotine vapour from your vape device, it is important to take a few quick short puffs to "warm up" the device. You then need to take steady slow draws for 3 to 4 seconds. Vaping will take a little longer to feel the initial nicotine hit than smoking does - you will feel the nicotine hit after 20 - 30 seconds. After the initial 20 or so seconds, nicotine has now been absorbed and as you continue to vape it will feel much like smoking and after a few minutes your craving will go, just like it does when smoking. The key is to take it slowly, inhale more slowly than you would if smoking.
Try not to chain vape, this will result in burnt coils, more cost and require more maintenance of your vape. It can be tempting to continuously vape and although you are not at risk of a nicotine overdose if you have the right nicotine strength, it simply is not necessary. Nicotine on its own is virtually harmless but as you know, it is addictive so you should vape less frequently.
PG v's VG and Your E-Liquid Preference
Predominantly e-liquids contain sweeteners and two other vital components. With Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG), both are key ingredients in any e-liquid. They act as the binder, playing a key role in the texture, smoothness and taste of your vape flavours selected. Heavy smokers usually switch to vaping for health reasons, albeit reluctantly because it’s such a familiar habit. Therefore, to stay on the right track, we can’t stress how important it is to find an e-liquid setup that works. Typically new vapers would be better with a higher ratio of PG because it’s a thinner chemical compound than VG (which can get very thick) and requires less power while giving that throat hit smokers are familiar with.
Ideally, you want at the very least a 50/50 ratio of PG and VG, which can be found in a variety of flavours. That’s the right blend of heat, flavour and thickness in your e-liquid for beginner vapers adjusting from 20 cigarettes a day. Otherwise, you could revert to old ways.
What’s in your e-liquid determines how long you vape for and whether it will be a successful transition or not. For instance, with many vapers moving across from smoking cigarettes to e-cigarettes, they want no thrills. Simply inhalation of a vapour that’s less harmful than smoking but still contains nicotine. To keep high nicotine levels and reasonable cloud production, our 8mg PG/VG eliquids or our nicotine salts, also known as ‘nic salts’ are ideal. This feature of higher concentration of pure nicotine which will create that smooth texture you know from smoking. Because it’s a stronger dosage, you will not need to vape as frequently so ensure if the right concentration is selected.
Why Nicotine Salts Could Be the Best Option For Heavy Smokers
With any e-liquid, they contain predominantly freebase nicotine (which is typical in most e-liquids) or more recently with nicotine salts. Commonly known as nic salts, this is a fantastic option and tailor-made for heavy smokers. You need to match this with a high resistance coil above 1 Ohms (typically goes to around 1.8 Ohms as a max). This is because you want less heat in your vape to get the right throat hit. In contrast, cloud chasers seek a ‘Sub-Ohm’ coil resistance below one Ohm to produce more clouds, thicker e-liquids to inhale with a higher ratio of VG. Our top three vapes for heavier smokers are designed to ensure this is all simplified.
Nic salts increase in nicotine content, which typically features between 10mg up to a max of 20mg, but with a major difference to freebase nicotine. With nic salts, you get a much smoother texture, which absorbs in the bloodstream quicker than freebase. This in turn creates a less harsh throat hit, hitting the right spot with the right MTL vape for heavy smokers. Try starting at 20mg and work your way down gradually. With freebase nicotine e-liquids, most vapers go between 3mg up to 12mg. Overall, to ease your transition into vaping, nic salts is the best option and we can’t stress this enough for heavy smokers. You’ll need a high dose of nicotine, at least to begin with and nic salts provide that, while not skimping on quality plus keeping the habit of MTL inhalation ticking along nicely. Now that you know about the right e-liquid, coil resistance and recommendation to stick with Mouth to Lung vaping, let's explore your options.
What Makes a Good Device For Entry Level Vaping
So to summarise everything above, initially, you should stick with a small portable device that’s easy to carry around and feels light in your hand - like a cigarette would. Go for one ideally with a sufficient battery size because it will not need charging as much. However, some of the options below for an affordable price provide battery sizes between 250-500mAh, which is fine if you get a secondary battery or buy duplicate devices, switching when needed.
In terms of coil resistance and e-liquid compatibility, nic salts are a good option, or alternatively a higher nicotine high PG e-liquid for heavy smokers changing to vaping. You don’t want to vape with high VG, especially if using 18mg of nicotine, because the flavour will be compromised, it will be harsh on the throat plus vaping DTL will give you an overload of nicotine.
Stick with a higher resistance coil above one Ohm or your thicker nic salts can burn your coils, meaning they will need to be swapped even sooner. Get the balance right and you can expect less vapour production and a better MTL experience. Overall, heavy smokers want a device that’s as easy as possible to use, not lacking in quality but not over-complicated either. Below are our favourites for different levels of the initial vaping journey:
Best Vape For Heavy Smoker
RipTide RipStick - Great MTL Set Up (Editors Choice)
- A fantastic option for using nic salts and because of the NicTech technology, you get the purest form of nicotine without the impurities for a smoother vape
- A portable device that fits in the hand and very lightweight
- Magnetic pods easy to install, remove and simply chuck away when done
- Automatic draw, ideal when transitioning from smoking
- Coil pre installed so minimal fuss
- Really useful backup option to carry around on the go
- Battery life could be longer for heavy smokers, but the low price on a device, pod bundles or starter kits means you can buy two devices and switch around between charges
VSAVI Starter Kit - Close Resemblance to a Cigarette
- An affordable vape kit that not only looks like a cigarette but shaped like one too. Will feel very familiar to heavy smokers
- Charger means you don’t need to throw away like you would when smoking and excellent value means you can add another battery if needed as a backup
- You can either get prefilled cartridges in a wide range of flavours from Congress Tobacco to Vanilla, which involves no messing about with e-liquids (real handy for beginners)
- Or buy the all in one starter kit like above with an EX Blank atomiser ready for you to top up when needed. This gives you more free reign to pick the flavours you wish, adjusting the nicotine levels
- Not recommended with nic salts. The best you can do is go for a high level of PG at 18mg nicotine, with the platinum e-liquids over 70% PG complimenting the device perfectly
Hangsen iQ Touch - Lightweight and Compact
- Nine puffs reminder, a really handy tool for heavy smokers tracking their nicotine intake
- Suitable with nic salts
- Familiar draw activation to cigarettes when you inhale, not requiring pressing any buttons unlike some pod devices
- Adjustable wattage to alter throat hit as preferred
- Quick charging in 40 minutes, should last all day depending on the amount you vape. If needed you could always use as a backup device because it’s very lightweight and compact
- Coil Ohm resistance set to one level (1.2) which does not give you any variation or ability to go higher
Best Vape For Versatility
XEO VOID - the MTL and DTL Option
- Useful leak proofing system
- Can work equally well with Sub-Ohm and higher resistance coils
- Device charges quickly standing up and last roughly one full day
- The mouthpiece can get too warm vaping if used excessively (leave for 1-2 minutes or so before returning to vaping should this occur)
SMOK Nord 4 - Perfect All-Rounder
- Huge battery life
- A versatile option for starting MTL and changing to DTL later
- Great price for the kit, which features two different pods and two coil resistances too
- Adjustable airflow allows tailoring to enhance the flavour
- The adjustable airflow means needing to fiddle about to get it right.
Step Up to Mods - Innokin Coolfire Z50
- A great pod/mod that has the necessary settings to take your vaping journey to the next level
- The ideal battery size of 2100mAh for all-day vaping without needing to charge, which is perfect for heavy smokers who require frequent and consistent nicotine hits
- Ability to change between most Zenith and Zlide coils to optimise taste, cloud production and heat
- Adjustable airflow for complete control
- Wattage ranges from 6W up to 50W should you need more power later on (better to start at lower power when you first start vaping)
- Features an OLED display to understand your adjusted settings clearly
- Rather bulky in comparison to the pods and vaporisers above which is better for stealth vaping. May take some getting used to when transitioning from heavy smoking to this pod/mod device
It can be a tough challenge to get rid of your smoking habit, particularly if you are a heavy smoker going through a pack or more a day. You will already be doing yourself a favour by removing the tobacco from your body, seeing the health benefits very soon after. The next step if done right - choosing the right device and pairing with an e-liquid with a higher PG ratio, or preferably nic salts will go a long way to reducing tobacco and eventually nicotine in your body. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the best vaping options for you like a heavy smoker, we are here to help at Pure E-Liquids.