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If you are reading this, then you are at least thinking about making the switch from smoking to start vaping. Give yourself a gold star and a ginger biccy - you’re on the right track.

From here, I can lend a hand in choosing a vape device that is best suited to your needs. If you don’t know what your needs are, well maybe I can help you work those out too!


There are a rather large number of vape devices available to buy, but to make things a little bit easier on you, they can be broken down into categories.

  • Cigalikes - these are designed to look and feel as close to a cigarette as possible. 
  • Vape Pens - come in refillable and pre filled options. Medium sized devices.
  • Pod systems - come in refillable and pre filled options. Small and medium sized devices.
  • Box mods - these are the larger, customisable devices, only available with refillable tanks. 

The more powerful types of vape kit deliver a similar vaping experience, with the choice of e-liquid becoming the discriminating factor. These include refillable vape pens, refillable pod systems and box mods. 


Why is it important to choose the right device? Getting the right vaping experience from the start will help you quit smoking - one study found that using devices that the smoker preferred helps them to stop - now that is good news!

The problem is: as a beginner, you don’t know which device you prefer! Can we work out the right device for you without having to buy a variety? Not a course of action that is friendly to your wallet, so the least we can do is make an educated guess!

Nicotine strength  

The legal limit for nicotine strength in the UK for e-liquids sold in retail is 2.0%, or a 20mg per ml mixture. Nicotine strengths from 0% up to 2% are available, and your smoking status is a good guide for the nicotine strength you should go for. 

Heavy smokers - about 20 cigs a day - will get more satisfaction and craving satiation if they go with the strongest vape juice available. Lighter smokers - around 10 per day - might still do well on 2.0%, but if that is too strong, dropping down to 1.8%, or even 1.5% liquid should resolve the issue. 

For smokers determined to pack in the nicotine at the same time as the cigarettes, vaping with a nicotine free liquid could help satisfy some aspects of the smoking habit, while allowing the body to clear out the nicotine. Not the easiest route, but completely understandable!

How often you vape 

If you smoke a lot, you may find yourself vaping a lot when you switch, too. If this is you, then using a low nicotine liquid may be preferable, simply because you will get through it quickly. 

These lower nicotine liquids can be used in the more powerful types of device, like refillable vape pens, refillable pods and box mods. Just be aware of the balance of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glycerine (VG) in the powerful devices, as a liquid favouring PG will hit the throat harder than one favouring VG


Choosing a starter kit based on budget, appealing as it may seem to maximise your savings, is not the right way to go about switching to vaping. The further you go down this particular rabbit hole, the more you learn that you can offset your spending by investing time - mixing your own liquids - and buying in bulk can help save a few pennies, but that means more storage space for all your vape-related gear.

What I’m getting at is the fact that time is money, so for people with time, going to the extra effort yourself to save money is a viable option - only if you have the time

For those busy bees among you, this may not be the answer - the pre-filled options are likely to be better suited to your needs, keeping things simple and easy while still working out a lot cheaper than smoking!

Vape devices for ex-smokers 

In the case of smokers, there is a tried and tested path! The cigalike units fit in your hand just like a cigarette, and if you are vaping with a tobacco flavour, you can almost forget that it isn’t a tobacco cigarette in your hand! 

This is a great choice for smokers who want to start vaping! Cigalikes are easy to use, don’t require mucking around with e-liquids, and are small and convenient - more so than other vape devices, making them the most convenient device to carry on your person!

The SMOKO E-cigarette is a cigalike vape device that is convenient and easy to use

Vaping technique 

Any experienced vapers are going to know which devices are contenders for your money. The slight experience means you have tried at least one of the inhale techniques, and while smokers should opt for the ‘mouth to lung’ inhale that is used for cigarettes, more powerful devices and liquids favouring VG are often used for a ‘direct to lung’ inhale.

‘Direct to lung’ inhale is when you draw on the device from your lungs, instead of taking the smoke/vapour into your mouth, then drawing it into the lungs from there. If you are new to vaping, this technique could lead to some nasty coughing fits, as the balance of VG and PG, as well as the nicotine content, can make for a harsh hit on the throat.

As a general rule, if the throat hit is the most important factor, then higher PG liquids with high nicotine levels work well in low powered devices, designed for a mouth-to-lung inhale. 

If you want a smooth inhale experience, and want to produce large clouds of vapour, then a step up to a more powerful device using liquids that are VG heavy and lower in nicotine will give you what you want.


Now you’re armed with a fair amount of knowledge, what are the things you should be keeping an eye out for in your local vape shop?

Buying from a trustworthy seller is going to be important all the while you are vaping. There are a lot of companies out there making e-liquids, but the amount of regulation varies quite a lot between countries. This can lead to the inclusion of ingredients that better regulated countries do not allow for the safety of consumers. 

If in doubt, remember that Britain is leading the way with e-cigarettes in terms of regulation, so buying British is a good start!

E-liquids are not the only product for which it is sensible to buy British. Devices on the British market must be tested to standards set by the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with the relevant parts and liquids (if applicable). 

What does this mean? As an example, all SMOKO devices are tested independently by a third party, with all flavours, at all nicotine strengths to ensure:

  1. No harmful chemicals.
  2. The vape experience is consistent across all flavours and nicotine strengths.
  3. The devices comply with all regulations.

The issue with the more customisable units is that they cannot be tested with all of the coils that are on the market, or all the vape tanks, or all the batteries from every brand, or all of the e-liquids from every brand… So naturally, these devices cannot offer the same assurances that we at SMOKO can!


Choosing a vape device that best suits your needs is likely to come down to two questions - ‘do you smoke?’ and ‘do you want a device that requires no effort?’

If you smoke, starting on a cigalike device is the sensible thing to do. No filling or cleaning sub ohm tanks, no replacing vape pen coils  - just screw in the e-cigarette refill and enjoy the long battery life of a low powered device. 

Carry it anywhere, and a spare battery and refill isn’t going to weigh you down like a rucksack full of e-liquid bottles, spare tanks and coils. The low power devices produce less toxins too!

When you have some experience with a cigalike, you may become adventurous and want to try a different vaping experience. However, like many SMOKO customers, you may find that the SMOKO E-cigarette gets you off the tobacco cigarettes, and keeps you satisfied all the while. If it ain’t broke - don’t fix it!

If you are a smoker ready to take the steps toward a healthier, wealthier you, then check out the SMOKO E-cigarette starter kit deals and change your life for the better, today!

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