IS VAPING CHEAPER THAN SMOKING?
Vaping instead of smoking will save you money, but there are ways to maximise your vaping economy! Choosing a high nicotine e-liquid means you get more nicotine for your money, so you can satisfy your nicotine cravings with a small amount of e-liquid. Using a low powered vape will make your liquid last longer, as will using vents on your device. Maintain your vape well to avoid extra purchase costs!
One of the great things about switching from smoking to vaping is the difference it makes to your bank balance! This, in addition to the less harmful nature of e-cigarettes, makes switching over to vaping the sensible, logical choice.
Switching over to e-cigarettes will save you money, and buying smart will stretch that saving a little further. Let’s look at how we can be most efficient with our money while we vape!
SETTING A VAPING BUDGET - WHAT'S THE CHEAPEST WAY TO VAPE?
A light smoker who smokes ten cigarettes a day is likely to spend between £150 to £210 a month on cigarettes in the UK, a heavy smoker having 20 cigarettes a day will spend between £300 and £420 a month.
Vaping will likely cost a fraction of this, but as a good start we should aim for our budget to come in under the cost of the cigarettes that were being consumed.
CAN I BULK BUY A CHEAP VAPE? E-CIGARETTE DEALS AND PROMOTIONS
Deals and promotions are always going to save you money, so make sure to keep an eye out for them!
Starter kits are often available in a deal with extras, so try to start off with a starter kit deal, like one of SMOKO’s E-cigarette starter kit bundles. The extras in these deals can include a box of refills, e-liquids, replaceable coils, a spare vape tank and/or spare batteries at a reduced price - that’s a bargain!
CAN YOU BULK BUY VAPES AND E-CIGARETTE REFILLS?
Options to bulk buy are likely to only apply to e-liquids or e-cigarette refills, and possibly disposable vapes. This will save you money while helping you stay topped up with your nicotine.
For users of box mods and vape pens, coils are one of the vape products that can be bulk-bought to save a few pennies, but there is a lot of variation out there so make certain you are buying the right coils for your device!
ARE CHEAP VAPES A COMPROMISE ON QUALITY?
Have you ever heard the adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’? It can apply just as well to vape kits, so in order to keep your overall spending down, make sure to invest in a good quality device that will go the distance. It may not make sense to go for the cheapest vape!
Cheaper kits generally means cheaper parts or cheaper/older technology, which can lead to a malfunctioning device, and a poorer vaping experience. Vaping technology has improved with each new generation, making newer devices safer and capable of delivering a better experience.
Don’t mistake cheaper types of device with a ‘cheap kit’ though - a quality cig-a-like starter kit will be cheaper than an old version box mod, and will serve your needs, particularly if you prefer a mouth to lung inhale - just like smoking a cigarette!
Don’t compromise the quality of your e-liquids either - SMOKO’s E-cigarette refills use e-liquid made here in the UK, which might mean you pay a little more, but it means they are subject to standards that are not present everywhere in the world.
HOW DOES A LESS ADVANCED VAPE DEVICE COMPARE WITH MORE COMPLEX VAPES?
A good way to keep costs down is to use a less advanced vape device. The box mods, or sub-ohm vaping devices, are a type of refillable vape and are the most complex on the market! They also require the most maintenance!
- You will need to either clean or use a spare sub ohm tank if you want to change e-liquids
- You will need to keep an eye on the condition of the coil to replace it before it deteriorates too much and potentially leaches heavy metals into your e-liquid.
- You will need to keep an eye on the condition of the batteries as these become a fire hazard if they become structurally compromised.
If you are in love with the idea of refilling your tank, or mixing and using your own vaping liquid, then a refillable pod system or vape pen allows you to do that, while removing some of the complexity of a box mod. The mouth to lung inhale style is the same for these units as the box mods, delivering a similar vaping experience for a less intimidating price.
Expensive vape box mod type devices often have adjustable power, but if the coil resistance is wrong, it could lead to little vaporisation or a dry hit due to too much power (1).
The most modestly priced units in your local vape shop are the cig-a-like and pod vape systems that use pre-filled cartridges. These are great if you don’t want to mess about with filling and mixing e-liquids, helping you keep things clean and expedient - after all, time is money!
These units are significantly smaller and more convenient than the box mod type, and even the more moderately sized vape pen style device - believe it or not, this makes it harder to break, giving the e-cigarette another advantage over other devices.
Make sure to stay away from disposable vapes - these are environmentally unfriendly, and though they may seem cheap on the face of it, the small amount of liquid they contain and the single-use battery make for a wasteful (2) and expensive way to vape.
WHAT'S CHEAPER: REFILLABLE TANKS vs E-CIGARETTE REFILLS?
As far as tanks go, there is a variety available, but here in the UK, the maximum legal tank size is 2ml (3). This does limit variety here in the UK, but there are tanks available in the US that are much larger.
Having a spare tank is a necessary cost if you plan to use a reusable vape pen: tanks can break, and if you want to vape a different flavour without finishing your current tank you can use the spare, or if you vape CBD you could keep a tank dedicated to that purpose.
This demonstrates another advantage for cigalike and pre-filled pods - if the refill gets damaged, the only loss is that refill - you’re likely to have a few refills spare, so where tank problems will prevent you from vaping on your box mod, simply switch out the refill on the e-cigarette and you’re back to vaping!
HOW WILL THE RIGHT NICOTINE STRENGTH OF E-LIQUID AFFECT MY BUDGET?
Getting the right strength vape juice for your needs is likely to be the single biggest money saver in this whole exercise. Why? Too weak a liquid will end up being used in greater quantities to hit the same level of craving, So you will get through a higher volume of liquid.
Choosing a high nicotine liquid is the best way to get the most nicotine for your money, so even if it is a little too high for your preference, it will allow you to use less liquid to satisfy the craving. A smoker looking to cut down their nicotine intake could still use the strongest E-cigarette refills available, but by limiting the number of puffs, or taking more shallow puffs, they can reduce their nicotine intake.
Mixing your own e-liquids using shortfills and nic salts is a way to get around regulations and achieve a higher strength nicotine e-liquid than is allowed on the retail market, and the nic salts keep the inhale smooth, too (4). Do remember that the regulations are in place for good reason, though, so we wouldn't advise making liquids above a 2.0% strength. If you are coughing when you vape, check out the our guide to why you cough when you vape and how to get rid of it!
If you plan on mixing your own e-liquids, be prepared to spend the time and find the space to keep all of your ingredients - and keep a cleaning cloth close by.
HOW DOES VAPING TECHNIQUE AFFECT YOUR E-LIQUID CONSUMPTION?
The vaping technique is largely dictated by the style of device you use, but the way you inhale can impact how much vape juice is used in a single draw.
Many devices allow the entry of air into the system by a vent of some kind. The SMOKO E-cigarette has venting where the refill joins the battery, and refillable tanks have an adjustable slider to set the vent to the right size for your preference.
The degree to which these vents are open determines how much air is mixed with the vapour generated, and affects the rate of aerosolization (5) as better airflow allows this to happen at lower temperatures. Therefore, it may make sense to keep vents open as much as possible when vaping in order to make the e-liquid last as long as possible!
HOW DOES PROPER MAINTENANCE OF VAPE DEVICE AND ACCESSORIES AFFECT YOUR VAPING BUDGET?
For devices requiring maintenance, taking the time to clean your vape device is essential if you want it to last as long as possible. Liquids in contact with metal will cause it to corrode - whether in the tank, the vape coil, or if some leaks through to the main body of the device.
For this reason, the cigalikes and pre-filled pod systems win out for their sealed refills. The batteries don’t last forever, but then no batteries do. Coils come in the refills, so most of your purchasing will be for refills, and occasionally a replacement battery. Much easier than carrying spare tanks and coils around with e-liquid bottles for your big box mod!
So not only will a mod vape get through your e-liquid faster due to the higher power, they may also release more harmful chemicals than a low powered vape, especially if you need to replace an older coil! Very high strength nic salt liquids are also associated with higher heavy metal leeching (6), so we suggest using freebase nicotine!
Don’t make the mistake of bulk buying your e-liquids or e-cigarette refills and then subjecting them to extreme temperatures or leaving them in sunlight - this results in the degradation of chemicals in the liquid, reducing the strength and negatively impacting the flavour, even though the liquid should still be safe to use if it was made in the UK.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO VAPING ON A BUDGET: CONCLUSION
If keeping your costs down is top priority, but like most of us, you want to spend your free time doing non-vape related activities, then a simple device with less replaceable parts is the best way to go. The initial spend is low, refills can be bulk bought, risk of damaging the device is low, and they are really easy and convenient to transport, as well as cheap to maintain!
Buying UK made liquids, like those we use in the SMOKO e-cigarette refills, may be a little more expensive, but the regulation in place means the product is subject to a good degree of standards - standards that are not matched by every country in the world - helping you vape as safely as possible.
Remember, don’t buy cheap, buy smart - make the switch to the UK's premium e-cigarettes today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Written by Dan Overgage
Dan Overgage is a former smoker of 10 years until he became a client of SMOKO E-Cigarettes. Dan started working with SMOKO 5 years ago after successfully quitting using our e-cigarettes and works across our Customer Service and heads up our content creation and research with a strong focus on all things quitting smoking. During his tenure with SMOKO, Dan has written countless blogs and consults with countless clients every day to help them to stay smoke-free.