Vaping: A Beginner's Guide

Thinking of making the move to e-cigs? We're sure you have a lot of questions.

Have more questions? Get in touch with our friendly customer service team.

Can I give up smoking by vaping?

If that's your goal, yes. 76% of our customers no longer smoke* You can also manage your nicotine consumption, if that is important to you – many customers progress from high levels of nicotine to low nic strengths, or even nicotine free vaping. If you're looking for an alternative to smoking, or simply wish to reduce your nicotine intake, switching to vaping can work for you. Getting your set-up right for your habit is key though, so let us fit your e-cig for you and set you on the right path from the start. (*poll of 10k+ customers, 2016 )

Do e-cigarettes contain nicotine or tobacco?

The e-liquid that you use to fill your tank typically contains nicotine (unless it’s a zero-nicotine variant, then it won’t) but contain NO tobacco. Nicotine is a stimulant, much like caffeine, and will raise your heart rate but no more than nicotine contained in a tobacco cigarette.

Are e-cigarettes safe?

Public Health England declared that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than traditional cigarettes in August 2015. They contain approx. 16 chemicals as opposed to over 4000 in a combusted cigarette (73 of which are known carcinogens). Any recent negative press surrounding e-cigs has been proven to be based on flawed research. When you smoke you are addicted to nicotine but it's the tar which kills - e-cigs contain no tar. You should, however. always check your hardware has CE and comes with a suitable warranty. Check that your e-liquid is CLP compliant and does not contain diacetyl. And now that the industry has been regulated via the TPD, ensure the products you buy are legal!

Are they better for you than cigarettes?


Does Vaping Work?

In a word, yes. 5 years ago, I dual used cigarettes and vaped at the same time. 4 years ago, I quit smoking altogether and only vaped. 2 years ago, I stopped vaping regularly and now only vape every now and again (particularly after a few wines at a party). Giving up vaping (and nicotine) wasn’t even my goal, I just wanted to break my smoking habit, which I’d previously thought impossible. I’d tried Alan Carr, hypnosis and cold turkey to give up my 20 year, 20 a day habit to no avail before trying my first e-cigarette.

With e-cigs, the pressure is less because you’re not giving up, you’re switching, so mentally it is different from the start. When I fancied a cigarette, I’d puff my e-cig first and if I still wanted to smoke, I would. However, after a year of doing that, I didn’t want a cigarette at all. I broke the habit. Then I worked down nicotine levels from 24mg to 0mg. Then I simply stopped vaping. Without even thinking about it. I could rave for hours, but I’ve only been given a small space…

Get a starter kit

Ready to make the switch? Get a starter kit which works for you:


Small and discrete? Check out our V3i starter kits starting at £19.99.

Vape Pen

More power, flexibility and battery life? Take a look at our SERIES-S starter kits - just £24.99!

Box Mod

All the bells and whistles? That'll be the SERIES-B DNA 75W then - starting at £79.99.

How much can I save?

How long is a piece of string? What you spend and what you can save will change based on your usage and kit. What we can say though is that for users with a non-sub-ohm device, 2-3ml of e-liquid per day is about average. With a 10ml bottle of e-liquid available from £3.99, that’s 3+ days of vaping for less than half the price of a packet of smokes.

How much will I spend each month?

Again, this will vary from person to person, but our average customer spend per month works out at around £40. Sounds a bit better than the £160 per month the average smoker spends, doesn’t it?

How much for a starter kit?

We’ve got kits available from as little as £16.99, which will at the very least include a battery and a tank. Add some e-liquid and you’re looking at around £20-£25 to get started (more expensive kits are available too).

What will I need to buy each month?

Regular consumables you’ll need are e-liquid and replacement coils for your tank. E-liquid usage varies, but most will get by on around 15ml per week (or 6x 10ml bottles per month). Most people will replace their coil around once per week, so a pack of 5 will last a month (packs of 5 coils are available from £6.99).

Can I save money by switching to vaping?

Almost certainly. As a father of two young kids, I made the choice to switch to e-cigs both for health reasons, but also because (as anyone with children will appreciate) I needed to save some money.

It’s no secret that the cost of smoking has risen astronomically over the past couple of decades. In the UK, tobacco is subject to some of the highest taxes around, meaning that the average price of a packet of cigarettes is now north of £8. This means that the average smoker can expect to spend more than £2000 every year feeding their habit.

E-cigarettes, on the other hand, represent a much cheaper alternative. Yes, there can often be a relatively high cost of entry, but running costs are low. All but the most occasional of smokers can expect to see substantial savings.

What are the most common problems?

By and large, the issues we deal with most relate to loss of performance – either caused by a problem with the battery or the tank. I’d say that 99% of the time, these types of problem can be resolved very easily by simply checking everything is assembled correctly, giving the battery a clean, and replacing the coil.

Are there any known health issues?

A small number of vapers may experience an allergic reaction to one or more of the chemicals found in e-liquid. Also remember that nicotine is a stimulant, raising your blood pressure and pulse. If you have a history of high blood pressure or heart problems, speak to a doctor prior to using an e-cig. We don’t recommend using e-cigs while pregnant either.

Is there a learning curve?

There can be, but while some of the more advanced hardware can take a little getting used to, particularly if you want to take advantage of everything on offer, many devices have been designed with new users in mind. That said, if you’re able to operate a modern smartphone, you’re not likely to have too many problems (and if you do, you can always speak to us!)

What device would you recommend for a new vaper?

Definitely our SERIES-S. We designed it ourselves, and from the start we wanted to produce a device which offers the simplicity new users want, but with flexibility built-in. So, the SERIES-S will do everything you need it to do when starting out, but if you want to try out sub-ohm at some point down the line, simply swap out the coil in your tank and you’re away.

Can anything go wrong?

As an electronic device, it is possible to occasionally experience a fault with your e-cig. Thankfully, though, in the vast majority of cases such issues are relatively easy to put right. We've done our homework though, and have designed and built products to the highest quality standards - problems are relatively uncommon and can normally be resolved very quickly. 

For the most part, we're all vapers or former smokers here, so we know what it's like to run into difficulties and how frustrating it can be. In short, we really care that our customers have a device which works, and works for them. As vapers themselves, our team can troubleshoot not just our own hardware, but probably most other brands out there as well.

At JAC, we pride ourselves on our customer service and aftercare. Our business is built on three core principles – Quality, Performance and Reliability – and that doesn’t just apply to the products we sell. If our customers do run into difficulties, our team are always on hand to sort things out. We also back all our hardware with great warranties, so if we can’t fix your issue, we won’t hesitate to arrange a replacement instead.

How do I choose my device?

Think about your own tastes. Are you a gadget lover, who can get to grips with new tech relatively easily? Are you interested in the hobby aspect of vaping, or is it purely about getting off the cigarettes?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I looking for maximum power and vapour, or would I prefer a smaller, more portable device?
  2. Do I need a multi-purpose device, or is simplicity more important?
  3. Will a tobacco flavoured e-liquid suit me, or would I rather take the opportunity to try something new?


What device would you recommend for a new user?

I’d hesitate to say that there is one perfect device out there to suit all types of vaper, but our SERIES-S was built with new users in mind. It’s easy to get to grips with, has plenty of power and flexibility there to grow into. No matter what an e-cig looks like, or the features it has, they all ultimately work in a similar way and do the same job (with varying levels of performance).

What kinds of flavours are most popular?

Most vapers will tend to choose a tobacco e-liquid to start with, mainly out of habit and our menthol e-liquids also continue to be very popular. But what we’ve found again and again, is that many vapers very quickly choose to switch to fruitier or sweeter flavours. 

What nicotine strength will I need?

Choosing the correct nicotine strength is key to successfully switching from tobacco. We often hear from customers who have given vaping a try but ultimately turned back to cigarettes because their cravings weren’t being satisfied. There may be a little trial and error involved in finding the right nic strength for you, but we can make some broad suggestions.

What will work for me?

One of the biggest advantages e-cigs have over any other smoking alternative is the wealth of choice that’s on offer. Whether you want a device that has all the bells and whistles, or have a hankering for a particular flavour of e-liquid, there will always be a product out there to suit your needs.

When I first made the switch to vaping, I wasn't prepared for the amount of choice that's out there - an e-cig is an e-cig right? And to be honest, the amount of options available meant it was really difficult to cut through the noise to find a device which was going to work for me.

What I found helped was to take the time to think about exactly what I wanted from my e-cig, and to do my research before committing to a purchase. It paid off, and meant I didn’t waste time (and money) on devices which weren’t ever going to be right.

How to choose the perfect e-liquid for me?

Simply put, you need to get out and kiss a lot of frogs. Trial and error is a big part of e-cigs, and freedom to experiment with what works (and doesn’t) can be a lot of fun. Think about the kinds of flavours you might want to try and see what options are out there. No two e-liquids are ever going to taste exactly the same, so you may need to hunt around for something which ticks all of your boxes.

Should I stick to one flavour?

It depends on whether you’re happy with that single flavour, but I’d say to be adventurous. There are loads of unique blends out there which might not sound like your thing, but you never know unless you give them a go.

Is there anything I should be concerned about when shopping for e-liquid?

As long as you stick to responsible vendors, you’ll be fine. Post-TPD, all e-cig companies must follow the law, meaning they have to carry out specific testing of their e-liquids. All of our e-liquids are batch tested in UK labs for consistency and quality – we know everything which goes into our flavours, with full traceability back to source.

What if what I want doesn’t exist?

Make it for yourself! We created our picNIC DIY e-liquid range just for vapers like you. We’ve got a huge range of flavour concentrates available which can easily mixed to create your own unique e-liquids.

Choosing an e-liquid

When I first switched to e-cigs, I followed the usual pattern. As a long-time smoker, I immediately gravitated towards tobacco flavoured e-liquids – and I tried a lot of them in my search for one which would come closest to my favoured brand of cigarettes.

The thing is, most e-liquids don’t come close - JAC's Real Tobacco Lite was the first one I found which offered a realistic tobacco flavour - it really hit the spot. But everyone's tastes are different, and you may be looking to replicate a different kind of tobacco entirely, which is why we pulled together a handy list of suggested flavours to help. Also, here's a free pro-tip. Add a couple of drops of a vanilla e-liquid to your tobacco flavour for a little kick of sweetness.

What I found though is that over a couple weeks my sense of taste came flooding back, and I was keen to put my taste-buds to work, so I branched out. Now I love super-punchy fruit flavours like blackcurrant and strawberry. I haven’t used a tobacco e-liquid in years.


For further information, help or assistance choosing the right device for you, we have a wealth of resources available at the links below.