Ecig Beginners

Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

Electronic Cigarettes, those who support their use say they provide an alternative way to ingest nicotine without the harm caused by smoking, and say millions of lives could be saved if smokers chose that alternative. Reliable sources in the industry say there are many misconceptions regarding what is a relatively new product.

Katherine Devlin, President of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA), said it was wrong to think that the products are not regulated. She said the industry would welcome more legislation in some areas, especially regarding age. "We do want to see a mandate to restrict the age for sales of these products to mirror those for tobacco products," she said. "These products are for adult smoking consumers, they're not for children."

Figures provided by the anti-smoking lobby ASH show that among current smokers, the use of e-cigarettes has risen from 3% in 2010 to 11% in 2013. Almost half the ex-smokers surveyed (48%) said they had used e-cigarettes to help quit smoking and almost a third (32%) used them to prevent reverting to tobacco use. ASH believes that e-cigarettes can provide a less harmful alternative for smokers who want to cut down or quit smoking but that the products need to be regulated. ASH chief executive Deborah Arnott said: "E-cigarettes offer a potentially safer option for smokers wishing to reduce their risk of ill-health from tobacco use. "However, these products need to be regulated to ensure that they are reliable, effective and not targeted at children.

Medical expert and Daybreak regular Dr Hilary Jones gives his views to about the benefits of Electronic Cigarettes. You can also see Dr Hilary Jones gives his views on cigarettes live on Daybreak below;

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What are they and how do they work?

What is an E-Cigarette?

With the age of technology, it was only a matter of time before someone eventually had to “virtualize” the common cigarette. Watch someone “smoke” one of these new E-Cigarettes, and it is fascinating. They can be very discrete, bold and brash or very stylish. They can look like a pen, they can look like a bold fashion statement with fluorescent pink or bright sunshine yellow, or they can look just like the real thing. 

When a user “smokes” it, there are white puffs when they exhale coming out of their nostrils and mouth just like the real thing, but there is no second-hand smoke: just flavored water vapor. When the user draws a breath, a colored light glows on the end of the device. When the user stops drawing in a breath, there is no second-hand smoke: the device just stops. Nobody close at hand even smells anything. But best of all, these cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco.

OK, so how does an E-Cigarette work?

An E-Cigarette is a cigarette-sized tube with a colored LED light on the end, containing a battery and an atomizer cartridge that holds liquid. When the user draws in, a pressure-activated switch turns on a mini heating element and produces a vapor that looks like smoke.

This vapor is essentially the same smoke commonly seen in nightclubs, concerts and theatres in fog generators when used for special effects. The vapor can also contain nicotine in doses regulated by the user, and a variety of flavors: among them chocolate, mint, tobacco, apple, and many others. Users can even get the flavor of their favorite brand of cigarettes.

Where does the Nicotine come from?

Nicotine doses in the cartridges are rated in low, medium, high, and zero nicotine. The high strength cartridge has the nicotine equivalent of a regular cigarette, though some have been known to exceed that, which we do not recommended for your health safety. In some brands of the device, such as BestEciggy it is even possible to create your own custom flavors and regulate the nicotine level yourself.


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Getting Started

New to the world of Vaping? Then you probably have a question or two. Read below for some help and advice on making the switch from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.

What do I need to get started? 

All you need to get started is a desire to switch to an alternative method to smoking and keep an open mind when it comes to flavouring. Read about different brands and their offerings before making a decsion taking into account all your need and requirements to get the best e-cig smoking experience possible. You can find full reviews on all the main brands throughout this website to help you along the way.

Investing in an electronic cigarette starter kit: Once you decide on the brand, you will need to invest in a starter kit. This typically includes things like pack, charger, batteries, and flavor cartridges.

What flavours can I choose?

One of the best things about electronic cigarettes is that they come in a variety of flavours - most of which you would not normally associate with traditional cigarettes but be open minded and you can discover some absolute gems. Most brands offer Tobacco flavours to be as close to the real thing as possible but there is a wonderful world of flavours out there just waiting to be discovered from Red Bull and Grape to Blueberry and Banana!

Do Electronic Cigarettes come in a non-nicotine option?

While your options will depend entirely on what brand you choose to go with, most brands not only offer a non-nicotine option but also you can choose the nicotine strength to enable you to get your perfect hit.

How long do Electronic Cigarette cartridges last?

Again this can vary dependant on the brand but we have discovered that most cartridges tend to last for around 250 puffs (equal to around a pack of 20 traditional cigarettes) which will end up saving you plenty of money.

I hope you find our website useful and good luck in finding the perfect electronic cigarette for you.


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E-Cig Glossary

Electronic cigarettes: A-Z of E-Cig Terminology


Adapter: this allows you to “mix and match” different atomisers (or atomizers) to different types of battery. Some vapers prefer the atomiser supplied by one manufacturer, but the battery used by another. This way you can get the best of both worlds.

Analogue or Analog (cigarette): the term used to describe a traditional or “old fashioned” cigarette.

ASH: Action on Smoking and Health, a UK based lobby group very definitely against the use of tobacco, but currently with a somewhat ambivalent attitude towards electronic cigarettes.

Atomiser or Atomizer: an essential “heart” of the e-cig. It heats the nicotine or nicotine-free liquid of the cigarette to the temperature at which it vaporises. So, the atomiser actually has two components – a heating element and a tiny pump that forces the liquid through the atomiser. Handled with proper care and regular maintenance you can expect your atomiser to last for between 6 and 12 months (depending, of course, on its use).

Atty: a fairly common abbreviation for “atomiser” or “atomizer”.

Automatic: a reference to the type of e-cig that automatically activates the atomiser when the user draws on it (i.e. just like smoking a tobacco cigarette, and replacing the alternative system where a button needs to be pressed on the e-cig to activate the atomiser).


Bat, Batt or Battery: just what it says, the battery that powers the atomiser of the e-cigarette. It includes the necessary circuitry, an LED and electric switch. It’s normally a 3.7v Li-Ion cell.

Bridge: acting as a kind of wick between the e-solution and the heating element, this is an absorbent, U-shaped piece of material covering the atomiser.


Carto, cartomiser or cartomizer: this contains both the cartridge containing the e-liquid or e-solution and the atomiser in just one single unit. They tend to be cheaper than buying cartridge and atomiser separately and generally contain a greater volume of liquid. You might also see them described as disposable e-cigs.

Cart or cartridge: this is what holds the e-liquid, e-solution or juice that gets atomised into a vapour. The cartridge usually contains an absorbent material that acts like a wick to deliver the liquid to the atomiser. It is disposable once the liquid has been used up.

CASAA: Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, a US-based pressure group promoting the use of e-cigarettes and championing their users.

Charger: can be used to recharge the battery of your electronic cigarette.

Cut-off: though not all e-cigs have this feature it is designed to close or shut down the device, to prevent the atomiser from overheating, if you take too long a drag (say, longer than 8 seconds). Cut-off may be accompanied by a flashing LED.


Dipping: this is a way of getting e-solution into an atomiser so that you can use it without a cartridge for a short while. The atomiser will need to have an exposed wick.

Disposable: just as it says, this is a fully-functioning electronic cigarette that can be thrown away once you’ve used up all the e-liquid or the battery runs flat. Usually the latter.

Dripping, direct dripping or drip-tip: similar to dipping, but it works in reverse – you wet the wick of the atomiser by dropping some of the e-solution straight onto it. Again, the e-cig can be used for a short while without the need for a cartridge.

Dry vaping: you might need to do this if the atomiser gets flooded with too much e-liquid. Just take off the mouthpiece, remove the cartridge and inhale. It will dry out the atomiser but be careful not to overheat it by inhaling too long or too often.


ECA: Electronic Cigarette Association, an association of US manufacturers established to promote its members interests and set certain industry standards.

ECF: E-Cigarette Forum, probably the world’s biggest electronic cigarette website.

E-cig, e-cigarette or e-ciggy: an electronic cigarette, using an atomiser to vaporise a nicotine or nicotine-free solution which can be inhaled when vaporised.

E-cigar or electronic cigar: like an electronic cigarette but in cigar form.

E-juice or juice: also known as e-liquid or e-solution, it is the consumable component of an e-cig – the liquid which is vaporised and inhaled by the user. It comes in a huge range of flavours, some of which contain nicotine and some of which are nicotine-free. The base is normally made from propylene glycol (PG) – widely in the manufacture of food and cosmetics. Alternatively, it can be made of vegetable glycerol (VG) or indeed a mix of the two.

Electronic cigarette: also known as e-cig, e-cigarette, e-fag or e-ciggy. An alternative to conventional tobacco cigarettes, using an atomiser to vaporise a nicotine or nicotine-free solution which can be inhaled when vaporised.

E-liquid: also known as e-solution, e-juice or simply juice, it is the consumable component of an e-cig – the liquid which is vaporised and inhaled by the user. It comes in a huge range of flavours, some of which contain nicotine and some of which are nicotine-free. The base is normally made from propylene glycol (PG) – widely in the manufacture of food and cosmetics. Alternatively, it can be made of vegetable glycerol (VG) or a mixture of the two.

E-pipe: you guessed it! It’s similar to the e-cigarette (and e-cigar), but with the look, feel and taste of a pipe.

E-smoking: what you’re doing when you’re using an electronic cigarette although you aren’t really smoking you are vaping.

E-solution: also known as e-liquid, e-juice or simply juice, it is the consumable component of an e-cig – the liquid which is vaporised and inhaled by the user. It comes in a huge range of flavours, some of which contain nicotine and some of which are nicotine-free. The base is normally made from propylene glycol (PG) – widely in the manufacture of food and cosmetics. Alternatively, it can be made of vegetable glycerol (VG) or a combination of the two.


FDA: the US Food and Drug Administration, responsible for the regulation of e-cigarettes in the United States – and currently involved in a critical law case with importers and suppliers of e-cigarettes.

Filler: an absorbent material packed into the e-cig’s liquid cartridge to ensure a steady flow to the atomiser without flooding it.

Flooding: this can happen if too much liquid reaches the atomiser and floods it.




Juice: also known as e-liquid, e-solution or e-juice, it is the consumable component of an e-cig – the liquid which is vaporised and inhaled by the user. It comes in a huge range of flavours, some of which contain nicotine and some of which are nicotine-free. The base is normally made from propylene glycol (PG) – widely in the manufacture of food and cosmetics. Alternatively, it can be made of vegetable glycerol (VG) or you can mix both together.


LED: at the tip of an e-cig there is an LED (Light Emitting Diode) which lights up to give the impression of the cigarette being alight – it makes it look a little more like a conventional, tobacco cigarette (or analogue). Sometimes the LED might flash or change colour to show the status of the battery e.g. whether it needs charging.

Leaking: as the term suggests, this is when the e-liquid, e-solution or juice leaks from an overfilled atomiser or cartomiser. Clearly, this can damage the heating element or battery.

Liquid: also known as e-liquid, e-juice, e-solution or simply juice, it is the consumable component of an e-cig – the liquid which is vaporised and inhaled by the user. It comes in a huge range of flavours, some of which contain nicotine and some of which are nicotine-free. The base is normally made from propylene glycol (PG) – widely in the manufacture of food and cosmetics. Alternatively, it can be made of vegetable glycerol (VG).

Low resistance or LR: this is a reference to the ohm rating of the cartomiser or atomiser. The lower resistance usually makes the heating element get hotter more quickly and produce vapour faster – and sometimes in greater volume than a standard atomiser of cartomiser.


M (numbers): basically, there are lots of them – 306, 401, 402, 403, 510, 808, and 901 – all reflecting the different styles, designs and lengths of e-cigarette currently available. Many of the differences are determined by the lengths of their respective batteries.

Manual: (as opposed to automatic), this refers to the type of e-cig that has a button which needs to be pressed to turn on the heating element and pump liquid through the atomiser to make vapour. I might be a little more awkward to use than an automatic but it is less susceptible to leaking.

Milligrams or mg: the amount, by weight, of nicotine contained in the e-liquid. Levels in common use are 0mg, 6mg, 8mg, 12mg, 16mg, 18mg, 24mg, 30mg, 36mg and 48mg, with a comparable level of nicotine found in the average analog cigarette at about 18mg.

Millilitres or ml: the amount of e-liquid, by volume, in any given capsule.

Mod: short for modification, this refers to the way in which an e-cig has been modified or adapted to suit a particular user’s tastes. It might be done to change the looks, the battery life or the amount of vapour produced, when compared to the manufacturer’s original specification.

Mouthpiece: just as it says, replacing the term butt that you’d use for an analogue or conventional tobacco cigarette.


Ohm: a measure of electrical resistance – the lower the resistance the faster the heating element is likely to warm up.


Passthrough: this lets you connect your electronic cigarette to the USB port of your computer or charger and therefore spares the e-cig’s battery. In fact, some users have reported a better flavour and/or improved taste when powering the device in this way.

Pen style: describes a particular kind of e-cig design that looks like a pen.

Portable charging case: even when you’re away from an available power source, you can use this to re-charge the battery of your e-cigarette.

Personal vaporiser, personal vaporizer or pv: yet another name for the electronic cigarette, e-cigarette or e-cig.

Primer: used by some manufacturers to protect the atomiser whilst being shipped – you’ll find it has a nasty taste!

Propylene glycol or PG: a base ingredient of many producers’ e-liquid. It has been approved for use in medical inhalers for decades. An alternative to PG is vegetable glycerol (VG), which may produce more vapour but is said to have less taste.


Smokeless cigarette: an alternative name for the electronic cigarette, e-cigarette or e-cig, which emphasizes that these produce none of the harmful smoke of conventional tobacco cigarettes (i.e. analogues).

Starter kit: everything you need to embark on your vaping journey, or the experience of electronic cigarettes. A typical starter kit may come with 5 or more cartridges pre-filled with e-juice, 1 or more atomizers, 1 or more batteries, and a charger.


THR: Tobacco Harm Reduction, the name of a project looking at ways to reduce the proven harm of smoking tobacco being carried out by scientists of the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Throat hit, throat kick, th or tk: the tingling sensation you are likely to feel in the back of your throat when the vaporised nicotine of an electronic cigarette is inhaled. Since it is the nicotine that gives you the hit, you won’t feel it with a nicotine-free e-solution.

Topping or topping off: filling or topping up the cartridge of your e-cig with e-juice.


Vape: what you do when you’re using an electronic cigarette i.e. inhale and exhale its vapour.

Vaper: someone who vapes – uses e-cigarettes.

Vaping: the action of using or “smoking” an electronic cigarette.

Vapour, or vapor cigarette: alternative name for the electronic cigarette, emphasizing the fact that it is harmless water vapour, rather than harmful tobacco smoke that is exhaled by the user.

Vapour, or vapour production: a measure of the amount of vapour typically inhaled in one drag of the atomised liquid of an e-cig.

Vegetable glycerol, vegetable glycerine or vg – a base ingredient of many brands of e-liquid and an alternative to propylene glycol (especially if users are allergic to use of the latter). It is reported that vg generates more vapour than propylene glycol but is less flavour-some and lacks some of its Throat Kick.


Wick: as in the wick of a candle, the small piece of string attached to most atomisers to aid the flow of e-liquid from the cartridge to the atomiser.


X-vaping: the process of exhaling the vapour of an electronic cigarette.

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Ecig Buying Guide buying recommendations

For all new ecig users or for people first researching electronic cigarettes in general, it can be quite daunting where to begin, with all the strange new terminology like atomisers, cartomisers, vapourisers etc and trying working out which kit to start out with. After spending many months using and reviewing a large amount of products currently on the market, we believe that we are now in the fortunate position of being able to help all those newbies out there who are either struggling to get started or would like to look at alternatives to their current ecig set up.

We believe that the most important aspects of making your buying decision come down to the following preferences.


  • Style & look of e-cigs
  • Battery life
  • Variety of flavours
  • Cost of starter kit
  • Cost of refills (cartomisers)
  • Discounts & promotions

We have therefore put together this handy set of buying recommendations to help you make the right decision in purchasing the ecig most suited to you!

Style & Look

For all those hipsters out there, where style & look is the most important feature of any buying decisions they make, we recommend 2 different brands and give our reasons below;

Greensmoke - The cartomisers used by greensmoke have the realistic patterns of a regular cigarrette, as well as the option to have a orange light on the tip, giving the impression of using a regular cig. They also have a large selection of 'designer batteries'

Skycig - Probably the largest brand in the UK right now, Skycig's unique all-white ecig stands out from the crowd and looks expensive and stylish compared to most other brands. The cartomisers and battery are both small and sleek and look fantastic with skycigs recognisable logo. You also have the option for orange tipped batteries, giving the required authentic look!

Battery Life

The strengh of ecig battery is vitally important, especially if you are going on a night out or use your ecig frequently at work! The last thing you need when having a few drinks out or after a stressful meeting is your battery running out, forcing you into the temptation of buying some regular cigs! Therefore, our recommendation for those who consider battery perfomance as the primary concern:

Skycig - Skycig offer a freedom charging case for £24.99. This means you charge up the actual case instead of the batteries, and the case charges up the batteries on the go, meaning you will never run out of power when out and about. Slick and slim looking, the skycig freedom case allows you to charge up to 5 batteries at any one time, and it will charge your batteries on the go for up to 4 times before the case needs charging itself.


It's all about personal preference really, but nonetheless the variety and quality of flavours is important for some ecig users. If you are experimental and like to mix up your vaping experience, then choice of flavours is definitely important as you don't want to buy a starter kit only to find that their flavour offerings are very limited. Our recommendation for flavour variety is;

Greensmoke - Once again, Greensmoke comes up top of the list, this time for choice of flavours. If you start out with the pro kit, you will get 5 regular tobacco flavoured cartomisers, as well as a variety pack of 5 different flavours for you to sample. When it is time to buy refills, you can find anything from vanilla to chocolate to menthol and even as extraoridinary and unique as mountain clove!

Cost of starter kit

If you want to have a go at vaping for the first time and would like to do it a minimum cost, then there are plenty of options out there. Just be aware that we have heard of a number of people who have tried a very cheaper starter kit first and then been putting off vaping due to the poor quality. Therefore we have made 2 recommendations based on this: one for purely price and the other based on our opinion of value for money and to give you the best chance of enjoying vaping right from the start.

Cheapest starter kit - Neatcigs - you can read our review here.

Value for money starter kit - Greensmoke express kit - you can read our review here.

Cost of cartomisers

Of course it is easy to be duped into buying the cheapest starter kit, only to find out the cost of cartomisers erodes all the value gained. Considering the fact that once most people have switched from tobacco to ecigs, they do so for life, the cost of cartomisers is massively important. You can check full cartomiser prices at the brands own website and they do change price from time to time, but we have provided a recent snapshot of prices in our savings calculator section showing you how much you will save per year as per which ecig brand you choose to go with. Based on that our recommendation is;

Intellicig - Cost of 5 cartomisers is approximately £8 - the cheapest on the market.

Regular discounts and promotions

We keep a regular eye on coupon discounts offered by the brands and offer them to our users here. Discounts are important as you will be making regular purchases at their site once you have decided which brand to go with, therefore regular discounts can have a big impact on your annual vaping cost. On the whole we would say the 2 most active brands in giving decent discounts are:



We hope you find our guide useful and it assists you in making the right decision which suits your own preferences, in the minefield that is electronic cigarettes.

Remember, that a lot of new brands are coming onto the market all the time so don't forget to keep checking out blog and reviews for updates and announcements.


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