If you’re considering making the switch and fully transitioning to vaping, it is not uncommon for you to want to create an experience for yourself that mimics a cigarette in as many ways as possible. Beyond the nicotine itself, our brains crave the habits and rituals associated with smoking, and recreating them to the best extent we can with a vape will certainly help when it comes to quitting. In this post, we’re going to cover a few ways to help in doing that, and in doing so we will try to remove some of the decision anxiety that surrounds making the switch.
Device ShapeAt a basic level, the shape of your device can have a big impact on your vaping experience. Holding something in your hand that feels comfortable is important - ergonomics are surprisingly crucial in this discussion, as if you don’t feel comfortable holding your vape, you won’t feel encouraged to continue using it. While this may not seem like a significant aspect it certainly plays a subconscious role in the battle of quitting cigarettes.
Having a device that feels like a cigarette in your hand, or at least something similar, can be a massive boon for people making the transition. Tying into the shape, the size (and weight) of the device can have an impact as well. Something small, and pen-shaped, will often help to make the transition smoother - something you can put in the same place you’d normally keep your pack or pouch. Just remember when taking device size into consideration, you are not just replacing one cigarette with your vape, it’s a replacement for carrying a pouch or pack, so try not to get too caught up in trying to find a vape the exact size of a cigarette as you may find this is harder to do that you might think.
Pod and MTL devicesTouching on the same note, pod devices can be a good call for people looking to get into a vape when they’re coming from cigarettes. This is due to the fact that pod devices are usually small, lightweight, and vaguely cigarette-shaped in many cases. Pod devices and MTL devices are generally one and the same, too. For the uninitiated, MTL stands for Mouth-to-Lung (as opposed to DTL, meaning Direct to Lung, see our handy blog post here). MTL is the smoking/vaping style that is associated with cigarettes, which involves inhaling the smoke into the mouth, and then performing a secondary inhale that transfers the smoke or vapour from the mouth down into the lung where it is absorbed. Getting a device with an MTL inhale style is very important for recreating a similar draw action to a cigarette.
Vapour ProductionMany MTL devices will have a low level of vapour production, as the two elements are very closely linked. Devices that produce a large amount of vapour will not need to be ‘double inhaled’ in the MTL style, as the vapour produced is enough to move directly to your lung (hence DTL). Getting a device with low vapour production can help to recreate the cigarette experience, as the large clouds you see from more powerful devices is obviously not what you expect from a cigarette, and having a smaller cloud on the exhale will help to give your brain the impression that you’re smoking.
Airflow RestrictionAs smokers will know, cigarettes have what vapers call a ‘restricted airflow’, meaning there is a certain amount of resistance when you inhale or draw through the filter. This draw tightness is a pillar of the smoking experience, and finding a device with either a standardised tight airflow or an airflow control system, is another important aspect of recreating the cigarette experience. With that said, many MTL and Pod devices will come standard with restricted airflow.
Mouthpiece ShapesMouthpieces are something that not many people consider when choosing a vape. While larger devices often feature modular mouthpiece slots, allowing you to use third-party mouthpieces (and thus fully customise the mouthpiece), many smaller devices usually have their mouthpiece either built into the pod or built into the device itself.
Finding a device with a round mouthpiece, or one that feels comfortable for the user in some way is often very helpful in sticking to the vape. Part of what the brain craves is the habit and the feeling of having something in the mouth, and if you can find something with a similar shape and feel to what you expect, it will likely aid in the transition.
Draw ActivationModern pod devices are known for having a draw activation system, which is a piece of technology built into the pod that will automatically fire the device when the user inhales through the mouthpiece. This is another feature that can really help to mimic a cigarette, as obviously once a cigarette is lit there is no button that the smoker needs to hold down in order to extract smoke from it. Draw activated vape devices work the same way - you just inhale, and the device will produce vapour for you. Draw activation has been a very popular feature now included in many pods, and it is commonly seen as a crucial component of recreating the smoking experience.
Throat HitOne thing that many smokers crave, even subconsciously, is what we refer to as a ‘throat hit’. This is the feeling in the back of your throat when you take a drag from a cigarette. One way to get more “throat hit” from your vape is through the raw power of the device you are using. Typically, the more powerful your device, the warmer the vape, the more you will feel the vapour on your inhale and exhale giving a faux throat hit feeling. The simplest way to create a throat hit without changing your device is to find a vape liquid with a decent amount of ‘coolant’ in it. Coolant is an additive used in some vape liquids that provides the cold feeling associated with menthol cigarettes, without the actual flavour of menthol or mint. For this reason, coolant juices (often advertised as some variant of ‘icy’ or ‘iced’) can be enjoyed even by those who don’t like the flavour of menthol cigarettes, as the mintiness is not prevalent. The addition of coolant provides a significant throat hit that is reminiscent of the one you can feel when you smoke a cigarette.
If there is one small piece of information that you take away from this post, let it be this: everyone’s vaping journey is unique, and each person has different likes/dislike with everything. When looking at what vape you can buy, make sure you really think about what you want from your device, and either pick something that ticks the boxes or drop into one of our stores and one of our friendly team will be sure to help you :)