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Canadian First Time Vaping Guide

Your First Vape – Welcome!

This beginners guide to vaping is designed specifically for those of you who have never used an e-cigarette (vape) before.  Perhaps you have a friend or family member who began vaping and was able to successfully quit smoking cigarettes.  Perhaps you just saw someone on the street using one, and thought – what the heck is that thing?  If you want to know how vaping works, what e-cigarette would be best for you to try, or many other beginners vaping questions, you have come to the right place.  Grab yourself a coffee (or tea) and let’s jump into it.

I’ll begin by stating that vaping has a bit of a learning curve – they will never feel exactly like smoking a cigarette.  Putting plastic, glass, or metal in your mouth instead of paper, learning how to refill your tanks, recharging batteries, adjusting voltages, etc. will all be new experiences for you.  Don’t worry – it will be worth your time!  Like anything you try for the first time, after some practice using your vape, it will become second nature to you.

Second note – E-cigarettes are designed to provide smokers with an alternative to tobacco cigarettes.  They are not for children or teenagers, nor are they for non-smokers or pregnant women.  At Canada Vapes we take this very seriously and require ID checks for anyone purchasing products from our Online Vape Shop.

What is vaping, and how does it work?

An electronic cigarette (also called an e-cigarette, vape, vape pen, etc.) is a battery operated device that heats up e-liquid.  This heat converts the e-liquid into a vapor which you inhale which simulates the experience of smoking a cigarette.  E-liquid (can) contains nicotine which will satisfy your cravings.  Unlike tobacco products, e-liquid comes in many flavours, giving you much more variety.  Also unlike tobacco products which contain over 7,000 chemicals, including known cancer-causing ones – Our e-liquid contains just 4 ingredients, all of which are GRAS (generally recognized as safe).  While we cannot legally state that vaping is safer than smoking (insert restrictive Canadian government rant) – We can share this link with you, which states that the British government has determined that vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

UPDATE – Our Canadian Government is finally on board!

Experts from the official Government of Canada website state:  “Vaping is less harmful them smoking.  Many of the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and the tobacco smoke from when tobacco is burned.  Vaping products do not contain tobacco and do not involve burning or product smoke.  Except for nicotine, vaping products typically only contain a fraction of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco or tobacco smoke, and at lower levels.  Switching from tobacco cigarettes to vaping products will reduce a person’s exposure to many toxic and cancer-causing chemicals.  Studies have shown short-term general health improvements in those who have completely switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping products” (SOURCE).

Every vape, no matter how big or small, requires three things to work.

#1:  A Battery.

E-Cigarette Batteries can be as small as a cigarette, or as large as a cell phone, but they are all designed to provide power to the e-cigarette. All of the batteries at Canada Vapes Store are lithium ion batteries. This means that they do not have a ‘memory’ and can be recharged many times in a row, maintaining their power.  The differences between the batteries are typically how long they last – this is talked about in “mAh” (or milliamp hours for those of you who are technical) – simply referring to how much charge the battery will hold.  The higher the number, the longer the battery will last between charges, but also the heavier and larger the battery will be.

#2:  Heating Element

The heating element of a vape is usually called a coil.  This is the part of a vape that heats the e-liquid into a vapor.   The heating coil is typically a thin piece of coiled metal that instantly heats when you activate the battery.  Think of a coil like the coils inside of your toaster oven.   The e-liquid touches the heating coil and instantly converts to a vapor, which carries the e-liquid in vapor form to you and provides the ‘simulated smoke’, taste, and throat hit.  Most vapes use their own unique coils depending on their brand, size, etc.

#3:  A Tank/Pod

The final requirement for a vape is an area for the e-liquid to be stored.  These can vary in size from very small to quite large.  Some of our larger e-cigarettes such as the Voopoo Vinci can hold up to 5.5ml of e-liquid in their tanks.  Essentially the tank’s ‘job’ is to hold e-liquid to be used in your device.  Think of it as an e-liquid gas tank for your vape.

Pretty Simple, don’t you think?

That’s all there is to it!  If you can remember these three things — a battery, a coil, and a tank, you can easily understand even the most complicated e-cigarettes the marketplace.

Which Vape will work best for me?

This question isn’t really as hard to answer as you may think. There is really only one question to ask, and then everything else is personal preferences.

The Big Question: Battery style

This question is the ultimate question to answer when determining your vape kit.  Vape kits come in all sorts of sizes, from our smallest Joyetech eRoll MAC, that is about the size of a traditional tobacco cigarette, all the way up to a Smok X-Priv, which uses multiple batteries, has a colour digital screen, and is pretty big and heavy.

Bigger batteries will last longer (you won’t need to charge them as often) and the tanks with the bigger batteries use will often be higher quality, providing more vapor and power when you use them.   Smaller battery units will typically be less expensive and need to be charged more often.  Smaller battery units are also more portable and discreet, allowing you put your vape in a purse or pocket with ease.  Eventually, many people have both a smaller portable unit for on the go, and a large home base unit.

We have hand picked a selection of recommended beginners kits on our website.  I would suggest after reading through this article, you visit our Recommended Vape Kits for Beginners and find the kit that works best for you.  All of these kits are simple to use – easy to fill, charge, and operate.  Within these kits we have a good selection between smaller battery kits and larger battery kits.  Also, remember that all of our starter kits come with a free bottle of e-liquid to get you started.

What e-liquid should I buy?


Hopefully, you have found the perfect vape for you. But what good is an e-cigarette without an equally amazing e-liquid? E-liquid is the gas that drives the engine! Regarding e-liquid, there are just two choices to make, and then a few questions that I will answer for you.

Question #1: What nicotine strength of e-liquid should I use?

Our e-liquid is available in six nicotine strengths: no nic (0mg/ml), ultra low (3mg/ml), low (6mg/ml), medium-low (9mg/ml) medium (12mg/ml) Medium High (16mg/ml) and high (24mg/ml). For most customers who smoke between 1/2 a pack and 1 pack a day of low to average strength cigarettes, I recommend starting in the medium-low to medium area.  Somewhere between 6mg/ml and 12mg/ml should be right for you. If you smoke over a pack a day or smoke very strong cigarettes you should use medium to high strength. If you smoke less than 1/2 a pack a day or smoke very light cigarettes, you should start with ultra-low to low strength. You may find it useful to have a higher strength on hand for when you get a really intense craving, often right in the morning or right after a meal. Many customers wrongly assume that having a higher strength e-liquid will make them more successful at quitting. This is not at all the case. It is best to match the strength with your current cigarette use as described above.

See our e-liquid options HERE.

You should also strongly consider purchasing several different nicotine strengths of e-liquid for your first time to find the perfect nicotine strength for you. If I am giving a vape kit to a friend or family member, I often provide a bottle of low (6mg/ml) a bottle of medium-low (9mg/ml), and a bottle of medium (12mg/ml) for them to try.

Question #2: What flavour of e-liquid should I use?

Asking this is like asking someone what song should I listen to. E-liquid taste is very subjective and although I do my best to describe the flavours on the site, everyone has different taste preferences. What I recommend to my customers is to read through the reviews on the website and see what other customers are saying about the e-liquid. Our top 5 most popular tobacco flavours are:

  • Canadian Smooth – This e-liquid is a mild and smooth ‘all day vape’ – It has a mild tobacco base with a hint of sweetness.  We have sold over 10,000 bottles of Canadian smooth e-liquid across Canada since 2010.  Definitely a winner!
  • Menthol – We melt pure menthol crystals in our menthol e-liquid.  Menthol is a very distinct flavour and is loved by thousands of Canadian vapers.
  • Watermelon – Our watermelon e-liquid is a great e-liquid for anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth.  Sweet and refreshing watermelon taste will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth as you vape.
  • French Vanilla – Another sweet e-liquid, French Vanilla as smooth and creamy.  Not too powerful, just enough to give you that satisfying smooth flavour.
  • Earl Grey and Double Double – As you can guess, Earl Grey is a very popular tea e-liquid.  You can really taste the tea leaves when you vape – a nice, relaxing vape experience.  Double Double is our version of the most popular Canadian drink (after beer) – Coffee!  This creamy sweet coffee e-liquid will have you relaxing in no time!

Commonly asked e-liquid questions:

How long will e-liquid last me?

This is another tricky question. Every different model of e-cigarette uses e-liquid at a slightly different rate. The size and length of your draws, and of course how often you use your e-cigarette will be big factors in how long the e-liquid lasts. On average customers have reported using between 2-5ml of e-liquid per day. This means a 30ml bottle should last anywhere from 6-15 days. We offer both 30ml and 120ml e-liquid bottle sizes, with 120ml being a better value price-wise.  If you currently smoke a lot — expect a bottle to last about a week. If you smoke less often, a bottle may last several weeks or more!

Which e-liquid tastes the most like a tobacco cigarette?

There are a few points to make on this question. The first is this: No e-liquid will ever truly taste exactly like a tobacco cigarette, and here is why: When you smoke a cigarette, you are also smoking the burning paper that holds the tobacco. This burning paper and tobacco create a taste that cannot be exactly replicated without actually burning something. Since electronic cigarettes do not ignite e-liquid, it is impossible to completely simulate a cigarette taste. The second point is that many customers start off their journey by thinking they only want something like their cigarette in taste and feel. After a week or two their mind is opened to the possibilities of the enormous flavour options available. They very soon start experimenting with many flavours, and many customers eventually never go back to tobacco flavours again. Each person is, of course, different. I have vaped for over nine years, and still enjoy many tobacco flavours. Again, I would recommend reading through the reviews of the various e-liquid flavours and choosing one that sounds good to you, and that has lots of positive customer reviews.

Will I save money by switching from smoking to vaping?

The short answer is – Yes!  How much you will save will depend on what vape kit you use, how much e-liquid you consume, and what the cost of your cigarettes are.  Cigarette prices across Canada Very as high as $139.83 per 200 cigarettes in Manitoba and as low as $96.36 per 200 cigarettes in Quebec.  This works out to an average of about 60 cents per cigarette.  Assuming a pack a day smoker – the cost is $14.76 per day, or right around $450 a month to smoke.  The initial cost of a vape kit and a few extra accessories – coils and e-liquid – will be around $75-$150 depending on the kit you choose.  Assuming a bottle of e-liquid lasts you about a week, and once a week you need to change your coil, the cost of vaping (after the initial purchase of your kit) would be about 57 cents a day for coils, and $2.42 for e-liquid a day – totaling just under $3 a day, or just under $90 a month.  So in this example vaping is about 80% cheaper them smoking cigarettes in Canada.

What are some of the differences between smoking and vaping?

There are many differences between smoking and vaping.  The one you will notice right away is that vaping does not smell.  Your clothes will not have a nasty smoke smell, nor will your breath or hands.  Depending on the e-liquid you choose the smell will usually be sweet and mild and generally delightful.  The places you vape in will also not smell like nasty cigarettes.  If you choose to vape indoors, most people would not even notice that someone has vaped within a minute or two of vaping.  The second difference between vaping and smoking is that you won’t have to purchase products as often. Smokers often buy a single pack at a time, requiring them to visit a store every day or two.  E-liquid bottles last much longer, and typically customers purchase a full month’s supply of vape gear to keep them going.  We can’t make any specific health claims regarding vaping vs. smoking, but anecdotally, when I quit smoking and started vaping, within 2 weeks the phlegm (yuck) in my lungs was gone, my breathing and sense of smell greatly improved, and my energy levels increased a great deal.  I also pretty quickly lost my smoker’s cough.

Still have questions?

We are here for you!  Canada Vapes has been selling vaping gear to Canadians since 2010 – and we know our stuff!  Our team of expert vapologists (made up word) is here to support you anytime!  You can call toll-free at 1-844-286-VAPE (M-F 9:30AM-4:30PM EST) with any questions or concerns you have.  Our team will happily walk you through your first purchase and beyond.  If you have any questions about how to fill your vape, how to change your coil, how to charge your battery, or just want to say a quick hello, give us a call!

We also have a support ticket system in place to help you out!  Simply visit our Contact Us page and you’ll find a couple of ways to get in touch.  We will respond to your question within 1 business day.


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