Different Styles of Vaping: An In-Depth Overview
Different Styles of Vaping: An In-depth Overview
Over the past decade, vaping has transformed from a niche subculture into a widespread phenomenon, providing smokers a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes. As vaping evolved, enthusiasts began to develop and adopt unique styles, both in terms of hardware and technique.
Vaping's roots trace back to simple devices designed to mimic the experience of smoking. As technology and interest grew, so did the myriad of styles and methods users could choose from. Today, from mouth-to-lung vaping to cloud chasing, each style offers a distinct experience.
Basic Vaping Styles
Mouth-to-Lung, often abbreviated as MTL, is the vaping style that closely resembles the act of smoking traditional cigarettes. Here, users first draw the vapor into their mouths, hold it momentarily, and then inhale it into their lungs, much like the drag from a cigarette.
MTL vaping usually employs low-wattage devices. These devices often have high resistance coils, typically above 1 ohm. The reason for such a setup is to mimic the tighter draw and the amount of vapor produced by a traditional cigarette. Popular devices for this style include pod systems and certain vape pens.
Due to the limited vapor production of MTL devices, vapers often opt for e-liquids with higher nicotine concentrations. This provides a satisfactory nicotine hit with a smaller amount of vapor. Furthermore, e-liquids with a higher PG (propylene glycol) content are common for MTL vaping as PG provides a stronger throat hit, another feature that mirrors the sensation of smoking.
Contrary to MTL, Direct-to-Lung vaping is more like taking a deep breath directly into the lungs. When vapers use DTL devices, they inhale the vapor straight into their lungs without holding it in the mouth first.
DTL vaping is achieved with high-wattage devices that use low-resistance coils, typically below 1 ohm. These devices can produce a significant amount of vapor in a short time, making them ideal for this inhalation style. Box mods paired with sub-ohm tanks are common choices for DTL vapers.
Because of the substantial vapor production, e-liquids used for DTL vaping usually have lower nicotine concentrations. High doses of nicotine would be too intense with the amount of vapor inhaled. These e-liquids often have a VG (vegetable glycerin) bias, as VG produces denser and larger vapor clouds.
Advanced Vaping Styles
Sub-ohm vaping is a term derived from using coils with a resistance level below 1 ohm. The "sub" indicates "below," referring to the resistance of the coil.
Due to the low resistance, sub-ohm coils heat up faster and produce a significant amount of vapor, leading to denser clouds and, often, more pronounced flavor. Many vapers claim that sub-ohming provides a smoother and richer vaping experience.
Sub-ohm vaping demands higher power, hence it requires devices capable of providing the necessary wattage without overheating. Battery safety is paramount. Users should ensure that their batteries can handle the amps drawn by these low-resistance coils.
Temperature Control Vaping (TC)
Temperature Control (TC) vaping is a mode found in advanced vape mods that allows the user to set a specific temperature for the coil, rather than adjusting power (watts) directly.
By maintaining a consistent coil temperature, TC vaping prevents dry hits, which can occur when an atomizer runs out of e-liquid. Moreover, by controlling temperature, vapers can fine-tune their experience, achieving optimal flavor and vapor production.
Not all coils can be used in TC mode. Only certain materials like stainless steel, nickel, or titanium have predictable changes in resistance as they heat up, making them suitable for TC vaping. Before using this mode, one should ensure compatibility.
Squonking involves mods that have an integrated e-liquid bottle. By pressing this bottle, users can manually direct e-liquid to saturate the coil, eliminating the need to drip e-liquid frequently.
Squonking marries the flavor intensity of dripping (where e-liquid is manually applied to the coils) with the convenience of a tank. It provides fresh flavor with each squonk and allows vapers to carry a larger amount of e-liquid without the need for constant refilling.
Squonking requires practice. Over-squonking can flood the atomizer and cause leaking, while under-squonking can lead to dry hits. It's not the easiest method for beginners, but once mastered, it offers a superior balance of flavor and convenience.
Cloud Chasing is not merely about vaping; it’s an art form and a competitive pursuit for many. The primary goal is to produce dense, voluminous, and impressive vapor clouds that can often dwarf those produced by traditional vaping methods.
To achieve this, cloud chasers often turn to high-wattage mods equipped with custom-built, low-resistance coils. These setups maximize vapor production by rapidly heating large surface areas of wicking material soaked in e-liquid. Box mods with multiple batteries, combined with RDAs sporting wide airflow channels, are the tools of choice.
Given the high power and custom coil builds, safety becomes paramount in cloud chasing. Overheating, battery venting, or even explosions can occur if not careful. Users must ensure they use batteries capable of handling high amperage draws and should regularly inspect their equipment for signs of wear or damage. Familiarity with Ohm's law and the specific capabilities of one's devices and batteries is a prerequisite.
While some vapers are enthralled by cloud size, flavor chasers are in pursuit of an unparalleled taste experience. The goal is to extract every nuance and note from e-liquids, turning each puff into a gourmet experience.
To achieve this intense flavor, many rely on rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) or rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDAs). These allow users to customize coil builds, wicking methods, and airflow to fine-tune the flavor extraction.
Techniques: Achieving peak flavor often involves manipulating several variables:
Airflow: A tighter airflow concentrates the vapor, intensifying the flavor. Too tight, however, can lead to overheating and a burnt taste.
Coil Builds: Complex coil designs, like Clapton, Alien, or Fused coils, increase the surface area in contact with the wick, enhancing flavor production.
E-Liquids: E-liquids with higher PG (Propylene Glycol) content tend to carry flavor more effectively, thus preferred by some flavor chasers.
Dripping involves manually applying e-liquid onto the wicks and coils, providing vapers with the freshest and most direct flavor experience with each puff. It ensures that the wick is consistently saturated with e-liquid, delivering optimal flavor.
RDAs (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers) are specifically designed for this method. They typically consist of a build deck for coil installation and a top cap but lack a traditional tank reservoir.
While dripping offers a pristine flavor experience, it comes with its own set of challenges:
Convenience: Having to manually drip e-liquid onto the coils every few puffs can be cumbersome, especially when on-the-go.
Over Dripping: Adding too much e-liquid can cause flooding, resulting in spit-back (hot e-liquid jumping to the mouth) or leakage.
Experience Required: Dripping demands a certain level of experience and understanding of coil building and wicking. It's essential to ensure that the wick remains moist to avoid dry hits and potential damage to the coil.
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