Congratulations, you have just joined the vaping community and bought your first vape device. Now what? Often when new vapers start out they have no idea where to begin or how to even use their device properly.

There is a bit of a learning curve to vaping, especially if you are just getting off cigarettes. It is pretty easy once you get used to the difference between vaping and smoking, and where you are allowed to vape (and where you can’t). We have included some general tips for first-time vapers on how to use and charge their device for the first time.

To Be a Responsible Vaper You Need to:

Know the Laws in Your State

State laws differ from one state to another. It is best to find out what the regulations are in your state before you start vaping. Certain states have pending anti-vaping legislation or legislation that has already passed. You can find that out by looking at the License to Vape Vaping State Laws page.

Know Where Vaping is Permitted

Most states allow vaping in the same areas where smoking is permitted (again, check your state laws). Several states have a version of the “Clean Air Act” and will not allow you to vape at any indoor sporting event or in enclosed areas like restaurants and bars. You also cannot vape within so many feet of federal buildings or on school property.

Follow the Rules

To be a responsible vaper means following the rules and setting a good example. If you vape during work hours, do so only in designated smoking areas and on your breaks.

Don’t block the entrance to stores blowing big clouds of vapor. Vaping is still new to some people and they are a little intimidated by it, plus you don’t want to give the impression that you are not being respectful of their right not to breathe in your vape cloud.

Practice Personal Safety

If you vape while out and about, be sure to turn the device off when finished.  5 clicks turns your device off and it is then safe to put in your pocket or purse while you go about your day. A device that is turned off cannot activate and poses no danger to you or anyone else.

Some Things to Know for a First-Time Vape:

1. How to Activate Your Device

If you have purchased a vape pen, then turning the device on is as simple as (5) clicks to turn it on and off. When you click the power button 5 times the button will blink for a few seconds and that tells you it is ready to use. It will also blink a different color light when the battery is getting low to let you know it’s time to charge.

For a cig-a-like device, there may be a power button (manual) or no power button (automatic). If you have a button just press while inhaling. If no button, then it is activated by inhaling alone.

2. Make Sure it is Charged

You will need to charge the device before vaping. Attach the charging cable to the micro USB port on the device and wait until it is fully charged. Individual devices vary, but there should be a “battery indicator light” on the device or on the charging piece that lets you know when the charging cycle has completed.

3. How to Set the Wattage/Voltage

Some devices may have a LED screen with buttons to set the wattage or a knob at the bottom to adjust the voltage. The best rule of thumb is to set the wattage low to start and increase it a little at a time until it is where you like it.

You should know the wattage recommendations for your coil (it is sometimes written on the coil head) or may be listed on the back of the box your device came in. Start a little lower than the recommended wattage and go up slowly until you find the “sweet spot” or where it works best for you.

If your device uses volts like a Twist, the lowest setting is 3.2 and goes up to 4.8. Depending on your vape tank coil head, you can turn it to 3.9 or 4.2 on most standard resistance coils (2.4 – 3.0) and a little higher for lower resistance coils (1.5 – 2.0). Sub-ohm coils are anything under 1.0 ohms. Most beginner devices that use sub-ohm coils are between 0.5 and 0.8 and can be vaped at 30 – 50W.

These are guidelines only, just do what works best for you, even if it is lower than what is stated on the coil. Nobody ever burned a coil from wattage that was set too low. You just won’t get much vapor if it is too low. Keep trying until it is just right.

4. Fill with E-liquid

Before your first vape, you will need to make sure you have e-liquid in your tank. Once filled, make sure not to vape it (the e-liquid) all the way to the bottom of the tank. If the tank is too low you could get dry hits or burn your coil because there is not enough e-liquid to keep it wet. Dry hits are bad and may burn your throat and make you cough terribly. As a general rule of thumb, always top off your tank when it gets below the midline. That way you never have to worry about dry hits.

5. The Draw on an E-cigarette or Vape Pen is Different Than Smoking

With a cigarette, you take short draws and then exhale the smoke through your mouth. When drawing on an electronic cigarette or vape pen you do just the opposite. The draw should be long and slow to get a good amount of vapor in your mouth and then inhale it into your lungs.

Mouth-to-lung hits as they are called should be done slowly to the count of “5” instead of a quick pull. This is the proper technique for drawing on an e-cigarette. If you don’t get much vapor the first few tries just keep practicing your technique. A common problem new vapers experience is not getting much vapor initially because their draw is wrong.

How Long is “a Vape?”

If you were a smoker you were finished when you got to the end of your cigarette. But vaping is different from smoking and it may be hard to know when to stop. There is no right or wrong answer, it just depends on how long it takes for you to be satisfied. Your body absorbs the nicotine from vapor differently and it may take several minutes to realize that you no longer feel the need for nicotine. That is when you know you’re finished. Just vape until the urge goes away and start again when it returns.

For additional information, see our “Vaping for Beginners” guides.