Inhaling 101: How to Vape Like a Gentleman


man vaping

Worldwide, the number of people who vape increased from seven million in 2011 to 35 million in 2016.

Newcomers to vaping might find the language, technology, and the sheer number of e-liquid choices overwhelming. But knowing how to use a vape pen for the first time can actually make or break your vaping experience.

Learning how to vape means starting with the basics. You need to know how to go about inhaling before anything else. That involves priming your device and determining your preferred technique.

Keep reading to learn more about how to vape so your first experience is as enjoyable as it should be.

What Is Vaping?

Vaping involves inhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette or vape device. E-cigarettes and vape devices are handheld, battery-operated devices, that produce an inhalable vapor.

The vapor is produced by a heating element heating up a liquid made of flavorings and other chemicals. The heating device is activated by you inhaling from the device.

More commonly, the battery source is called the vape mod and the heating element is known as the coil. The chamber that holds the liquid (or e-juice) is known as the atomizer.

Choosing the Right E-Liquid

A big part of learning how to use a vape pen for the first time is choosing the right e-liquid. With hundreds to choose from, it’s unlikely you’ll find what’s perfect for you on your first try. But keep in mind that if you don’t like the flavor of your first attempt, you have lots of alternatives.

When you’re only learning how to vape, you’ll need to consider both flavor and nicotine level. Keep in mind that a propylene glycol liquid packs a more powerful hit whereas vegetable glycerine e-liquid will give you larger clouds of vapor. If you’re not using vaping as a replacement for smoking, you’ll want to be sure to buy a liquid that doesn’t have any nicotine.

Inhaling 101

Most beginners don’t think about how important the way they inhale is when they first start learning how to vape. Contrary to what many newbies think, vaping isn’t the same as smoking a cigarette. Beyond the affects on flavor, inhaling improperly can cause you to cough or give you way too much nicotine at one time.

Proper inhaling involves priming your device and choosing the technique that works for you. The right technique depends on your own personal preferences, and you might have to do some troubleshooting to get it just right.

But to get you started on the right foot, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about inhaling your vape for the first time.

The Primer Puff

Before you can start a proper vaping session, you need to prime your device. That means kickstarting your heated coil and the process of vaporizing your e-liquid.

Also known as dry puffs, this kickstart is the role of the primer puff. Primer puffs are 2 to 3 second draws taken after holding the battery button down for a few seconds. This gives the evaporation a chance to start correctly.

You shouldn’t inhale any vapor while priming the device this way. All you’re doing is starting the system so that your first real draws have better flavor. You’ll also get a smoother draw by starting the production this way.

It should be noted that some e-cigarettes don’t use a button for activation. Devices like the Suorin Drop don’t require priming for use. You can just turn them on and start vaping – that is, if you know the inhaling technique you’re going to use.

Inhaling Techniques

After you’ve primmed the device, press your lips around the mouthpiece and create a right seal. If there’s a gap between your lips and the mouthpiece, you risk the chance that the vapor isn’t inhaled correctly.

You can choose between two types of inhaling techniques, The first is mouth-to-lung and the second is direct-to-lung. Which is right for you depends on what you’re looking for from your vaping experience.


The mouth-to-lunch technique is arguably the best way to start vaping. Most beginners find this the easiest way to learn how to vape. This is also an ideal technique for people using vaping to replace smoking because it creates a hit in the throat that they’re looking for.

Think about sucking on a straw and creating a tight seal. With that seal, you pull the vapor into your mouth. When your mouth is full of vapor, you hold it there for a few seconds before you slowly and deliberately inhale all the vapor into your lungs.

The benefits of the mouth-to-lung technique are its ability to mimic smoking and help smokers quit cigarettes. Because you hold the vapor in your mouth for a longer period, you also get more flavor from the e-liquid than other techniques. And as a bonus, this technique uses less battery power and less of the e-liquid than other direct-to-lung or the cigar methods for inhaling.


The direct-to-lung technique is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of holding the vapor in your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs, you inhale it directly from the device into your lungs. The vapor is then exhaled almost immediately.

The direct-to-lung technique is best for more experienced vapers. It’s usually used with lower nicotine levels because it delivers a more powerful and intense hit. But it can also cause the vapor to get hot, so it needs to be inhaled quickly.

Cigar Puff

If neither of the above options sounds like what you’re looking for in terms of your vaping experience, then you might consider trying the cigar puff technique. This is best for beginners who don’t want to inhale the vapor into their lungs. Instead, you can puff on your device in the same way you would a cigar.

On either a low or high power vape device, draw the vapor into your mouth slowly. You can hold the vapor in for a few seconds to enjoy the flavors and then exhale without ever taking it into your lungs.

And if you still want the nicotine to enter your system without inhaling, rest assured that it’s still absorbed even without inhaling. Nicotine is absorbed through the soft tissue in the mouth. That way, you can still get nicotine in your body without going through your lungs.

Other Inhaling Tips

When you first start vaping, you should start slow and steady. Take in smaller amounts of vapor and gradually increase how much you take in over time. You should also give yourself breaks between draws to assess how you feel before inhaling more.

You’ll also want to ensure you hold the vapor in for a few moments before you exhale. That’s true regardless of whether you choose the mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung technique. You can choose to inhale either through your mouth or through your nose.

Another point to consider regardless of your inhaling technique is how long you take to draw in vapor. You need to take draws that are long enough to draw a sufficient amount of e-liquid across the heating element. Draws that are too short will result in poor flavor and you may also accidentally ingest excess liquid.

Remember that if you cough after vaping for the first time, that’s normal. Your lungs and throat have to get used to the new sensation. You might also experience an itch or burning in your throat which will go away quickly.

Another way to avoid irritation, sore throat, or vaper’s tongue, it to wait a few minutes between each vaping session. This gives the coils a chance to cool down. It also gives your lungs a chance to recover while your body absorbs the nicotine in your e-juice.

During each vaping session, the number of draws you take will be up to you and your personal preference. Most vapers take an average of 3 to 7 draws. And when you’re finished, you should turn the device off and store it safely to ensure its longevity.

More Lifestyle Advice

Inhaling is one part of vaping that many beginners tend to overlook. And yet, it’s such an important part of knowing how to use a vape pen for the first time.

Inhaling involves choosing the right e-liquid, priming the device, and deciding between the three inhaling techniques. It also involves knowing how long to take a draw, when to take a break, and properly storing your device. But the real key to learning how to vape is patience and experimentation.


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