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Getting started with E-cigs, a healthier alternative

So yeah cool, we have a smoke shop and we sell tobacco products. But we also do care about your health. E-cigarettes have been catching on the past few years, even to the point of making “Vape” the word of the year by Oxford Dictionary in 2014. You might have seen our vape lounge in either store before or you have seen people around with e-cigs. If you are looking to make a switch, we will outline the basics on what you need to know below, if not, to each their own…we still sell tobacco stuff anyways.

Types of Electronic Cigarettes:


These are generally the point of entry for most people. It’s the type you see commonly sold at gas stations and convenient stores. Popular brands include Blu, Njoy and Vuse and often use small replicable cartridges which are proprietary to their own brands. These brands are actually backed by Big Tobacco and try to mimic analog cigarettes by shape and size. Having this form factor, however, limits the ability and power of the device. These devices also are common among “E-hookahs” as well and have nicotine and non-nicotine flavors that mimic popular hookah flavors. We found that many people how have started or tried the electronic route with these devices often find that the vapor production and flavor is not as satisfactory as a real cigarette, leaving them to draw really hard to get a decent pull. Because of that, they tend to lapse back into analogs.

Battery/Tank Style E-cigs

These types of devices are in high abundance, variety and appearance depending on your needs. The generally consist of two parts, the rechargeable battery and a refillable tank. The batteries typically range in capacity which reflects how long you can use it without recharging. Additionally, many of them have variable wattage, voltage and now even temperature controls. This level of control allows you to adjust the power so you can tweak how your device hits and produces vapor to your unique tastes. These are all generally charged via USB cable or with wall adapters and are often available in many colors depending on the specific brand. Some even allow usage while charging and is referred to as a “pass-through” device.

The second part of these setups are the refillable tanks which allow you to interchange e-liquids/e-juice of any brand, flavor and nicotine strength. This gives people a greater range of choices for their tastes and the ability to switch between flavors simply by changing tanks. The variances in tanks differ usually by size, where larger tanks can hold more liquid at a time. Tanks that airflow control can give a much more natural draw and a large amount of vapor production. Lastly, these tanks have what is called an atomizer which is set to various electrical resistance..although not terribly important to know, it does play a part in better vapor and flavor production when paired with a higher powered battery. That atomizer is where the current of the battery flows through in order to “vaporize” the e-liquids. So it’s basically the heating element of the setup and does have to replaced time to time depending on your personal usage patterns.

This is the most popular category that Roots sells as it is aimed at beginner to intermediate folks looking for a solid vaping experience as compared to normal cigarettes.

RDAs, Mechanical Mods, Regulated Box Mods

The concept of these devices are also in two segments, battery and atomizer to vaporize the liquid. These parts are highly interchangable and many advanced vapers often experiment with the different segments to mix and match to often tweak their hardware setup for maximum performance. It’s often people looking to “chase clouds”, meaning trying to create the best vapor production possible or they are “flavor chasers” trying to tweak their setups to get every nuance out of the liquids’ flavor. The battery these devices often use are externally charged high power batteries, meaning a separate charger is needed and is charged outside the device itself.

The atomizers in these setups are often not tank style but what is known as a “dripper” or RDA/RBA which means Rebuildable Atomizer. In using these RDAs vapers actually hand make the atomizer “coils” with special wire, hand wicking them with cotton and careful measure its electrical resistance. The lower the resistance below 1 OHM, which is called  ‘sub-ohm’ vaping, will produce an even greater vaping experience. These dripper RDAs allow you to manually drip a few drops directly on the atomizer coils which also allows you to switch between flavors very very quickly. In a tank setup, you would have to either have multiple tanks or wait and clean your tank to switch between flavors. The draw back is, if you smoked a lot, re-dripping every 5-6 draws can get really annoying all day long. The amount of e-liquid consumption is also far greater in these setups since the heat, power and direct contact of the liquid vaporizes at a much faster rate than tank setups. The strength of nicotine is often amplified much greater on these setups as well..meaning you can actually get the same feel with lower nicotine strengths.

Mechanical mods are often the metal tube style devices you may have seen that look fairly large and often are metallic, usually stainless steel, brass or copper. Often with engravings of some sort. These would require an externally charged battery that would then be placed inside to fire your atomizer. These mech mods do not offer any circuitry to prevent from battery overload, putting the battery in backwards or an electrical short due to an improperly ‘built’ atomizer. So we recommend doing your research on battery and safety in terms of building coils manually if you are interested in this route. It can be very dangerous if improperly used, definitely not recommended if you are not technical in nature. Roots does offer free builds if you come into for a purchase of one of these setups or have a setup already and are purchasing juice.

Regulated Box mods use the same types of externally charged batteries, however they have circuitry that prevents users from making some of the mistakes as we mentioned in the mechanical mods. This allows you to get the same or greater amount of power to power your device, but with the safety that gives you a little more peace of mind. Today’s regulated mods are often available in various overly high power ratings, but do give the range if you need it. The newest such devices even often another level of tweaking in that you can adjust the temperature of your atomizer coils as well voltage and wattage.

Some of the intermediate level tanks are so good that more advanced vapers are using these as their “all day” tanks so they do not have to refill or redrip often on an RDA.

Are E-cigs Healthier? It’s all about that juice.

We can’t make claims about its absolute safety and there are many conflicting reports on it’s effects. But tar is generally considered the ingredient that is found in normal cigarettes that tend to cause the greatest health issues and tar is non-existent in e-cigs. Here is an article about some of these claims as well as this one, read, research and decide for yourself if its for you.

So what are e-liquids made out of? Basically four parts, first a particular ratio of VG and PG depending on the liquid: VG (vegetable glycerin) which is found in many personal care products, the liquids used in fog machines, and other pharmaceutical uses such as inhalers, PG (propylene glycol) which the FDA has classified under the “Generally Recognized As Safe” designation is also used in pharma applications and personal care products and food preservatives. Also included is water which can cut the viscosity of the liquid and liquid nicotine which can be at various levels of strength and flavoring which is generally the same available commercial flavorings found in many of the foods we eat. Each brand and flavor has its own unique combinations based the manufacturers goals. All the liquids Roots Smoke And Vapor carries are made in the US, utilize food grade flavorings and USP rated.

Generally speaking, the higher the VG content, the greater the vapor or cloud production. Higher VG juices are also better for people those who may have allergies to propylene glycol. There even brands like Virgin Vapors and Velvett Cloud that are 100% organic even in terms of its flavorings which they make themselves which makes them uniquely popular in their own right as that is a rare feature among manufacturers.


But Can I Quit Smoking?

Yes. Yes you can. As a business, it’s not often you would be happy losing customers. But we are…in the few years we have been open, we have had many of our customers actually quit smoking (and even vaping) completely. And that’s been an incredible thing to hear. The reason we have heard that it works is two-fold. Although this is not classified as a true smoking cessation device, it is the only such thing that mimics the ritual and action of puffing a cigarette. Secondly, we offer various strengths of nicotine for each flavor we carry so beginners often start with a higher nicotine strength and then step down gradually over time until it reaches a very low or even zero amount. The added benefit is that this stuff smells great and you tend not to irritate non-smokers..and your clothes don’t smell like an ashtray anymore.


How do I start Vaping?

Come into either of our locations and our friendly staff will be happy to explain the ins and outs of our various electronic cigarette devices in your price range, from there you can sample over 80+ flavors in our vape lounge to find what you like or use our online e-juice selector to find the best e-liquids to match your perfect flavor profile.

Once you get a device and pick some liquids, we can help get it setup for you at the store and show you how to use it. Thanks for checking this article out, we hope it helps you in your decision.