Setting up your new e-cigarette
So you’ve bought yourself a new electronic cigarette and you want to know the best way to set it up? You’ve come to the right place.
The first thing to do with any e-cigarette is to get the battery charged, so plug the charger in and get the battery in there.
Once that’s going, click on the link that matches the type of ecig you’ve bought. We’ve split this guide up for the two broadest types of ecig:
2-piece cartomizer models or 3-piece atomizer and cartridge models
2-piece cartomizer models
You have a low-hassle system that is very easy to set up and use.
Take a pre-filled cartomizer out of the pack and remove any wrapping. It will probably have a protective transport boot on each end, which should be removed. Check carefully to see if there also might be a tiny plug in one (or both ends), after the boot is removed. These are so small you will need good light to inspect the ends.
Take a fully-charged battery and screw a cartomizer on lightly. Just screw it on gently so that it touches the bottom of the thread, don’t force it. You must be sure that you are using a filled one, so check the labelling to ensure this.
With an auto model, insert the carto end into the mouth and lightly puff on it. Puff the vapor out without inhaling. Do this three times.
The device should now be working correctly and producing vapor. Now puff lightly and inhale. Draw very lightly on an e-cig, dragging too hard will pull liquid into the mouth. Start with a gentle inhale only, since the taste and feel of the vapor is different from cigarette smoke and may not be exactly as expected.
If the result is satisfactory, draw for longer and inhale well. As you exhale, a good quantity of vapor should be produced. If you find there is a burnt taste and no vapor, you have used an empty cartomizer or there is a tiny transport leak-prevention plug blocking the centre air hole at the lower end of the carto.
Manual batteries: if your battery has a switch (a tiny button near the top end) then you must press this during inhalation. New users tend not to like this arrangement, but experienced users normally prefer it as it gives more control.
3-piece atomizer and cartridge models
Take an atomizer and remove any attached cartridge (they often ship with a blank cart attached). Clean it by wiping off any transport liquid, which is eliquid placed on/in it to keep it moist and rust-free. Holding the open end up and the threaded end down, shake the atomizer strongly to eject any liquid within (from out the threaded end). Do not bang the atomizer as it is comparatively delicate.
Next, blow through the atomizer onto some paper towel, by blowing into the open end with the thread end down, with paper towel close by. Wipe it well.
Take a fully-charged battery and screw the atomizer on lightly. Just screw the atty on gently so that it touches the bottom of the thread, don’t force it.
Take your bottle of spare liquid. Often these small bottles are dark glass and of 5ml size, with a built-in glass dropper, and we call this a ‘dropper bottle’. Sometimes the bottles are plastic with a dripper tip. Shake the bottle well, with the cap screwed on. Open it carefully. Be careful as it will contain liquid with nicotine in it, and this must not be spilled, and especially not spilled onto the skin as it is concentrated and may be toxic in this form.
Drip three drops of liquid directly into the atomizer, which primes it ready for use. Looking down into the atomizer tube, you will see a small arch of microscopically thin wire mesh. This is called the bridge – it is a liquid reservoir device that sits above the heater coil. You drip onto the bridge, if possible. Some atomizers have an exposed bridge that projects from the tube, it’s easier to drip onto these.
Take an empty cartridge with no filler or liquid on it. Many atomizers ship with an empty cartridge on for protection, this will be perfect. Place it firmly on the atomizer, and you now have a complete e-cigarette with a ‘dripped’ atomizer and empty cartridge attached, ready for initial use. You can also use a drip-tip instead of an empty cart – these are just plain tubes.
Pressing on the manual switch (if fitted), or simply inhaling (if an auto model), puff on the e-cig six or seven times and simply blow out the vapor, don’t inhale it. This burns off the transport primer liquid. It’s not harmful or anything, but of no use, and it normally tastes bad as well – although this is mainly due to the atomizer heating up for the first time and bedding in.
Now remove the empty cartridge and set aside, it won’t be used any further. Then blow out the atty again, exactly as before. This should remove any remnants of transport primer and first-run heating.
Now we are ready to start for real. Drip another two drops of e-liquid onto the atomizer bridge.
Take a pre-filled cartridge. If filled and ready to use, it will be in a plastic wrapper and have a label on it that says something like, “Tobacco – medium”. This means it is of plain tobacco flavor and of medium nicotine strength. (As we have seen, the term ‘medium’ might mean anything, but it gives you some indication.)
Remove the transport end cap (the clear plastic ‘boot’ on one end), and press the cartridge into (or onto) the open end of the atomizer. Make sure it engages fully and is as far in/on as possible. As long as the battery is fully charged, your ecigarette is now ready for use.