Why You Should Start Vaping (and Stop Smoking)!
A Complete Guide to Electronic Cigarettes/Vaping Gear in Pakistan
By The Pakistani Vaper & Dr. Asim Rizvi
(Last update 30/08/2017)
Hello, To Those Who Want To Quit Smoking and Sheeshas.
Welcome to the guide to Vaping in Pakistan by The Pakistani Vaper & Dr. Asim Rizvi.
First of all congratulations!!! If you are here then that means you are searching for ways to quit your addiction to the tobacco-filled cancer sticks we all know as “cigarettes.” Maybe you are a sheesha user who is here because they want to quit the habit or because the government has finally closed down the sheesha cafe you frequent. Regardless, let me assure you that electronic cigarettes DO WORK and YOU WILL get your nicotine-fix from them and hopefully not crave tobacco anymore.
Before we begin, you should take a look at the Vaping Terminology page here at PakistanVapes.com so you don’t get confused by the terms I have used in this article. I try to regularly update the list to include the most common terms used in Pakistan and abroad. Now, let us discuss why electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative.
Why Electronic Cigarettes?
We all know how bad tobacco is for us but just to jog your memory (read conscience), let me list few a reasons:
- Smoking related lung, heart and mouth disease
- Halitosis i.e. bad breath
- Yellowing of skin and teeth
- Slowly poisoning your loved ones through exposure to second-hand smoke
- Deteriorating physical condition – Shortness of breath when performing even the mundane of tasks, for example going up a flight of stairs.
Electronic cigarettes can save you from all of that because they do NOT use tobacco. Yes, that’s true. They use liquids more commonly known as “E-Liquids” or “E-Juice”. In Pakistan they’re more commonly referred to as “Juice” or “Flavours”. These flavours are mainly made from four ingredients: which are Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Nicotine and Flavourings (natural or artificial). Some manufacturers have been known to add some water (distilled or demineralized and/or food colouring to the mix. From all these ingredients, the only component which is considered toxic is nicotine (but only in very high doses and in lower doses as well when ingested rather than inhaled) The rest of the ingredients are all food-grade and approved for ingestion by the FDA (American Food and Drug Administration). There is a common misconception in Pakistan that nicotine is the cancer causing component and this becomes one of the primary reasons for people not gravitating towards electronic cigarettes. Nicotine is a stimulant just like caffeine and is also found in trace amounts in vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes and even eggplants. To date there is no substantial evidence to classify nicotine as a carcinogen and the status of nicotine is of a stimulant albeit a very addictive one. Therefore, getting your nicotine-fix via electronic cigarettes will not cause cancer and more importantly, if nicotine was really causing cancer then the FDA would not have approved nicotine gums and patches as smoking cessation tools. Consult the report by the Royal College of Physicians in the UK; this page listing research on the safety of vaping and this report commissioned by the PHE (Public Health England). Nevertheless you should do your own research and come to a decision on a personal level. I decided that vaping was much safer for me than smoking and made the transition for which my asthma, general health and family continue to thank me.
Let us get into the nitty gritty with all these vaping scare stories. I am sure you have stumbled upon one or two links reporting an electronic cigarette exploding and have probably seen pictures of the victims left mutilated and burned. Let me assure you that modern electronic cigarettes these days have very little, if any, risk of exploding mainly because they feature high quality chips that provide all sorts of safety features such as accurate power supply, automatic safety shut offs, temperature regulation, etc. The exploding electronic cigarettes you see n pictures and videos are known as mechanical mods (Mech mods or Mechs) in the electronic cigarette culture. A mech mod is a metal tube with a manual switch at the bottom which, when pressed, makes contact with the battery. This effectively completes the circuit resulting in power being supplied to the tank and vapor being produced. Usually users forget to manually lock the firing button and in some fashion or the other, the button is pressed. This happens whether the user left their mech mod in their pocket or standing vertically on a flat surface, which leads to the mech mod powering the tank non-stop until the battery is drained over the safety limit. This causes the battery to heat up and begin venting (harmful gasses) and when that happens in such a constricted metallic cylindrical chamber, there is a high tendency for it to explode. Another reason why electronic cigarettes explode is when users buy cheap ego style pen kits and overcharge them by either using a higher amp charger (such as that used for tablets) and by leaving them to charge for long periods of time. These cheap kits do not feature any chips that can shut off the power supply when the battery is fully charged so the battery heats up and explodes when overcharged.
Different Types of Electronic Cigarettes
The most commonly asked question I see on the internet or on social media is Which electronic cigarette is best for me?” To answer that question, it helps if you are all familiar with at least the available variety of electronic cigarettes in Pakistan and internationally.
MTL (Mouth to Lung) Kits:
Also referred to locally as Cigarette Inhale type kits.
Some setups will allow you to use electronic cigarettes in such a way that the throat hit one gets from a cigarette is emulated almost perfectly. This is mainly due to two factors: higher nicotine strength (6mg above) and the type of tank. Simply put, a higher the nicotine in the e-liquid produces a greater throat hit, and where the tank is concerned, a tighter draw makes it easier to vape e-liquids with a higher nicotine content while achieving a drag effect similar to that of analog (vapin term for a cigarette).
The images below are for you to get an idea of the common type of MTL kits available in the market. If you are trying to quit smoking then buying an MTL kit along with a high nicotine content e-liquid with 50/50 ratio (meaning 50% PG and 50% VG) is the best way to start rather than wasting your hard earned cash by purchasing a more expensive cloud chasing kit (usually Rs 10,000 plus). These kits are cheap starting from Rs 1000 to 4000.
Other than the all in one (AIO) type kits like the ones above, you can mix and match a tank with a mod but the cost then increases. If you do want to take this path then my advice is to buy a decent but inexpensive mod that will be powerful enough for sub-ohm vaping if and when you want to make the switch in the future. The images below show the items you need to buy to make a DIY MTL kit:
The DTL Kits:
Also referred to locally as Sheesha inhale type kits/Cloud Chasing kits
These are the kits are the ones used by people whom you see blowing big clouds of vapour. The draw (or drag) from DTL tank is very similar to that of a sheesha. They are powerful devices with tanks that are built solely for the purpose of emitting a lot of vapour. While using DTL devices, it is recommended to use an e-liquid with a lower nicotine content (3mg is the standard). As the amount of liquid being vaporized is much greater than in an MTL kit, it ends up giving you a faster nicotine hit even at low nicotine strengths (1.5mg, 3mg). A word to the wise: these kits will give you great flavor and produce a lot of vapor but also consume much more e-liquid than an MTL kit. I have gone through 20ml and above in the span of a few hours while using the NRG tank by Vaporesso.
Which Electronic Cigarette should I buy?
If you know the type of experience you want then it is easy to ask any vendor that sells electronic cigarettes in Pakistan to help you out. I would recommend buying locally if it is your first kit because vendors here can help you set it up and explain the basics. Buying from overseas is fine too but you need to do your research on how to operate that particular device or have a friend who is a veteran vaper because they can help you operate the device in an efficient and safe manner. Once you have a setup (DTL or MTL kit) and are familiar with the device then you will be confident enough to buy more devices, tanks and flavours from abroad. The best way to do this is to have a friend or family member bring it for you. The alternative is having it delivered using courier services which will leave you at the mercy of our “overly efficient” Customs and Postal agencies.
Flavours (E-liquids, E-juices, Juices):
What sort of flavours should you get? Very simple. If you are a smoker looking to quit then stick with e-liquids having high nicotine content (6mg, 8mg, 12mg 18mg, 24mg) and 50/50 ratio (50% VG/50% PG). . Don’t be concerned over the high nicotine content of the e-liquid. It is harmless until someone consumes an entire bottle of e-liquid. Another word of caution: DO NOT DRINK E-LIQUID UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! E-liquid is meant to be vaped only not consumed as a liquid. You have been warned.
For the people interested in cloud chasing kits (DTL kits), it is highly recommended that they use max VG e-liquids i.e. e-liquids with 80% and higher VG content, and a 3mg nicotine content. These kits will give a smoother vape while producing more vapour but will not give you a nicotine overdose. However, vaping for long periods of time (even 3mg e-liquids) will give you a headache, and is an indicator to take a break from vaping for a few hours. Remember to keep your body properly hydrated while you’re vaping, so keeping a bottle of water nearby is very beneficial. It’s a good idea to keep your body properly hydrated at all times anyway.Keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Never buy any e-liquids from China or your local paan shop.
- American, Malaysian and Pakistani e-liquids i.e. those e-liquids made from US ingredients like Whitemist.Co, Coil Fuel Co, Vapezone.Pk are safe.
- As taste is subjective, everyone prefers different e-liquids. Therefore, something you dislike may be someone else’s favourite e-liquid and vice versa. However, and this is very rare, sometimes you may receive an e-liquid that has gone bad. If that happens, contact the vendor you bought it from and inform them.
- When purchasing an e-liquid for the first time, never buy it in large capacity bottles (30ml, 60ml, 100ml, 180ml) or in bulk.Always buy a 10ml sample first, then buy it in a larger capacity bottle if you like it. Vaping shops allow you to try e-liquids at the shop as well so you can make a proper decision before purchasing e-liquids.
- If you spill a high nicotine content e-liquid on your skin then wash it off quickly as your body will absorb the nicotine through your skin and you could get sick from a nicotine overdose. This applies to e-liquids with nicotine contents of 12mg and above but it is good practice to wash the affected area regardless of nicotine strength.
Where can I get an Electronic Cigarette in Pakistan?
The good news for people looking to start vaping is that there are many vendors to choose from right here in Pakistan. I have made a list that is available on my website. The vendors on this list are broken up into two categories: Ones whom I trust because I have personally dealt with them multiple times without any issues whatsoever and the ones who I have yet to deal with but have favourable reviews. Check out my Where to buy an ecig in Pakistan page to see the full list.
Do note that the inclusion of the vendors on this list does not mean they are perfect. The nature of retail business is that you cannot satisfy every customer and you may end up having a bad experience with any one of these vendors. However, I will say that, from experience, these vendors will try to resolve the issue to the best of their abilities and that gives them a lot of bonus points in my book.
That said I genuinely feel that any new vaper would be better off going to a retail outlet so they can sample the e-liquids, choose their device and learn how to set it up. Just keep in mind one important fact: you do not have to spend Rs.10,000-20,000 to start vaping unless you actually need a high-powered kit with a few bottles of e-liquid. Ex-smokers who have recently quit need to stick to a limited budget by purchasing MTL kits regardless of what staff at retail outlets tell them as they need that nicotine fix and throat hit that the Rs.1000-3000 kits are able to effectively provide.
Fortunately, few retail outlets in Pakistan are growing at a steady pace. Artisan Vapor currently has about 14 or so outlets across the country while E-lite has a few in major cities and Vaporsloft & Vape Therapy both have one located in Karachi only (for now).
DOs and DON’Ts of Vaping
- Never buy cheap batteries because they could be fake (from your local market).
- Never cloud chase when you are around non-vapers.
- Never cloud chase in traffic. (Hello, Mr Policeman! Take away my mod because it looks like a sheesha to you).
- Never vape where you can’t smoke. Don’t go to a mall or restaurant and start vaping unless they expressly allow it and even then limit the clouds you make.
- Never vape in the presence of children, e.g. at a playground, school, children’s birthday party etc. It is highly frowned upon in the vaping community.
- Dont blow vapour into someone else’s face.
- Don’t vape in a sheesha bar because that might give the wrong idea to our “genius” law enforcement personnel as they will think that vaping and smoking sheesha are the same thing.
- Never help an underage child buy vape gear. The government may impose a vape ban in our country if underage vaping becomes an issue.
If you need to interact with an active community of vapers here in Pakistan then join the Pakistan Vaping Community on Facebook where all vaping-related issues are discussed and solved by our helpful community which comprises vapers from all walks of life. Furthermore, regular giveaways are held monthly so try your luck out.
For any other questions, leave a comment and I will be glad to help you out.