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How to switch to vaping: advice from experienced users

Posted on February 17, 2019

Smokers wishing to switch to vaping should first do their research, find the right combination of device and liquid, and allow for a period of time to adjust to vaping.

This is the advice of 384 experienced Australian vapers in a study published this week in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review by Australian researchers.

Information for smokers wanting to make the switch to vaping is not readily available in Australia as vaping is discouraged by many health organisations or government sources. Here are the key tips from those who have already made the transition:

1. Do your research

Starting vaping can seem a little overwhelming. New vapers need to decide what device to use, whether to purchase nicotine, where to buy it, which flavouring to understand and the legal regulations that apply in their state.

The best sources of information are local vape shops and other vapers

A list of Australian vape stores can be found at Aussievapestores or on the Vapetrotter website.

Further advice is available from internet vaping forums (eg AussieVapers, Vaper Café Australia), facebook groups (eg VapeFam Australia) and websites (YouTube, Reddit).

Most people find that the online vaping community is very helpful and supportive.

2. Find the right vaping product

Most vapers recommend starting with a pod or pen-style device and using nicotine e-liquid, at least initially. Learn about battery safety. Test different nicotine concentrations and flavours and find one you like.

'It is important to find the right combination of device and liquid for you and this may take some experimentation or trial and error'

Most users said they started at 12, 18 or 24mg/ml nicotine and reduced their nicotine concentration over time, in some cases to nicotine-free liquids. Experienced users said that the wide variety of flavours was a key aspect of vaping, making it enjoyable and easier to switch.

It is illegal to sell nicotine in Australia, although it can be imported legally if you have a prescription from a doctor. Experienced users said it was important to buy it from a safe and trustworthy source.

Some popular websites in New Zealand which sell nicotine e-liquid to Australian vapers are VapoureyesMixology  and Soulblu.

3. Allow for an adustment period

Some people switch effortlessly to vaping, but others can take some weeks to adapt, so some perseverance may be required. There may be a temporary cough (which usually settles quickly), a dry mouth and there is a longer delay to feel the effect of nicotine from vaping compared to smoking.

But it is all worth it. Many vapers reported being very satisfied with vaping and improved health. As one vaper said

‘My health has improved a lot since I started vaping. I can run around with the kids, I don’t feel tired all the time, I have money to be able to pay bills and take the kids out to do things. Vaping has saved my life and improved my health’.


Morphett K et al. Barriers and facilitators to switching from smoking to vaping. Advice from vapers. Drug & Alcohol Review 2019

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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One Reply to “How to switch to vaping: advice from experienced users”

Sara Jenkins

I am one of the survey respondents quoted in the full text article, and found this research paper to be an accurate reflection of the difficulties possible new vapers will face, as identified by us long term vapers. However, I don't have to pussyfoot around regarding government and health agencies positions on ENDS and vaping.
Bluntly, most of what is being released to the public from these "trusted" agencies is outright lies. As an ex hospital pathology scientist, the change to "health as a business" model began around 10 years ago, and has accelerated since 2014. When I left my state government employer, it was more important to release any result within a certain timeframe, than to ensure that the result was accurate. I couldn't, and wouldn't, follow this policy- it's an extremely dangerous and unacceptable practice which puts lives at risk. And the reason this is occurring, is management is being replaced by business trained bureaucrats, who have no background in health. Those who have critical thinking abilities need not apply.
The majority of health agencies now have very few employees who have experience in healthcare. When writing a review on scientific literature, they cannot determine valid from invalid methodology, nor do they question or seek out further research that refutes or presents evidence contrary to the "party line". Studies that are proven incorrect and have been withdrawn from the journals who published them, are still quoted as references. Fear tactics are commonly used, as is the statement "a study shows…" without naming or referencing any study. Media picks up false and misleading data, and presents it as facts. Government policies list vaping as tobacco products, including them in smoke free policies, even though no smoke or tobacco is present when vaping. For any one not experienced in research techniques, this bullshit is all very believable and accepted as fact. Vaping is not a healthy lifestyle choice, but it's at least 95% safer than using tobacco products. Any regulatory body or agency who denies an individual access to a safer and less physiological damaging alternative is promoting harm, not health. And that, is exactly what is happening in Australia.

I'll get off my soapbox now….

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