What to expect from your first e cigThere are lots of folks like you out there who recently made their first e-cig purchase.

I know that there can be a couple minor hang-ups with your new equipment, but hang in there… we all go through the learning phase and hopefully this post will help you cope and understand some of the complexities of e-cigs.

At first, most people purchase a starter kit which can be a very good option, but does involve a learning curve.

Hopefully before you purchased you read our article titled “Understanding E-Cigs: A Beginner’s Guide“ and have perused our E-Cig Glossary to help you learn the lingo.

Starter Kits

A kit generally contains 2 batteries, 2 cartomizers/cartridges, with or without liquid inside, and a charger. Hopefully you also picked up a bottle of e juice.

The first thing you want to do is read the instructions that came with your kit. If you’re lucky, they were written in English. Bonus!

The instructions will usually explain at least the basic usage but to help you enjoy the experience further, we will go over the details with a few tips to help you get jump started into a pleasurable time vaping.

Vape Pen Starter Kit

If you went for a vape pen starter kit then you will likely have bought a kit with one or two batteries and a re-fillable e liquid clearomizer.

First Thing’s First

The first thing you need to do is plug your batteries into the charger. Some instructions say to leave them on for 8 hours after they say they are charged.

You can do this if you’re a patient person, but if you’re like me and want to try out your new gadget sooner, you can do so. I have never experienced any problems from only topping the battery off.

Just make sure to leave the batteries on the charger until the unit indicates that it is fully charged.


Now you are ready to put your unit together. This requires the cartridge or clearomizer to be attached to the battery. In 99% of cases this is a simple case of screwing the two together.

Atomizer Preparation

If using a cig-a-like with prefilled cartridges then the atomizers are ready to go.

If using a refillable clearomizer tank then you will need to fill with e-liquid and let it stand for 5 minutes. following this your wicking material should have had sufficient time to soak up the e liquid. If you try and vape straight away you will get a dry hit and possibly damage your wick.

You don’t want to do this so just be patient then before you go to town on that sucker.

Cartridge Preparation

If your cartridge came with juice inside then its ok to pop it on and start vaping. Once it starts tasting bad or you notice less vapor that means its time to put more juice in it.

Side note: Cartridges tend to be very hit and miss for me, even using a modification like cutting the filler in half or using the zero filler mod.

When first getting started, I recommend keeping it simple, but down the road if you are interested in these methods, check out our “Tips and Tricks” section.

Ok… Back to the good stuff…

Filling Your Cartridge

You can do this the easy (but less effective) way but simply dripping your juice slowly onto the filler material, allowing each drop to absorb fully before the next. If you want to speed up the process a bit, you can use a paper clip or something similar to help the juice absorb faster.

Insert the paper clip between the side of the cartridge wall and the filler material and drip juice onto the filler.

As it begins to pool on top of the filler, use the paper clip to move the filler from off the side of the cartridge and you will notice that the juice absorbs much more quickly. Repeat this process until your juice doesn’t absorb into the material any more. Your cartridge is now full.

Important: If your cartridges are dry (they have no juice in them) and you use the e-cig device you risk damaging your atomizer and getting a mouth full of terrible plastic flavor.

Let The Vaping Commence!

The battery should tell you when it is ready to be recharged again by some sort of blinking light. If not, you will certainly notice a significant drop in vapor (but no bad taste).

I recommend taking good care of your battery (if you leak juice into it, clean up the juice before using the unit again) as it will last much longer.

Periodically use a cloth or paper towel to wipe them down. When they get really dirty I use a Q-tip and some rubbing alcohol to remove the grime.

Your cartridges/clearomizers should perform well for a while (I have some that have lasted me months), and if you start noticing a decrease in performance or bad taste you should clean them.

I like to put them in boiling water, some like to soak in vodka for 15 minutes. If you choose to use alcohol, you will need to rinse them really well afterward with hot water and let them dry.

If you eventually end up getting a nasty burnt taste in your atomizer then depending on the cartridge/cartomizer you are using then you will need to change at this point.

Final Thoughts

With these basic pointers you should be well on your way to enjoying your brand spankin’ new e-cig. The next thing you need to do is get yourself some better juices.

For a couple pointers, take a look at the ‘best e juice’ section of our site. Experiment to see what you like and what you don’t like.

If you buy a juice that totally sucks, don’t think all juices taste bad. Probably the most enjoyable part of vaping (for us at eCigology, at least) is the constant search for the perfect juice. Check out our best e juice brands here for a little guidance.

As always, let us know if you have any questions and feel free to leave us a comment!

I've been vaping since 2010 and been cig free ever since. I have been through hundreds of products from cig-a-likes to TC mods and I've lost count of the e-liquids I've tried! Ecigology is here to help you make an informed decision. We know how difficult it can be to choose from all the options out there.


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