How do you increase the amount of vapour with an e-cigarette?

  1. Choose the right coil

    Prefer a coil with a value less than 1 ohm. The lower this value, the bigger the vapour cloud will be.

  2. Use the right e-liquid

    Vegetable glycerin (VG) is the compound that produces the most vapour. The higher the amount of VG in your liquid, the more vapour production will increase.

  3. Prefer direct to lung vaping

    Mouth to lung, or MTL, considerably reduces the amount of vapour coming out of your lungs. For maximum production, choose equipment designed for direct to lung, or DL.

  4. Increase the power of the box

    The higher the power delivered by the battery, the greater the amount of vapour produced will be. Without going to extremes, it is possible to generate great clouds from 30 watts.

  5. Wait for the right season

    This last point may surprise you, and yet, the warmer the weather, the smaller the amount of vapour will be. This is due to the fact that the compounds in the vapour suck up the surrounding humidity. Dry weather will thus reduce the amount of vapour.

The right weather conditions

This may strike you as strange, but the first point to consider when you are vaping and want to create more vapour is the weather where you are. Because propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin both capture water molecules which your atomizer then vaporises into fine droplets, your e-cigarette will not create as much vapour if you are in the middle of the desert as if you are up a mountain in the rain. The hygrometry, that is the amount of water in the air, will have a strong influence on vapour production. The drier the air, the less vapour you will generate. To make more vapour, prefer the winter!

The way you vape

The second point to consider to produce more vapour with your e-cigarette is the way you vape. As we explain in our article on how to vape, the longer you keep the vapour in your lungs when you inhale, the less you will breathe out. This is due to the short lifetime of vapour in the air. You are therefore advised to breathe out the vapour quite quickly after each puff.

The way you inhale also plays an important role in making bigger clouds. There are two ways to inhale when vaping: direct to lung and mouth to lung. The second technique is the most widespread and is the classic technique used by most smokers when they draw on their cigarette. The mouth sucks in the air and then the lungs take over. On the other hand, direct to lung uses the lungs from the start of the inhalation (like when you breathe the air). This technique considerably increases the volume of air inhaled, and therefore the amount of vapour you can store in your lungs.

Comparatively speaking, a classic mouth to lung puff will produce between 60 and 80ml of vapour as compared to 1000 to 1500ml in direct to lung. This technique, favoured by cloud chasers (see below), consumes 4 to 5 times more e-liquid than a classic puff, therefore logically resulting in more vapour exhaled. However, consuming more e-liquid also means higher exposure to the toxins potentially contained in the e-cigarette vapour (such as aldehydes), even if these levels are far lower than those in the smoke from a standard cigarette. 

Another way of vaping consists in stringing together two puffs one after the other to combine the volume of vapour inhaled. The first puff may serve to pre-heat the coil to achieve a temperature you feel to be optimal.

Adjust your e-cigarette properly

Another important point to consider when trying to generate bigger clouds with your e-cigarette is its adjustment. Most mods available on the market today offer customisable configurations that the user can adjust according to need. The most useful settings for producing vapour are the power (calculated in watts) and the voltage (calculated in volts).

If your coil doesn’t get hot enough, the e-liquid soaked up by the wicks of your atomizer will not vaporise well and the amount of vapour will be reduced. In contrast, if your coil is too hot, vaporisation takes place correctly, but there is a risk of an abnormal production of toxins caused by the thermal breakdown of your wick which no longer contains enough e-liquid to cool it down (see our note in the glossary on the dry hit). You need to find the right balance so that the coil heats the e-liquid with the right inertia and the right temperature. 

To simplify things as much as possible, the coils fitted to atomizers for the general public are between 0.5 and 1 ohm. Adjusting the power to between 10 and 30 watts will be more than enough to generate satisfactory clouds if the wick in your coil is correctly supplied with e-liquid. This last point is very important: always make sure that your atomizer contains enough e-liquid. At the least abnormal taste, for example, a burnt taste or bitter vapour, stop vaping immediately and check your settings and the level of the-liquid supplying your atomizer.

The amount of vegetable glycerin in the e-liquid

The composition of an e-liquid also plays a role in vapour production, in particular its vegetable glycerin content. As the latter is of a different nature to propylene glycol and is more viscous, it is conducive to the creation of thicker clouds. However, vegetable glycerin does not deliver the aromas as well as propylene glycol, and has a higher boiling point (255°C) than propylene glycol (188°C). This is why e-liquids with a high vegetable glycerin content (or Full VG) are popular with cloud chasers, those vapers seeking huge clouds. Cloud chasing, which is fairly popular on social media such as Instagram, can lead to competitions in some rooms dedicated to e-cigarettes. Cloud chasing is often mentioned with another more artistic practice, cloud tricks, or the art of making smoke rings and other stylistic shapes which also require large vapour production.

The equipment

The adjustment of your kit will largely determine its capacity to generate more vapour, but you also need to have the right equipment. To make more vapour, you need to be looking at mods, which enable you to adjust different settings, and high-performance atomizers which ensure optimum hydration of the wick in the coil. 

The must in terms of wick hydration are drippers. These rebuildable atomizers allow you to make your own coils and also to pour the e-liquid onto the wick directly without counting on the venturi effect traditionally used in atomisers and the wicking properties of the cotton to feed the coil. However, after a few puffs, vapers using a dripper will have to pour more e-liquid on their wicks by removing the top cap closing the atomisation chamber. Unless you have a bottom feeder box, that is.

Rebuildable atomizers equipped with tanks also allow you to build your own coils and choose a resistance wire and cotton whose properties have a major influence on vapour production. In general, the lower the resistance, the quicker it heats up. In the same way, the larger its surface, the more e-liquid it will be able to heat. Some rebuildable atomizers allow you to mount two coils or more and thus increase the atomizer’s capacity to generate vapour.

Conclusion

Now you know everything, or almost everything. Bear in mind that more vapour means more e-liquid consumed. Vapers seeking to produce as much vapour as possible usually lower the nicotine level in the e-liquids, as it can sometimes be too irritating if the vapour volumes increase too much. Nicotine, in the doses delivered by the vaper or smoker, does not pose major risks to health. If you lower the amount but you increase the volume of e-liquid consumed per day, you expose yourself needlessly to the production of toxins naturally present in the vapour (or abnormally generated, depending on the conditions).

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