How To Stealth Vape - A Simple Guide


Imagine you’re at your favorite bar. You have a deal worked out with the bartender, allow you to vape indoors as long as you keep it discreet. You do your due diligence, making sure that your vapor isn’t bothering anyone. You’re having a great time, when suddenly...

Enter a new group of patrons. one of them notices that you’re vaping and pulls out their brand new Alien and TFV12 setup, decked out with a wide-bore mouthpiece and a snazzy vinyl wrap. The vaper catches your eye, winks, and before you have a chance to say anything, there’s a substantial cereal and halitosis scented cumulonimbus cloud headed right for your table.

Other patrons are irritated by this, and the bartender informs the new guests that they’re not allowed to vape inside. Cue cries of “IT’S NOT SMOKE, IT’S VAPOR”, and “BUT HE’S VAPING!”.

While imaginary, this scene is not particularly out of the ordinary. Many of us have had interactions with vapers who don’t think about how their vaping can irritate the people around them.

Yes, vaping is better than smoking.

Yes, the odors produced by vaping generally dissipate quickly.

However, the last thing anyone wants to experience while sitting down for a drink or a nice dinner is to be enveloped in a banana scented fog.

A rare look at a group of vapers going on a hike.

Stealth vaping is comprised of a variety of techniques and ideas, which when used together will help you become a less conspicuous vaper.

In this guide, you'll learn why certain vaping setups are cloudier than others, and how to reduce your cloud volume.

First things first, let’s take a look at eJuice.

Nearly all of the huge variety of eJuices available are comprised of the same few components: propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine (in a PG or VG solution), and flavorings (in a PG or VG solution).

The ratio of VG to PG is extremely important from a stealth perspective. These days, most eJuices are available in a ratio of 70% VG to 30% PG. This ratio was chosen because it’s a happy middle ground which will work well in nearly all atomizers, and will suit most people.

However, rewind the clock a few years and you’ll recall that many eJuices did not contain nearly as much VG. EJuice was generally thinner, with ratios such as 20% VG / 80% PG being not particularly out of the ordinary.

One reason why vaping in the past was not as cloudy as today is that VG/PG ratio. The more VG in your eJuice, the cloudier the vapor.

That’s not to say that high VG is a bad thing, a high VG liquid won’t be as scratchy on the inhale, and some people have a sensitivity to PG. Some people are even severely allergic to PG, requiring them to seek out 100% VG eJuice.

High VG eJuice can be identified by its higher viscosity. If you are unsure as to what the VG/PG ratio of a given eJuice is, give the bottle a shake and take a look at how it moves. If it’s similar to water, the eJuice is likely high in PG. If it’s more like liquid hand soap, it’s likely high in VG. Luckily, most eJuice manufacturers these days will have the ratios written on the bottle or on their website.

My personal preference for VG/PG ratio is a simple 50/50 blend. This ratio doesn’t produce excessive vapor, can still be smooth at lower nicotine strengths, and wicks effortlessly in nearly every atomizer available.

Some vendors have even produced 100% PG eJuice, advertised as “vapor-free”.

Next, let’s analyze airflow.

The volume of the air you inhale through your atomizer during the course of a draw is directly correlated to the size of the resulting cloud of vapor. An atomizer with restricted airflow just does not have the capability to output as much vapor as an atomizer with gigantic air intakes.

Compare the Smok TFV12 to the Smok Spirals tank. Overall, they function relatively similarly. Juice goes in tank, juice wicks into cotton, heated coils vaporize the juice, and vapor is passed through the chimney into the user’s mouth.

However, the TFV12 has airflow holes large enough to park a Fiat, while the airflow on the Spirals is more along the lines of a traditional cigarette. Even if these two atomizers contained the same exact coil and were run at the same voltage, the atomizer with more airflow will produce larger clouds.

“But wait!” you say, “Isn’t airflow usually adjustable on these contraptions? Can’t I just turn the airflow down and be on my merry way?”.

Sort of.

In my experience, very very few atomizers actually feature usable airflow control. Take the previously mentioned TFV12 for example, it has an easily adjustable airflow ring right on the base. Does this mean that a TFV12 can be turned down to pinhole airflow and vaped stealthily? Not so much.

In order to explain why this is the case, let’s dicuss power.

Another huge factor that impacts cloudiness is power. The design of every electronic cigarette I’ve ever seen boils down to some method of delivering eJuice to a heating element, which then turns that eJuice into delicious vapor. A multitude of methods for accomplishing this have been developed, and these methods all require power to get that heating element hot enough to vaporize.

Again, let’s take the Smok TFV12 as an example and compare it to an older design with lower power requirements, the Aspire Nautilus.

Both the TFV12 and the Nautilus are compatible with a variety of coil heads of varying styles, and they all work according to that same principle of delivering eJuice to some sort of heating element.

Let’s compare one coil available for each atomizer:

The Smok V12-Q4 coil measures 0.15 ohms, and the Aspire BVC 1.8 measures 1.8 ohms. To illustrate just how different these two coils are, let’s plug some numbers into Ohm’s Law.

Let’s say we want 4.2 volts. With the 0.15 ohm Q4 coil, you’d need to set your device to a whopping 117.6W. With the BVC, you only need 9.8W. Keep in mind that 4.2v may not be appropriate for every atomizer, but it’s a safe bet for many. This TFV12 coil needs 12 times more power than the Aspire coil to perform as designed.

This leads back to why some atomizers are less suitable for lower airflow than others. The Nautilus has a fraction of the airflow potential of the TFV12, but requires far less power. More airflow requires more power, which produces more vapor. If you were to turn the TFV12 down to 9.8W, the 0.15 ohm coil would only be getting 1.21V, which would produce almost no vapor.

Basically, lower airflow tanks typically require lower power, which results in less vapor.

Lastly, let’s talk about flavorings in eJuice.

There are many delicious eJuices out there, but there is a massive difference between the flavor you’re tasting and the odor of the resulting cloud of vapor. Let’s separate the two into flavor notes and room notes.

Certain flavorings used in eJuice can be tasty to you, but potentially very offensive to those around you.

The classic example of this is honey flavoring. This type of flavoring is commonly used in a wide variety of eJuices, and it does taste delicious. Whoe doesn’t love honey. However, for whatever reason, it leaves a distinct room note of cat urine.

Another one that can be hit or miss are creamy, milky flavorings. Again, delicious. However, some of them can leave a room note which is similar to sticking your nose into a big jar of non-dairy creamer and inhaling. Not pleasant.

Offensive odors from eJuice aren’t limited to just these two flavorings, different people are sensitive to different smells. An old roommate of mine could smell the peanut butter and tobacco eJuice I was vaping in my bedroom all the way in his room a floor up and through at least a couple of closed doors.

Some people choose to use unflavored eJuice as a solution, as it will leave little to no lingering odor. Others simply use more lightly flavored eJuices, which can result in less odiferous vapor.

The simplest and most effective overall technique for cutting the amount of vapor your produce is to simply hold the vapor you inhale in your mouth/lungs for a longer period of time than usual before exhaling. The longer you hold it in, the more it diminishes.

Stealth vaping is not difficult, and is more considerate than cloud chucking when vaping in public. Be sure to keep local laws in mind wherever you vape, even the stealthiest vape may not be allowed in certain places. I’m sure we’ve all taken a stealthy puff in a location where vaping isn’t exactly allowed, but not doing so is a good habit. A good rule of thumb is to never vape where people aren’t allowed to smoke.

I hope that this guide was helpful to those of you who want to learn how to stealth vape!

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