We're not entirely sure how vapes, or e-cigarettes, became part of the tech genre, but apparently they are -- as evidenced by all the invites we get to vape launches at fancy locations on Big Tobacco money.
But if you're new to the world of vaping, where do you start? You don't want to spend the equivalent of several packets of cigarettes on an e-cig that turns out to be rubbish, do you? No, you don't. So if you're just dipping a toe into the world of e-liquids (that's the stuff inside the vape -- the e-cigarette turns it into lovely vapour for you to inhale, hence the name 'vape' -- it's a vaporiser), start here, with Gizmodo UK's guide to the best vaping starter kits.
The things we smoke for you, eh?
1. Juul Starter Kit, £29.99
Juul has quickly become one of the best-known names in UK vaping, and for good reason. Like a restaurant that's been given the Gordon Ramsay treatment, Juul keeps its product selection trim and easy-t0-understand, and this affordable starter kit includes everything you need to become a vapist (note: do not call yourself this).
Inside the kit, you get the Juul e-cigarette, which is not especially beautiful but it is easy to operate. It comes with a USB charging dock and four pods of liquid so you can start figuring out which flavour you like best: Mango Nectar, Royal Creme, Golden Tobacco or Glacier Mint. All four are at 1.7% nicotine strength. [Buy it here]
2. MyBlu Vape Pen Starter Kit, £9.99
A very straightforward vape, this -- rather than refilling the liquids yourself, they come in little pods that you click in, like cartridges in a fountain pen.
Again, it's not especially lovely to look at, but it charges up quickly with the included USB charger. You get a single pod of tobacco e-liquid with it, so if you want to try some more flavours you'll need to buy those separately at £5.99 each. [Buy it here]
3. Vype ePen 3 Starter Kit, £9.99
Available in five colours and with a smart, not-obviously-a-vape design, the Vype ePen 3 is another good choice for beginner vapeurs. You get two 'caps', aka cartridges: one Blended Tobacco and one Crisp Mint. There are about a billion more flavours in the online shop if you want to pick up some different ones to try at the same time (what does Indigo taste like?!).
The USB charger is included and the flavour caps click in and out really easily, making it ideal for newbies. [Buy it here]
4. Vaporesso Veco Solo, £24.99
If you want to go a little fancier with your first vape, the Veco Solo is a good place to start. It comes in some psychedelic designs for people who prefer their products to show off their personality, and it promises to be "the only vaping kit you'll ever need."
If the Vaporesso logo reminds you a bit of Nespresso, you're not alone -- but rather than pods of e-liquid, this one has a leakproof refillable tank that holds 2ml of juice. It's a little more complex than some of the other starter kits on this list, but still very easy to get going with. [Buy it here]
5. Veco One, £20.25
A lot like the Veco Solo, but in a more office-appropriate, classy design. As the Vaporesso site puts it, "its futuristic, sleek metallic looks make it perfect for the executive on the go." [Buy it here]
6. Logic Compact Starter Kit, £19.99
Available in 3 colours including the perennially popular rose gold (maybe vapes are tech after all), this pack includes the Logic Compact device itself, USB charger and your choice of 6 prefilled pods.
It's a particularly easy vape to get started with because it doesn't have buttons or settings, you just pop in the magnetic pod and get smoking. You can choose from Strawberry, Berry Mint, Tobacco, Menthol and Cherry flavours in different nicotine strengths. [Buy it here]
7. JAC Basic E-Cigarette Starter Kit, £27.99
If you're a light or moderate smoker coming over from regular cigarettes, this 'cigalike' design is an easy way to switch. It's small, prefilled, and doesn't generate massive attention-seeking clouds like some vapes do (although if that's your thing, you do you).
The starter kit is customisable, which is a nice touch, but by default it includes the V3i vape, two batteries (so you have a spare, which is handy), a USB charger and a pack of pre-filled menthol or tobacco flavours. [Buy it here]
8. IQOS MESH Vape Kit, £19.99
Made by the cigarette supremos at Philip Morris, IQOS MESH is a stylish vape with an aluminium body available in 3 colours.
It's particularly handy for beginners because it has an overheating prevention system that stops the burny taste you can get with some vapes. It also uses easily swappable prefilled capsules, from IQOS's own VEEV line (lay off the caps lock, guys). However, it doesn't come with any, so you'll need to buy those separately from the large selection on the website, including such intangible flavours as Sunset Escape and Seaside Cove. K then. [Buy it here]
9. Innokin Z-BIIP Kit, £35.99
Looking somewhere between a Stabilo highlighter and a lighter, the new Z-BIIP kit is an all-in-one system with audible alerts (hence "Biip") to tell you the status of the vape without looking (you can turn the sounds off if you want, though).
It's a little more complex than some of the vapes here but is compatible with a large range of accessories, so if you can master it, you've basically got the vaping world at your fingertips.
It's got a large internal battery (1500mAh might not be a lot for a phone, but it is for a vape), a side-mounted switch that you just squeeze to get going, and an easy-fill design (although obviously it's still more of a faff to fill it yourself than buy one of the prefilled types).
You get the vape, pod, an airflow control ring, two coils, a USB charger and an e-liquid squeeze bottle. There's also a QR code in the box that takes you to video tutorials so you can get up to speed quickly. [Buy it here]
10. Bo Discovery Pack, £43
If you're willing to spend a bit more to get the full starter experience, this smörgåsbord of flavours is everything you need.
It includes the classy Bo One soft touch vape and no less than seventeen flavours, including watermelon, peppermint, vanilla ice cream, four types of tobacco and Kel's favourite, orange soda. [Buy it here]
Main image: IQOS