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Vape Starter Kits: a buyer’s guide

Vape Starter Kits: a buyer’s guide

John Boughey |

Last fact-checked 19 February 2024 | Report a content error

Ready to invest in your first proper vape kit? You’ve come to the right place! In this helpful guide we’ll tell you everything you need to know before buying your first ever starter pack. We’ll explain what vape starter kits actually are and show you how they differ from disposables. There are more than a hundred starter kits to choose from, so we’ll also share tips on how to pick the best kit for you.

What is a vape starter kit?

Starter kits are simple, low-cost out-of-the-box vape sets that include everything a vaper needs (apart from e-liquid) to start vaping. Unlike disposables, vape starter kits are designed to last for a long time. You can recharge them, refill them and replace parts like the wick and coil, which wear out over time. 

When you own your own vape kit, you can mix your own e-liquid, which saves you money and gives you more control over nicotine strengths. There are literally thousands of delicious e-liquid flavours to explore, and you can fine-tune your vaping experience by adjusting the settings on the vape kit. 

Typically, a starter vape kit box comes pre-packed with everything you need to start vaping. The only thing starter kits don’t include is e-liquid, which must be bought separately. Occasionally, a vape starter kit might be sold on a ‘batteries not included’ basis, but this is rare (...if you see a vape kit marked batteries not included, you can buy batteries separately in our vape battery department). 

Vape Starter Kits versus Disposables

Vape starter kits are not disposables. Whilst disposables are a popular choice for beginner vapers, vape starter kits are a much better option over the long term. The vape devices that you get in a starter kit can be recharged and refilled, which makes them much more environmentally sustainable than single-use vapes. Starter kits also give vapers more choice and control over their vaping experience. 

Single-use vapes come pre-loaded with e-liquid and can be used right out of the box, which is the main advantage that they have over vape starter kits. You can learn more in our definitive beginner’s guide to disposables.

Before you buy: questions to ask yourself

Before you invest in a starter kit, there are three simple questions that you absolutely must ask yourself. 

Are you trying to quit smoking?
If you have never smoked, you should not vape. Current research shows that vaping is much less harmful than smoking, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is entirely harm-free. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance; once you start, it is very difficult to stop. Don’t vape if you don’t have to. 
Have you spoken to a stop smoking specialist?
The most successful way to quit smoking is to switch to vaping and get help from a specialist stop-smoking counsellor at the same time. According to the NHS, “Almost two-thirds of people who use a vape along with support from a local Stop Smoking Service successfully quit smoking” (source: If you’re serious about quitting, you need to speak to a professional first. It’s the best way to boost your chances of quitting. Visit the NHS website and book a free appointment today
Are you ready to make a complete switch?
Vaping only works as a quitting tool if you completely stop smoking. You must swap smoking for vaping in one move. If you smoke and vape at the same time, you can worsen your nicotine addiction. A stop smoking specialist can help you manage this transition safely.

If your answer to all three of the above questions is ‘yes’, then you’re ready. You can get shopping for your first vape starter kit. This first kit typically costs somewhere around the £30 to £50 mark, depending on the device type, the brand you choose and what’s included in the box. A higher price doesn’t always mean higher quality, so it’s worth taking your time when you browse the starter kit department

What’s the best vape to buy for beginners?

We have over one hundred vape starter kits on our site. Each product has its own pros and cons, and will suit different vaping styles. We can’t tell you which starter vape kit will suit you best, but we can give you tips on how to pick the right one. 

First, think about what you need your vape kit to do. What style of vaping will you need (mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung)? How much control do you want over your vaping experience (air flow, power, temperature control etc)? Do you need a ‘pocket friendly’ option that doesn’t leak? Would an LED screen annoy you or help you? 

Next, take a look at our starter kit department. Results are sorted by best selling, but you can sort by price or filter by brand name. We also have a ‘compare’ feature that lets you look at up to 3 products at the same time with a few simple clicks. This should help you winnow down the list of options until you find the perfect starter pack for you.

And if in doubt, talk to a specialist vape shop like us! At Gourmet E-Liquid, we’re always happy to help customers figure out what will suit them best before they buy. We’re ex-smokers ourselves, and between us we have decades of vaping experience, so we know exactly what you’re going through and we want to see you succeed. What’s more, we would much rather help you pick the right vape up-front than have a dissatisfied customer, so you’ll be doing us a favour by picking up the phone! 

Can you get vapes on the NHS?

You might have heard rumours about free vapes on the NHS. Right now, there is no nationwide ‘free vaping’ programme that allows you to get a free vape kit on the NHS or anywhere else … but that may change in the next few years. 

The government has published plans for something called ‘Swap to Stop’. Swap to Stop would be a £45 million investment in free vaping kits for smokers who are trying to quit. This is a great idea, but it all needs to be voted through parliament, so it could be a few years away yet (see our latest article). 

Right now, you won’t save any money by waiting for a free vape on the NHS. Today, for the price of two packs of cigarettes you can buy yourself a really good vape starter kit and some premium e-liquid. This kit will last you much much longer than a couple of packs of cigarettes, and it will help you take back control of your spending by breaking your expensive tobacco habit. Never mind the fact that a pack of cigarettes has more than tripled in price over the past twenty years (source: There really is no time like the present to get started. 

Stay safe and happy vaping!

John Boughey

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