9 Questions Vape Customers Ask Google

Educating your customers can encourage sales and repeat business — so be ready with answers.
Learn what consumers want to know most about this emerging industry. (Photo: bedya/Shutterstock)

Judging by what people Google about vaping, those new to the vaping world have questions, especially in light of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that recently took effect.


“You can think of e-juice similar to wine, it comes in different brands, flavors and strengths.” -Holly Bennett (Photo: Holly Bennett)

“This industry kind of emerged underground on forums and in a very DIY fashion,” said Holly Bennett of TVape in Toronto, Canada. “It gained momentum quickly, and if you weren’t in on the specific ‘vape language’ and terms from the get-go, it seemed to get confusing very fast. I think customers often find it overwhelming to jump into this whole new world.”

That’s where having educated employees comes in, said Cheryl Richter, co-owner of online retailer Cherry Vape LLC and brick-and-mortar CV Vape Den in Port Chester, New York.

“By knowing all you can about the various products you sell, and by teaching [a customer] the proper use and safety measures, a customer will want to visit your store again and again,” she said.

Here are some of the top questions consumers Google about vaping according to Answer the Public, a free keyword research tool that leverages autosuggest results for Google & Bing searches — and how to answer them.

Are vape pens legal for minors?

No. It was illegal in 48 states to sell vape products to minors before the FDA regulations, but as of Aug. 8, 2016, it’s illegal everywhere, said Richter, who is also co-leader of the New York chapter of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association. In some states, counties or municipalities, the age to vape is 19 or 21.

Is vaping bad for you?

The FDA’s position is summed up here. In short, because no clinical studies have been submitted to the agency, there’s no way for it to know (but obviously, it’s concerned, since it’s now regulating vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pen and e-cigarettes).

You may want to talk about the risks of vaping compared to those of cigarette smoking and the concept of tobacco harm reduction. Consider the talking points in this video from Veppo, for example.

“There is no better feeling for vape shop employees as when a customer returns and tells them they have not had a combustible tobacco cigarette for a week, months or years.” said Richter. “Those customers often become evangelical about vaping and tell their friends, and the vape shop will grow through word of mouth and good will.”

Are e-cigarettes cheaper than traditional smoking products?

Customers report saving 50 percent to 70 percent per month using e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative, said Lisa Marie Farver of Vapor4Life in Northbrook, Illinois. Cost savings will vary based on usage, what customers buy and what traditional cigarettes cost in the area.

What milligram level should I use?

If you’re a smoker trying to quit, it depends on what you smoke, said Victoria Vasconcellos, owner of Cignot, which has locations in Illinois, Colorado and Missouri. “You want the transition to vaping to be as invisible as possible, and part of that is getting satisfied in a similar period of time.”

How long does e-liquid last?

The rule of thumb is two years, Vasconcellos said. Every bottle has a date on it.

What is a mod?

The mod is the part of the vape that provides power to the tank and atomizer. It also controls the wattage and temperature at which you vape, Bennett said. Pen-style vapes use a battery instead of a mod and usually offer limited control over the wattage.

Why do I want to control wattage?

You want control of your wattage if you want to be able to customize your vapor experience, Bennett said. The higher you set your wattage, the denser the vapor produced. Power control also is important if you intend to use different coils with different ohm calibrations. Lower ohm coils (.2 ohm – .5 ohm) require more power, while higher ohm coils require less power (1 ohm – 2 ohm).

How will I know if my coil needs changing?

“Oh, you’ll know,” Vasconcellos said. “They either stop working or [the vapor] will taste off.”

What e-juice should I get?

“You can think of e-juice similar to wine,” said Bennett. “It comes in different brands, flavors and strengths. Just like wine, not all e-juice is made equally and a lot of time it’s personal choice that will determine a juice you will enjoy.”

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