Vaping to quit smoking

What vape should I get?

The best vaping device to quit smoking is a discreet pod or pen device. They make small clouds and give high nicotine. Find a reputable store and person to guide you.

The right kit to quit and what to look for at the vape store

Tips and tricks for vaping to quit smoking

A good store

Going to a Specialist Vape Retailer is the best way to get a vape that’s right for you. It’s personal, and it depends on so many things, like how often and how much you smoke, your choice of the nicotine base and the flavours.

Specialist Vape Retailers are stores that have been classified so that they can sell a wider range of vape flavours, offer taste-testing, and have more ability to advertise their products, etc. They have to meet specific criteria and need to apply for this status. You can learn more about the process and the application criteria. More information on Specialist Vape Retailers.

Two types of vaping devices

There are two types of vaping devices: mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung. These are to do with the way you inhale the vapour — whether you hold it in your mouth first (like a cigarette), or direct inhale (like an asthma inhaler).

The closest to smoking a cigarette is a mouth-to-lung device. That’s what you should ask for.

Mouth-to-lung devices

Mouth-to-lung devices are ideal for quitting, because the inhaling is similar to smoking. They are discreet, have small clouds, and can deliver high nicotine (which helps for quitting).

There are two mouth-to-lung options: pod devices or pen devices. These can be available as starter kits.

Pod devices

Pod devices are super simple. You just pop in a cartridge (also known as caps, capsules or pods), and puff it like a cigarette. There's no need to change a coil or push a button. Pod devices can cost a little more, but are perfect if you’re not technically minded.

Pen devices

Vape pens are also simple, if you’re OK with using a bit of technology. There’s only one button, that turns on and off with a quick set of clicks. These have a battery, coil and tank that you fill with e-liquid.

Parts of pod and pen devices

Pod devices

Pod devices have small cartridges that clip into the end. Some are pre-filled disposable cartridges, like Nespresso pods, and some are refillable. Just change the cartridge when it’s empty.


Pen devices have three parts: battery, coil, and tank.

  • The battery needs charging every night and only needs replacing every few years.
  • The tank holds the flavoured e-liquid, which you fill up to the ‘full’ line.
  • The coil heats the e-liquid into vapour. Coils need changing every two to four weeks, or when there’s a burnt taste or weak flavour.
What vape liquid should I get? Flavours, nicotine bases and strengths Vaping safety is important How to stay safe

Prices of pod and pen devices

A good rule of thumb is not to spend less than $20. A reputable model of vape costs between $40 and $60. Research brands and models and speak to your vape store specialist.

Direct-to-lung devices

Direct-to-lung devices (also known as direct-inhale, mod boxes or tanks) are the ones that can produce big clouds. People who are experienced vapers tend to use these.

These are not recommended for quitting smoking as they use a different inhaling technique to smoking, and use a lower nicotine e-liquid which is not ideal for starting to quit, but might suit some people.

Not a medical product

Vaping products are consumer products and are not medical stop smoking products. A Specialist Vape Retailer can help you choose a starter kit as a way to quit smoking.

Compare vaping with other ways of quitting


As of 11 August 2021, new regulations for packaging and product safety requirements come into force under the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Product Acts 1990. Consumers, make sure you understand what vape you are buying.

Manufacturers and importers will need to tell the Ministry of Health Vaping Regulatory Authority about their devices and e-liquids.

  • From 11 August 2021, manufacturers and importers can notify their products. All products must comply with product safety standards before they can be notified. For more information on how notifications work click here.
  • From 11 February 2022 all products must be notified, and this needs to be renewed every 12 months.

Retailers who become aware of adverse reactions must tell the Ministry of Health, and the public can also do this by reporting it to the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre.

Product safety requirements under the new regulations include:

  • Instructions about the correct use, handling, storage, refilling, recharging, or disposal of the product; and
  • Information about the consequences of incorrect use of the product; and
  • Handling precautions to take before and during use of the product.

For more information see Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Regulations 2021 (LI 2021/204) – New Zealand Legislation.

Read about vaping law and policy