E-Cigarette Styles and How They Work

Last updated on September 18th, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Share Button

Electronic Cigarette 101 – Different Styles and How They Work


There are so many electronic cigarettes on the market and there are so many styles, a little E-Cig 101 can help.

Some e-cigarette companies offer several different models. Some offer only one style of e-cigarette.

When I first started vaping in early 2009 hardly anyone heard of an e-cigarette. If you were e-cig savvy, your style choices were very limited.   That’s certainly not the case today, and with so many innovative new products entering the market each year, it can be difficult to choose one that’s right for you.

This article will bring you up to date on vaping basics, how e-cigarette styles differ and whether one style in particular will meet your needs. Hopefully you’ll discover a satisfying alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

All electronic cigarettes have several things in common –

  • They have batteries that need to be charged
  • They do not have any flame
  • They do not create any ash
  • They do not smell of smoke (and neither will you)
  • They do contribute to a healthier environment
  • They are cheaper than traditional cigarettes
  • They allow you to enjoy the same “hand to mouth” movement as a cigarette.

Popular E-Cigarette Styles

1- Traditional “Cig-Alike” e-cigarette (with a Replaceable Cartridge)

Halo G6 Starter Kit on BECG

If you choose a traditional e-cigarette, you get a replaceable cartomizer pre-filled with e-liquid. The cartomizer also contains a heating element (called an atomizer). You just screw on the carto and vape. Some ecigs, like HALO’S G6 offers an activation button on the side of the battery. When the e-liquid is used up, (typically after 250-300 puffs) you recycle or throw away the cartomizer.

The battery can look like a cigarette, although most companies offer batteries in different colors.

The cig-alike battery is made of metal, it powers the atomizer and it has a illuminating tip that lights up when you puff on the e-cigarette. When the tip starts blinking on and off, it’s time to recharge the battery.

Some vape companies, like JUUL, offer a similar e-cigarette that’s just as easy to use but is styled differently.

The JUUL is very lightweight and is a bit smaller than the Halo model. It’s also flat so it won’t roll off the table! Instead of a cartomizer that looks like a cigarette filter, it has a flavor pod. The pod is pre-filled with your e-liquid flavor of choice and it snaps into the battery. There is a 5% level of nicotine which is why it’s known to satisfy heavy smokers.

Learn more about nicotine levels in e-cigarettes

This cig-alike style does not have a glowing tip. You just tap the battery twice to see how much power is left. If it’s yellow or red, it needs charging.

JUUL starter kit

2- Pen-Style E-Cigarettes with a Refillable Cartridge and a Larger Battery

Some electronic cigarettes don’t look like cigarettes at all. They come in several different shapes, sizes and colors. They are called “Pen-Style” e-cigarettes.

The Pen Style battery, is fatter than other e-cigarette batteries and it never has a glowing tip.

These batteries can last more than twice as long as “cigarette stick” type batteries. They also produce great clouds of vapor.

There are several companies that have these great styles and many offer several types of tanks for your e-liquids.

One thing to note is that all e-cigarette batteries charge on either a USB charger alone, or a USB charger attached to a wall charger. For safety reasons, you must always use the chargers that come with your e-cigarette kit. The atomizers must be replaced every 1-2 months.

VaporFi’s Pro3 Pen Style ecig has a screw on cartomizer tank, an atomizer that simply push in, and a big activation button. 

I consider this a beginner ecig because it’s pretty easy to use. You just charge the battery, prime the atomizer with a few drops of e-liquids, put the parts together and vape. The instructions included in the box are easy to follow.

Plus, you’ll get great clouds of vapor and a full rich taste.

Check out the in depth review 

Vaporfi Pro 3 in colors


V2’s Pro Series 3 also has a big activation button, it’s a easier to use because the tank and the charger attach magnetically. This powerful Vape Pen is very reliable and provides well over 800 puffs on a single charge. The Pro Series 3 uses any brand and type of e-liquid.

Learn more about the best e-liquids

V2Cigs Pro Series3

3- Vape Mod and Vaporizer e-Cigarettes

If you choose a Vape MOD e-Cigarette, you get a larger, heavier ecig. Vape Mods have box-shaped batteries that are more powerful than other batteries. They are also more complicated to use since you can almost always set the wattage and voltage.

The MODS also accommodate many refillable tank styles. This style lets you customize your vape to your liking. Adjustments regulate the amount of vapor produced as well as your “throat hit”.

Because they use so much power, you must follow the instructions very carefully and be wary of any overheating warnings that display on the battery.

With DirectVapor’s ELeaf iStick 30W Vape MOD expect some serious clouds. You fill the tank from the top of the tank so there are no spills. You can also adjust your airflow.

ELeaf iStick 30W Vape Mod - DirectVapor

What Ingredients Are in the E-Cigarette Liquid?

All Electronic Cigarettes produce water vapor when you inhale on the cartridge or tank style mouthpiece.  

E-cigarette liquid is made up of vegetable glycerine (VG), propylene glycol (PG), FDA approved food favorings formulated for inhalation, and diluted nicotine (if you order it).  All the ingredients in the best electronic cigarette products (all those reviewed by this website) are purity tested and FDA approved. 

Learn why PG and VG can affect your vape

Regarding All E-Cigarette Batteries

As mentioned above, electronic cigarette batteries comes in many shapes and sizes depending on the brand. All e-cig batteries are either a lithium ion battery or a lithium polymer battery, although the latter is rare. 

Remember…you must always use the chargers that come with your e-cigarette kit as they have the proper voltage. Using the wrong charger can destroy your battery!

If you battery gets wet you should replace it as it can get damaged.

Learn more about ecig battery safety

Which style of e-cigarette is right for you? Any Questions? Feel free to comment! 

Share Button


Hillary, BECG's managing editor and contributing author has been an advocate for the vaping industry for over 10 years. After a long career writing and producing for national television networks, Hillary now focuses on helping smokers and former smokers better understand the many benefits of electronic cigarettes and the role they play in tobacco harm reduction, health and well-being.

She is the editor for Cloud NineBest E-Cigarette Guide, ECigarette News,and Miles Design

Follow Best ECigarette Guide on Twitter

2 comments to E-Cigarettes Styles and How They Work

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>