E-Cigarette Styles and How They Work

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Electronic Cigarette 101


When I first started “vaping” in early 2009, hardly anyone heard of an e-cigarette.  Today that’s not the case, in fact, if you never heard of electronic cigarettes you probably never heard of Lady Gaga either; or Barack Obama for that matter. Still, there are plenty of people who are ready to try an electronic cigarette and would like to know how they work and whether they are a good alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

There are so many e-cigarettes on the market and there are so many styles of electronic cigarettes, a little E-Cigarette 101 can get you started.

All electronic cigarettes have five things in common

  • They do not have any flame
  • They do not create any ash
  • They do not smell (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.

There are several types of electronic cigarette styles. Some e-cigarette companies offer several different models. Some offer only one type of e-cigarette.

Popular E-Cigarette Styles

Traditional 2- Part Electronic Cigarette (with a Replaceable Cartridge)

If you are using a traditional 2-part e-cigarette with a replaceable cartridge (such as V2 Cigs or Apollo), the filter (a cartomizer) contains a heating element (called an atomizer ) and a liquid. When the liquid is used up, (typically after 250-300 puffs) you recycle or throw away the cartomizer. The battery looks like a cigarette, although you can get batteries in designer colors and patterns. The battery is made of metal, it powers the atomizer in the filter and it has a illuminating tip that lights up when you puff on the e-cigarette. When the tip starts blinking on an off, it’s time to recharge the battery.

Non-Traditional 2- Part Electronic Cigarette with with a Replaceable Cartridge and an EGO-Type battery

Leonardo Di Caprio vaping vape pen

Leonardo DiCaprio favors a box-style vaporizer.

Some electronic cigarettes don’t look like cigarettes at all. They come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Sometimes they are called “EGO” e-cigarettes (such as those offered by HaloCigs). Sometimes they are called Stealth e-cigarettes or Vaporizers.

premium vapes-ego-150The Stealth, or EGO-Type battery is much fatter than other e-cigarette batteries and it doesn’t have a glowing tip. These batteries can last more than twice as long as “cigarette stick” type batteries. There are several companies that have these great styles. They also offer several types of cartomizers. All 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. 
V2 Cigs electronic cigarettes - best ecigs worldwide
3- Part Electronic Cigarette (with a Refillable Tank-Syle filter)

Halo Triton Tank e-cigaretteIf you choose a 3-part e-cigarette that’s refillable (such as models offered by V2 Cigs, Vaporfi or Halo), you add your own e-liquid. This can be very economical but there are a few downsides to this e-cigarette system.

  • You have to clean the mouthpiece and the atomizer coils to keep it sanitary, or you buy new ones.
  • Cleaning the coils is a bit of a chore and you can damage the product.
  • You have to determine when it’s time to throw it away.
  • Refilling the atomizer with liquid can be tricky depending on the tank. Some of the e-liquid/vapor juice may spill.
  • You must make sure to keep e-liquid vials away from children and pets.


What Ingredients Are in the E-Cigarette Liquid?

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

E-cigarette liquid is made up of vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, 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. 

Regarding All E-Cigarette Batteries

The electronic cigarette battery 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. Most e-cigarette batteries can be ordered with a manual switch – a small button that activates the charged battery while you take a puff on the filter. Automatic batteries activate simply when you puff on the cartridge filter.

You charge your battery with a Wall Charger and a USB Charger which work together. The Wall Charger will show a red light when it not fully charged and a green light when charging is complete. 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!

Which type of e-cigarette is right for you?

Here are my recommendations for each type of electronic cigarette:

1- You prefer your e-cigarette to look like a regular cigarette. You want it to be easy to use with the e-liquid already inside the cartridge. You want great vapor and a long lasting battery. Try:

  • V2 Cigs long battery with any of their Replaceable Flavor Cartridges. (read our review)


2- You prefer a non-traditional looking e-cigarette that has a more powerful battery but still uses prefilled cartridges Try:

  • Premium Vapes new EGO battery. It provides well over 800 puffs on a single charge. It uses any Premium Vapes pre-filled, Cartomizer. (read our review)


3- You’re ready to move up to a powerful second generation e-cigarette vaporizer that uses a powerful battery, delivers more vapor and gives you the option of using a prefilled cartridge or a clear tank that you fill with eliquid.

  • Halo E-Cigarette’s Triton Tank – You can use either a standard fillable cartomizer, or a clearomizer tank . (read our review


3– You find regular e-cigarettes don’t give you a good throat hit and you want a big choice of variable volt second generation vaporizers and custom e-liquids flavors. Try:

  • Vaporfi E-Cigarettes – Major throat hit on their Rebel and VoxII Vaporizers. (read our review).


  • V2Cigs Pro Series – Magnetic technology, sleek long lasting battery, major vapor and the option to vape e-liquids, loose leaves or essential oils. 


  Any Questions? Feel free to comment! Happy Vaping!

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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 NineSavvy ExaminerBest E-Cigarette Guide and ECigarette News . Follow Best ECigarette Guide on Twitter

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