E-Cigarette Styles and How They Work

Last updated on July 20th, 2017 at 10:30 am

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Electronic Cigarette 101


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.

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

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

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 “Cig-Alike” e-Cigarette (with a Replaceable Cartridge)

If you are using a traditional e-cigarette with a replaceable cartridge (such as Halo’s G6), 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 can look like a cigarette, although you can get batteries in designer colors and discreet shapes. 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.

Halo G6 Starter Kit on BECG

          Halo G6 Starter Kit


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 many different shapes, sizes and colors. Sometimes they are called “Pen-Style” e-cigarettes.

The Pen Style battery, is 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 tanks for your e-liquids. 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. Always keep the mouthpiece clean. The atomizers must be replaced every 1-2 months.

Vaporfi Pro 3 in colors

         VaporFi’s Pen Style ecig – The Pro3

3- Vape Mod and Vaporizer e-Cigarette

If you choose a Vape Mod e-Cigarette, you get a larger, heavier ecig. Vape Mods have box-shaped batteries and 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 to customize your vape to your liking. Adjustments regulate the amount of vapor produced as well as your “throat hit”. They also 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. After about a month or two, you buy new ones.
  • You have to follow the instructions carefully and be wary of any overheating warnings on the battery.
VaporFi Vox Mini Starter Kit

              VaporFi Vox Mini Starter Kit

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

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. 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 want an easy ecig that’s very portable, lightweight and has a pop-on e-liquid cartridge. Try: 

  • JUUL Vapes – Rated as one little ecig that’s best for (former) heavy smokers. (read our review)

3- You prefer a pen-stye e-cigarette that has a more powerful battery and has a refillable cartridge Try:

  • V2 Pro Series3x – It has magnetic technology, provides well over 800 puffs on a single charge. The Pro 3x uses any brand and type of e-liquid and the vapor produced is excellent. (read our review)


4- You’re ready to move up to a more powerful e-cigarette Vape Mod that delivers more vapor and gives you the option of using a variety of customized e-liquid tanks.

  • VaporFi’s Vape MOD Starter Kit  – Check out all of best selling VaporFi’s Vape Mod Kits. They contain everything you need (including your choice of tank) 




  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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