Last updated on January 4th, 2020
Electronic Cigarette 101 – Different E-Cig Styles and How They Work
There Are So Many Electronic Cigarettes on the Market and 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 2007 hardly anyone heard of an e-cigarette. If you wanted to try an e-cig, 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. We’ve also included links to product reviews and related articles. Hopefully, this guide will help you’ll discover a satisfying alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.
All Electronic Cigarettes Have These 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 “burn” any substance, nor do they create toxic smoke.
- 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.
- They are at least 95% safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes.
- THEY ARE SAFE TO USE, IF YOU FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER’S DIRECTIONS.
Popular E-Cigarette Styles
1- Traditional “Cig-Alike” e-cigarette (with a Replaceable Cartridge)
If you choose a traditional e-cigarette, you get a replaceable cartomizer pre-filled with e-liquid. You usually get to choose your e-liquid flavor and nicotine level.
The cartomizer also contains a heating element (called an atomizer). You just screw on the cart and vape. Some ecigs, like those from South Beach Smoke (shown above) 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, and screw in a fresh one.
The battery can look like a cigarette, although most companies offer batteries in different colors.
The cig-alike battery is made of metal (usually stainless steel). 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.
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 and are now called “pen-style” e-cigarettes.
The pen style battery, is fatter (and heavier) than other e-cigarette batteries and it never has a glowing tip.
These batteries can last more than twice as long as cigalike type batteries. Because the battery is more powerful, they produce great clouds of vapor. You add your own e-liquid to the glass tank (also called a Clearomizer). The tank does require regular cleaning.
There are several companies that sell pen ecig styles and many offer several types of tanks for your e-liquids. The tanks will vary in size and the atomizers will come in different oHm resistances. The atomizers (the small heating element within the e-cig) must be replaced every 1-2 months.
Over the past few years we’ve seen more innovate beginner and intermediate vape pens. Some allow you to adjust the airflow so you get a cooler vape.
VaporFi’s SMOK Stick 80W (shown in the image above) has a big activation button and airflow control so you get a cooler vape. The atomizer coil has a subohm resistance so you’ll get huge clouds of vapor. It’s fully-adjustable wattage runs from 40-80W of power.
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-liquid, add the rest of your ejuice to the tank and vape. The instructions included in the box are easy to follow.
Plus, you’ll get full, rich flavor.
3- Vape Mod and Vaporizer’s with Larger Tanks
If you choose a Vape MOD e-Cigarette, you get a larger, heavier ecig. Vape Mods (sometimes called vaporizers) have box-shaped batteries that are more powerful than vape pen batteries. They hold a long charge and produce huge vapor clouds. Mods are also more complicated to use since you can almost always set the wattage and voltage.
Mods also accommodate many refillable tank styles that let you customize your vape to your own liking. Adjustments regulate the amount of vapor produced as well as your “throat hit”. They can be easy to use, or very complicated depending on the model.
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.
4- Pod Vape Systems
One of the most popular vapes right now are Pod Vapes. The image above is the SMOK Nord; however pod vapes now come in many styles..even mini box mod styles. Pod Vape Systems are ultra-portable, lightweight, and they come with a flavor pod that is either refillable or pre-filled.
The difference between a flavor pod and and an e-cig cartridge is that it attaches to (rather than screws into) a more powerful battery.
Pod vapes are very easy to use and great for beginner vapers.
What Ingredients Are in the E-Cigarette Liquid?
All Electronic Cigarettes produce 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.
If you’re concerned about nicotine, just know that it is a stimulant like caffeine and not considered to be carcinogenic, like the tar in regular tobacco cigarettes.
Regarding All E-Cigarette Batteries
Electronic cigarette batteries comes in many shapes and sizes depending on the brand. All e-cigs use lithium ion batteries.
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! 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. If your kit does not come with a wall charger, ask the company’s customer service department what size wall charger you need.
If you battery gets wet you should replace it as it can get damaged.
Any Questions about e-cigarette styles? Feel free to comment!