A Short Tutorial About Electronic Cigarettes
You have to know in order to be able to make a smart purchase, and when it comes to e-cigarettes, you don’t want low-quality, poorly-made knockoffs. They might not work when you first open the package. They might taste bad, or have defective parts. They may even be made cheaply with unsafe materials. This is many times more important if you are considering e-cigarettes as a tool to help you quit smoking. The first impression has to be good.
As with virtually all things, take advertisements and manufacturer statements with at least a grain of salt. They might not lie to you outright, but advertising, by its nature, is sneaky and possibly misleading. The goal is to get you to buy first and ask questions later. For this reason, it is very wise to seek out several sources of information about an e-cigarette product that you are considering purchasing. Compare important features, and see what real people have to say about their purchases.
The Cigalike and the mini e-cig.
Let’s start with the basics. Known as mini e-cigs, or cigalikes, these are your cheapest and simplest models of e-cigarette. Many of these e-cigarettes are single-use. They are a single, inseparable unit that has a basic battery and a pre-filled cartomizer. There really isn’t much to these models at all. All you have to do is put the unit to your lips and inhale. Their size and simplicity makes them great for vaping on the go, or in other situations where time is short. They are also good for testing out a new product, since they are inexpensive and require no commitment or further investment. And, they can be found virtually anywhere that sells tobacco products (and quite a few places that don’t).
The phrase ‘cigalike’ describes e-cigarettes which are designed to resemble actual cigarettes. They tend to be about the same size, and are often designed and packaged so that, at a glance, you can’t tell it’s not a cigarette. Cigalikes are the most common type of disposable e-cigarette, meaning that once either the cartridge or the battery gives out, you simply discard them in a safe way.
Of course, there are mini e-cigs that don’t look anything like cigarettes, too. Unlike most cigalikes, the minis are typically designed to be reused. The battery and cartridge separate from each other and can be replaced when one or the other runs out. Though slightly more expensive and complicated than a disposable, minis allow you to change out flavors on the fly, or carry spare batteries in case one goes dead when no charging source is nearby.
Mid-sized and eGo
In this category are e-cigarettes that are something of a step up from the minis and cigalikes, in that they have larger form factors and allow a greater level of customization. A common form factor is the ‘pen vape’, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a personal vaping device roughly the size and shape of a good writing pen. They are small enough to carry in your pocket, but big enough to take batteries and cartridges that can last longer than anything found in a mini offering.
A new style of battery is called the eGo. The main draw here is that eGo batteries can hold at least twice the charge of a standard battery, which is, of course, quite useful. Nobody enjoys hooking up their e-cigarette battery to the charger. You can’t even use it! The new eGo battery keeps you puffing longer. It also keeps you puffing stronger, because another very important fact to know about e-cigarette batteries is that you get the thickest, best vapor production when your battery is strong and fully-charged. These batteries have a manual setting feature which allows you to control when the heating coil activates, so you can further prolong the duration of a full charge.
Mods and Personal Vape Kits
Mods are so-named because they are designed with customization in mind. These tend to be the high-end models of e-cigarettes, and as a consequence, you can expect to pay the most for these units. You can also expect to get the very best sort of vaping experience from them. A mod is not for taking a surreptitious puff on the go, or to sip and sample. Mods are for the serious vaper, the sort who wants to take out their device, select the right flavor, inhale and enjoy the experience.
Mods are typically too big to carry in the pocket. In fact, some of them are big enough to be table-top units. Though cigalikes and minis are probably the most commonly encountered e-cigarettes, mods are sure to be the most unique and feature-rich of all. They can be fitted with manual and automatic batteries with charge capacities reaching beyond 2000 mAh (compared to a mere 500 or so for a disposable cigalike). The better batteries are even pretty smart, and can react to abnormal operating conditions before something malfunctions and bad things happens to you, or your unit. Some may even permit detailed adjustments of voltage and wattage. The name of the game with mods is ‘total control’.
If you have never vaped before, or are still rather new to the activity, mods are probably not for you just yet. They are the priciest models available and can represent a significant investment. Start small and learn what you like, what works best for you, before you graduate to the bigger boys.
If early 2015 has shown anything, it’s that the e-cigarette industry and the vaping community as a whole is in a state of flux.
Legislation and FDA regulation loom in the not so distant future and manufacturers are attempting a variety of strategies in preparation for possible moves. Some companies, such as Green Smoke, have decided to go a completely different direction, with their acquisition by Altria in order to let Big Tobacco have a hand in how the industry will begin to shape up. Some vendors are even making efforts to distinguish their products apart from what e-cig users are normally used to.
What used to just be commonly referred to “e-cigs” under a very wide blanket, you now see more heavily marketed products that focus on things like vape pens, e-hookahs and so on. It’s easy to see some of the early pressure placed on the industry from the FDA as well as Big Tobacco. The players in the game are becoming more competitive and thus vendors and manufacturers are scrambling for new ways to adjust to not only incoming regulation, but their very own competition in the field.
Regardless of the state of events, e-cigs remain alive and well and the growth will continue.
Things are still looking up, and the popular products sold in convenience stores and seen on the street more and more frequently are ushering in more and more people who are giving up tobacco. You might have even noticed a lot less coughing in public. If you count yourself as one of the many electronic cigarette users, there’s plenty of top tier products on the market to choose from as the exciting new year grows, so today it’s time to focus on a product for each level of user see what the top recommendation might be for you.