In 2007, when I first began vaping, almost nobody had heard of electronic cigarettes. These days, it’s the opposite. Indeed, if you haven’t at least heard of them by now, you’re likely a hermit living on a faraway mountain. That said, many people out there are curious about trying e-cigs, want to know what makes them tick, and are wondering whether they offer a reasonable alternative to tobacco cigarettes. There is a huge variety of e-cigs available, and they encompass numerous different styles. If you’re interested in e-cigs, this guide can help you get started.
Every electronic cigarette shares at least five characteristics:
- They don’t contribute to air pollution
- They cost less than tobacco cigarettes
- They allow for the hand-to-mouth motion involved in smoking
- There is no flame to present a burn or fire hazard
- They produce no smoke or ash, and won’t stink up your surroundings or clothes
There are several styles of e-cig. Many companies make a variety of models, while others may produce only one kind.
Popular E-Cig Configurations
Standard 2-Part E-Cigs With Replaceable Cartridges
Conventional two-part e-cigs that have a replaceable cartridge, like those made by Apollo, V2 Cigs or Green Smoke, have a heating element (atomizer) inside the liquid-filled filter (cartomizer). Once the liquid is gone, often after 250 to 300 draws, it can be disposed of. The battery, made of metal, has the appearance of a cigarette, but they’re also available in many designer styles. This battery operates the atomizer and an LED on the end lights up when you take a drag. When it starts flashing, it needs to be recharged.
Non-Standard 2-Part E-Cigs With a Replaceable Cartridges and EGO Batteries
Not all e-cigs look like cigarettes. These types can be found in many colors, shapes and sizes. They may sometimes be called “EGO” e-cigarettes, such as those produced by Halo. Some people also refer to them as Stealth or Vaporizer e-cigs.
The batteries on these e-cigs are larger than most others and don’t come with the usual LED tip. This type of battery often outlasts its smaller counterparts by about double. Many companies make this type of e-cig, and several also make different types of cartomizers. The batteries charge from either just a USB charger or a USB charger connected to a wall charger. It’s important to note that you should only use the charger included with your kit.
3-Part E-Cigs With Refillable Tanks
If you’d prefer to use your own e-liquids, one of the three-part refillable tank models, like those from Halo or Vaporfi, may be right for you. Although this makes vaping highly affordable, it’s presents certain inconveniences.
- It’s necessary to regularly clean the atomizer coils and mouthpiece. The other alternative is replacing them.
- It can be difficult to clean the atomizer coils, and there’s no guarantee they won’t be damaged by it.
- Deciding when to dispose of them is a guessing game.
- Refilling is a tedious process, and you may spill the liquid.
- Your liquid vials must be kept out of reach of kids and pets.
E-cigs create water vapor when they’re used. The liquids are typically made from propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine, diluted nicotine and food-grade artificial flavorings. The best e-cig products, which are reviewed on this site, have been approved by the FDA and tested for optimal purity. Some brands, like Eversmoke, contain vegetable glycerine. This allows people who have issues with propylene glycol to still enjoy vaping.
Your E-Cig Batteries
Electronic cigarette batteries are available in several sizes, shapes and styles, and they use either lithium ion or lithium polymer. Most are available with an optional button that lets you activate the battery manually while drawing on it. Others are fully automatic, which means that the battery is activated simply by inhaling on it.
The battery is charged using a wall or USB charger, which may be a single unit. Wall chargers show a green light when they’re done charging, or a red light when charging is still incomplete. Be sure to only use the one that was included with your e-cig as it’s designed to deliver the proper voltage. Using just any charger is likely to damage the battery.