- by Denise Tsekoruas
What are e cigarettes? It is a question we hear all too often. Strangely enough, there are many answers to it, and posed like that, it gets tricky to put into words, even for those of us who know what it means.
What is an Electronic Cigarette?
There are so many ways to explain it.
- It is a safer alternative to regular cigarettes
- It is a small mechanical device that enables smokers to kick the habit
- These are fancy gadgets that administer nicotine minus the harmful effects of a regular cigarette
In short, these are devices that produce vaporized nicotine when inhaled.
Speaking of vaporized…One word that you will encounter when talking about e cigs is the term ‘vape pen’.
What are Vape Pens?
A vape pen, also known as personal vaporizer, is a type of electronic cigarette with a heating element that is powered by a battery to vaporize the juice containing the nicotine (e-liquid/e-juice).
What are Vape Mods?
A vape mod is the name given to a much bigger, more powerful vape pen. However, it differs from a regular vape pen in that it has been particularly designed to offer more functionality. By this we mean a much larger, bulkier battery. Call it a ‘modded’ vape pen.
What is a Mechanical Mod?
A mechanical mod is just another name for the vape mod. Referred to in vaping lingo simply as ‘mechs’ or ‘mods’.
Components of an Electronic Cigarette
E cigs and vape pens come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of the type, they usually have these basic components:
Cartridge (Carto): Think of the cartridge as part of the mouthpiece (drip tip). It is used to hold the e-juice in devices that have separate atomizers. This part is replaceable and this is determined by how frequent you vape, one drawback of using devices with separate tanks and atomizer.
Atomizer (Atty): Also known as the heating head or heating coil, this is among the most critical parts of an e cig because it turns the e-juice into vapor. In short, it is the heating element. Just as the cartridge, the atomizer is susceptible to wear and tear and requires constant changing, not just as a result of frequent vaping but at times this could be affected by the type of atomizer, or even type of e-liquid; some tend to wear it out faster than others. When you become a true convert, you will probably realize that the dessert flavors wear out the atomizer faster than their fruity counterparts.
Battery: The battery powers the heating element and is often the largest component of the device. These range in size, stamina and power. The smaller types may lack the power to deliver satisfying vapor, a good hit if you rather. That aside, they also require constant recharging (usually after just a few hours) of heavy use, hence the need to have backups. Alternatively, an ‘eGo’ type of battery which boasts 1000MaH is great for the moderate to heavy users who want closer to a full day of use.
What is laso probably worth a mention is the ‘cartomizer’. As the name suggests, this is a combo of the cartridge and atomizer. They have a larger reservoir than the average cartridge, thus do not require refilling as often.
E Liquid: Let’s also not forget the e-liquid. This is where the action is, and it is made up of three components: nicotine (some e-liquids do not contain nicotine and are just for the fun of it), flavoring, and diluents. Diluents come in two main types: propylene glycol (better throat hit) and vegetable glycerine (more vapor), sometimes a combination of the two.
How E Cig Vaporizers Work
E cigarettes, and especially vape pens and mech mods are a culmination of various components and technology.
When the users draws on the e-cig, the battery delivers a power charge to the atomizer which then slowly heats up the e-liquid to a certain degree of combustion. When the juice has reached this point, it releases vapor which the user inhales in the form of thick, rich clouds. It might or might not contain nicotine, this depends on the preference.
So, why do you need to vape, as opposed to smoke? This is a long debate involving science, critics and proponents, but it is believed that e cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes because they leave out the harmful toxins and unwanted residue that smoking delivers to the body.
Types of E Cigs
There are actually many types of e-cigs now available but the three main categories we like to put them in are:
These were the first form of e cigs and resemble actual cigarettes, although they are a little bit heavier and bigger.
Mid-size e-cigs (Personal Vaporizers)
We prefer to call them personal vaporizers. You can call them second-gen e cigs with the most popular being the eGo style which can come in different versions such as eGo-c, eGo-T, Twist and VV-variable voltage. They are hailed as the most cost-effective of all types.
Bigger and with a larger battery capacity, they offer a very customized experience (and we mean very). From the look and feel that says more about your style, to your flavor of choice, you can never go wrong with a PV.
Advanced Personal Vaporizers
This is the third type and the most advanced, usually used by experienced vapers. These take the statement ‘in all shapes and sizes’ a whole new level: they could resemble a screwdriver, hammer maybe, or probably it’s a boxlike gizmo style you fancy.
Advanced personal vaporizers include mechanical mods, herbal vaporizers, rebuildable mods and more.
The APV boasts stronger batts, variable setting features and all the bells and whistles out there.