People were often first introduced to electronic cigarettes by way of cig-a-likes or minis that look and feel like “real cigarettes” because of their packaging. The worst kind of misinformed drivel that anti-vaping advocates often report is that e-cigs also include equipment that’s been created for the purpose of vaping cannabis oil or flavored herbs, and not nicotine-containing e-juice. These generally include vape pens and e-hookahs, which are used to vape flavored shishas that do not contain nicotine or tobacco.
Avoid becoming a misinformed reader by learning the different types of electronic cigarettes as they are designed by people who vape.
Basic Types of E-cigarettes (Image via Cigarette Electronique)
Types of Cig-a-likes, Minis or Slim Models
An article at Electronic Cigarette Consumer Revies has identified the following formats of the most basic type of e-cigs. The text has been edited and summarized for your benefit.
One-Piece or Disposable E-cigs – These are great for a temporary nicotine fix or for trying a new product before you invest, or for emergency replacement when you’ve ran out of cartridges for your usual e-cig. If you absolutely must buy a disposable, make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company.
Two-Piece E-cigs – They’re often packaged as e-cig starter kits with rechargeable batteries. They usually consist of two pieces: a battery and a cartridge with a built-in atomizer, which is called a “cartomizer” because it can easily be screwed on and off when it needs replacing or refilling.
They come in either manual or automatic format. A manual two-piece e-cig requires you to push a button with each draw. Meanwhile, air movement every time you inhale from the mouthpiece activates the battery of an automatic e-cig with cartomizer.
Three-Piece E-cigs – These types of electronic cigarettes consist of a battery, an atomizer, and a poly-cotton-filled plastic cartridge. These types of e-cigarettes are almost obsolete. They’re not as convenient, reliable, or remotely satisfying as a two-piece e-cig. Cartridges leak, or sometimes melt, and they often produce little to no vapor.
The only real advantage of these e-cig models was in giving the users the capability to replace the parts that were damaged. This is the model that spawned the new and improved generation of e-cigs known as advanced personal vaporizers (APVs).
What are Third-Generation Electronic Cigarettes?
In the vaping community, these APVs are also known as mods or modified electronic cigarettes. They are based on third-generation models of e-cigs. The more technical and creative vapers are the ones who made them bigger and badder, so they’ll produce more clouds of vapor and deliver a better vaping experience, especially in terms of flavor and function.
When it comes to e-cig mods, there are tanks, which hold liquid like the eGo style and there are what are called drippers where users drop a few drops of e-liquid right on the atomizer itself and vape a few puffs that way.
There are fully built tank and atomizer combinations and there are ones that you build yourself. There are even some vapers that have gone back to using cartomizers similar in look to the 2 piece, or cigalike ones.
As far as battery mods are concerned, the list is almost endless. Most offer variable volts like the egos, but also offer variable wattage. Some go up to 100 watts of output.
Joyetech eVic-VT Mod – Full Kit (Image via Vapor Jedi)
It doesn’t matter whether you call them mods or APVs. Each of them has a list of advantages and disadvantages, as pointed out by CigBuyer.
- Extreme performance! Triple the vapor of a mini!
- Extended battery life
- Long-lasting, solid construction
- Advanced functions allow for full customization
- Sufficient performance for any smoker
- Can be very expensive
- Battery care more complex due to individual Li-Ion cells
- Must be manually operated
It takes a certain level of experience and a lot of research to get busy with a mod or APV. Beginners are advised to test the waters with a mini or cig-a-like before starting with a kit that has a mid-sized or two-piece e-cig, such as an EVOD or eGo. After getting to know the hardware and learning what type of vaping they like (i.e. cloudy or flavorful), they can start modding or tweaking their equipment and collecting other styles of e-cig mods.
The Aspire CF Premium Starter Kit features the Nautilus Mini VV atomizer that has a bottom vertical coil. Image via Vapor Jedi.