E-cigs have been around for a decade now. New brands and improved versions of old ones are coming to the market every month. Even more frequent lately, and at an overwhelming rate.
Three groups here: cig-alikes, mid-size and APVs.
They are the first generation of electronic cigarettes, still very popular for obvious reasons - they emulate the look of real cigarettes, though most of them are slightly bigger and a bit heavier.
Many people are visual types - it's impossible for them to have anything similar to smoking experience when they hold an eGo or APV which look nowhere near a real tobacco cig.
These are the second generation of e-cigs looking like pen, some of them very much so. Most popular is eGo style which comes in more versions (VV-variable voltage, Twist, eGo-T, eGo-c).
Mid-size e-cigs are the most cost effective of all types. You could save much - up to 85% of your cigarette expenses with eGo-s, EVODs, iGo-s, KGo-s and similar types. We have calculated our savings - around 65%. Not bad at all.
Usually heavier and bigger, with larger battery capacity, ranging from 450 to 1100 mAh, these e-cigarettes offer more customizable experience. You need e-liquid, of course. They allow you to mix flavors, nicotine strengths and PG-VG* ratio yourself, until you find just what you love.
(*PG=Propylene glycol and VG=Vegetable glycerin. Any or both make the e-liquid base.)
Here you can see some of mine in the pic 2 and 3 above. I used them daily and my favorite suppliers are Smoker's Angel (Ecigarettedirect from UK) and Apollo (UK and US).
The third type which has appeared only recently comes in a variety of shapes and sizes - from screwdriver to little boxlike gizmos. It's APV - advanced personal vaporizer, loved by e-cigarette hobbyists. It has stronger batteries, variable setting features and all the bells and whistles out there. You'll see some below.
Most people probably choose between first two. In case it doesn't work for you, take a peek at Apollo ecigs' VTube (both UK and US).
It is entirely up to you – for instance, some people don't mind vaping a pen-style e-cig since it has a stronger battery and more customizable options. Others, more visual types, prefer the exact cig look to anything else.
Each e cigarette consists of a battery, atomizer and cartridge. In many new models, atomizer and cartridge are made together into one part: cartomizer.
Recently, cartomizers have been more and more replaced by clearomizers - transparent tanks with a tube in the middle. See the pic below to the right.
a side note just FYI: lately I've seen cartomizers being named cartridges by some suppliers who offer cig-alikes.
left: Eversmoke battery with cartomizers, right: clearomizers ViVi Nova Mini, CE4 and CC510. See reviews.
Automatic – has a LED light at its end that is automatically lit when you inhale. Some people find it more convenient because it doesn't require any additional activity. Most cigalikes are automatic, although some of them are manual (you'll recognize that one by a visible button on the top of battery body. For more info, see our review and pictures of South Beach Smoke Batteries. Eversmoke also has a manual battery, so here is another review.
Manual – Most eGos, all EVODs and Spinners (basically mid size batteries) have manual battery mode. I've seen only a few mid-size batteries with automatic mode. You have to press the LED button and hold it while you inhale. This allows you more control over your vaping.
In the meantime, as this industry is making its seven-mile strides, something new has developed: dual-mode battery. Just look at Vapor Zeus battery from Vapor4life: dual mode e-cigar. Manual and automatic function are interchangable on this device. Click the picture to read our review of this kit.
a) completely disposable models - best choice for social smokers, beginners trying out new e-cig brands or a wonderful present to any smoker.
b) electronic cigarette with a rechargable battery but disposable cartomizers - middle of the road variant. We are talking about the cig look-alikes mostly. If you smoke but don't want to bother with refillings, e-liquids, bottles with needles etc, this one is for you.
They are usually offered in kits, like this South Beach Smoke kit, with or without monthly subscription for refills.The price of electronic cigarette kit varies depending on its contents and whether you make a monthly subscription or not.
Some suppliers offer starter kits for free if you subscribe. It is advisable to buy a disposable or a small kit first. It's easy to buy everything else or enter subscription program later if you want to. An extra battery or two always comes in handy.
c) e-cigarettes of the newer generation (mid-size, pen-style) have a rechargable battery and refillable cartridges or cartomizers. And you also need to buy e-liquid. Heavy smokers passionately embrace them and don't mind spending a minute to refill.