Guest post by Triple 7 Vaping.

If you’re a smoker, it’s impossible that you haven’t heard of vaping. You see e-cigarettes in every convenience store. You’ve seen people vaping on the street and in their cars. Millions of people around the world now vape, and a large body of scientific studies now exists to suggest that vaping can significantly reduce the harm caused by smoking. You’ve decided that it’s time to give vaping a try.

Here’s the problem for anyone about to try vaping for the first time: The type of vaping device that you use – and where you go to buy your first device – will drastically affect the experience you have. Depending on whether you buy your device from a convenience store, a local vape shop or online, you’ll see an almost completely different selection of products. In this article, we’re going to help you through that choice by describing the four most common types of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.


The term “cigalike” is an invention of the vaping community. It describes any e-cigarette that looks like a tobacco cigarette. Most of the e-cigarettes that you see in convenience stores are cigalikes. Since a cigalike is inexpensive to buy, it’s an easy way to find out what vaping is all about. Cigalikes are also incredibly easy to use; just charge the battery, screw on a cartridge and puff. No flavour? Replace the cartridge. No vapour? Charge the battery. As convenient as cigalikes are, they do have three drawbacks.

  • They don’t produce much vapour and don’t offer great battery life. It isn’t easy to switch from smoking to vaping with a cigalike.
  • Most cigalikes only have a few flavours from which to choose. You can’t fill a cigalike cartridge with the e-liquid of your choice; you can only use the flavours that the manufacturer of your e-cigarette offers.
  • Cigalike cartridges are expensive compared to bottled e-liquids. If you use more than one cartridge per day, using a cigalike could be more expensive than smoking.

Pod Vaping Systems

The pod vaping system is the latest evolution in what was once the cigalike platform. A typical pod vaping system is slightly larger than a tobacco cigarette – some pod devices look a bit like USB drives – and has both slightly more e-liquid storage and slightly better battery life. Pod devices are so called because they don’t use the twist-on cartridges that cigalikes use. Instead, they use clear plastic pods. You’ll replace a pod by lifting it out of the battery and pushing in a new one. Pod vaping systems are as easy to use as cigalikes. You’ll find them online and in some convenience stores. Pod systems also use a different form of nicotine – nicotine salt – that some smokers find more satisfying than standard e-liquid when they first make the switch from smoking to vaping. If you want to use a simple e-cigarette that you don’t need to fill with e-liquid yourself, you’ll probably find a pod vaping system superior to a standard cigalike. Pod vaping systems have a few drawbacks.

  • Most pods aren’t refillable. You’ll need to use the flavours that the manufacturer provides, and you can’t fill the pods with bottled e-liquids.
  • Although pre-filled pods hold more e-liquid than cigalike cartridges, they usually also cost more.

Vape Pens

A vape pen is like the halfway point between a cigalike or pod vaping system and a more advanced vaping device. Using a vape pen means that you’ll need to buy bottled e-liquid, fill your own tank and replace your device’s atomizer coil periodically. That adds slightly to the learning curve, but it isn’t a bad thing because it also means that you’ll spend less to vape; bottled e-liquids cost much less than pre-filled cartridges or pods. You’ll also have access to all the e-liquid flavours in the world rather than the handful available for a given cigalike or pod vaping device. If you have the patience to read the instructions and learn how to perform basic maintenance, a vape pen is the best choice for a first e-cigarette because it’s great to have the freedom to choose your own e-liquid flavours. Vape pens are also very satisfying because they produce significantly more vapour than cigalikes or pod vaping systems. These are the potential drawbacks of vape pens.

  • They usually aren’t adjustable. For simplicity’s sake, a vape pen generally doesn’t let you adjust settings such as wattage or temperature.
  • They aren’t as easy to use as cigalikes or pod vaping systems.
  • Some vape pens may not work – or may not provide a good experience – with third-party tanks.

Advanced Mods

Advanced mods – also called box mods or personal vaporizers – are the most complex and most powerful vaping devices that exist. You’ll find them online and in local vape shops. A box mod is usually about as large as a pack of cigarettes and holds either one or two removable batteries. Box mods usually have digital displays and buttons for adjusting settings like temperature and wattage. Many box mods come with compatible tanks for convenience, but box mods are highly customizable devices. You can usually use a modern box mod with almost any vaping tank that exists. Box mods often generate enormous vapour clouds. The vapor production is so great, in fact, that box mod owners often prefer low-nicotine e-liquids. Although box mods have the greatest capabilities of all vaping devices, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice for beginners. These are the potential drawbacks of advanced mods.

  • To produce their huge vapour clouds, box mods use tanks with open airflow characteristics. You’ll need to inhale the vapour directly to your lungs – not from the mouth to the lungs as you would inhale when smoking. Some smokers may not like the direct-to-lung inhalation style.
  • Because box mods generate such large vapour clouds, they consume more e-liquid and are therefore more expensive to use than vape pens.
  • Box mods have more configuration options and are a bit more complex than vape pens.

About the Author

Jason Cugle is the Owner/Curator of Triple 7 Vaping. Triple 7 Vaping offers premium vaping products at wholesale prices and specializes in Aspire tanks, mods, parts and other accessories. Triple 7 Vaping offers lightning-fast same-day shipping on orders over $30.


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