– Which option is better for vaping-beginners? –
When you go to a vape shop near you or look for vaping hardware in vaping online shops, you get confronted with hundreds of different e-cigarettes and vaporizers. You see colorful hardware, some are bigger, some are smaller, some look like a real cigarette, others not at all….All of this can be confusing not only to beginners, but also to vapers who have been vaping for many years. But if you are new to vaping, all these different sizes and information you can get are not only confusing but sometimes even daunting. In some cases active smokers even decide that vaping is too complicated and that they will never figure out which hardware is best for them. In the end they don’t even start vaping.
We want to help and show you, that vaping is not as confusing as it may seem at the beginning. In this article we will explain you all the differences between e-cigarettes and vapes, and we will also show you which version is better for vaping beginners.
If you are looking for vaping hardware, there are two main words you stumble over: E-Cigarettes and Vaporizers. Even I at the beginning thought, that both of them were the same and that maybe the word e-cigarette was just the category of all vaporizers. But no, the differences between those two can be rather big, that’s why we want to focus not only on explaining the differences, but also on how they can affect the user-experience.
The start of E-Cigarettes – Where it all began
E-Cigarettes are not as new as one could think. The first patent for e-cigarettes was made in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert. At this time, smoking tobacco cigarettes was very famous and you could say it was seen as “sexy”. People weren’t thinking or knowing how it could affect their health and thus the thought of quitting didn’t not really occur back then. For this reason, the healthier version in form of an e-cigarette did not get a lot of attention and soon, the patent for the e-cigarette expired and was not renewed by Herbert A. Gilbert.
About four decades later in 2006, Hon Lik introduced the world to his new invention: the E-Cigarette. Lik himself has been a strong smoker for many years and knew how hard it was to quit smoking. It was his goal to find a healthier way to smoke, one that would not kill people like tobacco cigarettes do. The reason behind it is also sad and personal, Hon Lik’s father was a strong smoker and died because of it.
Between the time of 1963 and 2006, many people learned that smoking was unhealthy, but quitting smoking still wasn’t as easy to do. So people were open for a new and healthier way of smoking and finally quitting smoking once and for all.
What are E-Cigarettes ?
E-Cigarettes are the first generation of electronic cigarettes. When it all started around 2006, the goal was not only to have a healthier option to smoking, but to make the e-cigarettes look like real tobacco cigarettes. This fact also brings some disadvantages with it, which we will discuss later.
One way to distinguish e-cigarettes from vaporizers is, that e-cigarettes are often a littler larger but not as big as vaporizers. E-Cigarettes can be very slim and have a similar look to a real tobacco cigarette. Some of these e-cigarettes also have a glowing tip which starts to glow in an orange-yellow color as soon as the user inhales e-liquid. Another way to make it look even more like a real cigarette. This glowing tip is something you will not find on a vaporizer.
Most e-cigarettes are composed of three parts, a lithium battery, a cartridge which contains the e-liquid and a mouthpiece. Depending on the brand, e-cigarettes can have a rechargeable or a disposable battery. The disposable batteries have the disadvantage, that they are not good for the environment. If you can, try to go for an e-cigarette that has rechargeable batteries. A few years back you had to push a button on the e-cigarette to activate it. Many of the new e-cigarettes now activate automatically as soon as the user inhales on the mouthpiece.
Side note: Sometimes you hear the word “cartomizer”. Some e-cigarettes have the atomizer that vaporizes the e-liquid and the cartridge that contains the e-juice separately. However, some e-cigarettes have the atomizer and the cartridge combined, which is then referred to as the “cartomizer”.
Now, let’s start talking about the advantages & disadvantages an e-cigarette has. This also makes it easier for you to decide, if an e-cigarette or a vaporizer suits your life and your habits better.
Advantages of an e-cigarette
The most important difference between an e-cigarette and a vaporizer is, that e-cigarettes are very beginner-friendly. Especially in the beginning all the different hardware, the different coils, cotton etc. make it very confusing to new vapers. Sometimes they are overwhelmed and think, that vaping may not be something for them.
E-cigarettes are designed to be as beginner-friendly as possible and are not complicated at all. When you want to vape, you either have to push a button and then inhale, or sometimes the e-cigarette activates itself, as soon as you inhale on the mouthpiece.
You also don’t have to worry about refilling your cartridges. Most of them are disposable and can not be refilled. If you notice that the cartridge is getting empty, just put in another one and throw the empty one away. This is an advantage especially if you are on vacation, at work and so on. Just take a full cartridge with you and no matter where you are and your cartridge gets empty, just put the new one inside. If you have a vaporizer, refilling can be a bit complicated in the beginning.
Feel of a real cigarette
Many fresh ex-smokers don’t like to have a big vaporizer in their hands which does not look like a cigarette at all. Instead they prefer the feeling of an e-cigarette, because they look and feel more similar to a real tobacco cigarette. If it is important to you, that your smoking alternative looks similar to a cigarette and you don’t like to have a big vaporizer in your hand, then you should start your vaping journey with an e-cigarette. Whenever you feel, that you prefer to have more flavor options, you can always change to a vaporizer.
This point can be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage, that’s why we have listed it twice. Especially beginners like their vaping experience to be as easy as possible. For this reason e-cigarettes have no tank, but instead a cartridge. A cartridge can be easily changed and there is no need of putting your e-liquid inside manually.
Disadvantages of an e-cigarette
One of the main differences between an e-cigarette and a vaporizer is, that an e-cigarette has no tank which contains the e-liquid. Instead, they use cartridges which are already pre-filled with e-juice. As we have already discussed in the advantages, this is good for people who don’t like vaping to be complicated. Whenever you like to change the flavor, you just take the cartridge out and put in another one.
The disadvantage is, that you can not refill it, in most cases, by yourself. This means you are dependent on the flavors your brand offers and can not choose between the endless options of e-liquid flavors. Only e-liquids that can be filled manually offer a wide range of different flavors, for example a cherry e-liquid flavor etc.
Not many flavors
E-cigarettes are meant to simulate a real cigarette. For this reason they are designed to look as much like a real cigarette as possible. But it also means, that the flavors are restricted to tobacco and menthol flavors. If you want to try other flavors as well, such as fruity flavors or creamy flavors like a NY Cheesecake flavor, then you should go for a vaporizer. As you will see below, vaporizers have endless options of flavors available.
Cartridges are not compatible with other brands
This is a very huge disadvantage. With most brands, you can not change between the cartridges. Let’s say you have the e-cigarette of a brand A, but you want to try out the flavors of a brand B. Because of the brands not being compatible between each other, you can not just go and buy a cartridge of brand B and put it in the e-cigarette you bought from brand A. Before you buy an e-cigarette, inform yourself if this e-cigarette brand is also compatible with cartridges of other brands.
Trouble in non-smoking areas
The advantage of looking and feeling like a real tobacco cigarette, can also be seen as a disadvantage. Let’s take non-smoking areas for example, if you are using an e-cigarette which looks like a real cigarette in a non-smoking area, the chances that you get in trouble and have to defend yourself are pretty high. So best to not use them in non-smoking areas so that you don’t get in trouble unnecessarily.
Less battery life
In general, e-cigarettes are longer than vaporizers but not that big and thus have a smaller battery. Compared to the battery of a vaporizer, the battery of an e-cigarette has less power and also less battery life. If your brand has disposable batteries, make sure to always have a full battery with you, in case that the old one suddenly has no power anymore.
Not enough battery power
The smaller battery used in an e-cigarette has another disadvantage: it has not enough battery power. It can be that the e-cigarette you are using is not able to produce as much vapor as you would like. The main reason is the low battery power. If it is important to you to have a lot of vapor around you when you vape, then you might want to switch to a vaporizer.
Not good for the environment
Nowadays we need to take care of our environment more than ever, this can start with the choice of vape you choose. Many of the e-cigarettes you can buy on the market focus on being easy to use and not being complicated. This has the disadvantage, that they don’t use a tank but instead cartridges that contain the vape juice. Many of the cartridges are not refillable which means, that everytime one cartridge is empty, you have to throw it away. Depending on how much you vape, this could be a hundred cartridges every year.
If you have an e-cigarette that just has disposable batteries, then this as well is not good for the environment, because you have to throw the batteries away, each time that they are empty. If you want to protect the environment, then try to buy an e-cigarette that has rechargeable batteries.
What is a vaporizer?
You can see vaporizers as the new generation of e-cigarettes. According to a study of the SSA (Society for the Study of Addiction) in 2015, the number of vapers between 2006-2015 has already tripled. Many of them use vaporizers to vape.
As e-cigarettes have a lot of disadvantages and are not that flexible, people were looking for a vaping alternative that allowed more flexibility and especially more flavors. Over time, the vaporizers as we know them today got on the market and have opened the doors for a whole new vaping experience.
While e-cigarettes have a slim design and tend to imitate the look of a tobacco cigarette, vaporizers are bigger. Further, instead of a cartridge, they have a tank that contains the e-juice. Vaporizers are composed of a mouthpiece on one end, a clear tank in the middle and a large battery on the other end.
What are the advantages of vaporizers ?
More advanced and customizable
Vaporizers are the 2nd generation of e-cigarettes. Many of the disadvantages of e-cigarettes have been addressed and resolved. A lot of these solutions are now combined in the vaporizer. Some vaporizers are also called advanced personal vaporizer (APV). That means, that you have even more options to personalize your vaping experience. Some of these additional functions include variable wattage, variable voltage and so on. Because you have more options to fine-tune the way your vaporizer works, this often can be complicated for beginners.
If you are already used to vaping, then these vaporizers, especially those with an APV mod, can help to enhance your vaping experience even more. With a vaporizer you can fine-tune everything so that you can have an optimum vaping experience. This is a big advantage compared to standard e–cigarettes which you can not change at all. Every person is different and likes to have a different vaping experience, which makes vaporizers a step-up in the e-cigarette world.
Longer battery life span
The longer battery life span is certainly a big improvement and necessary. Vaporizers need more energy in order to produce the amount of vapor that vaporizers are famous for. Vaporizers don’t just use batteries with more power, but most of them use rechargeable batteries. If you buy two sets of batteries, you can charge one set while the other set is in use. This makes it even more comfortable and you never run out of energy.
Wide range of flavors
If you have been used to e-cigs you know, that the flavors you can get for them are restricted to tobacco and menthol flavors. This is sad, because there are so many different e-liquids that it is hard to count all of the different flavors you could potentially buy. No matter if you prefer sweet e-juices, if you are more a fan of fruity e-liquids or if you like special, exotic flavors, when it comes to e-liquids, there is something for every taste bud.
If you are used to only tobacco flavors and you are fine with them, then that’s alright. But if you want to try out the endless options of different flavors, then give a vaporizer a try. We are not kidding when we say, that the options are nearly endless and every year there are new flavors coming on the market. I mean a tiramisu e-liquid. Who can say no to this delicious dessert flavor that does not even have calories? I certainly can’t….
Vaporizers are famous for producing a lot of vape. The amount of vape they can produce does not only depend on the type you are using but also on how you have configured your vape. Many of the vaporizers types allow the user to fine-tune the wattage, voltage and have many other options to fine tune.
If you are not sure if someone is using a normal e-cig or a vaporizer, just look at the vape cloud that they exhale. If it is a big cloud you can be sure, that they are using a vaporizer 🙂 Not everybody is a fan of having big vape clouds around them, although it is noticeable that the use of vaporizers becomes more and more famous. The trend seems to go in the direction of vaporizers instead of the normal, standard e-cigarettes.
Tank contains more e-liquid than cartridges
Instead of pre-filled cartridges, vaporizers use a tank. These tanks can hold more e-liquid than regular cartridges do. A cartridge can hold up to about 1ml e-juice, whereas the tank of a vaporizer can hold between 3-4 ml of vape juice. With a tank you can use more e-liquid than with a cartridge that you have to change often. It is also better for the environment, because these tanks are refillable compared to cartridges, that often are disposable.
If you like statements and care for the look of your vaporizer, there are many different designs of vaporizers. No matter if you just like to have a specific color or if you want your tank to have a specific, unusual design. No matter what you want, the market of vapes is so big, that it will be no problem for you to find exactly what you want.
If you like to do something for the environment, tank based vaporizers are a way to do so. E-cigarettes often use disposable cartridges. As they can only hold up to 1ml of e-liquid, the cartridges need to be changed frequently which is not good for the environment.
The tanks of vaporizers are refillable and, as already discussed, can hold three to four times of the amount of vape juice that a standard cartridge can.
Nicotine levels are more controlled
A huge advantage of vaporizers is, that the nicotine levels are more controlled when you buy e-liquids for vaporizers, instead of cartridges for e-cigarettes. There is not just a great variety of flavors available for users of a vaporizers but also many different strengths of nicotine. If you prefer to vape with no nicotine at all, then this no problem neither. E-liquids for vaporizers are always available in different nicotine strengths or also with no nicotine at all. The common standard nicotine strengths are: 6mg, 12mg, 18mg and sometimes even 24mg.
Smoother nicotine delivery
A fact that many vapers like about vaporizers is, that the nicotine delivery is smoother. Vaporizers have more battery power which makes it easy for them, to deliver the nicotine as smooth as possible.
What are the disadvantages of vaporizers?
More start-up costs
If you compare the start-up costs of a standard e-cig and a vaporizer then yes, the costs of a vaporizer are higher. But we also have to say that as soon as you have them, you don’t need to buy more. The vaporizer itself is the most expensive one. Then you just need another set of batteries and you are ready to go. Many brands also offer starter kits which cost a bit less and you have everything in it. Sometimes you even have a second set of batteries in them. After that, the only thing you have to buy regularly is the e-liquid that you want to vape or a new atomizer now and then.
Can be complicated for beginners
Vaporizers combine several solutions for “problems” or disadvantages that the standard e-cigs have. The fact that vaporizers are more customizable also means, that they are a more complicated. Depending on which type of vaporizer you have, you have a lot of different options to change the way the vaporizer works. For experienced vapers, this is heaven because they can fine-tune everything until they are absolutely satisfied.
For beginners, the big amount of options can be frustrating and overwhelming. If you have just started or are planning on starting to vape, then you should go for an e-cigarette. That means that you don’t have a wide variety of different, especially sweet and fruity, flavors to choose from but for the beginning e-cigarettes are perfect because they are easy to use. When you are more experienced you can try out a more advanced vaporizer.
Larger than standard e-cigarettes
If you like to hide the fact that you are vaping and want to do it secretly, then vaporizers are not the perfect fit for you. It all depends on the type of vaporizer you use, but generally you can say, that vaporizers are larger than e-cigarettes. If you have been a smoker, the use of a vaporizer needs some getting used to. Often, the advantages of a vaporizer help to ignore the fact, that they are quite bigger than a standard e-cig or a normal cigarette and after some time you get used to it. But if you prefer slim designs, you should try out a standard e-cig or a vape pen.
Don’t simulate look of a cigarette
If you use a vaporizer, the look has nothing in common with a cigarette. Whereas e-cigs try to imitate the look and feel of a tobacco cigarette, vaporizers are result-focused. Often, they use two big batteries, a clear tank and a mouthpiece. Together they make the perfect package for the experienced vaper. But a fresh ex-smoker can feel a bit strange using such a big device. Again, if you just stopped smoking you should start with an e-cigarette first.
Need to push button to work
Again, this disadvantage depends on the type that you are using. Generally, most vaporizers need a button to be pushed in order to activate. This is for security reasons and prevents a not authorized usage, for example by kids. This can be a bit strange for ex-smokers, because they are used to inhale on a cigarette where there is no button that needs to be pushed. As always, this may need some getting used to in the beginning. After a few days or weeks, this should be no problem anymore.
Tank needs to be refilled
We have already talked about the advantage that tanks can hold more e-liquid than cartridges can do. On the other hand, the tank can also be seen as a little disadvantage compared to the cartridges of a standard e-cig, because the tank needs to be refilled manually. The majority of cartridges you can buy are pre-filled. If one is empty, you just take it out, put in a new one and you are ready to vape. If you need to refill the tank of your vape and are maybe not at home, that can be at bit complicated.
Tip: If you know that you will be out, you can buy a separate tank and fill this one up with your favorite e-liquid. When you are outside, on vacation, at work etc. and your tank is empty, just take out the other tank you filled up and use this instead. As soon as you are at home, you can fill the empty tank up again and have always a full one at hand. Similar to a second set of batteries, a second tank can give you more flexibility, especially when you are not at home.
What are the similarities of E-Cigarettes & Vaporizers?
After we have discussed all the differences between an e-cigarette and a vaporizer, let’s talk about the things, that both vape types have in common.
Healthier alternative to smoking
The main and probably most important benefit is, that e-cigarettes and vaporizers are healthier than normal tobacco e-cigarettes. We are talking about healthier and not healthy, that is a big difference! If you are a smoker and want to quit, then vaping is a healthier alternative. But the really healthy way is to quit smoking and in the long run vaping as well.
Real tobacco cigarettes contain over 7000 toxic and some even cancerogen substances, that you don’t find in e-liquids. A normal e-liquid just contains Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, flavors and nicotine, if chosen. Both main ingredients, Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) are both considered to be healthy according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are also used in many of our daily products, such as cosmetics, toothpaste, lotions and so on.
So if you are still a smoker and are looking for a way to quit smoking, then vaping is a good and healthy way of doing it. Gradually, you can even decrease the amount of nicotine inside your e-liquid, which means that one day, you can quit vaping as well.
No smoke, instead vapor
A huge difference to smoking a cigarette is, that vapes don’t produce smoke. A real cigarette burns tobacco and that’s why you get the famous smoke. Vapes on the other hand are not burning anything, they just heat up the e-liquid, also called vape juice, which then vaporizes and makes a cloud of vapor.
The fact that you get a cloud of vapor around you is important for new ex-smokers. This makes it easier to change from a cigarette to vaping because it nearly feels the same just as if you were smoking.
Another important thing for ex-smokers is the throat hit. The amount of “throat hit” depends a bit on the brand you were smoking, but generally tobacco cigarettes are famous for giving a throat hit. If you are an active smoker or fresh ex-smoker you know, that a cigarette alternative needs to be as close to the sensation a cigarette gives you as possible. Another reason why vaping is a good way of quitting smoking, because vaping as well will give you a throat hit.
The responsible ingredient for the vaping throat hit is the Propylene Glycol. The higher the PG ratio in your vape juice, the harder will the throat hit be. Most of the vape juices have a mix of 50:50 of PG to VG, which is perfectly fine for beginners. But some of you were very strong smokers and need a very strong throat hit, if that’s the case then get a higher ratio of PG in your e-liquids. The higher the amount of Propylene Glycol, the stronger the throat hit will be, but you will also get a little less of vapor.
No burning of tobacco
Instead of burning tobacco like a cigarette does, e-cigarettes and vaporizers both use a special e-liquid or vape juice. The atomizer inside the vapes heats the e-liquid up and the liquid starts to vaporize. This vaporization is the cloud you see coming out of an e-cigarette/vaporizer.
Even though there is no tobacco that’s getting burnt, you don’t need to give up the tobacco taste. E-Liquids are available in many different flavors, there are plenty of different tobacco flavors, fruity flavors and even menthol. And nearly every year there are new flavors to be tasted. You can say, the flavor choices are nearly endless.
E-liquids with and without nicotine
Nicotine can make you addicted. If you are a smoker and planning on quitting, you already know that. For this reason you can decide how much nicotine you like to have in your eliquid. This is especially interesting, if you have already vaped for some time and like to decrease the amount of nicotine more and more. The most common nicotine ratios are as follows: 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg and sometimes up to 24mg. Most beginners should start with 18mg of nicotine in their vape juice, if they have been smokers. In the beginning of your vaping journey, it is recommended to use a higher ratio of nicotine so that your body doesn’t get any withdrawal symptoms.
If you have been vaping for a few weeks or even a few months, you can start decreasing the amount of nicotine. Here is a little sign that showed us, the we needed less of nicotine in our vape juices: the vape juice didn’t taste good at all anymore. If you have a favorite e-juice that you like to vape often and suddenly you don’t like it anymore, it can be because of two things:
1.) The mixture of the e-liquid wasn’t as good as it used to be or
2.) Your body needs less nicotine in the e-juices.
I remember my stepfather always complaining that his e-juice didn’t taste as good as it once did, no matter what he tried, he didn’t like the taste anymore. Then, just as a desperate test, he lowered the amount of nicotine in the e-juice et voilà, suddenly he liked the taste of his favorite e-juice again.
Please note that this has been a personal experience, we don’t know if this happens like this for everyone. But if it does and you have tried everything but still don’t like the taste of your favorite e-juice anymore, then give this a try. Maybe it works the same way for you 🙂
No second-hand smoking
This is probably the second worst thing about tobacco cigarettes, not only the smoker himself can get sick, but also people close to him. Another advantage and fact you don’t have to think about when you are vaping. All the main ingredients inside eliquids (and we are talking about the European eliquids that are under a lot of regulations, like our e-liquids and not like the bad juices that killed people in the US) are considered to be safe by the FDA. The main ingredients are Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol. Both of them are used in many of our daily life products. The other ingredients are food flavorings and nicotine, if you choose to have one that contains nicotine.
The vaping clouds do not contain toxic chemicals like a smoke cloud of a cigarette does. Therefore there is no danger of second-hand smoking if you vape and thus no endangering of people being close to you.
Cheaper = You save money
During the last decade, the prices of tobacco cigarettes have increased tremendously worldwide. Even though the prices have increased a lot, quitting smoking did not get any easier. Another reason why vaping could be an alternative, it helps making the transition into a non-smoker much easier and it is also so much cheaper compared to smoking cigarettes.
In the beginning the starting costs may be a bit high, but as soon as you have your basic hardware, you only need your e-liquids. These are relatively cheap and last longer than a pack of cigarettes does.
What is better for beginners – E-cig or Vaporizer?
If you have made it so far, congrats! Let’s end the long reading with the question if an e-cigarette or a vaporizer is better for beginners. In generally we would recommend to start your vaping journey with a standard e-cigarette. You will not have a wide range of different flavor options and instead be more restricted to tobacco and menthol flavors. But that should not be a problem. Vaping is seen as a smoking alternative which means, that you probably are or have been a smoker, so you are already used to tobacco flavors.
The advantage of e-cigs is, that they are very easy to use and not complicated at all. Even though vaping is close to smoking and a good alternative, there is still some adjustment needed. In order for you to keep on vaping and to not quit, it is important that you buy a vape that is easy to use. A standard e-cigarette such as a vape pen would be the perfect choice for beginners.
More experienced vapers can try to use a vaporizer instead of a standard e-cigarette. Vaporizers will open a new world of flavors to you. You can buy any e-liquid you can think of, Pina Colada, Strawberry, Virginia Tobacco … to name just some examples. We hope you have enjoyed this article and you know now, what the difference between an e-cigarette and a vaporizer is.
Happy Vaping to y’all 🙂