The Different Types of Vapes: A Basic Guide

Between 2011 and 2018, seven million new people started vaping. And as an alternative to cigarette smoking, that number is expected to climb to 55 million by 2021.

If you’re a new vape user, you’re probably wondering which vape is right for you.

With all of the different types of vapes available on the market, it’s not easy to tell the differences, much less weigh the pros and cons of each.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Vape Components

Whether you’re using a vape for nicotine, cannabis, or CBD, each vape contains similar parts:

  • Battery
  • Atomizer
  • E-liquid

To keep it simple, the battery powers the atomizer, which heats the e-liquid into vapor. Beyond that, each vape is unique.


Often referred to as “first-generation” vapes, Cig-A-Likes are exactly as the name suggests: e-cigarettes designed to mimic the experience of smoking a real cigarette.

These vapes are still available in some convenience stores, and they’re designed to help ease the transition from smoking cigarettes.

Cig-A-Likes are usually disposable, making them easy to use. They paved the way for most disposable e-cigarettes on the market today, like Puff Bars, Cali Bars, and Hyppe Bars.

Pod Vapes

A step up from disposable e-cigarettes and Cig-A-Likes, pod vapes are only partly disposable. This is because the e-liquid comes in replaceable pods or cartridges.

You can refill the pods with your own e-liquid, with devices like the Suorin Air and other similar products. Or, you can purchase the pods pre-filled in a variety of flavors, like with the Juul and Vuse Alto models.

Vape Pens

Think of vape pens as bigger Cig-A-Likes or e-cigarettes. The size of these vapes helps increase battery power and cloud production. Your type of vape pen will ultimately determine how much you can customize your experience.

Fixed voltage means the device’s voltage output is constant. All you need to do is fire the button. No need to tinker with the settings.

Variable voltage means you can adjust the voltage, giving you greater control over flavor strength, cloud production, and throat hit.

Variable temperature means the pen automatically adjusts its power output based on the user’s preferred temperature. This is often used to avoid “dry hits.”

Tube mods are among the most common vape pens on the market. Their sub-ohm tanks deliver a powerful nicotine experience with the simplicity of one button, making them popular among beginners.

Click here to learn more about the different types of vape pens available near you.

Vape Mods

Vape mods are among the most customizable variety. Generally, vape mods fall into two categories.

Regulated mods come with a circuit board. Not only does this act as a safety feature to protect against malfunctions, but it also allows users to customize their wattage, voltage, and temperature.

Unregulated mods include no electrical circuitry to protect users from malfunctions. All they have is a battery, an atomizer, and a case holding it all together.

Since unregulated mods require a bit of knowledge about Ohm’s Law and electrical systems, these kinds of vapes are not recommended for beginners.

Different Types of Vapes: Which Is Right For You?

When weighing your options between different types of vapes, your choice will ultimately come down to how long you’ve been vaping and why.

If you’re more seasoned, pens and mods give you the freedom to customize your experience — but you’ll have to have a little bit of know-how.

If you’re just starting out, Cig-A-Likes and pod vapes are easier to use because you can replace the vape or the cartridge when you’re done with them.

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