As the vaping industry continues to grow, so does the mystification surrounding the many different types of e-cigarettes available. Newcomers often find themselves overwhelmed with options, and terms like AVP and cig-a-like are too often thrown around without any clarification. Here is a quick e-cig vocabulary lesson to help clear up the confusion.
What Are Vaporizers?
A vaporizer is any battery powered electronic device that heats up liquid to produce vapor. “Vaporizer” is sometimes used as an umbrella term to encapsulate all types of e-cigs; however, while all e-cigarettes are vaporizers, not all vaporizers are necessarily e-cigarettes. For example, a fog machine heats a liquid combination of water and glycols to create the smoky effect seen on concert stages, in movies and at Halloween-themed events.
What Are Cig-A-Likes and Mini E-Cigs?
The cig-a-like, or mini e-cig, was the very first of electronic cigarette devices to hit the market in 2007. As the first electronic cigarette device made available to the public, the cig-a-like earned this nickname due its close resemblance to a tobacco cigarette, which is why they are often recommended for first-time e-cig users as they provide the most natural transition from smoking to vaping. The cig-a-like consists of 2 pieces: the battery, which is automatically activated by puffing, as one would on a cigarette, and the cartridge or “mini tank”, which usually comes prefilled with e-liquid. The small, lightweight build of cig-a-likes makes them ideal for discreet vaping, and they are usually offered in both disposable and rechargeable styles. With their two-piece design, cig-a-likes by far require the least amount of maintenance of all devices. See this page for a full anatomy of White Cloud cig-a-likes.
What Are Vape Pens and Egos?
Vape pens are the next step up from cig-a-likes and are recommended for experienced vapers. Vape pens, also referred to as “ego” style e-cigs, look more like cigars and are usually composed of three detachable parts; therefore, they require a bit more maintenance than cig-a-likes. The largest component is the battery, which gives user a little more customization in terms of voltage output to produce more vapor; however, many also operate on a preset voltage. The atomizer is the piece responsible for heating the e-liquid to produce vapor and must be replaced by the user once every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on vaping habits, while the tank is the piece that holds the e-liquid and is filled by the user. Vape pens are also manually powered, which means the user must hold a button to activate the battery.
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What Are Mods and AVPs?
“Mod” is obviously short for “modification” and is used interchangeably with the term AVP, or advanced personal vaporizer. The mod is the most advanced style of electronic cigarette devices and is recommended for highly experienced vapers as it requires quite a bit of part building and maintenance. Mods come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually fall into two categories based on their shape: box mods and tube mods. Like vape pens, mods are manually powered and require users to fill their own tanks with e-liquid, but unlike vape pens, each piece of a mod is customizable–from the coil to the wick to the heating element. They consequently allow the user greater control over voltage output and are capable of producing the thick clouds of vapor that are popular among cloud chasers. Since mods can reach higher temperatures than cig-a-likes and vape pens, there is some concern in the community about their safety. Mod building is only recommended for experienced vapers with a solid understanding of ohm testing and part building.
Related: The World of Advanced Vaping
Choosing the Right E-Cig
If you’re new to the vaping scene, your safest bet is to begin with a cig-a-like. They are usually the least expensive choice and require the least amount of upkeep. Many vapers are content with cig-a-likes as they most closely replicate the act of smoking, but there is certainly no shortage of options out there when it comes to electronic cigarettes.