Last update: 11/16/2017
eCigs, or eCigarettes (aka Pod Systems) are a great alternative for smokers who want to cut back from smoking traditional cigarettes. eCigarettes don’t have the social stigma that regular cigarettes do because of the absence of the smell of smoke that sticks to the skin, clothes, breath, and hair. The vapor produced by e-cigarettes can be either pleasant smelling or completely odorless, depending on the eLiquid used.
We have personally tested some of the best e-cigarette brands on the market to help you decide on which is the best electronic cigarette starter kit for you – and come up with the following award winners, pros, and cons to help you find the right device and help you as a smoker, switch to e-cigarette vaping.
Below are my current top picks for the Best e-Cig (and Pod Systems) designed for use with e-liquid or vape juice. Also, feel free to check out our favorite- Wax Vape Pens, Oil Vaporizers, and Herb Vaporizers of this year.
Best e-Cig of 2017
An e-cigarette is an electronic device that consists of a battery and a liquid filled cartridge. It is used as a substitute for traditional cigarettes. Instead of tobacco, the cartridge contains a liquid, called e-liquid or e-juice, that can have different flavors and varying levels of nicotine.
E-cigarettes use battery power to heat up the liquid in the cartridge to convert it into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.
E-liquids are the substances inside the cartridges or refillable tanks used in e-cigarettes. They come in a variety of different flavors and can have different levels of nicotine. They can come in pre-filled cartridges or they can come in small dropper bottles that can be poured into refillable cartridges.
eLiquid contains the following:
- Vegetable glycerin (VG) – The FDA considers VG to be GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). VG is usually used as a food additive.
- Propylene glycol (PG) – This is an FDA approved food additive and is used as a base in e-liquids.
VG is a thick liquid and PG is a thin one, so e-liquids usually contain a mix of both.
In terms of personal safety, e-cigarettes do not require flame and are not flammable so there is no fire risk.
In terms of health, the smoke from the combustion of traditional cigarettes is responsible for most of the health risks associated with them. eCigs do not use combustion so no smoke nor the resulting toxins are produced. While—due to limited research—e-cigarettes cannot be designated safe per se, traditional cigarettes present more definitive health risks.
eCigarettes cost anywhere from $15 – $100. On average, they cost between $30 and $50, with the highest quality e-cigarettes falling within that price range.
Replacement cartridges and e-liquid bottles cost anywhere from $10 – $40, which can equal out to several packs of traditional cigarettes.
There is no definitive answer because each person is different. However, e-cigs have helped many people quit smoking because it provides nicotine delivery in a cleaner, less socially disadvantageous way.
Former smokers can choose the nicotine level of e-liquid and alternate according to preference.
How to use e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes tend to use lip-sensing technology so all you have to do is place it in your mouth and inhale.
They will automatically shut off if they have not been used in a few seconds so there is no need to worry about unnecessary battery drain. Some e-cigarettes require that you press a button to turn them on.
Using an e-cigarette is similar, but not identical, to using a regular cigarette:
- First, place it to your lips and inhale to turn it on, or press a button to power it up (when applicable).
- Inhale slowly and steadily from the e-cigarette: if you need to turn on the e-cigarette using a button, then you will have to hold down that button while inhaling.
Just hit, and repeat. 🙂 The e-cigarette retains some of the heat and reactivates quickly.
E-cigarettes are meant to be very easy to use, so the cartridges are easily removed from the battery and a new one snaps into place easily.
Cartridges tend to have a transparent panel from which the level of the e-liquid can be seen.
When it starts to get low, it is time for a replacement!
Additionally, the taste of the e-liquid and amount of vapor will let you know.
Make sure that your e-cigarette uses refillable cartridges. If you attempt to refill a replaceable cartridge, you might irreparably damage the cartridge and the battery.
- Carefully open up the cartridge according to the instruction manual.
- Refill the cartridge to the appropriate level using your dropper bottle.
- Reseal the cartridge and place it on the battery to use it.
E-cigarettes do not usually have temperature controls because they are not necessary; the battery only needs to heat up the e-liquid to turn it into a vapor, a temperature the manufacturer will have determined while making the e-cigarette.
You might be tempted to use every last drop of your e-liquid but the flavor will decline sharply if the level drops too low. You will also get dry hits; that is when hot, dry air instead of vapor hits your throat when you inhale. It is an unpleasant experience so replace your cartridge as soon as the flavor starts to change.
If you are using a refillable cartridge then only fill it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation; overfilling it will cause a dip in vapor production, sometimes accompanied by a gurgling sound. If you experience either of those things then you’ve used too much e-liquid.
Obviously you need a charged battery to use your e-cigarette but a low battery can also affect its performance. If your battery has a low charge then that can cause a decline in vapor production, resulting in smaller clouds. Keep your battery charged above the halfway point to prevent that from happening.
Use low level nicotine if you are new to e-cigarettes, high levels of nicotine can make you feel, or become, sick if your body is not used to it. You can start at higher levels if you are a former smoker but you should still be careful not to start at the maximum; e-cigarettes function differently from traditional cigarettes.
You will want to practice diligent maintenance with your e-cigarette; carefully follow the instruction manual regarding proper treatment and cleaning. A damaged or dirty e-cig will not function at its highest level.