Oh vaping device, ye strange and powerful contraption, tell me, what do you actually do?! (Unfortunately our vapestick didn’t reply, so we’ll have to do it instead.)
What ARE They?
Whatever size they are, vaping devices are made of the same basic components to do a fairly straightforward process, all in the palm of your hand:
Hold your e-liquid either in a cartridge or a liquid tank
Heat your e-liquid via a charged battery
Channel the resulting vapour through the inhaler and to your mouth
Who Are They?
Vaping devices have multiple identities, which can lead to confusion when it comes to trawling the internet for information, or genuine hostility among mad enthusiasts. Generally there are three models of vaping device, each designed to do something slightly different, though all three terms are usually used interchangeably by the media.
E-cigarettes/Cigalikes: As the name suggests, these are electronic equivalents of cigarettes, minus the gross toxins, tar and ash. Designed to look and taste like a genuine cigarette, their flavour choices are generally restricted to what you would get from a regular pack of smokes. As small and compact as a normal cigarette, e-cigs are highly convenient and used almost exclusively by those who are trying to wean themselves off tobacco. E-cigs can be bought in disposable or reusable models and are easily reloaded through a screw-on cartridge.
Vapepens/Vaporisers/Tanks/Vapour Pens/Vapes: These are the futuristic cigarettes you’ve no doubt spotted being puffed all over town. Generally black in colour, vapepens really do look a lot like pens in size and length. Vapepens use vaping liquid a.k.a. vape juice, e-juice, e-liquids or vaping fluid and give off a much large amount of 'smoke'. E-juice also offers a huge range of flavours so you’ll probably get a lovely whiff of strawberry or caramel if you do encounter a vaping cloud. Holding a much better charge than e-cigarettes, vaporisers must be manually refilled with your fluid of choice by unscrewing the liquid tank and dripping your juice in.
Mods: Here there be monsters. Vapepens and E-cigs may be pocket-friendly options for the vaper on the go, but for the true enthusiast, size (and price) is no issue. Mods are fairly easy to spot in that you’re unlikely to have ever seen anything like it before as each is custom made. Designed to be as long as a drumstick, bulky as a mobile phone or...uh, set into an old Atari joystick, there is no limit on what mods can look like or do. Vapers who are particularly passionate about smoking tricks, also known as Cloud Chasers, will likely be sporting a mod that gives higher voltage and therefore produces higher volumes of ‘smoke’.
You may also come across Shisha Sticks in your research quest, coloured, disposable e-cigarettes designed to replicate the flavour of the shisha/hookah/water pipe. Shisha-sticks tend to be nicotine free and concentrate more on flavour and the convenience of “shisha on the go” rather than assisting in a change to smoking habits.