When shopping for e cigarettes, it is wise to have a list by your side indicating all of the features you are going to come across. Don’t go searching for the lowest price. Instead, create a budget and get started.
The Lowest Budget
For someone who sets only $10 aside to try an electronic cigarette, disposables are the best and only choices. No complete rechargeable products cost as little as this, though separate parts might. Your goal with a disposable is to experiment with the way a mini cig feels when you hold it and draw on the vapor.
If you plan to buy disposables online, add shipping fees into the cost. Not all companies charge shipping, but most of them state that the cost of mailing out your goods is free only when you reach a particular amount: as little as $20 and as much as $150.
Without shipping, disposable e cigarettes are priced from $4 to $10 online. Those prices represent varying markups and the number of puffs you should get out of them.
Disposable e-cigs and e-hookahs are sold at convenience stores and gas stations. While many companies have introduced multiple flavors, most brands provide one-time e-cigs in just tobacco or menthol and one or maybe two choices of nicotine level.
Either you liked the disposable you tried or you skipped their one-time wastefulness and you want to start with a small kit. Your budget is around $25 to $30, in which case an essentials package would suit your needs.
An essentials package goes by many names, but what it amounts to is almost always the same. You receive one rechargeable battery, a USB charger, and two refill cartridges. Like disposables, these packages typically contain either menthol or tobacco in a specified nicotine level.
There are always exceptions. Some kits contain 4 refills. Certain brands offer four or five levels of nicotine. Prices swing widely: from $15 to $30 for the same thing. Packaging is also varied with a number of companies opting for the cigarette-pack look and at least one choosing a metal tin.
For More Money
Customers don’t really understand how e cigarettes work until they have owned a rechargeable one. Starter Kits from $30 and upwards contain at least one battery, but buying a two-battery unit is much more efficient. They are small and run out quickly.
Starter kits also contain more refills, at least five, and there is more choice of flavors and strengths when you pay more for a bigger package. That is, more choice is afforded to customers wherever companies sell multiple flavors.
A few brands only sell tobacco and menthol, continuing to appeal to ex-smokers and refusing to encourage underage vaping with fruit and chocolate filters. If you plan to keep vaping into the future, choose a company with lots of options.
Bigger starter kits come with pass-through batteries, charging cases, wall adapters, and car adapters. It’s ultimately cheaper to buy a kit with all the things you anticipate using, even though the upfront expense is greater.
Upgrading to Tanks
Pre-filled cartridges were convenient. You did not have to fill them, so there was no mess. You just screwed them onto a battery or snapped them into place. The trouble was their lifespan on a full charge was 2 to 4 hours.
Heavy smokers spent more time charging their batteries than using them. Moreover, there are usually no more than 16 choices of pre-filled cartomizers at best, much fewer with some brands of e-cigs. Those flavors get boring and are not the best quality available. For that you need e-liquid.
Mini cigs were designed for the comfort of smokers. They are narrow, short, and light. Electronic cigarettes with tanks, even small ones, use bigger batteries. These are longer, less discrete, and less frustrating too. What you get with a tank system is longer lasting battery power and the need to have more e-liquid on hand to last through the charge, hence your tank.
For a single electronic cigarette with a battery, tank and USB charger, expect to pay around $30 depending on how powerful the battery is and the quality of the tank. Generic and brand-name units are available from general suppliers selling goods online and in stores.
If you opt to buy one of these units from a brand-name supplier, someone who sold you a mini cig, that might mean having to buy a kit. A kit, once again, provides stuff you will eventually use, but that second battery might not be necessary.
APVs: Expensive and Worthwhile
As consumers learn more about e-cigs, they often become fascinated by the parts: coils, wicks, atomizers, etc. They want to learn how resistance and voltage affect the amount of vapor and throat hit they can enjoy.
With APVs they have the opportunity to change voltage or wattage and also to change the resistance on their units. An advanced personal vaporizer comes with buttons and an LED screen which shows the user how much battery power he has left, resistance, and voltage or wattage setting. Some of these have puff counters. A few are designed with software that the consumer downloads onto his computer, revealing how many puffs he takes and other details.
An APV package is priced from around $50 and up.
The most expensive e cigarettes are mechanical mods, short for “modifiable.” Most of the time their price includes just one thing: the base. This is the part with switches and ventilation holes, but there are no electronic parts: that’s why it is called a mechanical mod.
Why would an e-cig cost more without wires and LED screens?
The costliest ones are hewn from single pieces of stainless steel. They are hand-machined, engraved, numbered, and produced in batches of several hundred, not several thousand. Their features are beautiful, but the practical parts have been designed for dismantling and rebuilding.
Mechanical mods are also adjustable. Telescopic models elongate to accept smaller batteries, for example. Inexpensive versions of high-end mods are known as clones and they can be as cheap as an APV. Other mods, manufactured in large numbers, are automatically cheaper.