SmokeTastic is a team of vaping experts who advise vapers and smokers on the top e-cig products on the market.
Who Are E-Cigarettes For?
The humble e-cigarette has changed a lot over the past few years, so there is a lot to learn. You also need to be aware of the health issues relating to e-cigs, to fully understand what vaping represents. The FDA has also been busy studying e-cigs, to make sure the devices available to consumers are of the highest quality.
After reading these resources, you will note, that there is little known about the long-term effects of using electronic cigarettes, it is therefore critical that you learn as much about them as possible before starting. Another good resource to use is the Surgeon General site, where they give you an overview of the e-cig, and health impacts.
The purpose of these e-cigarette products is simple, it is to be used as an alternative to smoking, and as such, should only be used by adults who want to replace their smoking of cigarettes with an alternative, and arguably, a healthier option. Many people who turn to these devices, are in fact successful in quitting smoking altogether, many have simply cut down but some also have tried and failed. So using e-cigs is not, necessarily, going to be the solution to quit smoking for all. The FDA also has strict guidelines on how e-cigarettes are to be marketed, including restrictions on labeling them as a quit smoking aid.
E-Cigs should only be used by either, a smoker who is looking to cut down or quit their cigarette consumption, a smoker who wants to avoid the harsh smell of stale cigarette smoke, or the ex-smoker who is tempted back to cigarettes.
So, if you are a smoker or ex-smoker, how do you know which type of electronic cigarette to choose from, and which is the most suited starter kit? You don’t want to waste your money on an expensive vape, only to realize that it’s for a more experienced vaper. The advice that we can give, start simple. Either a cheap Cig-a-like e-cigarette, or a more expensive pod type vape or vape pen. The box mod type vapes and the Squonk mods are for the more experienced vapers, who want more of a vape hit. Take a look at our quick explanation of each type:
* There are two types of vaping, mouth to lung (using an atomizer/coil above 1-ohm). This is where you suck the vaper in your mouth then into your lungs. The second is direct lung inhales (with atomizers below 1-ohm, known as sub-ohm vaping). This is where you take the vape directly to your lungs. All Cig-a-likes and pod e-cigarettes mainly support mouth to lung vaping where vape pens and box mods offer both styles.
The Best E Cig In Each Category.
We are now going to learn which are the best e-cigarette starter kits in each category. By now, you should have a pretty good idea of which will suit you the most. There are of course many brands and styles available, so this is only a small selection of the choice you have. We have reviewed many of the most popular e-cigs, you can find the individual reviews within our site, but feel free to search for the particular model in our search bar at the top of this page, it’s most likely that we have reviewed it!
The Top 3 E-Cigarette Kits In Each Category
Just looking at the top, doesn’t give you many choices. There are of course many others on the market, so feel free to check out all the reviews by type, you should see the link below each of the rankings. So, here are the top 3 kits from each type:
(Note: We take a lot of time completing our reviews. Work includes testing for at least a week (usually longer), followed up with customer research. We then meet to discuss the change in the rankings. These rankings do change from time to time. Depending on our reader’s feedback, customer support issues and new releases).
Cig-a-Likes E Cigs
Cig-a-likes, sometimes known as minis are e-cigarettes that resemble the look of a traditional cigarette and this is the best e cig for complete beginners.
They come in both disposable and rechargeable kits, with everything you need to start vaping, choice of flavors and options are relatively limited with this type. The below list happen to be all rechargeable Cig-a-likes, due to slightly better performance.
Vape Pod E Cigs
Vape Pods are e-cigarettes that have become all the rage in the last few years. Thanks to their simplicity and great performance, taking over the Cig-a-like type market.
Pod vapes do come in a whole host of designs, but they all have a self-contained pod, which holds both e-liquid and a coil. Once it’s empty, you just replace the pod.
Most are non-refillable, you just choose the flavor and strength when you pick your kit.
You can, of course, buy replacement pods. The refillable pod versions, however, generally do not come with any e-liquid, so you would have to buy that separately. Again ideally suited for complete beginners
The Vape Pen E Cigs
Vape pens are the most common e-cig used by beginner and intermediate vapers. They have a small tank to add your own e-liquid, along with a rechargeable battery.
All vape pens are sold as starter kits and consist of the main vape pen, recharge cable, and a spare coil or atomizer. Again, as they are refillable, it is up to you to provide your own e-liquid.
Vape Pens can be used similarly to smoking with mouth to lung inhales. With this option, you should look at atomizers over 1-ohm.
Below 1-ohm atomizers are meant for direct lung inhales, which produce much higher amounts of vapor.
The Box Mod E Cigs
Box mods are being used by vapers moving on from vape pens and want a little more vapor and power. Often used with sub ohm coils to create thick clouds of vaper.
Box mods are often sold as starter kits which includes a tank and a couple of atomizer coils (you can also buy replacement coils). These tanks are refillable, so you do need your own e-liquid.
You can pay a lot for mods with certain high-quality chipsets, but here, we list our list of the top regulated mods for the money.
If you’re completely new to vaping then you may have a host of questions. You might not even know which questions to ask. We have summarized the most common questions new vapers ask along with the simple answer.
What Is An E-Cig?
E-Cigarettes have various names like electronic cigarettes, e-cigs or even e-smokes and e-vapes. E-Cigarettes are one of the most popular devices to quit smoking with, and are becoming more and more popular. It is important for you to understand the risks associated with them though. The traditional e-cig resembles a traditional cigarette in many ways. Some are even designed to look like them.
They are essentially beginner vape devices, which consist of a simple battery that’s activated when the user draws, and uses e-liquid that saturates a piece of cotton wrapped around a coil to produce vapor.
This vapor contains trace amounts of nicotine, which the user can control by choosing a particular strength of e-liquid. E-Cigs are specifically designed for new vapers, they are easy to use and produce a similar amount of vapor as cigarettes produce smoke.
SmokeTastic has been ranking the best e-cigs for many years now, and regularly have to update these listings as new manufacturers release new and improved models.
How E-Cigs Work?
All e-cigs work on the same principles. They have a battery (often automatic, which turns on when you vape), a cartridge known as a cartomizer, or a pod which holds the e-liquid and coil, and that’s it! When you activate the battery, the coil heats up which is surrounded by an e-liquid saturated piece of cotton, which produces a vapor. It is this vapor that is pulled into the lungs and smoked.
Are E-Cigs Healthy?
It is recommended that all smokers quit smoking, and if they can’t do it alone then to use e-cigs as an aid. Public Health England (PHE) concluded that the use of e-cigs is 95% less harmful than smoking. But this means there is still an element of risk. So use e-cigs as a means to quit smoking, reducing your nicotine levels gradually and then slowly come off e-cigs too.
Are E-Cigs Dangerous?
There are stories around the media of fires caused by e-cigs and although this is true, in 99% of cases it is due to a modified e-cig or custom build.
The starter kits that appear on this page are low power devices and have very low levels of risk, they are easy to use and even if they developed a fault, have safety features in place to stop them working.
Questions New E-Cigarette Users Generally Ask
To answer which e-cig is best for you, you need to consider the main reason you want to try vaping? If it’s to try it to see if you get on, then the Cig-a-like is probably a sensible choice. If you want to give it a go to quit smoking but want an easy to use and a simple e-cigarette, then you may want to look at the Pod vapes. If you’ve tried vaping before and want to give it a real go, giving the greatest flavor and vape clouds. Then your options are to go with either the vape pen or the box mod devices. To learn more check out our guide on the types of e-cigs and their advantages/disadvantages. We also have a guide giving you advice on what to look for when choosing your first e-cig.
Which strength of E-Liquid to choose is a common question, and the answer varies from user to user. What we can suggest, depends on the type and how much you smoked before you tried vaping. For the less powerful Cig-a-like and pod vapes, start by choosing an 8-32mg nicotine level. We always suggest the lower amount, 8mg, if you need more of a hit then you can take another pull. The general rule is the lower the nicotine level the smoother the vape. For vape pens and box mods with sub-ohm tanks, the vape cloud is a lot denser, so the levels need to be 3-6mg. Again, we suggest the lower amount of 3mg.
Summary of Strengths:
- 0mg – For those vapers wishing to quit nicotine completely.
- 3mg – The most popular strength for mouth to lung or sub ohm vaping.
- 6mg – Strong for mouth to lung and can cause throat irritation. Ideal for the less powerful devices where the cloud is not as strong.
- 12mg – Mainly for new users who smoke a lot and using either vape pods or Cig-a-likes.
- 24mg – Really high nicotine levels and more suited to those who want to vape one hit to last a longer amount of time.
- 32mg – Use sparingly, this level of nicotine is likely to be rough on your throat if used too often.
- +32mg – Only suitable for nicotine salts which are a lot smoother, still recommended only for vape pods and Cig-a-likes but used very occasionally.
- Nicotine Salts – As stated, nicotine salts are specifically designed to produce more nicotine but have a smoother vape quality. These types of e-liquids are generally higher in nicotine.
- CBD – CBD e-liquids are completely different than regular e-liquids and generally do not contain any nicotine.
Try to remember, your using an e-cigarette as an alternative to smoking, so you don’t want one huge hit of nicotine to last you all day. This is exactly why we suggest the lower amounts, when you fancy a cigarette, just take a draw or two on your e-cig. We know this is in contrary to what many other sites suggest, but we are going by our professional experience and having recommended many of our readers before, and most importantly, listening to their feedback.
On flavors, this is a personal choice. Buying 10ml of a variety of e-liquids is ideal, try them for a day to get a good feel for what suits. No good trying one or two puffs at a vape shop, it doesn’t give you an idea if it’s an all day vape flavor!
The coil resistance depends on your experience with vaping. If your a completely new vaper then we going with any resistance above 1-ohm will suit. With this type of coil or atomizer, you use the same technique as smoking, ie mouth to lung. Anything below 1-ohm requires direct lung inhales. This can be hard to get used too, but delivers a stronger, more satisfying vape and what most regular vapers use. You can learn about the different techniques of vaping here.
To answer the question on whether vaping is bad for you, is a hard question in its raw form. According to all the latest research, vaping an e-cig is at least 95% better for you than smoking. It is the remaining 5% of doubt that causes all the headlines in the papers and online. We try to keep you informed of all the latest studies and how the media interpret them, you can read them here. The truth is that no-one knows the long-term effect that vaping has on the body. The chemicals within the vapor of e-cigarettes are safe. Studies showed toxic chemicals in some flavorings. These are now removed from the market. But it is a new form of smoking that only time will tell. Our advice is to use e-cigs to quit smoking, reducing your nicotine levels. Then reduce your vaping habit also.
Yes, vaping is an effective tool to quit smoking! Vaping is now the number 1 tool used to help smokers quit smoking. Governments around the world have accepted this. In fact, they now promote the use of vaping to quit smoking.
Nicotine is an addictive drug, hence why in Europe you see the warning messages on vape devices. The FDA is also pushing better labeling on all e-cig product. E-liquids usually hold up to 32mg per 100g of nicotine. This amount of nicotine has a similar effect to caffeine in a cup of coffee. But, it’s about quantities, nicotine is not good for you. You should be concentrating on reducing your intake.
No, passive vaping is not dangerous. Again, thanks to the media there have been many misleading reports. In fact, the subject was in a recent debate in the House of Lords in the UK. Quote: The levels of toxicants in e-cigarette vapor, are not considered to pose any significant passive inhalation risk. The IBVTA pointed out. End Quote.
Our reviews are conducted by actually testing the devices. If it’s an e-cig, vape pen, pod or mod, we make sure we test it for at least 3 days prior to writing up some notes. Then after 5-7 days, we complete the review based on our honest feedback. E-liquids we tend to shorten the review time to 1-2 days. Some of our articles are based on health journals, reports, and studies conducted on e-cigarettes or related to vaping. In this case, we use the following resources to aid us:
- FDA’s Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulations – This and many other pages within the FDA allows us to report the facts on the regulatory requirements of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
- The CDC’s E-Cigarette Resources – The CDC have a number of resources available to learn more about e-cigs.
- The British Medical Journal or BMJ – The BMJ release a number of studies relating to e-cigarettes and vaping.
- The New England Journal of Medicine – Features some up to date e-cigarette studies and reports that newspapers and other media outlets often use to find the facts on health and wellness.
- Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – JAMA is another great resource to find more information behind written journals and studies of e-cigarettes. Their articles are well written and relatively easy to understand.
- E-Cigarette Forum – Originated back in 2007 and very beginner friendly, if you can’t find the answer your looking for, you can post your own topic where some other vapers will give you their opinions.
The above is just an example and the most common resources we use, we do try to list the resources we use for each article, and that list may include additional resources not shown above.
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