According to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, roughly four million Americans now use battery powered cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes or e cigs. E cigs vary from simple “cigalike” devices that look and function like tobacco cigarettes to complicated vaping devices that look more like space age weapons than something used to replace cigarette smoking. But just as the devices themselves vary, so does the technology inside them that helps to produce that vapor.
Today in 2015, the e cigarette market is valued at more than $2.5 billion, growing from nothing in just a few short years. In that time, the industry has grown to more than 466 brands and up to 7,700 vaping flavors for sale. But those different e cig brands and all of their flavors must use specific parts to deliver that e liquid to users. These parts go by various names, but the most common are cartridges, cartomizers, and tanks.
- Cartridges: E cig cartridges have one main purpose: to hold the e liquid and help it pass into the atomizer, which turns it into a vapor. Cartridges can be made in two ways. Some are blank and can be refilled manually with just about any e liquid flavor on the market. Others, however, come pre-filled for a no mess, no fuss vaping experience.
- Cartomizers: These devices are similar to cartridges, but they also house another important part of an e cig: the atomizer. Atomizers are used to heat the e liquid to turn it into vapor, so it both stores and heats the e liquid at the same time. While the decision to use a cartomizer is often up to the user, some users will swear by them, as some of them might produce a larger amount of vapor.
- Tanks: Tanks are similar to cartridges in that their sole purpose is to hold the e liquid. Unlike some types of cartridges, though, most tanks do not come pre-filled. Instead, they must be filled with e liquid manually. Clear e liquid tanks are popular with users of vapor pens and other more complex devices; however, other users may prefer an opaque tank in just about any color of the rainbow.
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