E-cigarettes – Liquids vs Cartridges

E-cigarettes are gaining popularity because of their convenience. People are able to use them anywhere including non-smoking environments, and they don’t emit any unpleasant odors. These qualities make it a very appealing option to most smokers. E-cigarettes have an added convenience in the long cold weather months of Minnesota: smokers don’t have to stand outside in cold.

There are two types of electronic cigarettes consumers are encountered with when they first start using the product. You can purchase starter kits that use non-refillable cartridges, or you can choose to use a tank style model that you refill using a nicotine liquid blend (e-liquid). Here are these two options in more detail.

Cartridge Model

The electronic cigarettes that use cartridges are very basic. You have a battery and cartridges. All one needs to do is attach the cartridge to the battery, and you can begin smoking/vaping. One benefit of this model is that cartridges come pre-filled with a nicotine liquid blend in various flavors, and last approximately as long as a pack of cigarettes. This allows you to track exactly how much you are smoking. However, this depends on your own personal smoking style. Taking longer puffs will use up your cartridge quicker than taking shorter puffs. The cartridges are also disposable, once the cartridge is used up, simply throw it away and replace it with a new one.

The cartridge model is easier to use. You don’t have to worry about refilling liquids or replacing burned out tanks. For smokers who are trying to cut down their usage, this model also allows you to better track the amount you smoke/the nicotine you use. Cartridges offer different nicotine levels from low (8 mg) to high (16 – 18 mg), so you can choose the amount of nicotine you want/need.

The downside to cartridges is that they are brand specific. When you buy a starter kit, you will have to also buy the cartridges of the same brand. You are not able to mix and match.

Tank Model

The tank model is a lot more flexible with options. This model’s starter kit comes with a battery and a tank. You buy e-liquid, which come in many flavors, fill your tank, and begin smoking. You can use any e-liquid to fill your tank. This includes any brand or flavor, or even mixing and matching flavors. E-liquids are also much cheaper by volume compared with cartridges. If you smoke, on average, one pack a day, you would typically use 2 – 3 30ml bottles of e-liquid per month. On the other hand, you would use approximately 30 cartridges.

The main benefit of using the tank system is the cost. You also eliminate the need to use and throw out cartridges. You are also not limited to a specific brand; you can use any brand’s e-liquid, or even mix and match different flavors.

The downside to the tank model is that it takes practice to fill your tank correctly. You don’t want to overfill the tank or it may leak into your mouth and leave you with a very unpleasant taste. Also, the tanks contain wicks and atomizers that burn out and need to be replaced (cartridges, which contain wicks and atomizers, are replaced with every new cartridge.). Also, there is a need to be very careful with the nicotine liquid. The e-liquid could be fatal to children or pets if they manage to open and ingest it. You need to use extreme caution when using e-liquid around children or pets.

Every individual has his or her own preferences. Look at the pros and con of each system, or experiment with both, to find the option that is right for your own needs.