E-Cigs vs. Vape Pens: What's The Difference Between E-Cigs And Vape Pens?

E-Cigs vs. Vape Pens: What's The Difference Between E-Cigs And Vape Pens?

The worldwide sales of e-cigs and vape pens reached $15.7 billion in 2018, and according to recent research, the market will multiply by up to $40 billion in 2023. These figures point to a simple fact — vaping is growing in popularity every year while cigarettes slowly lose relevance.

But what is the difference between the two? Vaping refers to nicotine consumption through special devices that heat the nicotine e-juice, turning it into an inhalable aerosol. The most common devices for vaping are e-cigs and vape pens.

Many people use the terms "electronic cigarette" and "vape" interchangeably. But are these devices really the same thing? Let’s take a closer look at their differences and similarities to find out.

What Is An E-Cig?

What Is An E-Cig

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs and cig-a-likes, are affordable and maintenance-free vaping devices with built-in batteries and cartridges. When people mention e-cigs, they are typically referring to disposables. These devices work for a limited amount of puffs and don’t require maintenance or charging.

Now, how exactly do they work? It’s very straightforward: the battery heats the atomizer that soaks and vaporizes the nicotine e-liquid.

E-cigs don’t offer any additional features. Most of them come without buttons, as they turn on automatically as you inhale. Despite their simplicity, cig-a-likes are compact and easy-to-store.

In terms of appearance, electronic cigarettes are very similar to regular cigs. Their design is what makes them so popular for those who prefer vaping in an “old-school” style.

E-Cigs Pros and Cons

E-Cig Pros

  • Cheap
  • Maintenance-free
  • Simplistic design
  • Compact and convenient

E-Cig Cons

  • No variety in size and features
  • Store limited amount of e-juice

In simple terms, e-cigarettes are low-cost vaping devices that you replace as they run out of juice. But what if you want a long-lasting solution with more options?

What Is A Vape?

What Is A Vape

Vapes, also known as vaporizers or vape pens, are rechargeable devices that store e-liquid in a small tank. They work the same as electronic cigarettes, as the battery turns the nicotine e-juice into a vapor that you inhale.

Vaporizers come in many variations. There are button-activated devices and buttonless vapes that activate as you draw the vapor. Plus, unlike e-cigs, vape pens offer more customization and features, all of which we’ll discuss below.

Vape devices are usually larger than e-cigarettes and, consequently, can store more e-juice. They also have larger batteries, meaning a single charge will last significantly longer than an e-cig.

Do you find cig-a-likes too dull? Vapes come in dozens of varieties and can be filled with your favorite e-juice. On top of that, some models allow you to use custom temperature options to enhance the flavor and experience. As you can imagine, vape pens are more expensive compared to disposable e-cigs.

Vape Pros and Cons

Vape Pros

  • Store large amounts of e-liquid
  • Can be filled with your own e-juice
  • Tons of sizes and designs available
  • Extra features
  • Can be taken apart and modified

Vape Cons

  • More expensive than e-cigarettes
  • May require set-up
  • Slightly larger than e-cigs

While you now know the difference between e-cig and vape devices, there are other aspects that we should still highlight.


Vapes and E-Cigs Construction

A regular e-cig consists of the following components:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Atomizer (a heating element)
  • Cartridge with e-liquid
  • Microprocessor (activates the heating element when you inhale from the mouthpiece)
  • Battery

Much like e-cigs, vape pens have the same structure but with more components. For example, vapes usually come with:

  • Buttons that turn on the device or activate additional features
  • Refillable tank section that contains e-juice

Size is another crucial factor when choosing between a vape or an e-cig. As we mentioned, vapes are usually bigger because of their more powerful batteries. E-cigarettes tend to be smaller and can easily fit in your pocket.


E-Cig and Vape Features

Functionality is one of the key topics in the e-cig vs. vape pen discussion. Electronic cigarettes offer the most basic functionality — simply inhale the vapor from the mouthpiece.

Vape pods and pens are not as simple. Here are some of their features:

  • Wattage and voltage settings allow you to control the atomizer's power, which affects how many clouds the device produces
  • Temperature control affects the flavor's intensity
  • Preheat function heats the device and optimizes power consumption
  • Safety features and thermal protection can prolong the life of the device

E-cigs works straight out of the box. However, you can fill the tank slot in a vape pen with your favorite e-juice. If you are up to mix and match, vapes will suit you better.


E-Cig and Vape Price

Last but not least, consider the pricing for each device.

You’ll indeed spend less money if you switch from traditional cigarettes to vape devices, but are e-cigs and vape pens the same in terms of costs?

It largely depends on the store. An average disposable e-cigarette will cost you anywhere from $5 to $15, while a feature-packed vape pen starts at $15 and can surpass $150 per pen. For example, you can get a JAK electronic cigarette that will last for over 800 puffs for just $6. That will last for at least a week, making it an extremely affordable option.


Are e-cigs and vapes the same thing? In short, no. They both share the same technology that heats e-liquid to create inhalable aerosols. But they vary in terms of features, options, and, of course, pricing.

E-cigs are straightforward and cost-efficient disposable devices that are perfect for a quick hit. On the other hand, vapes have more complex construction and offer a better smoking experience. However, they are more expensive and require setting up and regular care.

We hope that our guide helped answer your questions about e-cigs and vape pens.

If you're looking for vape devices and accessories be sure to visit our online store. Green Caviar Club offers a vast selection of e-cigarettes, vape pens, and starter kits for beginners and seasoned smokers alike!

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  • Anant Derhgawen