There are quite a few different types of vaping devices out there these days but the first to rise in popularity, the one that really started it all, was the cig-a-like. Still popular today even in the face of vape pens, pod vapes, and mods, the cig-a-like hasn’t really changed all that much. The average cig-a-like still has limited battery life and limited e-juice capacity, and it still looks like a cigarette, which is what the design aims to emulate. The reason why cig-a-likes look like cigarettes is simple: they’re designed to. That’s the point. They are intended as alternatives to conventional cigarettes and to make things easier for smokers who want to switch, they look like normal cigarettes. But there is a difference and it’s a big one: they don’t produce smoke.
Cig-a-likes look like cigs, but they don’t smoke like cigs. They create vapour when they heat the e-juice that they contain and they don’t actually use tobacco. So there’s no tobacco, there’s no smoke, and there’s no combustion. This means there’s also no tar, which is one of the filthiest aspects of the smoke that cigarettes produce when they’re lit.
How Cig-A-Likes Work
Cig-a-likes, by vaping standards, are usually pretty simple. They have an atomiser with coils inside and the coils heat up while coming in contact with a wick, usually cotton, that absorbs the e-liquid. When the coils heat the e-liquid that’s soaked into the cotton around them, vapour is produced. This vapour, which is technically an aerosol that is commonly called vapour, is what vapers inhale when they use an e-cigarette.
To power a cig-a-like, a battery is used. Cig-a-like batteries are sometimes rechargeable, sometimes not. Rechargeable batteries can be recharged and used multiple times before they eventually need to be replaced. Ones that aren’t rechargeable are single-use and intended to last just long enough to vape the e-liquid that’s inside of the cig-a-like.
Different Types Of Cig-A-Likes
Reusable and single-use are the two main types of cig-a-likes available. Reusable cig-a-likes typically come with rechargeable batteries and the option to replace the cartomiser or cartridge. With reusables, the cartridge can sometimes be refilled by the user, however, most are designed to be used once and then discarded when their e-liquid runs out. But as they’re reusable, the cartridge can simply be swapped out for a new one when the one in use runs dry.
Single-use cig-a-likes are all-in-one devices where there are no separate components to take apart and swap out. What you get is what you see. The battery is usually only designed to provide enough power to get through the e-liquid that’s in the cartridge. Once the e-liquid runs out, that’s that. It’s time to toss or recycle the device and crack open a new one.
The features that these types of e-cigs offer vary from one model to the next, although many share the same features. In most cases, it’s actually a lack of features that cig-a-likes exhibit in comparison to other types of vapes. Most do not have variable voltage, although there are those that do. They are typically simple devices that do just one thing: produce vapour.
There are some cig-a-likes, such as Vaper Empire’s V-Pack II Series, that come with portable charging cases. These cases usually allow for storage of one or more battery and one or more refill cartridge.
What Cig-A-Likes Are For
Cig-a-likes, as their appearance may make obvious, are intended for smokers who want to give up smoking by switching to vaping, which is why they’re designed to look like the cigarettes they aim to replace. Like cigarettes, cig-a-likes do deliver nicotine to their users, but unlike with cigarettes, this is not always the case. Some cig-a-likes are available without nicotine in their e-liquid and others are available in multiple nicotine strengths, which is more than can be said for cigarettes. Have you ever heard of a nicotine-free cigarette?
With obvious differences between cigarettes and cig-a-likes, the resemblance is there and it’s there for a reason: to help smokers switch to vaping.
Do Cig-A-Likes Really Work?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer is not always. For some smokers who attempt to switch to cig-a-likes, it doesn’t always work out. Some revert back to cigarettes while never truly making the switch. But for many others, cig-a-likes make it possible to give up smoking by way of vaping instead. Smokers who are looking to switch over to the world of vapour may want to consider the following when attempting to make the switch:
- Vapour does feel different from smoke when it is inhaled
- Not all e-cigs are the same; some are better than others
- Choosing the right nicotine strength is important
- Finding the right flavour of e-liquid can make a big difference
- Nicotine salts absorb faster than freebase nicotine
Take a look at our vape guides to learn more about e-cigs and vaping!