Having looked at the most basic way an average vape device works, it's time to complicate things a little. There's a range of options out there to choose from, and they can differ quite dramatically.
Since the e-cigarette was invented in China by pharmacist Hon Lik, there have been several generations of e-cigs that have progressively improved and advanced their design and functionality.
Let's approach this historically, from the beginning. The first devices that emerged from China around and after 2004, were the classic "cigalike" designs. These often looked pretty on the money like over-sized cigarettes and required specific replaceable components like cartridges.
They were fairly simple and weren't generally modifiable, but they were enough to kick off the vaping explosion of the last decade.
The second generation already brought a lot of the basic changes that have opened up a wide variety of design and construction preferences for vapers of different experience and interest.
Resembling more the current vape pen designs, the disposable, unrefillable "cartomizer" cartridges of the cigalike gave way to refillable "clearomizers". Other improvements included LED displays and larger battery capacities.
Generations three and four were predominately about giving the committed vaper more to play with. We saw the introduction of variable volt and mechanical devices, followed by Sub ohm tanks and temperature control. Mods, referring to custom designs for the battery casing, also became increasingly popular among enthusiasts.
The latest advances in vape device technology have been more focused on the broader market. Mod pods are a particularly fun new range of vape pens, not dissimilar to the original vape pens in principle, but the designs have advanced considerably.
Mod pods represent the latest attempt to make switching to vaping from smoking easier than ever. They require manufacturer specific liquid pods, but otherwise are as easy as it gets. They're sort of the new, easy grab-and-go option of the vaping world, featuring some of the coolest designs available yet.
Given the underlying simplicity of how vaping works and how much flexibility this gives to design, there's undoubtedly a lot more to come. We guess that's another one of the side perks of vaping over smoking. Aside from the obvious gulf of daylight in terms of health, there's a lot more fun!
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