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What is a vape pen and what types are there?

Blu 2.0

The modern e-cigarette, or vape pen, was born in 2003 when Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik patented a design for an electronic device that heated flavoured liquid to create vapour. The invention delivered nicotine without the need to burn tobacco, and soon found favour in China when it hit the market in 2004. Worldwide rollout followed shortly after.

In the years since, vape pens have grown in popularity, with estimates last year suggesting that global sales of vaping devices will exceed $15bn by 2019. But with this success questions have come from consumers eager to learn more. Here, blu answers some of the most common questions.

How do vape pens work?

Vape pens, which are sometimes called e-cigarettes, can seem difficult to understand. There are so many different terms, models and accessories that beginners may not be clear where they need to start.

In simple terms, a vape pen is an electronic device that heats a liquid containing flavouring and nicotine, amongst other ingredients. The resulting vapour is then inhaled by the vaper, and it's through the vapour that the vaper gets the nicotine they want. Unlike traditional cigarettes, no tobacco is burned.

What are the different types of vape pen?

There is not just one kind of vape device; instead they come in a number of forms and models. Some require e-liquid to be refilled (these are called Open System devices; our blu PRO™ is an example of this). Others require cartridges (these are called Closed System devices).

More advanced vape device are also available. These are called Box Mods, Mods, or APVs. They often feature modifications to their battery power or the size of the cartridge, appropriate to the vaper’s personal taste. On the other end of the scale, some don't feature any cartridge at all, and instead the vaper needs to drip a few drops of e-liquid onto a heating mechanism to vape. These are called Drip Tips.

Such products are not sold by blu and should only be sought by advanced vapers. Beginners are best suited to simpler models, such as the myblu™ device and the blu PRO™ Kits.

What parts make up a vape pen?

The constituent parts of a vape pen differ depending on the model you're using. Most use a battery, a heating mechanic, storage for the e-liquid and a mouthpiece. Open System vape pens may feature bigger batteries and heating mechanics than Closed System ones. Closed System will always use a cartridge to house the e-liquid. Learn about closed and open systems here.

How can I find out more?

If you'd like to know anything else about vape pens or vaping, please visit the Customer Services section of the blu website or ask a question through our Live Chat service.