A new report from ECig Intelligence paints a pretty good picture of the vaping market in the UK. The report cites data that shows the market is expanding considerably, thanks to the growing acceptance of box mods and tank systems over cigalikes and disposable products. Without going into all the details of the report, the conclusions presented by analysts are good news for the UK vaping industry.
Box mods and tank systems have been around for several years now. But until recently, they have had a hard time competing with disposable e-cigarettes and branded products from the industry’s biggest players. It could be that the new rules that went into effect in the spring of 2016 are responsible for changing the dynamic. Either way, vapers are benefiting by way of more choices that appeal to their individual vaping styles.
For the uninformed, a box mod is a personal vaporiser that actually looks nothing like a traditional e-cigarette. It looks more like a small electronic device about the size of a portable music player. A liquid tank can either be attached to the top of the box or inserted inside. Vapers who swear by box mods love all the extra features that can include everything from the ability to choose different voltages to meters that help vapers keep track of how much they’re actually vaping.
Nothing like the Old Days
Knowing how well box mods and tank systems are doing almost makes us nostalgic for the ‘old days’ of vaping. Granted, the old days were only a decade ago, but a lot of people who have been vaping since then have fond memories of the first e-cigarette devices imported from China.
The inventor of the modern e-cigarette, Hon Lik, designed his first device to closely resemble a tobacco cigarette in look, size, and feel. His thinking was that he had to replicate the product smokers were already used to if he was going to convince them to try vaping. It turns out he was right.
In its infancy, vaping was considered something only those on the fringe would try. Smokers were willing to give e-cigarettes an honest look with the understanding that others wouldn’t necessarily know what they were doing unless they made a concerted effort to investigate. This allowed for ‘stealth vaping’ before it was actually cool to do so.
At any rate, first-generation e-cigarettes became second-generation devices that still tended to look similar to tobacco cigarettes. Colours changed, different LED lights were used, and disposable products were introduced to that segment of the market not interested in recharging batteries and refilling liquid cartridges. Then came the cartomiser.
The Predecessor to the Tank
By the time second-generation e-cigs were ready to evolve into third-generation, something known as the cartomiser was ready to go. First and second generation devices used separate cartridges and atomisers that were handled independently. The cartomiser changed that paradigm by combining the atomiser and liquid cartridge into a single unit.
What was the benefit of the cartomiser? It made refilling liquid cartridges without making a mess a lot easier. Combining both components into a single unit made it easier to seal them so that there was only one way for liquid to get in and out. This significantly improved performance, reduced waste and, as previously mentioned, resulted in less of a mess at filling time.
It turns out the cartomiser provided the basis for what we now know as tank systems. Today’s tank systems are so pervasive that it’s getting harder and harder to find old cartridges and cartomisers anymore. They’re still out there, but fewer manufacturers are using them with every new device introduced.
Say Hello to the Tank
It is entirely possible that the introduction of the tank system is the most important thing to have ever occurred in the evolution of e-cigarettes. Like the cartomiser, a tank system combines a liquid receptacle and atomiser in a single unit. But two critical differences make the tank better than any cartomiser on the market.
First, tanks are completely sealed when closed properly. You can fill them with liquid and never have to worry about leaks that can stain your clothes and flood your atomisers. More importantly, though, tanks can be top or bottom coiled. What does this mean? It relates to the position of the atomiser coil.
A bottom coil design places the atomiser at the bottom of the tank; liquid flows down to the atomiser by way of gravity. A top coil system puts the atomiser at the top of the tank. The liquid is drawn to the atomiser by way of a wick.
Top coil systems are the preferred tanks of choice because they are easier to control, they use less liquid, and the make it almost impossible to flood the atomiser. Top coil systems also tend to produce a much thicker vapour cloud because air flows through the coil more consistently.
Over the years, the e-cigarette has gone through quite a bit of evolution. Today, we are inclined to not even call them e-cigarettes anymore. They are personal vaporisers instead. And now, thanks to modern box mods and tank systems, the market for personal vaporisers continues to grow in the UK. That’s a good thing. The more current and former smokers switch to vaping, the better off we all are.