What to buy

Select your device

First generation models (cigalikes)

e-cigarette disposable x3.jpg

Many people start with a first generation model with or without nicotine. These look like cigarettes and can mimic smoking more closely and satisfy the hand-to-mouth ritual that smokers often miss.

Cigalikes are convenient to use and do not require a separate purchase of e-liquid. They come ready to use.

There are two types of first generation models

  • Disposable, single use models. These provide about 300 puffs and are then discarded.
  • Rechargeable models. These have a rechargeable battery, which is charged typically with a USB charger attached to a wall socket or computer. They use prefilled, replaceable cartridges of e-liquid.

Cigalikes are available in a range of nicotine strengths (0-24mg/ml) and flavours.

The effectiveness of cigalikes can be boosted by combining them with other stop smoking medications, such as nicotine patches or Champix.

Second and third generation models

Some users progress from cigalikes to later-generation model as these can deliver more nicotine and vapour and are more satisfying. Others start using these devices from the beginning. These devices do not look like cigarettes and are more complex to use.

You will need to purchase

  • E-liquid, and regularly refill the chamber.
  • Replacement 'coils'. The coil is the heating element which needs to be changed at regular intervals, typically every couple of weeks although sometimes longer. Change the coil when the taste goes off. The wick draws the e-liquid onto the coil.

Performance of each device depends to a large extent on their power, which is determined by the voltage of the battery (usually 3-6V) and the resistance of the heating element (usually 1-6.5 ohms).

The higher the voltage and the lower the resistance, the higher the power (in watts). Power typically ranges from 4-11 watts.

Model selection is a matter of personal preference and budget.

Popular models for beginners

These second generation models are ideal for beginners. They are compact, easy to fill and use and deliver a good dose of nicotine and vapour.

 Joytech AIO 300px.jpg Innokin Endura T18 300px.jpg
Joyetech AIO (RRP about $30) Innokin Endura T18 (RRP about $42)


Select your e-liquid

If you select a refillable device (second, third or fourth generation EC) you will also need to purchase e-liquid. You can purchase premixed ready-to-use e-liquids or you can mix your own.

Premixed e-liquid

There are 4 steps involved in purchasing a ‘ready-made’ liquid:

  • Select the nicotine strengthRefilling e-cigarette.jpg
    Premixed solutions range from 0-36mg/ml (or 3.6%). Most people start with 12-18mg/ml (1.2-1.8%), but some heavier smokers prefer the 24mg/ml (2.4%) solution. Some experimentation may be required to find the appropriate strength to manage nicotine cravings and urges.
  • Select your flavour
    The most popular flavour initially is tobacco, but other flavours include menthol, fruit, confectionery and beverage flavours, such as mocha or coffee.
  • Select your PG: VG blend
    Nicotine is dissolved in PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine) in varying proportions. Depending on personal preferences, typical PG:VG blends are 70:30, 50:50 and 30:70. A good starting blend for beginners is 50% PG: 50% VG.
    • PG gives more flavour and throat hit.
    • VG produces more mist and is sweeter but is very gluggy and harder to work with. Heating coils do not last as long in high-VG mixes.
  • Select bottle size
    Typical bottle size is about 30 ml, but can bottles can range from 20-500ml. The average volume of e-liquid used per day is 2-5ml.

Mix-your-own e-liquid

Some long-term users buy the individual ingredients in bulk and mix their own e-liquid. High strength nicotine at 100mg/ml can be purchased from overseas websites and stored in the freezer. It is mixed with other ingredients purchased locally, ie propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and flavourings.


Last Modified: 31-05-2017