eCigs, Vape Pens and Hookah Sticks – Sorting Out the Slang

ecig 101 vape pens hookah sticks and ecigs

Perhaps you’ve seen a few different terms thrown around for e-cigarettes.  eCigs, vape pens and hookah sticks are terms that I’ve heard the media toss out before.  I sort of thought for a while the latter two were made up by reporters who couldn’t be bothered to do any actual research.  It turns out vape pens and hookah sticks are real, live relatives of the e-cigarette.

I thought I’d take a minute to break down what each of these categories were in case you were, like me, just a tad unhip.


blu-electronic-cigarettes_0Ok, I’m not really sure why I put a section here for e-cigarettes. I’m pretty certain you already know what an e-cigarette is.

Just for completeness sake, and to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s just cover what an ecig is in terms of media reports.

In general, the media is thinking devices that look like cigarettes; the “cig-a-like” devices or pen-style devices. These are the truly mass marketed devices, the ones you find in gas stations.  They can be either disposables or rechargeable.

Sometimes eGo-style devices and even APVs sneak in there, but for the most part you can assume the stories are talking about something like a Blu disposable.

Vape Pens

You hear this term, and you might be thinking something bigger, like an eGo style device.  You’re sort of correcct.

Vape Pens is the term used for devices that are similar to e-cigarettes but are used to vaporize marijuana. Specifically, it’s used to handle processed versions of pot as opposed to regular pot leaves (that’s what herbal vaporizers are for).  I’m sort of out of my element here, so I might sound like a clueless old man.

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Basically there’s two forms of marijuana used in vape pens.  There’s what’s known as wax, which is a sort of gelatinous form and then there’s hash oil, which is wax that’s been further refined into a more liquid form through the use of butane.  Here’s an article that goes more into the finer details if you want to do your own independent research, for science.

Vape Pens can be as simple as just a standard eGo with a CE4 clearomizer on it for vaporizing the oil version.  Although it’s apparently harder on the clearomizer, it does work.  Heck, there’s even fancy celebrity versions like the Snopp Dogg G-Pen (although that one is actually for dry herbs).

According to one vendor I talked to, the most popular vape pen device is what’s called a Budder Ball.  This is a specialized clearomizer that works on a standard eGo battery.  It’s sort of bulbous in the middle. A special ceramic cup in the clearomizer performs the duties of vaporizing the wax for consumption.  This one is popular because it can apparently handle herbs in any form, dry, wax or oil.

Hookah Sticks

05hookah-master675-v3The last category kind of blurs the lines between e-cigarettes and itself.  Unlike vape pens which are branching off into their own technology, vape pens are a spin on the traditional e-cig.

I’ve reviewed a hookah stick previously and really found it no different from a typical disposable e-cigarette. Of course, that’s not to be confused with 777’s massive (and really cool) e-Hookah.

Specifically, hookah pens and sticks are disposable e-cigarettes that have colorful markings and feature fruit-flavored e-liquid.  Most sticks contain no nicotine.  That makes sense since hookahs often don’t contain nicotine or tobacco, but a shisha mix of assorted fruits and things like that.

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It’s likely the flavors and sometimes wild patterns on hookah pens that have prohibitionists in a tizzy about our poor defenseless children.

It’s so confusing

Kids these days. At least that’s what some prohibitionists say about e-cigarettes.  Some are even paranoid that they’re missing out on more users to overhype. It seems that some youth don’t think of themselves as using e-cigarettes and instead identify with one of the alternate vaping families.

What’s your thought? Is there a valid dichotomy here? Or is it a rose by any other name?



Steve K

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