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What to know about rechargeable electronic cigarette starter kits

There are two primary types of electronic cigarettes: disposable e-cigarettes and rechargeable e-cigarettes. Most rechargeable electronic cigarettes are sold as a part of an electronic cigarette kit.

Standard kits typically contain one battery -- the section of the electronic cigarette that would be the body of a traditional tobacco cigarette -- as well as five to 10 cartridges of e-liquid, a USB charger and a wall charger.

One factor to consider before purchasing electronic cigarette kits is the cost. Kits for lesser known brands can start around $30, and kits from popular premium brands can cost upward of $70. Various e-cigarette companies also offer premium starter kits that may contain a second battery for use while the other battery is charging, more e-liquid and additional add-on features. Premium kits can range up to $150.

Most people review rechargeable electronic cigarette starter kits, rather than disposable ones. Bought separately, individual batteries sit in the $12-$20 range and five-packs of cartridges (each of which approximates one pack of cigarettes) can cost between $10 and $18.

While starter kits tend to include only traditional tobacco flavors, some feature a "variety pack" so that those new to the brand can sample other flavors. Refill packs are sold separately.    

Another factor to consider before purchasing a starter kit is whether you would prefer a manual or automatic electronic cigarette. By and large, these two types of electronic cigarettes are very similar. The one difference is that in the use of an automatic electronic cigarette, the device automatically administers a puff of vapor when the user takes a draw. Manual electronic cigarettes require the user to hold down a button to vaporize the liquid before inhaling. Some users prefer the ease of the automatic e-cigarette, while others say manual versions administer a more robust puff.

The quality of electronic cigarettes can be inconsistent, even within the same manufacturer, users say. Some batteries last longer than others; some users complain of cartridges having varying amounts of liquid or containing varying levels of nicotine, despite their labels. The FDA sought to regulate electronic cigarettes like a drug, but a judge denied the request.

Those intrigued by electronic cigarettes, but who are unsure whether they will like the product, may want to consider purchasing a disposable electronic cigarette.

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