E-cigarettes can be classified into six categories based on different classification methods, including the principle of smoke production, type of e-liquid, size of smoke, reusability, appearance, and oil storage and guiding systems.
The first classification is based on the principle of smoke production and includes heat-not-burn e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes with atomized e-liquid. Heat-not-burn e-cigarettes use low-temperature heating to release smoke from a new type of tobacco inserted into the cigarette holder. This type is also known as HNb e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes with atomized e-liquid use electric heating to atomize the e-liquid and produce smoke.
The second classification is based on the type of e-liquid, including nicotine e-cigarettes and non-nicotine e-cigarettes. The e-liquid of nicotine e-cigarettes mainly contains vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavors, and tobacco extracts (with nicotine being the main ingredient). Non-nicotine e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine in their e-liquid. According to the new national standard for e-cigarettes effective in 2022, e-cigarettes must contain tobacco extracts, and non-nicotine e-cigarettes are prohibited from being sold in the domestic market.
The third classification is based on the size of smoke, including large smoke and small smoke. Small smoke e-cigarettes, also known as small smoke, have less smoke than large smoke e-cigarettes. Small smoke e-cigarettes are the mainstream e-cigarette products in China.
The fourth classification is based on reusability and is divided into disposable e-cigarettes, pod system e-cigarettes, and open system e-cigarettes. Disposable e-cigarettes have a sealed design with the cigarette holder and e-liquid integrated, allowing for charging but not refilling. After the e-liquid is used up, it is discarded and not reused. Pod system e-cigarettes have a separate cartridge and cigarette holder, and the cartridge is a sealed design. After the cartridge is used up, it can be replaced to continue using the cigarette holder. Open system e-cigarettes can be refilled and used repeatedly, and the lifespan of the cartridge is longer than that of a pod system. According to the new national standard for e-cigarettes effective in 2022, only sealed disposable e-cigarettes and pod system e-cigarettes are allowed to be sold in the domestic market, and open system e-cigarettes are not allowed to be sold in China.
The fifth classification is based on appearance and is divided into simulated cigarettes and non-simulated cigarettes. Simulated cigarettes have the same appearance and size as real cigarettes and produce an effect similar to an ash head when smoked. Non-simulated cigarettes have various appearances but can still produce smoke, and are not limited to the shape of cigarettes.
The sixth classification is based on oil storage and guiding systems.