How Much Are Vape Pens?

One of the big benefits of switching to vaping is that it’s much cheaper than smoking. While the Royal College of Physicians in the UK puts the risk of vaping as over 95 % less than that of smoking, for many smokers, the amount of money you can save by making the switch is a big motivating factor. So if you’re considering making the switch to vaping but you’re left wondering, “how much are vape pens?” here is everything you need to know to make your decision.

Factors That Affect How Much Vape Pens Cost

Firstly, not all vape pens are created equal, and not all setups cost the same amount. If you’re asking yourself “how much are e-cigs?” it’s important to narrow the question down a little bit first. So which factors affect the cost of vape pens? There are many things that could play a role, but here are some of the most important:

Battery Life

One of the key things you need to think about when you’re getting a vape pen is how long the battery will last between charges. Simply, vape pens with bigger batteries and longer battery life (a higher “mAh” number) will cost more than smaller ones with less battery life. The difference isn’t huge, though. For example, the Aspire K2 has an 800 mAh battery and comes in a kit for $23.95, whereas the corresponding kit for the K4, with a 2000 mAh battery is $32.95.

So the answer to “how much does a vape cost?” partially depends on how big a battery you’re looking for, and this is one area where we’d definitely recommend spending a little more for a more long-lasting device.

Extra Features

In general, e-cigs with more features will cost more than those with fewer features. When it comes to the question of how much are vape pens, the main issues are variable voltage features and support for sub ohm tanks.

Variable voltage allows you to adjust the amount of power you’re sending to your atomizer, and influences both the flavor and vapor production you get from your e-cig. Having this option is definitely a good thing, but it will raise the price compared to vape pens that work at a fixed voltage. For example, if you want a 650 mAh eGo battery, it’ll cost you $10 without variable voltage and $22.99 with it.

Although variable voltage allows you to send more power to the same atomizer, you can get the same effect by using a vape pen that supports atomizers with a lower resistance. Tanks with coil resistance under 1 ohm are called “sub ohm tanks,” and vape pens that can support them put out more vapor than those that can’t. As you’d expect, these vape pens are more expensive than ones that can’t support sub ohm tanks. For example, you can pick up a Kanger Top Evod starter kit for just $11.95, but the Subvod (which supports sub ohm vaping) costs $29.95.

There are also other features that can impact the price of a vape pen – such as the ability to vape while charging – but this provides enough of an idea of the degree of variation to help you answer the question “how much are vape pens?”

Your Choice of Tank

There are two different ways the atomizer you choose affects the cost of e-cigarettes: the cost of the atomizer itself and the increased (or decreased) consumption of e-juice.

Tanks, clearomizers or other atomizers all cost money on their own, but you’ll usually get a tank or clearomizer with your vape pen. However, one reason there’s so much of a variation in cost between sub ohm and non-sub ohm vape pens is the added cost of a sub ohm tank. Even if you’re sticking with a non sub ohm tank, though, some are more expensive than others. For example, you can get the Evod 2 BDC Clearomizer for less than $7, but the Nautilus Mini costs about $30.

However, for the question “how much does a vape cost?” you aren’t only thinking about the up-front costs, because you need e-liquid and fresh coils on an ongoing basis. Due to the increased vapor production from sub ohm tanks, if you vape with one, you’ll use more e-liquid than somebody vaping with a non-sub ohm tank. The difference is hard to quantify, but it’s something to bear in mind.

Replacement Coils

The other most important running cost of vaping is also an essential consideration if you want to work out how much vaping will cost you. Not only can the cost of coils vary based on the tank you’re using – for instance, five new coils for the Top Evod cost $8.50 in comparison to $16.95 for five Nautilus X coils – but how often you need to change coil also varies depending on how much you vape.

The varying cost makes this cost hard to estimate, but most coils will last for around 2 weeks of vaping, so you’ll need to buy 26 coils for a whole year. This suggests a cost of around $44 per year for cheaper coils (like the Top Evod coils) and $88 for more expensive coils (like the Nautilus X coils). This is only a rough estimate, but it clearly shows the big difference in how much vaping costs depending on your tank choice.

Your Choice of E-Liquid

While the question “how much are e-cigs?” seems simple enough, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there are no hard and fast answers. There is even more room for variation, though, based on how much you spend for your e-juice. This isn’t directly related to the cost of vape pens, but it’s closely connected to it, because a vape pen is no good without e-liquid to use with it.

There are many different e-juice companies on the market, and the prices can vary quite a lot. A budget juice company like Vape Wild, for instance, charges just $6.99 for a 30 ml bottle, compared to $22 per 30 ml bottle for Suicide Bunny and $29 per 30 ml for Black Note.

The challenge in working out how much this will cost is that most vapers use juices from multiple companies. You might mainly choose to vape Mount Baker Vapor and Vape Wild, for instance (both on the cheaper end of the spectrum), but have the occasional bottle of high-end juice like Black Note. The good news is that you don’t have to buy a whole year’s worth of e-juice at once: you can pick up bottles as you go, and adjust your choices whenever you like based on how much you can spend.

Spare Batteries and Accessories

Although the question “how much are vape pens?” is really about how much you need to spend to get set up with a vape pen, you can’t make a realistic estimate of your expenses without considering everything. You may not necessarily need a spare battery, but it’s very useful and is generally recommended for new vapers in particular. Of course, getting two batteries is more expensive than getting one, but since starter kits often include two batteries as standard, it’s unlikely to be twice as expensive as getting one.

Additionally, you might also want some accessories such as lanyards, carry cases, new drip tips or many other things. These are generally affordable, but if you’re likely to want something like this, then you should incorporate this into your estimate for how much a vape pen costs.

Vaping vs. Smoking Cost Comparison: How Much Money Do You Save?

Now we have a good idea how to answer the question “how much does a vaporizer cost?” and the things that could affect the answer, we can start looking at how much you stand to save by switching from smoking to vaping.

The first step in putting together a vaping vs. smoking cost comparison is looking at the cost of smoking, and then we can compare this to estimates for the cost of vaping using two different setups. Here, we’ll focus on a very affordable setup and a more expensive one, but keep in mind that most vapers will find their actual expenditure to be somewhere in the middle of these extremes.

How Much Are Cigarettes?

The Awl has made an annual tradition of documenting the cost of cigarettes in every state. Although the 2015 post is the latest available (at time of writing), it gives a good ballpark figure for how much smoking costs.

The average cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the US was $7.26 last year, and will have grown slightly – but not too much – over the past year. The price varies from $4.98 a pack in Virginia to $13.50 a pack in New York, and you can look for your state using the link above if you want a specific figure for you.

Based on the average, it would cost a pack-a-day smoker about $2,650 per year to keep up their smoking habit.

How Much Are E-Cigs? A Year’s Expenses in Two Scenarios

We’ve considered many of the important factors in answering the question “how much are vape pens?” above, but for the final estimate, we’re going to narrow it down to two key scenarios.

The first is for a basic vape pen, with a fairly small battery, no extra features like variable voltage and a normal, non-sub ohm tank. We’ll pair this with an affordable e-liquid. For the second, we’ll base the cost on a more expensive vape pen, which supports sub ohm tanks, and a more expensive e-juice.

The first scenario involves buying a Kanger Top Evod, replacement coils (at $1.95 per coil) and affordable e-juice (using $7 per 30 ml as a guide), and the second involves the variable wattage, sub ohm capable eGo Mega Twist Plus, coils ($11.99 for a pack of five) and more expensive e-juice (using $25 per 30 ml as a guide).

Although we estimated 26 coils per year above, there’s a lot of variation in this, so we’ve worked this out on the basis of 30 per year. And for juice consumption, several surveys have looked at how much vapers consume. For simpler devices, 4 ml per day is a good estimate, but juice consumption goes up quite a lot with sub ohm capable devices. So for the eGo Mega Twist Plus, we’re assuming 6 ml per day, although it could be even more than this.

For the first scenario, vaping with a simple device and on a budget, you’d spend $11.95 on the device, about $58.50 on coils and about $340.67 on juice. This is a total cost of about $411.12, with a saving of about $2,238.88 compared to cigarettes.

For the second scenario, it would be $40.99 for the device, $71.94 on coils and $1,825 on e-juice. This is still a massive saving of $825 every year compared to smoking.

It’s worth pointing out that this is a comparison between using a single cheap e-cig and affordable juice all the time with a more expensive e-cig and a high-quality juice all the time. This isn’t too realistic, so for most vapers the reality would be somewhere in the middle of these two amounts. However, it’s also the case that you could save a lot more than this if you tried to.

Finally, although this completely answers the question “how much are vape pens?” it’s worth pointing out that these are ultimately estimates, and how much you spend depends a lot on your choices. This post will help you find the best e-cigarette for your needs.

Conclusion – Vaping is Way Cheaper Than Smoking

The answers to “how much are vape pens?” and “how much are cigarettes?” show that switching to vaping really is a great way to save money. Even in our unrealistically expensive scenario, vaping costs over $800 per year less than smoking. In more realistic situations, you’ll save closer to $1,500 every year or more. If you want to save as much money as possible but don’t want to quit nicotine, vaping is the perfect solution. 

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