The Cost of Vaping in 2020 – Are Vapes Still Cheaper Than Cigarettes?

Since you’re right here reading this, my humble guess is that you have decided to free yourself from smoking tobacco. Apart from being tired of smelly tobacco smoke, foul breath, coughing out your lungs every morning and having your house smell like the ashtray of your grandpa’s old Chevy, your primary goal is minding your health and the health of your loved ones. That means just one thing — embracing vaping pens and their sweet-smelling aromas!
After hearing about the 2015 study from the Royal College of Physicians in England which discovered that vaping is 95% less harmful than traditional smoking, and doing additional research, you have decided that vaping just might be the perfect option for you. 
However, apart from damaging your lungs, smoking cigarettes daily has not been too kind on your wallet either. It is estimated that an average American pack-a-day smoker spends about $70  a month on cigarettes. This raises the questions: will vaping drain your bank account just the same (or perhaps even more)? What’s the actual cost of vaping in 2020? 

And here’s a TL;DR for you – no, vaping is not as expensive as smoking!

Vaping gear comes in various shapes and sizes. Some vaporizers use complex hardware, state-of-the-art electronics, and are made from waterproof and dustproof materials, while others are smaller, pocketable and much more suitable for beginners making them more affordable.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the current prices of different types of vaping gear which are on the market, and make sure to give you all the info you need to choose the type of device that suits both your budget and your preferences. 

Different Types of Vaping Gear and Their Cost

Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes are great for people who are just starting with vaping. They are factory-filled with e-liquid and last for about 2 to 3 days (somewhere between 150 and 250 puffs, depending on the brand). After that, they are thrown away and replaced with another one.
Average price: $3 – $7

Vape Pens

One of the earliest designs of vaping devices, vaping pens are simple and easy to use. Though slightly out-dated and not as popular as in the past decade, a lot of former smokers choose them for their discreteness and similarity to a cigarette.
Average price: 20$ – $70

Pod Systems
Popular among both beginners and experienced vapers alike, pod systems are easy to use, small, stylish, and pocketable.  Unlike most devices, pod systems replicate the cigarette-like feel smokers are used to, making them a perfect pick for people who are freshly off tobacco. 
Average price: $15 – $50

Box Mods

Box mods are wildly popular on the vaping scene. Among all other vaping devices, box mods are the most versatile when it comes to performance and compatibility. 
Features of box mods usually include wattage power regulation, temperature control, and in some cases even Bluetooth connectivity via apps. You can purchase them in starter packs that come with a sub-ohm tank included (recommended for beginners) or just buy the mod itself.
Their price depends on the type (single or dual battery), build quality, material, and whether they are resistant to hazards like water and dust. 
Average price: $30 – $90

Replacement Coils

The most vital part of any vaping device is the coil. Powered by your device’s battery, once the fire button is pressed, the coil lights up and heats up the e-juice infused cotton which is wrapped around it vaporizing the liquid which is then inhaled through the tank’s drip tip. 
While some tanks such as RTAs and RDAs use coils that can be rebuilt when they need replacing (using special vaping wires), some sub-ohm tanks, MTL (mouth to lung) tanks, and pod systems use disposable replacement coils. 
Durations of each coil can vary depending on the quality of the cotton and the resistance. Low resistance coils are usually fired at stronger wattage and therefore will last shorter than ones with higher resistance. On average, you will go through 1-2 coils a month (maybe more if you get a dud in your coil package).
Average price: $1 – $5

Squonk Mods

Quite a recent development in vaping technology, squonk mods are a favorite among RDA users. This mod has a small squishable liquid bottle inside it which makes it much easier to pour juice into RDA rather than top dripping.
As cool as they are, squonk mods are mostly used by experienced hobbyist vapers who have mastered the art of RDA coil building. This means that they’re more expensive but, as a beginner vaper, you won’t be looking into them anyway (at least, not for some time).

Average Price: $50 – $150

Mechanical Mods

Mechanical mods (or mech mods for short) are considered strictly as a vaping veteran’s device. They have no chips inside them, which means they have no power regulating options and no display screen. 
Unless completely familiar with Ohm’s law, mech mods can be dangerous and that is why they are not recommended for beginners. 
Average Price: $200 – $800

Vaping Tanks
Sold both separately and in starter packs along with mods, tanks also come in several types:

Sub – Ohm Tanks

Fired at high wattage power, the vapor from sub-ohm tanks is inhaled directly into the lungs. They produce nice flavor and quite dense and large clouds.
Average price: $15 – $50

MTL Tanks

As their name implies, the vapor from MTL (mouth-to-lung) tanks is inhaled similarly as cigarettes. Their coils usually have higher resistance and are fired at a lower wattage. They produce cooler and smaller clouds than sub-ohm tanks, but because of their tight drip tips, their flavor hits similarly as a cigarette would.
Average price: $12 – $40

Rebuildable Tanks (RTA, RDTA)

These types of tanks are mostly used by experienced vapers due to the extra effort it takes to maintain them, but if you feel brave and determined enough, you can learn to handle them easily! 
With rebuildable tanks, your vaping experience is upgraded to a whole nother level. Your coils last longer, cloud production is thicker and their flavor quality is incomparable to all other devices. 
It may seem like a pricey investment at first, but you will save up a significant amount of money in the long run, since instead of buying new coils every now and then, you rebuild them yourself.
Average price: $30 – $60$

Coil Wires, Cotton & Wicking Gear
If you decide to try out building your own coils, you will need to obtain the proper gear for it. 
Tool kits, cotton packs, and coil wires are available in every vape store! 
Average price: DIY kit – $30 – $60

Cotton – $9 – $13
Coil wires – $5 – $15

External Chargers
Buying an external charger for your device is definitely not a primary necessity, but consider it a piece of friendly advice for the sake of safety for your vaporizer. Even though all devices come with charging cables, some power adapters may be harmful to the chip of your device, and that is why every vape store employee is going to recommend that you charge your batteries via an external charger.
Average price: $15 – $20

Price of Vape Juice In 2020
Like coils, vaping juice is a bare necessity. Their prices vary depending on quality and quantity alike. Whether you buy them in pre-filled pods, bottles or mix them DIY style, is up to you and your budget.

In Pre-filled Devices
Disposable devices are pre-filled with about 1ml of vape juice. They may be convenient, but when it comes to saving money, refillable vapes are definitely a smarter choice.
Average price: $3 – $7

By The Bottle
The best way to start out with vape juice, is to buy a small bundle of different flavors with different nicotine levels in order to find the one in which nicotine/flavor combination suits you best. Bottle sizes and juice capacity usually range from 10ml to 120ml; however, the price itself depends on whether the liquid is premium, pre-mixed, or if it only contains the aroma to which you add the base and (optionally) nicotine.
Average price: $10 – $30

Tips on How to Save Money Buying Vaping Gear
·Second-hand gear –
When you go to your vape store, you can ask for older and/or used devices. Second-hand vapes can also be found on Facebook groups, various vape forums, and sites like Ebay.
·Cheaper juice – Ask for cheaper brands of vaping juice. Even though there is a huge arsenal of different juice brands worth trying out, If you want to save more money, cheaper brands are still quite flavorful regardless of not having the “premium” stamp on the bottle.
·Wrap your own coils – As is the case with most new vapers after being in the game for a while, you will get bored of the same old flavor you get from your pod, sub-ohm or other regular tanks and step up your game with learning to handle rebuildable tanks. If not for the sake of curiosity and adventure, you still may want to make this transition due to it being significantly cheaper than buying replacement coils every month or so.
·Mix your own juices – A significantly cheaper method than buying finished juices DIY mixing is widely popular among vaping pros, and what’s better, newbies can learn to do it in no time! VG/PG bases and nicotine shots are both available to purchase separately at any vape store. Once you mix your liquid, you can vape in instantly although it is recommended to leave it in a dry and dark place for at least 2 weeks in order for the juice’s flavor to fully blossom.

Are Vapes Still Cheaper Than Cigarettes?

Disposable vapes and other “gateway” devices are cheap and simple, making them excellent for newbies who only wish to get themselves away from cigarettes. If you are looking for a more versatile option with power regulation, temperature control and other bells and whistles, then regulated box mods are where it’s at. Starter kits are also widely recommended for beginners since they come with all the basic necessities for your device. 
Replacement coils are replaced every few weeks, depending on their resistance and how frequently you vape on them. 
Once you get more experienced, you might want to invest in squonkers and mechanical mods. They usually go hand in hand with rebuildable tanks which apart from producing undeniably better flavor and clouds than other tanks, will save you an enormous amount of money. 
When it comes to vape juices, it is important to give a couple of flavors and brands a chance at once in order to find which flavor and nicotine level best suits your cravings. If you are trying out new flavors, it is best to buy them in smaller 30ml bottles. When you find the one you definitely like, feel free to get yourself a 100ml bottle (it would be wise to buy them in bulk to save some cash.) You will save even more money by trying out DIY juice mixing. 
Whichever type of device you choose to vape on, you need to be aware of the additional costs of equipment that come with them. Once you compare the expenses with how much you spent on cigarettes you will see that the difference is huge. In short, you can rest assured that vaping is significantly cheaper as well as safer than smoking cigarettes, and that the shift in your habits will not only treat your health better but also your wallet.