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Head -to-Head: Closed System Vs. Open System Devices

August 20, 2017

So, you want to quit smoking, or at least cut down on your nicotine intake...great! But how do you go about it? There are many ways: quit cold turkey, use a patch, or bang your head against a rock until you pass out anytime you feel the urge to smoke. Of course, the latter only works if you have excellent health insurance. There is an alternative to these methods, however – vaping.

Over the past decade, vaping has gained tremendous popularity among smokers and those looking to quit smoking. They get the same nicotine kick without all of the toxins and poisons that come with cigarettes. According to a 2016 Public Health England study, consumers found e-cigarettes helped them ween off of analog cigarettes. The UK government is committed to supporting any device or method that helps lead to a smoke-free society. And a recent FDA (Federal Drug Administration) release stated that although there is still much research to be done on e-cigarettes as a whole, there may already be benefits in terms of weening smokers off of nicotine. The announcement was given by Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner and cancer survivor.

Now that we’ve settled on vaping, it’s time to choose a device. You want to find one that fits not just your needs, but your comfort level and your style. The two main types of devices are open system device and closed system devices. What’s the difference?

Closed System Devices

Closed system devices basically put e-cigarettes on the map, and for many it is still the preferred system. Closed system devices are standard two piece systems containing a battery and a cartridge pre—filled with e-liquid. Once the cartomizer is empty, you simply dispose of it and replace it with a new one.


There is very little cleaning or maintenance due to the simplicity of the device. Insert pod, smoke, pull out and replace. It is also a great way to experience Element E-Liquid’s line of nic-salts, Ns20 (nicotine-infused e-liquid).

No fumbling around trying to re-fill your e-liquid. This can get frustrating, especially when out in public or in a crowded area. Closed system devices eliminate the hassle of refilling your device.

Your initial investment is usually lower than that of an open system device. You can spend a lot of money on a kit and accessories when you first start vaping using an open system device. Closed system devices don’t usually come with the heavy price tag.


Your flavor choices are limited. Although, the new Gusto Mini powered by Ns20 has a variety of award winning flavors in its e-liquids line.

The cartridge has a shorter lifespan. Because they are more compact and have a smaller cartomizer, they can run low on power much quicker than an open system device with a bigger cartomizer.

You pay more for replacing cartridges. Because you can not refill the pods, you have to buy enough pods to last you for as long as you need, especially if you want various flavors and tastes.

Open System Devices

This type of system is rapidly gaining in popularity among the vaping community. With an open system, the user has more control over certain options – nicotine strength, resistance and the ability to build your own device.


You can pick your own flavors; even mix them. And with the nic-salts available for both systems, you are not restricted to only one flavor at a time.

Tank systems can go longer without a refill. Because most open system devices have bigger batteries, the lifespan is usually a lot longer than that of a closed system product.

Higher performance and the cost for refills is lower. Depending on the amount of flavors or refills you buy, your cost can be significantly lower than purchasing refills for a closed system device.


Re-filling can be a hassle and sometimes messy. It can be a bit time consuming to refill your machine, but many vapers do not mind it, or are used to it already.

The devices are much bulkier. They do take up a bit more room in your pocket or your purse. But what it lacks in convenience it makes up for in performance.

The initial investment will most likely be higher due to accessories you have to get to accompany your device. You may also purchase a bunch of flavors to try right off the bat, driving your cost up. But over time, you will build up a collection you can choose from without shelling out cash that often.

Depending on your needs and your preference, either system would be a suitable fit. And the best part -  both types of devices complement Element E-Liquid’s Ns20 line of nic-salts (nicotine-infused e-liquids).  Weigh the pros and cons of each vape system, try them out and choose one that is right for you.

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