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ENDS definition and types


Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are noncombustible battery-operated devices that heat a liquid to produce an aerosol, composed of nicotine and various other chemicals, which is inhaled by the user through a mouthpiece. ENDS devices come in various forms and are often designed to mimic the look of combustible tobacco products, e.g. e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, or e-shisha/hookah. They are commonly referred to as e-cigarettes and vapes or vape pens. The liquids used in ENDS (commonly called e-liquid or e-juice) typically contain nicotine, flavorings, and other ingredients like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.[i],[ii]

According to the definition of WHO, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) heat a nicotine containing solution (e-liquid) to create an aerosol which frequently contains flavours, usually dissolved into Propylene Glycol or/and Glycerin (carriers of nicotine). All ENDS contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. Electronic cigarettes, the most common prototype, are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vapourise a solution to generate the aerosol that the user inhales. Examples include e-pipes, e-shishas, e-cigars. E-cigs introduced to the market just over a decade ago. Since then, use in the United States has gone from 0.3 percent of adults in 2010 to 6.8 percent in 2013. Among users, the majority are current smokers and one-third are former or never smokers[iii]


Vape pens

A vaporizer pen or vape pen (a type of e-cigarette)

  • Little device ranging in size from a standard pen to a large cigar
  • used to inhale heated propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin (the main ingredients in the E-liquid) and blow out the vapor.


  • A mini vape based on a two-part system: a pod filled with vape juice that snaps into a small battery,
  • Available in pre-filled or refillable designs. Some will have power buttons but often they’re automatic, users take a drag on them to make vapor.
  • Also referred to as pod mods, vape pods, mini vapes or pod systems.


  • Users assemble themselves from separate components, to allow variation in battery power, style, and size.
  • They look like a big, thick pen (“tube mod”) or a box (“box mod”).
  • Can modify for a bigger battery or larger tank to create more vapor.


Regulated Mods

A regulated mod contains a circuit board to regulate the current. Any device that has a variable voltage or wattage setting is a regulated device. They carry safety features that prevent battery malfunctions and electrical shorts.

Mechanical Mods

A mech mod or a mechanical mod is an unregulated device without any circuit board and runs directly off a battery. The batteries keep providing continuous power, vapor production reduces as the batteries near their end.

[i] Google Books. (2019). Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes. [online] Available at: https://bit.ly/2Xa0bvN.

[ii] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019). Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other ENDS. [online] Available at: https://bit.ly/2Qac3g4.

[iii] World Health Organization, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS) [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic-cigarettes-january-2017/en/ (the information is adapted by Dr. Nuan Ping Cheah, Director of Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics and Cigarette Testing Laboratory at HSA, Singapore for SEATCA Regional Workshop on ENDS/HTPs in October 2019)