Electronic cigarettes are an increasingly popular way to get nicotine without the health risks of tobacco. Still, confusion surrounds the technology as many people just don’t know how it works. Here’s a look at the workings of e-cigarettes for anybody who is considering them or simply curious.
E-Cig Parts and How They Work
E-cigs generally contain three parts: a power source, a vaporizing device and a cartridge full of nicotine solution. Instead of passively burning as a cigarette does between inhales, an e-cig generally makes vapor when the user draws air through it. Each time, the liquid nicotine is heated by the vaporizer, which is powered by a rechargeable battery, to a temperature below what would make it burn. The resulting vapor looks like a fog and carries the flavor present in the liquid. This gives the e-cig user a sensation of smoking but does not carry toxic products of combustion.
E-Cigs in Action
Although many e-cigarettes draw battery power automatically when users inhale through them, some models require pressing a button to manually turn on the heating element. This can also help safeguard e-cigs against overheating, which is more likely to happen with types that activate the battery directly through inhalations. After the user exhales the vapor, a cloud is visible but dissipates quickly. Unlike smoke, the vapor doesn’t stain fingers, clothing or walls and won’t cause off smells in rooms or cars.
Depending on the type of e-cig, users may be able to refill their cartridge repeatedly or simply replace it with a pre-filled cartridge. Pre-filled cartridges offer more convenience but tend to be more expensive. Even with refillable cartridges, replacement becomes necessary eventually. In both cases, users can choose from a practically infinite number of flavors, various proportions of vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol and several nicotine levels. Users can buy small dropper bottles or larger containers of pre-mixed flavorings and nicotine solutions or e-liquids that are already mixed and ready to use. If users want to taper off of nicotine and just enjoy the vaping experience, they can even get nicotine-free liquids.
Some e-cigarettes have features that let users customize their vaping experience. For example, certain models let users adjust the temperature to change the vaporizing rate. Some e-cigs work better with certain mixtures of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, suiting users who know what percentage of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol they prefer.
E-cigs offer an experience similar to that of cigarettes but safer and more advanced. While the basic process of using e-cigarettes is similar between models, available options let users personalize their vaping enjoyment. Continuing innovation in this field may continue to refine the way e-cigs work and increase the variety they offer.