What an e-cigarette actually is
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices, which are used to create vapour, intended to replace the smoke from traditional cigarettes. This vapour contains various amounts of nicotine, which is used to quench addiction to the substance.
Apart from nicotine content, the liquid being vapourized also contains an added aroma, which either resembles that of the smell of tobacco, or goes in a completely different direction, but whatever the case may be, there is no smoke or burning process taking place whatsoever.
Electronic cigarettes are an alternative to all tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes and the like. What sets them apart from the traditional products though, is the fact that any and all parts of the device are subject to wear and tear and need to be replaced over time at different intervals, depending on the brand and model. This is of utmost importance in maintaining a fully operational and safe product.
Components and parts
Even though they can come in different shapes, most if not all electronic cigarettes have a few basal components – an electronic battery, a heating element, and a liquid tank holding the solution to be vaporized.
The liquid container or filter is a plastic mouthpiece which stores the working liquid. This happens by placing a small vessel containing absorbing material, soaked in a zero to any per cent of nicotine solution. The whole tank is made so that air passes through the inner vessel freely, allowing the vaporized solution to be inhaled. Most containers allow a refill or can be replaced by a brand new one when they run their course.
A heating element (also called an atomizer or vaporizer) is the part between the tank and the battery. It is either manually or automatically switched on and vaporizes a part of the solution in the vessel.
And last but not least component, is the electronic battery – electronic cigarettes run on lithium-ion batteries and can be charged by a 220V electric circuit, a USB computer port or car adapter. Batteries almost always have a light indicating they are in working mode.
How they operate in practice
So how an electronic cigarette works in practice ? The widespread models of automatic e-cigarettes where a person is trying to inhale the vapours, a small vacuum sensor close to the battery detects the passing air and switches on a heating element, known as an atomizer (which is responsible for turning the liquid into vapour). The liquid is usually contained in the compartment which is in the vaper’s mouth, in the same way filters are in regular cigarettes.
Automatic batteries usually have a switch, which deactivates them after a few seconds in order to prevent overheating. This switch does not allow activating and using the cigarette for a short period afterwards,which might be anything from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Models operated by a manually started battery usually have a physical button in place of the sensor and you need to repeatedly push the button in order to activate the heater.