How do e cigarettes work?

In a nutshell, a liquid nicotine solution is brought into contact with an electronic atomizer that then produces the vapor to be inhaled.

The primary components of an e-cigarette are as follows:

An Electronic Cigarette

The battery powers the atomizer, and the cartridge holds the “e-liquid” that vaporizes when in contact with the atomizer when the power is fed to it. In some e-cigarettes the battery is activated by the draw of the inhalation, and in other models there’s a small manual button on the batter to turn it on while you draw.

The e-liquid itself is a combination of nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, and flavor. The propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are the main atomizing agents that produce the vapor due to their high propensity to retain water.

Those ingredients may sound a little weird, but they’re very commonly used in many products and appear to have a low known toxicity level, although direct repeated inhalation in the context of e Cigarettes and prolonged second hand exposure is still relatively undetermined and more studies are underway.

Nicotine is mixed in to deliver about the same amount as a cigarette, and of course then there’s just the flavor so it doesn’t taste bland. eCigarettes are still a fairly unregulated market so far though, so it’s important to check out ingredients used and look at 3rd party testing and resources before trusting anyone too much.

Updated: September 23, 2013 by eCigFreak

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