What is an Electronic Cigarette?

An Electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette, is a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by way of a vaporised solution.
Most people know the cig-a-likes (the cigarette look-a-likes)

It is an alternative to smoking tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.
In addition to proportioned nicotine delivery, this vapour also provides a flavour, and physical sensation, similar to that of inhaled tobacco smoke, while no smoke or combustion is actually involved in its operation.
The Electronic cigarette is designed to resemble the outward appearance of real smoking, but without the chemicals hidden in real (analoque) cigarettes.
In the United Kingdom, the use, sale and advertising of electronic cigarettes is legal. Electronic cigarettes are also allowed to be used inside most pubs, coffee shops, etc. where the smoking of tobacco is illegal.

An electronic cigarette  consists of the following components:

  • a mouthpiece,
  • a heating element,
  • a rechargeable battery
  • various electronic circuits.

Mouthpiece (“cartridge”)
The mouthpiece is a small disposable piece fitted to the end of the tube. Inside the mouthpiece is a smaller plastic cup which holds an absorbing material that is saturated with a flavoured liquid solution that (may) contains nicotine.
This inner cup is made so that air is able to flow around it and through a hole in the end of the outer piece. this is needed for the device to provide the ability for suction to move the vapour into the user’s mouth.
The mouthpiece is referred to as a “cartridge”.
When the liquid in the cartridge has been depleted, it can either be refilled by the user or replaced with another pre-filled cartridge.

Heating element (“atomiser”)
The heating element serves to vaporise the liquid in the mouthpiece so that it can be inhaled. This component is referred to as an “atomizer”.

An electronic cigarette battery connected to a USB charger.
Electronic cigarettes hold a lithium-ion rechargeable battery to power the heating element. Battery life varies depending on frequency of use, and operating environment.
Many different batteries, and charger types are available, such as wall, car, and USB chargers.

Nicotine solution
Nicotine solutions, sold separately for use in refillable cartridges are sometimes referred to as”e-liquid or e-juice”, and contain flavouring. They consist of nicotine dissolved in propylene glycol (PG) and/or glycerin (glycerol). Both PG and glycerine are common food additives.

Solutions are also available in differing nicotine strengths, to let the user decide what nicotine strength most suits them.
Strengths range from Zero Nicotine, low, medium, to high and extra-high doses.
The concentration ratings are often printed on the e-liquid bottle or cartridge in mg’s.

Some flavour varieties resemble traditional cigarette types, such as regular tobacco and menthol, and some mimic specific cigarette brands, such as Benson & Hedges (Gold & Silver) or Golden Virginia. Fruit and other flavours are also available, such as watermelon, Banana, and cappuccino.