Thursday, April 10, 2014

How do electronic cigarettes work?

The electronic cigarette came onto the market in 2007 and today the sales have reached over $1 billion a year in the U.S alone. They have proven to be very popular amongst smokers; however we still don’t know just how safe the electronic cigarette is. Scientists did undertake a study internationally and this claimed that the vapour from an electronic cigarette contains anywhere from 9 to 450 times less toxins.



The various components of an electronic cigarette are typically assembled by screwing or pushing together. There is the LED light which glows during usage and it typically simulates the ember of a normal cigarette when inhaling and exhaling. There is a sensor inside the electronic cigarette which can detect the flow of air when an inhalation is made by the user. This tells the battery to turn on and the heating element is subsequently triggered. Some types of electronic cigarette are turned on and off by the use of a button, which the user presses and holds when they want to inhale the vapour.



There is a slim line battery and this is typically lithium-ion. The average amount of puffs, or inhalations, the user gets from a battery charge is around 300. The electricity is passed through a material that is resistant, which is typically made from metal or ceramic and this is what transfers the heat.

The heating element inside the electronic cigarette reaches around 150 degrees Fahrenheit which vaporizes around 0.005 millilitres of nicotine liquid, producing the vapour which is then inhaled by the user, just as they would when drawing on a cigarette. Each of these hits gives the user roughly 90% of the nicotine they would get when they were smoking a cigarette filled with tobacco.



The nicotine in the electronic cigarette is stored as a viscous fluid; this is generally either vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol or even a 50/50 mixture of both. This contains around 1% nicotine along with flavourings. These can either be fruit, menthol or even tobacco flavour. There are also weird and wonderful flavours to choose from, including anything from Coca-Cola to pina colada, apple pie and anything in between.

Finally there is the flexible tip which is put into the mouth, through which the user inhales the vapour. This is often made of silicone and in some cases it is designed to look and feel just like the filter on a real cigarette. Electronic cigarettes come in different sizes, just as you would get normal or king-size in tobacco cigarettes.


There are many accessories on the market to go with the electronic cigarettes, these typically include USB chargers, either cable like or made to look like the box that cigarettes are packaged in, which keep your electronic cigarettes charged up as the box itself is charged first. Other accessories include wallets and neck straps to hold the cigarette and even desktop holders.

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