How Do E-Cigarettes Work?

How Does E-Cig Works

E-cigarettes have become very popular among people who are looking to quit smoking or simply vape a non-nicotine containing liquid for recreational fun. E-cigarettes are devices which are powered by an integral battery and they work by transforming the liquid contained in the device (topped up by the user) into a vapour which the user inhales and which mimics the act of traditional smoking, without the actual smoke. Vape Australia knows the mechanics of e-cigs can deter some users believing they are too complicated; however, we’ve provided a simple explanation to take the mystery out of these devices.

Since coming onto the market in 2007, e-cigarettes have climbed to achieve sales of more than $1bn in America alone and although e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular, there is still not enough of a clear consensus among experts as to whether or not they are completely safe. One study in 2013 found that toxins in e-cigarette vapour were at levels up to 450 times lower than found in tobacco smoke. In addition, health experts who recently compiled a report for Public Health England have suggested that e-cigarettes could be prescribed by the country’s National Health Service to aid smokers in their efforts to quit. The report also state that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco, although, of course, this does not suggest that vaping is completely risk free and it’s likely that more research is needed.

So, Just How Do E-cigarettes Work?

E-cigarettes provide the user with a feel and taste that is similar to regular smoking, with a few important differences. Perhaps the greatest and most important difference is the lack of smoke when using an e-cigarette. In using an e-cigarette, the user inhales a vapour instead of smoke and after the user has inhaled, the airflow generated travels through a pressure sensor, thereby activating the heating element. The heating element is the component in the e-cigarette that causes the liquid houses inside the device’s cartridge to vapourize, making it ready for the user to inhale. Some e-cigarette models work by incorporating a push-button switch, which powers on the device manually. In general, e-cigarettes tend to be cylinder-shaped, although the market is extremely vast and they come in a wide range of shapes, colours and sizes. Some actually resemble traditional cigarettes, but many don’t.

All types of e-cigarette, with the exception of disposable e-cigarettes, use a rechargeable battery, which on some devices can even be recharged via your computers USB in the same way as you would recharge your laptop computer or cellphone.

Halo E-Cigs Batteries

E-cigarette’s Main Parts

E-cigarettes can vary quite a bit in appearance, from the very basic, normal-looking cigarette-like device, to something that wouldn’t look out of place on the Scify Channel. Whether your device is simple or more complex, all e-cigs have the same basic components and parts.

There will always be a lithium battery, which will likely be rechargeable. Some can be charged via a USB cord which is attached to your computer. There will also be a cartridge, which will contain, or will need to be filled with, liquid, which will contain nicotine(but not always), glycine or propylene glycol, or a mixture of the two in different proportions. The liquid will also contain flavoring, which will vary, depending on the flavor you select, of course. The device will also have an atomizer, consisting of a heating coil to vaporize the liquid for you to inhale. There might also be an LED light to mimic a glowing cigarette and a sensor which recognizes when you take a puff in order to initiate the LED light and the atomizer.
E-cigarette liquid ingredients

The principal ingredients in the e-liquid used in an e-cigarette device are normally water, propylene glycol, nicotine, glycerin, and flavourings, which can often be chosen according to the users choice and taste. This e-liquid is subsequently heated to around 55C inside the device, which results in an aerosolized vapour. E-liquid generally contains 95% glycerin and propylene glycol, although the liquids can also be sold without either nicotine or PG. Surveys have suggested, however, that around 97% of e-cigarette device users tend to use liquids that contain nicotine.


Of course, there are different types of e-cigarettes that cater for the many types of user out there. For instance, the cig-a-like versions, the oldest type, contain a sensor that detects when the user inhales, which then causes the heating element housed in the cartomizer to be activated. The cartomizer is the cartridge part of the device. Thee are also tank systems, which use clearomizers, or “tanks”. These tanks are clear, hence the moniker, which means that they are transparent, letting you see how much e-juice you have left. There will also be less of a wick, will absorb the e-juice as and when it is required. The majority of tank devices are manual, thereby requiring that the user pushes a button before they begin vaping.

Finally, as technology has raced ahead, we have seen an explosion in the number of new and thrilling devices. For instance, there are variable voltage devices, which let the user control the amount of power going into the device and variable wattage devices which let you have exact control over the device’s power output. Some new devices let the user switch between variable wattage and variable voltage.

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