Picture the scene; You’re itching for a smoke while waiting for your flight but you know that you can’t light up in the airport. Then you see another passenger puffing away contentedly on a cigarette and seemingly getting away with it.
But before you decide to brave the consequences and light up as well maybe you need to scrutinize things a little more closely, as its probably one of the millions of vapers enjoying an electronic cigarette.
E-cigarettes are rapidly becoming the no.1 alternative method for smokers to enjoy a nicotine fix minus the harmful effects of a regular cigarette. The mimicking of tobacco cigarettes in its design is deliberate.[quote]e-cigs create the same tactile stimulation that smokers miss almost as much as nicotine.[/quote] Compared to nicotine patches and gums that have previously been employed in nicotine replacement therapy, e-cigs create the same tactile stimulation that users miss almost as much as the nicotine.
One amazing thing that electronic cigarettes have over real cigarettes is the fact that you don’t really need to light up at all. Although its ends might smoulder and there is some smoke produced, these are actually powered by a small rechargeable battery in its body. In a nutshell, the dry cell powers a device that vaporizes the liquefied nicotine into mist which is inhaled by the smoker. It allows you to enjoy your nicotine fix without the hazards of passing on second hand smoke or getting carcinogenic substances while you puff away.
Makeup of the insides of an e-cigarette
Despite its slim frame, electronic cigarettes are made up of three major components: the rechargeable dry cell, the atomizer and the cartridge which contains the nicotine laced e-juice. About half of its frame is made up of its slender rechargeable battery which will usually sport an LED indicator at its end to simulate a glowing ember. On the other end, the one that makes up the mouthpiece is the replaceable container containing the e-juice to be vaporized by the atomizer.
The very heart of the device is the atomizer. The end connected to the battery has a voltage control which regulates the amount of current that powers the heating coil. The heating coil is then connected to the vaporizing chamber, a small hollow space near the mouthpiece. This is the part where the e-juice comes in contact with the heating coil and the vapours to be inhaled are formed.
The juice that powers up the vapour cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes won’t work without an e-juice cartridge. This is the disposable part of the device and contains the solution which needs to be vaporized in order to absorb the nicotine. Also known as smoke juice or e-liquid, e-juice contains nicotine dissolved in propylene glycol, a food additive approved by the USFDA and generally recognized as safe substance.
You can choose how much nicotine you want to inhale as juice is available in different strengths. Manufacturers also put in flavourings such as tobacco, menthol or mint. Many smokers go for milder and unusual e-juice flavours such as coffee, chocolate, apple, cherry or caramel.
Comparing how an e-cig works vs. traditional cigars
With the real thing, you would need to strike a match to light up the end and allow the rolled up tobacco in paper to burn. This releases the nicotine in the dried tobacco to breathe in the smoke and get it absorbed in their lungs. Now, dried tobacco isn’t flammable. The manufacturer has to mix in combustible substances with the tobacco leaves so that you don’t have to relight it every time you puff in it. That’s where the many additives that gives smoking cigarettes a bad reputation come in.
Compare that with electronic cigarettes. You don’t need to burn something to get to the nicotine. All you need to do is inhale, as in with a regular cigarette, and that is enough to activate the atomizer to work its magic. The atomizer works with the nicotine liquid in a cartridge and heats it up so that it can be converted into vapour; hence it’s also called the vapour cig. The mist gets inhaled and directly absorbed through the mouthpiece too. When the smoke is exhaled, other people won’t have to put up with the smell of second hand smoke because the nicotine has already been absorbed. The smoke they see is what remains of the heated solvent of the e-juice.