An e- cigarette is an electronic device powered by battery, containing an atomizer that vaporizes the e- liquid for users to inhale. The e- cigarette is often advanced as an alternative to regular means of delivering nicotine, such as smoked tobacco with regular cigarettes, pipes and cigars. The main benefits of e- cigarettes is that they offer less additive, no tar and cleaner vaporization (of nicotine based e- liquid) and thus reducing the chances of developing illness. Furthermore, e- cigarette reduce the risk associated with second-hand smoke. E- Cigarettes were not necessarily developed to aid smokers in quitting smoking cigarettes but rather helping users to overcome the harmful effects extended by regular cigarettes.
E- Cigarettes come in several distinct features, mainly two- piece & three- piece e- cigarettes and disposable & rechargeable/ replaceable models. Each of these models offer significant benefits but generally function the same. The three- piece e- cigarettes feature three components- the cartridge, atomizer chamber and battery.
The two- piece e- cigarettes on the other hand feature the battery and clearomizer (a combination of the atomizer and cartridge). Clearomizers are similar to cartomizers; they contain the liquid delivery system and the atomizer in one unit and there clear chamber allow the users to observe the e- liquid levels. There are however, several designs in the market.
The cartridge is small but ideal in holding e- cigarette liquids. The cartridge allows the vapor to be released through the rear end when suction is applied. The cartridge can be disposed off and replaced. The cartridge can be made of stainless steel or plastic composite. The atomizer functions by heating the e- cigarette liquid into vapor by means of a battery powered-coil. Once the e- liquid attains vaporizing temperatures, it produces vapor (similar to smoke in regular cigarettes) that is inhaled by the smoker. The clearomizer uses the wicking technology, which draws the e- liquid using the capillary process to the atomizer that sits in the mouthpiece. The proximity to the mouthpiece enhances an effective “throat hit”. Meanwhile, the battery powers the atomizer and LED light that gives the impression of real smoke from regular cigarettes. The batteries are often rechargeable using the USB connection to computers, standard wall outlets and motor vehicle cigarette lighters.
The main ingredient in e- cigarettes is the e-liquid that comes in several flavors, which are often sold apart from the e-cigarette starter kits. The e- liquid contains nicotine dissolved in vegetable glycerin (VG) and/ or propylene glycol- commonly found in food additives and is recognized safe for human consumption. However, users have a choice of choosing between non- nicotine or nicotine based e- liquids. The propylene glycol is commonly found in asthma inhalers. It is preferred due to its ability of maintaining a consistent vapor.
The nicotine levels come in different levels ranging from 0mg/ ml to 16mg/ ml. The 0mg/ ml is provided for smokers who intend to sustain their smoking habits but with no interest of sustaining their addictions to nicotine. On the other hand, the highest level is provided for heavy users.