Millions of people have E-cigarettes but are clueless to how the actually work. Unlike traditional cigarettes, E-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco in them; they also do not need to be lit so you are not inhaling smoke. So what are you puffing on? How does it work, and what exactly is in it? As you probably already know the “E” in E-cigarettes stands for “electronic.” But that is just the first piece of the puzzle, let’s take an in depth look into the anatomy of an E-cig.
What’s inside an Electronic Cigarette?
Most E-cigarettes consist of a shell that is made out of stainless steel. Inside the stainless steel shell is a lithium rechargeable battery, atomizer, replaceable cartridge, and an microelectronic circuit. Okay, now that’s a lot of fancy talk but what exactly is all of that stuff?
Inside of the mouthpiece you will find a replaceable cartridge, this is generally flavored and will also determine the strength of your E-cigarette. Inside of the cartridge in the mouthpiece there is water, propylene glycol, nicotine, a membrane to hold everything together and a scent that mimics the tobacco flavor (or any other flavor you may choose). Some electronic cigarettes have liquid cartridges instead of replaceable ones.
Inside the of the cartridge of the E-cigarette is propylene glycol and you probably have no idea what that is. Propylene glycol is an organic compound which is colorless, odorless, viscous liquid which has a sweet taste to it. Propylene glycol is commonly used in food and medicines; it’s toxic level is nearly impossible to reach for humans (unless you actually consumed a very large quantity in a very short period of time).
When you take a puff off an E-cigarette a sensor is automatically triggered and the microprocessor in the E-cig will activate the atomizer. The atomizer will then inject small drops of liquid into the airflow and vaporize the nicotine. You then inhale the water vapor which is fused with nicotine, this simulates a puff off a traditional cigarette. However, your actually inhaling harmless water vapor with an E-cigarette – not actual smoke. When you exhale you will see white billowing vapor clouds – it looks like smoke but it is completely harmless to you, your family, and the environment.
E-cigarettes mimic real cigarettes in the temperature department as well. When you take a puff off an E-cigarette the water vapor hits you at about 50-60 degrees Celsius which is the approximate temperature of a traditional cigarette puff. When the microprocessor activates it will turn on an LED light at the end of your smokeless cigarette indicating that the device is working well and mimicking the lit end of a traditional cigarette. Many E-cig companies are now offering different colored LED lights, some colors are: orange, red, green, and blue.
When you get E-cigarette cartridges you will have a choice between different strengths. Generally, the high strength choice will be almost the exact same amount of nicotine as a real pack of cigarettes. The medium choice is about 75% the strength, and the low is about 50%. You can also get cartridges that have no nicotine, these are to help people quit smoking while satisfying their oral fixation.
E-cigarettes are much safer and cheaper than traditional cigarettes. Now that you understand how they work you will hopefully see how much safer they are for you and the people closest to you. E-cigarettes are the future, a healthier, safer future.