A lot of people continue to have only a vague or no idea about e-cigarettes. Making matters worse, the people responsible for spreading awareness about alternatives to smoking or aids that help smokers quit their habit, do not always do a good job. This results in a warped preconception about e-cigarettes, as a result of which many smokers don’t get to take the advantage of e-cigarettes. So, here is a brief guide about e-cigarettes and how they work. The Basics An e-cigarette, or a vape as it is more commonly known as, creates thick clouds of vapours out of e-liquids, which are then inhaled by the user. The inhaling action gives the ex-smokers something to do with their mouth and hands, which is often the primary reason for them to smoke in the first place. Also, a number of e-liquids come with a varying concentration of nicotine content, which provides them their daily nicotine fix. With time, e-cigarette users learn to use e-liquids with less and less nicotine, until they eventually need no nicotine at all, effectively quitting smoking altogether.

An e-cigarette comes with 3 main components – the battery, the tank, and the atomizer. One of these can often be split into two, or two of these can be clubbed into a single component as well, depending on the manufacturer.

Electronic Cigarettes how they work


The Battery

Vapes require electricity to heat the e-liquids and convert them into vapours. This electricity is supplied by the rechargeable batteries. In most e-cigarettes, which are usually small such as pen-style e-cigarettes, the batteries are tiny. Therefore, they have a relatively short life and need to be replaced every few hundred charge cycles.

There are larger e-cigarettes called mods, which make use of much bigger batteries that outlast the very device that they are powering. The mods make use of what are known as 18650 cells.

The Tank

The tank is where the e-liquids are stored in an e-cigarette. The tanks are usually refillable type. But, some e-cigarettes make use of disposable tanks known as cartridges. Earlier, the tanks used to come in all sizes. But, an EU regulation has now limited the size of the tanks to 2ml or below.

However, for the manufacturers, the size of the tank is not as much of a problem as its design. They have to create a way for the air to enter the tank without the liquid leaking out. Otherwise, the vacuum action inside the tank will not allow the liquid to be wicked away for vaping. Manufacturers typically make use of two designs, and both of them come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Atomizer

The atomizer is usually a heating coil that wraps around the wick. The coil could be made of stainless steel, nickel, titanium, or other high resistance materials. Modern wicks come in a variety of materials, including ceramic, steel mesh, silica, and so on.

The heating coil derives electricity from the battery and heats up, in turn vaporizing the e-liquid supplied by the wick from the tank. The vapours emerge out of the chimney, which is then inhaled by the user.

This is how a typical e-cigarette works. There is no smoke produced by the e-cigarette. 

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