How Do E-cigarettes Work?

There are very slight variations in the mechanisms of different types of e-cigarette; however, most work in a very similar way.

In the cartridge of the e-cigarette, there is an atomiser; the atomiser is activated once you either press a button or start inhaling. When the atomiser is activated, it warms the liquid, which contains nicotine; the heating process creates vapour, which is then inhaled. E-cigarettes use a chemical called propylene glycol to generate vapour; this is also used to create smoke effects at events and may be found in cosmetics.

When you ‘smoke’ an e-cigarette, there is no smoke or ash; although the e-cigarette may look very like a normal cigarette and it may appear to be illuminated, using an e-cigarette produces vapour rather than smoke and the light is produced by an LED light, rather than by striking a match or using a lighter.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered and you can use the same product for days or even weeks if you choose to buy a non-disposable model; in this case, you simply buy the liquid, which contains nicotine and replace the e-cigarette once it runs out.

With e-cigarettes, you enjoy the elements of smoking that many smokers find positive, for example inhaling nicotine and holding a cigarette in their hands, but you don’t subject your body to the same dangers as a classic cigarette. Cigarettes contain nicotine, but they also contain hundreds of other harmful substances, including tar and carbon monoxide. With an e-cigarette, you inhale nicotine without being exposed to these additional chemicals.

The amount you use your e-cigarette is dependent on personal choice; if you’re swapping to an e-cigarette to try and give up smoking, you may find that you use your e-cigarette frequently at the beginning and then use it less and less as you try to give up.


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