An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a handheld electronic device that simulates the feeling of smoking. It works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapor”, that the user inhales. Using e-cigarettes is commonly referred to as vaping. The liquid in the e-cigarette, called e-liquid, or e-juice, is usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavorings. Not all e-liquids contain nicotine.
The modern e-cigarette was invented in 2003 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, and as of 2018 most e-cigarettes are made in China. Since they were first sold in 2004 their global use has risen exponentially. In the United States and the United Kingdom their use is widespread. Reasons for using e-cigarettes involve trying to quit smoking, reduce risk, or save money, though some use them recreationally. As of 2014, the majority of users still smoke tobacco.
The main components of an e-cigarette are a mouthpiece, a cartridge (tank), a heating element/atomizer, a microprocessor, a battery, and possibly an LED light on the end. The only exception to this are mechanical e-cigarettes (mods) which contain no electronics; the circuit is closed by a mechanical action switch. An atomizer comprises a small heating element, or coil, that vaporizes e-liquid and wicking material that draws liquid onto the coil. When the user pushes a button, or (in some variations) activates a pressure sensor by inhaling, the heating element atomizes the liquid solution. The e-liquid reaches a temperature of roughly 100-250 °C within a chamber to create an aerosolized vapor, which the user then inhales, rather than cigarette smoke. The aerosol provides a flavor and feel similar to tobacco smoking.
Coming soon – a directory of resources for buying and using Vaping Coils