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The Electronic cigarette

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

An electronic cigarette (or "e-cigarette") is an alternative to smoked tobacco products. It is a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine solution.

The electronic cigarette usually takes the form of some manner of elongated tube. A common design is also the "pen-style", so named for its visual resemblance to a ballpoint pen.

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When a user inhales through the device, air flow is detected by a sensor, which activates a heating element that vaporizes a nicotine solution stored in the mouthpiece.It is this vapor that is inhaled by the user. An LED on the opposite end of the device is also activated during inhalation, which serves as an indicator of use.


While electronic cigarettes take many forms, they each generally employ the same basic components: a mouthpiece, a heating element, a rechargeable battery, and various electronic circuits. A number of disposable electronic cigarettes have been developed, including products by Gamucci Ltd and Ruyan.

parts of e-cigarette

Mouthpiece ("cartridge")

The mouthpiece is a small disposable plastic cup affixed to the end of the tube. Inside, the piece contains an absorbent material that is moistened with a flavored propylene glycol/nicotine liquid solution.The mouthpiece is referred to in the industry as a "cartridge". When the liquid in the cartridge has been depleted, it can either be refilled by the user, or replaced with another pre-filled cartridge.

Heating element ("atomizer")


The heating element serves to vaporize the liquid in the mouthpiece so that it can be inhaled. This component is referred to in the industry as an "atomizer".

Battery and electronics

Most electronic cigarettes employ a lithium-ion rechargeable battery to power the heating element. Battery life varies depending on the battery type and size, frequency of use, and operating environment. Many different battery charger types are available, such as wall outlet, car, and USB. The battery is generally the largest component of an electronic cigarette.

Electronic cigarettes require an electronic airflow sensor. Various other electronic circuits are usually employed as well, such as a timed cutoff switch to prevent overheating, and an LED to signal activation of the device. An orange-colored light is often chosen for its visual resemblance to actual burning tobacco in the front of the cigarette.

small cigarette parts

While some larger electronic cigarette models employ an independently replaceable standard-size battery cell, many models are too small to house a standard-size cell and instead require a proprietary component made by the electronic cigarette manufacturer. For those models, the battery and electronic components are housed within a single replaceable part, which is generally referred to in the industry simply as the "battery" even though it actually contains many other components as well.

Nicotine solution

Liquid nicotine solution, or "e-liquid" or e-juice" for electronic cigarettes is available in a variety of different flavors and nicotine concentrations. Nicotine concentrations range from high doses (to mimic the content of regular cigarettes) to midrange and low doses (that mimic the nicotine content of "light" and "ultralight" cigarettes). Solutions are also available without any nicotine or without propylene glycol at all.

Some flavor varieties attempt to resemble traditional cigarette types, such as regular tobacco and menthol, and some even attempt to mimic specific cigarette brands, such as Marlboro or Camel. Solutions are also available with other flavorings, such as strawberry, orange, mint, vanilla, caramel, coffee.

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