What is an eCigarette?

There are many answers.

If you are new to eCigarettes also known as (a.k.a) vaping then sit back take a deep breath and we will go through it step by step. Yes there is a lot to learn but it is not overwhelming. The concept is very simple. Heat a liquid so it turns into a gaseous state. No not burn the liquid, not combust the liquid, rather vaporize the liquid. I wish the "eCigarette" moniker was never used because it is not a cigarette. Yes it is electrical or electronic. But not a cigarette. I do understand why that moniker was used, so smokers could identify with it. In that regard, it is the only non-tobacco product that replaces tobacco products like cigarettes that satisfies both the nicotine and habit (hand to mouth, inhale/exhale) cravings.

Answer 1

Answer 2

Answer 3

The electronic cigarette is an Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) that produces vaporized eLiquid. A properly implemented, used and maintained eCigarette produces a vaporized cloud of all the ingredients in the eLiquid with no combustion, decomposition, cracking, reduction nor produces any other byproduct through heat, chemical, electrical nor any other reaction.

An electronic cigarette consists of these main parts:



Electrical power source

Electronic cigarettes can be a harm reduction alternative to smoking but is not necessarily risk free. There are potential methods to mitigate the existant risks.

We will discuss in detail the atomizer and electrical power source in "how does an eCigarette work" and eLiquid in "what is eLiquid". Suffice it to say that the APV provides electricity to the atomizer which creates the vapor from eLiquid.

The eCigarette comes in many forms. It can look very similar to a real or "analog" cigarette sometimes called a "cig-a-like". It can look like a pipe, cigar, box or tube. Consider the picture below, these are all examples of eCigarettes.

eCigarettes are designed to be either disposable or reusable.

The cig-a-like in the top left of the picture is reusable to a point. The filter end is a cartridge and is meant to be disposable though most have a rubber grommet that can be removed for adding a couple drops of eLiquid. The tube part is the battery and can be recharged a few times but most will stop taking a charge after a couple months.

The eCigarettes pictured top, middle above use rechargeable rechargeable Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries that can be recharged for hundreds of cycles before stopping to take a charge. Some have user replaceable batteries but not all. The tall square red tube has a Li-ion battery that cannot be replaced by the consumer. It has to be sent back to the manufacturer.

The pen looking eCigarette on the top right is a Blu often found behind the counter at convenience stores and gas stations. The Blu is a disposable pen eCigarette. Once all the eLiquid it contains is gone, you throw it  away. It comes pre-charged and is not rechargeable nor can the eLiquid be refilled.

The eCigarette pictured under the Blu is an eGO fixed voltage battery with clearomizer a.k.a. "clearo". The eGO is a Li-ion battery. The clearo can be refilled with eLiquid indefinitely.

The ePipe pictured bottom left uses a rechargeable Li-ion battery and a cartomizer tank a.k.a. "carto". The tank can be refilled indefinitely but the cartomizer (silver tube in middle of tank) needs to be replaced periodically.

The eCigars are similar to the cig-a-likes but with better batteries.




The electronic cigarette is NOT a Tobacco Product regardless of the deeming regulation. While some eLiquids contain nicotine, not all do. And while the nicotine in those eLiquids that do contain nicotine may be extracted from tobacco plants, none of the other chemicals found in tobacco plants are extracted. Tobacco is a nightshade family plant and all nightshade family plants contain nicotine at some level. Furthermore, the term "Tobacco Product" has a specific definition which does not include eLiquid and eCigarettes. And lastly, there is synthetic nicotine used in vaping. The eCigarette can be an Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS). However, not all eCigarettes contain eLiquid that has nicotine. ENDS is a term used in some old FDA documentation. The eCigarette could be a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). No other NRT, such as gum, patches or pills satisfy both my nicotine craving and the hand to mouth, inhale and exhale behavioral habit. But as far as I know, the FDA has not suggested it is.





All the information contained in these pages are only the opinions of the author and the author is not an expert at anything.