Introduction to the Electronic Cigarette
Electronic cigarettes have come a long way in just a short time. The early micro-cig models were pretty straightforward, but today’s ecigs come in all shapes and sizes; even the veteran vaper may find himself confused by some of the contraptions on the market today. So, let’s turn back the clock for a minute and get back to basics.
An Alternative to Tobacco
The first e-cigs were created to offer smokers an alternative to combustible tobacco products. Their design mimicked the shape and feel of a traditional cigarette; allowing a smoker to preserve the action of smoking, minus the actual smoke. With increasingly restrictive laws governing where tobacco cigarettes could be consumed, e-cigarettes provided smokers with options.
Ecigarettes could be used in many places where tobacco products were banned. Smokers could get the nicotine they wanted without the ash and odor of traditional cigarettes. And unlike tobacco, ecigs came in a wide variety of flavors and nicotine strengths.
Under the Hood
Take away the bells and whistles and you’ll find three elements common to every electronic cigarette or vaporizer. These are the cartridge, the atomizer and a battery. All three of these components are needed in order to create vapor. Early ecig models were made of these three separate parts, using what is known as a 3-piece design. Modern ecigarettes have combined the cartridge and the atomizer into one unit (sometimes called a cartomizer) that attaches to the battery, resulting in the more convenient 2-piece model.
The cartridge of an ecig contains the liquid which is turned into vapor. In order to transform liquid into vapor, the liquid must be heated to just the right temperature. That is why electronic cigarettes contain a heating element, called an atomizer. The battery of an e-cig powers the atomizer, which then heats the eliquid, producing vapor.